3 Surprising Things You Can Paint to Customize Your Kitchen That Aren’t Walls or Cabinets

published Jul 14, 2022
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Updating the look of your kitchen doesn’t have to be an expensive project, and you don’t have to buy all brand-new appliances or cabinetry to make a big decorative impact. Paint is an affordable, undeniable way to customize your home, and it’s highly DIY-friendly, too, meaning you don’t have to hire a pro to go bold or neutral with color in any given space. When it comes to the kitchen though, many people start by giving their cabinets or walls a fresh coat of color, but paint can help you create a fresh, unique cook space in more ways than just those.

Adora lives in a 1,517-square-foot home in Nashville, Tennessee, which she’s happily owned for the last five years. “I’ve always loved and lived in old homes so buying a home with character was a must for me in my search back in 2017,” Adora says in her house tour. Every inch of her historic home is customized with Adora’s bold, eclectic style, where more is absolutely more. She considers her signature aesthetic to be a blend of “Hollywood Regency mystique” meets “1970s opulence,” with lots of vintage accents thrown into the mix. Even though her home borrows inspiration from different eras and every room is so different, Adora says the one unifying factor is that “it’s always glamorous, luxurious, and comfortable.” Part of what has gotten her to those three adjectives? Paint — and lots of it.

In fact, Adora’s proudest DIY in her large, unique home is the custom paint job she gave her kitchen: She painted her kitchen appliances (large and small), countertops, and open shelves in two peppy shades of pink (and added in a few gold accents for good measure). “I had no idea how anything was going to turn out, but since I already didn’t like how everything looked before, I figured why not try!” Adora says.

Her refrigerator, countertops, oven trim, and dishwasher are all painted a bright, electric shade of Barbie pink (Eaton House Studio’s Ken actually), while the floating shelves (and walls and cabinetry) are painted more of a pastel shade, Sherwin-Williams’ In the Pink (SW6583). Adora even spray-painted her toaster and microwave a shiny metallic gold to match the Baroque mirrors and glassware accents she placed all over the kitchen.

Getting this look in your home isn’t all that difficult, though you might want to consider shades that are a little less electric, of course, if you’re more into neutrals. Small appliances, like toasters or microwaves, provide good places to start on this kind of a makeover, since it’s likely just a taping off and spray painting job you’ll have on your hands there. For larger appliances, like a refrigerator or dishwasher, do your due diligence to see what the best paint and DIY process is for you. You want to make sure the product that you’re using is both safe and durable. Spray paint is an option here, too, or you can roll on a color from your favorite paint company. Appliance epoxy, which is a long-wearing, glossy enamel specially designed for painting appliances, may be your best option, but note that shades can be limited with this kind of product. Your countertops are also paintable, as evidenced by Adora’s cook space, but you have to think strategically here with product and finish, too. Look for a countertop refinishing kit, or consult the pros at a paint shop to see what finish they might offer to stand up to moisture and heavy usage, since your countertops likely provide the biggest prep surface in your kitchen.

For open shelving, you can use regular interior house paint without any issue. The biggest thing to keep in mind, no matter which feature you’re painting in your kitchen or what kind of paint you use, is that you have to prep your surfaces according to a given product’s instructions for proper adhesion — and you have to tape off the pieces or parts of your features that you don’t want painted your main shades. Once your surfaces are coated and dry though, you can then go back and spruce up those unpainted areas with yet more paint, just as Adora did with her golden fridge handles.

The point here is paint can go a long way in a kitchen, and it doesn’t have to stop at just the walls or cabinets. In Adora’s cook space, pink paint colors play a vital role in why the room’s so vibrant, unique, and anything but cookie cutter. “Everyday I’m thankful to live here,” Adora says. “It’s my favorite place to be!”