Friday, October 12, 2018

ReThunk Junk: The Cabinets I Dreaded To Paint and Our Family Room Design

Hi! I've mentioned how DIY challenged I am, which begs the question. What am I doing in this apron, looking ready to take on the craft world? Of course there's a story behind it; an adventure, wrapped up in the amateur design of our family room, as well as the redo of a formidable, dark built-in that I dreaded to paint. (This is a lengthy post so if you'd like to skip on down to the paint details, scroll to "Enter My New Favorite Paint.")
Now permit me to give a little back story by returning to the month of June and the day of our home inspection on the Florida house. Since Glen's Aunt Annie and Uncle Russ live a short drive from the area, we invited them to join us.  As the inspector went from room to room we would follow along, but Aunt Annie and I would land back in the family room.

Here's the realtor photo, which looks so deceivingly bright. Also, check out those kitchen counters! 

"Chrissy, this room is very dark, isn't it? And look at the counters on this built-in! The wood is rotted all along the top! You'll want to fix that."

She continued with ideas about painting the room to help brighten the space, but we knew the built-in would be a challenge! The structure is comparable to a "light vacuum", sucking any remaining bits of brightness and cheer out of the room.  This combined with the dark grey color on the walls was too much for the window-less, small space. Of course I could paint the built-in, but that was not a project I looked forward to. 

Following the inspection we went for ice cream, naturally, and that's when Aunt Annie shared a sweet blessing with us. 

"We want to help you re-do your family room as a housewarming present...counters, paint and all."

Well, knowing our past experiences in home projects, along with a limited budget, we graciously and enthusiastically accepted their gift! Fast forward a month or so and we are Florida residents in an unpacked home. With no boxes to distract me, the family room, devoid of light, cheer, or the right furnishings, begged for attention.

Here we are settled in our mix-matched furniture and fancy bungie chairs...

Here's the real-to-life dark cabinets with unpacked, random decorative items...

In the Daytime...

In the Evening...

Phase 1: Planning, Demo & Wall Paint

Aunt Annie and Uncle Russ contact us - they are available if we're ready. Oh we're ready!

Let the project begin!! With the help of a new friend at church, who coincidentally is an interior designer, I was able to find a great deal on beautiful counter tops for the kitchen (yay!), as well as figure out a layout best suited for 6 people, in such a small space.  She suggested two 74" sofas and painting the cabinets a subtle grey as opposed to stark white.

Side note: Finding 74" sofas is more of a challenge than I imagined and I ended up with a pair from the Ashley Furniture online store.

So while the sofas were on the way from Ashely Home Furniture, we busied ourselves with choosing paint and finding an area rug. It was also about this time when Aunt Annie suggested that we choose the same granite counters for the family room.

"It would look so nice in here!", she persisted.  Ok. Sounds good to us! :)

Bungie chairs still ruled the scene...

Thanks to Mom Rowden, who came for a visit, we decided on the right color and size for the area rug from Home Depot.

I might just keep a bungie chair for the sentimental value of it.

Enter My New Favorite Paint

"Chrissy, you will love this paint. You don't have to sand or anything and it goes a long way!"

Now it was time to demo the top portion of the built-in. I didn't look forward to painting the bottom cabinets, but I  had a type of paint in my mind that a friend from home told me about.

"Chrissy, you will love this paint. You don't have to sand or anything and it goes a long way!"

So in between ordering furniture, picking out wall paint, I contacted my friend, Erika, for a paint name.

She responded quickly - Rethunk Junk. I wasted no time checking out the company website and watching their videos. I fell in love. It is a family owned company and the owner, Laura, seemed so down to earth. Before I knew it, I was typing an email asking Laura if she would be interested in a little collaboration.

Her enthusiastic reply made my heart happy! Within a couple of days I received a welcome kit overflowing with everything I would need for prep, as well as three paint colors! In addition, she sent cups for the boys, a water bottle, mints, note pads and even coasters for me with her company logo on it. Everything about this package spoke of her kind and generous spirit. At this time we'd only had two email conversations and Facetimed once, but I felt sure we'd make great friends!

OK, let's get back to progress on the room...

The shelves came out a lot easier than anticipated so we started painting the walls soon after. Once we finished the walls, I could start on the cabinets. HOWEVER. However, I did not trust myself so I decided to test out my abilities and Rethunk Junk on my bathroom cabinets. They needed painting anyway and are not centrally located!

Two questions I asked Laura ahead of time:

1. Should I take the cabinet doors off to paint them? 

Big NO.  In her experience, the doors never seem to go back on right.

2. Should I paint the inside of the doors? 

She replied, "I haven't painted the inside of ANY cabinets doors." Then she jokingly added, "and if someone doesn't want to be my friend because the my cabinet doors are unpainted, than it just wasn't meant to be." Laura, can we be friends???

The prep looked so simple; too simple!  NO sanding required?! It was getting late and dinner responsibilities loomed, but I couldn't wait to test it out. Following the instructions, I used their prep spray, let it sit and then wiped it off with a coarse sponge.

Next up, the instructions emphasized painting a THIN layer of paint and then allowing it to completely dry.  Aunt Annie, the veteran painter, joined me in the process and kept commenting on how smoothly the paint covered.

