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The first project at the Blachford House actually took place before the 89-day countdown began. The project was painting the kitchen cabinets. However, this project lead to the NEED for a countdown because I knew I was going to have to focus & work hard on this house – or we would all go insane when it became a long, drawn out affair. You’ll see why I say “insane” by the end of this post!

Then & Now

Meet Grandpa Bob! And, the kitchen. He and his wife Hazel raised their family in this home. Grandma Hazel passed away a few years ago, but Grandpa Bob & his dog Daisy now live at the nursing home in DeSmet. Earlier this year, Grandpa Bob celebrated his 95th birthday!

Scan 21


As you can tell, not much has changed in the kitchen over the years. The wallpaper is still the same & cabinets & chairs & tables and…you get the point. It is all the same. When John moved in he was not concerned about the kitchen. He changed nothing. I am concerned. There is one fast food place within a 35 mile radius of our home. Takeout is not an option. I cannot raid my my grandma Mamoo’s leftovers from 580 miles away. I am going to be cooking a lot. This kitchen needs an update & a good cleaning.


The Inspirations

Previously, I posted about my small obsession with Pantone Color Forecasting. I decided to use one of their 2013 spring colors for the cabinets.


I found this picture on Pinterest (of course!) and decided this was my goal. I have been looking in quite a few magazines and I like the country decor trend. One part of the country “look” is bi-colored cabinets. I like a white on top, color on bottom color pairing. I even put it up on the wall once I got started painting for motivation.


10 Steps to Painted Cabinets 

Thanks to all the wonderful DIY blogs and books around today I was able to find step-by-step instructions on how to do this project. It is a pretty simple process. Simple, but still crazy because all the stuff – like pots, forks & food processors – in a kitchen. Here is my version of the “how to.”

10 Steps to Painted Kitchen Cabinents

1. Pick your colors.

2. Buy Laytex primer, colored semi-gloss paint, 2 inch blue painter’s tape, brushes (one for primer, one for colored paint). I got a semi-gloss paint in white and blue. They recommend semi-gloss because it is easier to wipe clean in the future.

Optional Purchase Suggestion: Buy a frozen pizza, get ingredients for a few meals and lots of snacks. This is a lot of work, you’re gonna get hungry. I’m serious! I lost a 1/2 pound after a few days of this!

3. Gather or buy drop clothes and newspapers to protect your painting surfaces.


3. Tape


4. Remove doors. LABEL THEM FIRST. Be sure to label the doors, because you’ll want to put them back in the same spot. If they are put back in different locations there is a higher chance they won’t close as nicely as before.


5. Remove all hardware. I kept separate buckets for the hinges & their screws and the handles & their screws. It was easier that way when we put things back up. (Although these are John’s hands, I want to make it known that I took off 90% of these hinges off while he took care of calving. I can’t take a picture of my own hands though!)


6. Prime. You may have to do two coats. I did two.


7. Paint on the color of choice.

A close-up of the coverage I got after first coat was applied.


Also a first coat view.


8. Second…then a third…then a 33rd Coat

They covered very well after the second coat, but some spots did need touch ups.


9. Re-attach hinges and drawer knobs.


10. Re-hang the doors. I suggest keeping your brushes “loaded” in the freezer for the next few weeks. I found tons of little spots that I missed and it was handy to have everything nearby. I read this tip on another blog.


Now, enjoy your newly painted cabinets. Here are mine:


Just kidding! It was a few coats of paint – not a miracle. Here is the real deal. 70’s floral wallpaper included.


The Messy, Messy Chaos:

So. Those were the ten steps to the process of painting the cabinents. But, this is the kookiness that took place to complete those 10 “easy” steps.


It took 3 trips to the lumber yard, 2 to the hardware store and ruined a pair of my jeans (now covered in paint).


All of this painting had to be done indoors because it was still sub-freezing temperatures outside and the ground was covered in snow.

DSCN2617 DSCN2589

I was literally painting AROUND crockpots, toasters & drying wranglers. Then, I was trying to prepare meals in between for the hungry farmers & myself.


I did this project BEFORE starting the 89 day countdown. It took about a week. After completing this task, I knew we were going to need some serious motivation to finish this house without going totally off the deep end.cabinetbeforeafter2

Don’t get me wrong, I was really happy with the final look – but whew – we still had a long way to go!

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  1. Lori

    Your cabinets look great. I like the 2-color look and it is fun watching your 89 day countdown journey.

  2. Aunt Jackie

    Sierra, The cabinets look great! Keep up the good work!

  3. Jenny Ledermann

    You go girl! Been there done that. It’s so worth it in the long run! Paint is a wonderful thing! I like to refer to myself as the queen of spray paint!! Hardware, patio furniture etc! It’s fun, cheap, let your imagination go wild!

    • Sierra Shea

      I bet you are a spray paint queen. I am starting to feel like one – I bought 10 cans in the last two days!

  4. Laurel Wilson

    Very nice work–kitchens are hard so you have tackled one of the worst projects. Your advice about food is right on target. Cooking is hard to do in a kitchen that is being painted.



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Hey, I’m Sierra Shea! I am so glad you are here. 

Where do I start with writing to introduce this blog? At the beginning, I suppose: I’ve been writing on various platforms online since 2013. I started blogging shortly after moving to South Dakota.

I am a mother and a maker at heart. I’m so grateful to be married to John and mother of three: Joslyn, J.D. and Jesse.

I am a self-taught decorator and designer. I am a brand new shepherdess and a Spiritual Director.

I love living in South Dakota, even though the winters & the wind can be a near-daily struggle.

Blogging is a grounding force in my life and it helps get me out of my head, unstuck and moving in the directions I always hoped I’d be going!