Ooh la la from floor to fridge

Home Paint It - - CONTENTS - By Mar­ian van Wyk Pho­to­graphs Fran­cois Ober­hol­ster and sup­plied

Home’s man­ag­ing edi­tor, edi­tor, Daledale Niehaus, niehaus, and her hus­band Ruan spent many a week­end and evening re­paint­ing their dark kitchen to give it a ro­man­tic

French feel.

Ruan’s fa­ther, Ge­orge, made this dresser from oak ve­neer for Dale and Ruan years ago. It has served as a TV cabi­net and a linen closet. Af­ter a coat or two of An­nie Sloan Old White and then An­nie Sloan Clear Wax, it now has pride of place in the kitchen. >> Crys­tal han­dles from Plan B Vin­tage


1 An­nie Sloan Old White (sealed in some places with Sabre Stone Seal, in oth­ers with An­nie Sloan Dark Wax and Clear Wax – see cap­tions) 2 An­nie Sloan French Linen 3 Black Auto Paint from Mark’s Paints (mixed with white Auto Paint to get the right shade of grey)

The bud­get

We didn’t re­ally have money for a new kitchen, says Dale. She es­ti­mates that their ex­penses came to less than R7 000, ex­clud­ing the cost of the new gas stove and pen­dant lamps. “It’s dif­fi­cult to say ex­actly what we spent be­cause we did the work over a long pe­riod,” she adds.

The cou­ple re-used what they could – from the ex­ist­ing cab­i­nets to old scaf­fold­ing. Even the old door han­dles were used again. “New han­dles re­ally are a luxury. As long as it isn’t a lion’s head, I can live with it,” Dale laughs.

The project

Dale and Ruan, a handy­man, lit­er­ally spent week­ends and evenings re­paint­ing the space. If you ask Dale how long the project took, she replies: “Too damn long.” Or who helped paint: “I painted ev­ery sin­gle flip­ping brush­stroke on those cup­boards my­self...”

The pair have been living in their home in the Cape Town sub­urb of Kuils River for 20 years and in 2004 in­stalled brand new ply­wood ve­neer kitchen cup­boards and a lam­i­nated floor.

“At the time, we thought it was the most beau­ti­ful kitchen in the world,” says Dale. But 10 years later it be­gan to bother them more and more that the kitchen was sep­a­rated from the other living ar­eas.

“When I started work­ing at Home mag­a­zine in 2013, a whole new cre­ative world opened up to me.”

Dale’s makeover ideas had a domino ef­fect. “Ini­tially, we were only go­ing to break out the wall be­tween the kitchen and dining room and move the top cup­boards. But then we de­cided to break through to the out­side room, which is now a scullery and laun­dry. And then those cup­boards had to be moved... And the sink...”

Dale and Ruan worked cre­atively with what they al­ready had in their kitchen. “The cabi­net car­casses are time­less and I also knew that paint­ing would re­ally be the most af­ford­able way to make the big­gest dif­fer­ence. A rec­tan­gu­lar cup­board door, af­ter all, never goes out of fash­ion,” she chuck­les.

In the midst of it all, the lam­i­nated floor, which had been laid on top of Novilon, was lifted – Novilon and all – and they painted the floor black with Mark’s Paints’ Auto Paint.

Af­ter the build­ing and al­ter­ations had been done and the shift­ing around of cup­boards was com­plete, they re­moved the cup­board doors, sanded them lightly with 60-grit sand­pa­per and Dale be­gan to paint in earnest. “I ap­plied two coats with a sponge roller and then sanded the edges lightly with 120-grit sand­pa­per to cre­ate a weath­ered look. Then the doors were sealed with Sabre Stone Seal.

“We worked like this for six months, some­times un­til af­ter mid­night, and had to make one-pot meals on a two-plate stove. The dishes had to be washed in the bath! But you won’t be­lieve the trans­for­ma­tion. My youngest son Ar­min ( above), who is dis­abled and doesn’t like change, says it’s great to have ev­ery­thing so open. Ruan is in­cred­i­bly proud of our hand­i­work but he is also so grate­ful it’s fin­ished.

“I feel like I won the lot­tery! The kitchen is now where it all hap­pens. Ev­ery­one sits at the counter and no one is ex­cluded from the party. The is­land is def­i­nitely the best ad­di­tion!”

Dale’s tips

• Plan well be­fore­hand (we didn’t!).

• Choose a colour scheme and stick to it but don’t be afraid to play around within that pal­ette.

• Be pa­tient and wait for the paint or sealant to dry com­pletely. I made the mis­take of stack­ing the sealed doors against each other un­til Ruan could hang them again but they stuck to­gether. I had to re-paint them, wait for them to dry and re-seal them – a tough les­son learnt!

• Give your­self a dead­line and stick to it.

LEFT Af­ter Dale painted the cab­i­nets, she sanded the edges lightly (oth­er­wise you’ll sand through the ve­neer) to cre­ate this weath­ered look.

Dale de­cided on a neu­tral pal­ette for her kitchen be­cause it’s an open-plan space, “not be­cause I wanted a tran­quil feel – tran­quil­lity isn’t ex­actly a word that any­body would as­so­ciate with me!” The cup­board doors were painted in An­nie Sloan Old White...

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