Tuscan Kitchen: To Paint or Not to Paint


Michelle recently purchased this beautiful 1950’s ranch home.  The kitchen has beautiful original pine cabinets, complete with iron latches.  You actually have to push the latch down to open the cabinet!  The cabinets are in great shape, but the 1980’s wallpaper adorning the walls, is another story.



These little wheat stalks bring back bad memories of geese and teddy bears.  I remember my mom and my grandma owning a set of dishes with one or the other right in the center of your dinner plate.  Trends (sigh).  Look at the beautiful woodwork on the walls…PYSCH!



If you follow me on Instagram, you would’ve seen this picture the day it was ripped from the walls.  What a glorious feeling!  I think I heard Nate Berkus squeal with excitement.  He just knew someone, in the midwest, had just removed bad wallpaper border.



The celebration was short lived.  While trying to remove the wheat stalks, I ran into a little problem.  The wallpaper was glued directly to the gympsum board, and it was ripping the top layer right off the wall.  I felt beat-up, defeated, and discouraged.  I drove home with my tail between my legs, and logged into Pinterest U.

I read a lot of blogs about painting over wallpaper, and when it is acceptable and when it was not.  My case, was acceptable.  When the wallpaper is going to damage your wall, it is ok, to wear white after Labor Day….I mean, to paint over wallpaper.

I ran to Lowe’s and picked up binding primer for glossy surfaces, red and cream paint.  The check-out girl told me her family purchased a house that had wallpaper in every room.  After removing half of it, they decided to paint.  I asked her how it looked, and she said that with a solid color on the wall, you can still see the seams.  She recommended I skim coat the seams.  Genius!



I first pulled all the loose corners of wallpaper down, and then filled them in with joint compound.  I also went over all the seams with a thin layer of mud.  The next day I came back and sanded.  Since the layers were so thin, it was not a difficult job at all.



I primed the wallpaper and the wood paneling.  This primer is awesome!  It was thick like Elmer’s glue and it covered the wheat beautifully!  I only had to do one coat of primer.







The walls will be this Paprika color and the wood paneling is supposed to be cream.  I promise the paint chip in front of me right now, is white not yellow.  Painting the paneling will create a wainscot look.

My inspiration for this room is Tuscan.  Michelle already has some Southwest accessories that will easily transition into a rustic Tuscan look.  I also scored an awesome mirror that was slightly damaged at Pier One for 80% of the original price!  I think with beautiful colors of Tuscany will contrast perfectly with the yellow pine cabinets in her kitchen.


Whatcha think?