After completing step two, I went on to fix dinner and figured we'd have to wait until morning, but those cabinets were dry as the desert so I promptly painted the second coat!

Finished Product

I loved it! With new found confidence I began the wondrously simple prep in the family room and let my young man join in on the fun.

"Yes. You may spray the cabinets my dear. Tough stuff, huh?"

I prepped twice because it's easy and I wanted to be sure they were properly cleaned, but I was onto the painting before long...

Again, once the top coat COMPLETELY dries, you can add as many additional coats as you like...I worked on mine the next morning before anyone was up...

I added a second coat...

Counters Arrive!

We ripped out the rotted wood counters and waited for the granite pieces to be installed!

With counters in, we moved onto shelving...There's a lot of options for how we could use the top half of this space, but we chose IKEA Billy shelves to keep it simple and affordable for now.  We may add trim for a more built-in look, though I can honestly say I'm thrilled with the results. 

This room came together with the help of Mom Rowden, Aunt Annie and Uncle Russ, Bobbi from our new church, Olek at Volcano Counters and sweet Laura from Rethunk Junk Paint. There are a few remaining projects to finish such as:  a shelf above the TV, art on the walls, more pillows, new lamps, throws and a light fixture to install, but we are thrilled with the results so far . The whole family loves it!

A Few things about ReThunk Junk Paint:
  • You don't have to sand! No. You Really Don't.
  • You will be amazed at how fast it goes on and how quickly it dries.
  • A quart of paint goes far! There's still half of my quart left after two coats of paint on the family room cabinets.
  • It doesn't smell! I painted those cabinets in my tiny bathroom and there were no paint fumes.
  • THEY make the paint themselves! Yup! Laura's husband created this paint. Brilliant!
  • They're based out of Georgia but you can order the paints online. Click HERE to see colors. (My Georgia friends, you can also visit Status Home Design in Dacula to see it in the flesh. Say hi to Erika if you go!) 
Lastly, you will love Laura and the heart of her company. Laura has a passion for refinishing junk...yeah, but really it's for people and it shows in the way she builds up, encourages and inspires individuals to reach their full, creative potential. Hop on over to their website for lots of inspiration...HERE!

"Everyone has a creative side!" - Laura

OK my friends, thank you for sharing in on my amateur design and built-in redo! I have another piece of outdated furniture that I'll paint with no dread and plenty of gusto.  Now, how about you? Do you have furniture in need of a refresh or cabinets in need of paint, but the thought of all that prep work is giving you the creeps? Well, you know what I'm going to to say. Try this paint! You will be spoiled and so glad you did!



  1. Wowzers, what a transformation! I am ready to tackle all of my dark furniture and brighten up my spaces. Girl, you did a great job and anytime you and Aunt Annie wanna come to Orlando you can stay here and help me!!!
    I have a hard time believing you are not a DIYer - girl, you wear that apron so well. I think it's a gift you've yet to unwrap!
    Love you!!!

    1. Awww, thanks so much Kellyann. You are the sweetest and I appreciate you tons. Now, we can do some easy transformations if I have this paint. Seriously! I'm itching to try the other color I have! :)

  2. What a difference! Great job on the DIY. I always have great plans to re-do and then once I start I think "why oh why did I sign up for this"....way to NAIL IT!

    1. Haha! That's so true...because for one thing it always seem to be a bigger project than originally envisioned; hidden problems and having the right parts, etc. I'm glad I'm finished with the beginnings of this project! :) Thank you so much for visiting! I hope you have a great weekend!

  3. CHRISSY! Both projects looks amazing. Oh how I love a good makeover and the feeling of accomplishment. You are not DIY challenged girl! Great job!!!

    1. THanks Lisa! We still have to add backsplash to our kitchen, as well as trim. Want to come help? Wink, wink!

  4. That looks fabulous! I hate dark walls and furniture. Isn t it fun to do it yourself!

    1. I have mixed feelings about whether or nots it's fun during the process but that feeling when you're done is great! :)

  5. My friend! I had not seen the before....WOW, WOW, WOW!! Looks so good, so Florida and you keep upping the ante on you awesomeness!!!! xo GREAT JOB!

    1. Thank you so much! I’m looking forward to painting my shelf to put across the middle. Then I have to find goodies to put on it. Lol. Thanks for guiding me in that area and giving me the affirmation I needed to move forward there!

  6. Dang that turned out fabulous. Did you know we JUST repainted our kitchen cabinets this summer...with sanding and everything. Too bad I didn't know about this then....

  7. What an amazing transformation Chrissy!! The paint and the counters really brightened the place up. So creative to think of adding the Ikea shelving. I love it guys will have make some great memories in this room no doubt!!

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  22. Hi there! How are the cabinets holding up? I am thinking about using this paint on my kitchen cabinets but I worried about yellowing and/or cracking/chipping and just not holding up overall.

    1. The paint continues to hold up well! No chipping. However, for kitchen cabinets or dining tables (high traffic surfaces) they do recommend adding a coat of their Tough Coat.

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      The paint is manufactured as a cabinet paint so YAY for that. I was told I could paint my pressboard cabinets as well.

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