Inside my summer kitchen.......(lots of pics)

jiggreenJuly 22, 2010

The walls inside my summer kitchen are in good shape...structurally speaking. But...there are layers and layers of paint, peeling wallpaper, newspaper (from 1912!!) on the walls, differing layers and levels of peeling. At first I looked at it and thought.."omg what a mess", but now I look at it and think..."wow, people pay a LOT of money to get fake finishes like this, and here I have the real thing!"

So, what I'm thinking is to leave the top half of wall alone...above the chair rail, and paint the bottom half of wall and window moldings. Would that look stupid? I hate to destroy years and years of history (especially the areas where they wallpapered with "The Practical Farmer" from Feb 1912!) I want it to look clean though...clean, but interesting if that makes sense. Also, how would you treat the top half of the wall if it were yours and you were leaving the finish intact? Would you clear coat it with something? Would you treat it like decoupage? And any suggestions for color for the bottom half? I was thinking brownish red, or perhaps a dark taupe mom is leaning towards white (I'm not a big white fan, I find it too stark...perhaps I'd agree to a creamy warm white though).

Here are some photos..... (but here are a few details first!)

The greenish ceiling will be removed to expose the beams and the bottom of the upstairs flooring. Those two metal support beams are coming out..they really aren't supporting anything, that beam does not connect into the walls. The beam will be replaced and proper supports put in. I wish the original fireplace was still there, but it was replaced at some point in time with a chimney for a wood stove. We are going to basically just clean it up and leave the chimney alone...I like the worn look of it.I'm hoping we are able to remove the concrete around the base of it though (without damaging the bricks that are under there) I haven't decided what to do about the cistern that is in there...I might leave it. There are quite a few cisterns on the property...the old-timers who lived there for 60 years caught every drop of rainwater coming off the roofs. (and they hand washed their laundry with the water..even into their 90's!)

Oh, and the ultimate plan for the 1st floor of the summer kitchen is going to be a family room (but really rustic and primitive) the meantime, after it is cleaned and painted, (but before I invest big money into it) it will be a "tween" hangout space. that I'm done with my mini are the pictures..............

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Thanks for sharing - I'll live vicariously through you since my kitchen was demolished in 1932. It's interesting how they hid the staircase.

If the wainscot is bare wood, real milk paint might be an appropriate option for the bottom half of the wall. It's more of a stain than a paint & will give a streaky, flat finish.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 9:22AM
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I think it's a cool idea and work well if you like patina. Don't expect everybody to 'get' it. I love the quote from the woman with the kitchen I linked to below:
'When people come to the house they often ask us when we are going to modernise the kitchen.'

I think her kitchen looks great, and so much more relaxed than some high end kitchen with bordeaux cherry cabinets with butterscotch glaze, yadayadayada. Go for it!

Here is a link that might be useful: another patina kitchen

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 10:18PM
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antiquesilver~ I think maybe the bottom of the walls might have been stained at some point in time, or else it is bare wood that has just darkened to the point of looking stained! It's hard to tell!

slaterberry~ I love that blue aged patina kitchen! Makes me more convinced to save the finish on my own summer kitchen!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 6:52AM
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Wow! I love it! and I don't think it's stupid to leave it as it is! I'd leave the wainscoting 'as is' too! From the photos it looks like unpainted (or stained?) wood, so I'd just try to clean it up. I wouldn't try to seal the walls above it in any way. Of course, I might feel differently if I could see it in person.

I also wouldn't try to remove the concrete at the base of the chimney. I'd worry about why it was there in the first place. lol! And I don't even see where the cistern is -- so it must look different from the only one I've ever seen. :O)

It's a VERY cool space. I'd appreciate it as much as you do!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 8:53AM
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I didn't want to hijack on the other thread where you mentioned this, but I just put textured wallpaper over ceramic tile. First I just tried wetting and booking the wallpaper, like standard instructions, but it did not adhere well to the tile. Then I tried painting the tile and grout with elmer's glue, then applying the wetted/booked wallpaper to the glue-coated tile. Success! It took a bit longer to dry, but boy, it's holding on really well now, no loose/peeling edges, so that might work for your fridge. Please post pics when you're done.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 9:57AM
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If you like it, go for it. It is very cool I think.

For me the upper walls might be a bit too busy though and so I would probably save one wall as is and strip the others. As far as the bottom half - hmmm, not white. I might first try cleaning a spot with denatured alcohol to see if it is a shellac finish. If it is, I would at least try to put on another coat of shellac. When I am working on stuff like this, I take one area and try my plan out on it to see if I like it, before I do the whole room. It is hard to tell how the room is going to look since you are taking down the ceiling too. I'd wait until everything that is going to be removed is gone, then step back as see what you think.

I had many, many layers on my walls (no newspapers though) and saved pieces of each of the wallpapers. In one spot in the dining room, I saved the oldest wallpaper on the wall. It is faded and very fragile, but a pretty A&C pattern. I haven't sealed it because I am afraid of what that might do to it - but I probably should.

It sounds like such a fun project for you. I would love to see the end result.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 4:30PM
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What an amazing and fun space! I am not very good with interior decoration but you are still going to get my 2 cents. I love the look of the old paper on the walls. I agree that you could get away with leaving at least one whole wall as is if you didn't want that look all throughout. As for the wood along the bottom, if you are saving the paper on the walls I would keep that as close to "as is" as you can. With the areas of red in the paper on the upper half, the darker wood looks good to me. And as a previous poster said, it may look different in person; if it is just too much leaving all or one whole wall as is maybe you could pick one large area on one wall to "frame in" and save. Just keep the paper on, say a 5 x 10 foot section, and frame it in with some salvaged chair rail. Basically like a large piece of art where you can have a healthy sampling of the history of the room. Just a thought I had while I was looking through the pictures. Also, I agree that you will have to share the end result with us! Best of luck and enjoy!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2010 at 1:42PM
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What a sweet space - to die for! (And that's not a phrase I often use!)

Yes, your idea of "decoupage" and preserving the historical element is right on target - sounds like a plan! Im tickled that you recognize the beauty in this approach - the modern distressed paint techniques are trying to replicate what you've already got!

What is the ceiling - is that original board & batten kind of thing?

    Bookmark   August 2, 2010 at 2:12PM
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