play kitchen makeover

30 August 2017


some might call it a makeunder (that missed spot in the middle bottom shelf - I see you) and I wouldn't blame them a bit.

Towards the end of my pregnancy I stupidly decided I had to give the kids' play kitchen a face lift. Call it nesting or call it crazy but I read a few tutorials and went to work. It was simple but took a lot of time and rather than give you a step-by-step (better blogs! better tutorials!) I'll tell you what I was glad I'd done and what I'd wish I'd done differently.

Let's start at the very beginning with supplies:

grey chalk paint + brush (I'm not sure how important it is to have a dedicated chalk paint brush though - I've used the cheap chip brushes they've worked fine too)
sander (not necessary but SO NICE TO HAVE)
matte clear gloss
gold spray paint (I tried two different colors/brands and this was so much better)
thick wrapping paper of choice
foam board

Maybe the most tedious and time consuming but most important step was taking all of the plastic hardware off because 23947289347289734 screws but it's a necessary evil. Also - I read how helpful it was to put the parts in bags and label them which I would've never ever though to do and would've thought I would "just remember" what goes where but no - never would I ever have remembered.


don't skip it. Don't forget the plastic sheets covering the microwave and oven doors - they probably need a good cleaning anyway (ours did).

I couldn't get the knobs off so I just taped them off while I was painting and then taped off the kitchen (after I made certain it was REALLY dry) while spray painting the actual knobs ... like so.


It worked fine and I was able to sand out that big drip of paint and touch it up with the grey chalk paint.

I went with chalk paint because we had some on hand and it goes go on VERY nicely/evenly and I wasn't looking to put 3-4 coats of paint on a tiny structure with a zillion hard to reach crevices. I experimented with painting the back of the kitchen without sanding beforehand and it went on fine but after sanding the fridge door and noticing how much smoother the pain looked I decided to just sand the entire front of the kitchen.

This is turning into a step-by-step. Sorry.

I did two coats of paint on the kitchen and sanded any rough spots in between (if the paint went on thick where I'd let an eager helper be a little too helpful). Originally I wasn't going to paint the inside but then I just --- did. It looks better and only took like 89 extra hours. The plastic kitchen parts needed two separate coats of spray paint and I decided to just go ahead and spray the few play bowls we have from Ikea with gold spray paint as well.


Originally I wanted to draw some sort of faux tiles on a foam board "back splash" with a gold sharpie but then remembered I had one last sheet of this wrapping paper and figured wrapping some foam board would be a heck of a lot easier than trying to draw perfect "tiles". It worked and Simon helped me use a staple gun to affix the totally practical backsplash onto the back of the kitchen.


I'm shocked it's still intact and untouched because the kitchen takes a beating daily by our resident two-year-old.

If I were to do it again I think I would probably just go with regular high gloss paint that I've used to paint the majority of our dressers. I think it would look better and the paint job would last longer. I would also go with a slightly lighter color of grey but - who cares.

I might also paint one of the sides with chalkboard paint for fun and I guess I can still do that but the painting ship motivation has kind of sailed ever since Abe arrived - riddle me that.

I know some people have put contact paper on to look like marble or granite counters (and it looks amazing!) and to be honest - I have the contact paper but I decided to quit while I was ahead and call it good - maybe I'll tackle that during a potential play kitchen remodel in like 10-20 years.

I made a mental list of things not to forget and now I'm forgetting them so if you have any questions - let me know! I'm glad I did it because the kids thought it was fun to help, they claimed to like the outcome, and it was a good distraction that got me through a few audio books during those last weeks of Abe baking.

I'm not crafty or particularly handy with a paint brush and if I can do it - anyone can, promise! 

4 comments:

  1. Love the kitchen remodel! I'm getting ready to paint a wood dresser and plan to use chalk paint. Is it easy? Worth it? Should I just use high gloss paint instead like you recommend? If using the chalk paint should I invest in the wax and wax brush they recommend for after painting it? So many questions - sorry!

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  2. Bottom line question, was is worth it??

    My daughter will be receiving a well-loved hand-me-down red KidKraft kitchen that I am considering painting as it would live in our kitchen (which is white and gray). I'm trying to decide if it's worth the investment to give it a makeover...

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  3. Hope you are well despite the weather!

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