Update: A Peek at My Mid-Century Kitchen Makeover

The progress I’ve made on my kitchen makeover goes to prove a few things: Painting over wallpaper can look good, umpteen coats of paint still seems not to be enough, and wow, that is one uggo fan.

Changing a dated kitchen with white paint.

The first stages of the Mid-century Modern kitchen makeover that I resolved to do this year involved prepping the wallpaper for paint, and taking that wallpaper from tan to a painted, slightly textured white finish.

I do declare, it looks great — just check out this close-up and know that behind the camera, I’m smiling with joy.

Textured wallpaper painted white.

Painting over the wallpaper was a risk. A shortcut. A step that I deemed the lesser of two evils, with the other evil being removing the wallpaper and causing so much damage to the walls that they would need to be entirely skim coated.

Kitchen walls are more susceptible to being beaten with moisture from steam (just like a bathroom), so the paint product I chose to use is a semi-gloss finish. I went straight-up white, right from the can, a low-VOC paint-and-primer-in one by Behr from Home Depot. White paint is a miracle worker, especially when atop anything that looks even the slightest bit dingy or dark. The semi-gloss finish adds to the luminosity, even if at the same time it makes us all the more aware that the ceiling is like a dark cloud of beige that needs to be attended to pronto.

White paint, off-white ceiling!

Those silver knobs, by the way, will be reused.

If you’re preparing for a similar makeover at home, here are a few more things you should know:

  • Where the underlying wallpaper isn’t prepped well-enough, the paint might revolt. A very real setback. I (apparently) didn’t clean well enough in one corner above the range, and as I cut in with paint on in this location, the paint refused to adhere well and wicked away from the offending area like oil and vinegar. You’ll have to wipe clean the paint, re-wash, and allow it to dry again completely before taking a second go at it (a lightly dampened rag works for this if the paint hasn’t set at all).
  • If you’re working with textured wallpaper, use a paint roller designed for painting on texture, like on stucco walls. The thicker nap will help get the paint into the grooves better than a roller meant for a very smooth finish.
  • Even using the combined paint and primer product, I was three coats in before I was satisfied. If you’re working atop an uncoated wallpaper, expect the paint to absorb a bit more than it would on traditionally painted wall.
  • For more tips on prepping wallpaper for painting, check out this post.

Even though everything in the kitchen will eventually be painted, I still cut in around trim and ceiling edges to keep the process neat. It didn’t take much white paint to highlight how dark the wallpaper, trim, and ceiling are in comparison.

Painting wallpaper reveals discoloring in ceiling and trim.

Check back in regularly, because even though I’m only on the walls, this 1950′s kitchen is going to continue to change over the next few months.

Painting an outdated kitchen with white paint.For more ideas for your own kitchen makeover, check out the Kitchen Facelifts section of DIYNetwork.com, including this photo gallery of cool ideas for adding color to your kitchen.

6 Responses

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    Hmm it appears like your website ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I'll just sum it up what
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  3. Laurie_March says:

    LOVE, love, love this. Fresh! Are you painting the cabinet surrounds or stripping?
    Those doors and hardware are pretty fab…

  4. andresleetmaa says:

    Looks good. Texture is nice sometimes.

  5. [...] the whole kitchen transformation process on Made + Remade over on DIY Network – you can see my painting progress in this post. As for how the other kitchen updates are going, I’ll leave you with this for [...]


About Emily Fazio 


I caught the home improvement bug at an early age, and now I'm a full-time DIYer living in Rochester, NY. The projects I cover on my blog Merrypad range ...

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