Create Kitchen Old World Tuscan Look for Less

An outdated kitchen gets a facelift with an Old World theme and paint techniques.

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Before the makeover this kitchen was plain and boring and the cabinets felt dark and heavy. With some painting techniques and a few new additions this space is transformed into a beautiful Tuscan retreat.

The plain walls are given a rustic treatment with joint compound and a mixture of sage green, light tan, cream and red paint. The designer scoops about two cups of the compound into a paint tray, spoons on the four colors then combines it all by rolling the paint roller into the mixture. An inexpensive paintbrush is used to pounce the mixture into the corners and along the edges.

Here are some tips for completing this wall treatment:

  • Don't worry about completely mixing all of the colors with the compound - the variation of hues is what creates the rustic character.
  • Cut the bristles on the inexpensive paintbrush down to one inch so that it's easier to pounce the mixture into the corners.
  • Look at ceramic tiles for additional color inspiration.

The dated wood cabinets are painted red to better fit with the Tuscan theme.

A discarded piece of furniture is turned into a buffet. The worn top is disguised with two tiles and wood trim along the edges. The bottom is painted a sage green to accent the warm color scheme. The homeowners' table also gets a new look with a painted detail in the center. The designer paints a cream rectangle in the center and adds a stenciled design along the edges. A clear varnish topcoat protects the finish. The chair backs and seats are updated with gold fabric. 

New sheers are hung in front of the window to block the porch view, and a valance made from leftover chair fabric is used to accent the window over the sink. An old window and two shutters come together for a shadow box wall display. 

The backsplash is accented with handpainted wall tiles. The designer chooses an image, enlarges it on a copier and uses graphite paper to transfer the image to the tile. Glass paint is used to color the design. The tiles are attached to the wall with glue. (Small nails are used to hold them in place until the glue dries.)

A new chandelier replaces a dated light fixture. The finish is aged with paint to make it better fit with the rustic theme.

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