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The rustic charm of this 200-year-old farmhouse was wearing thin when Valerie made her plea for help to Debbie and the Facelift crew. The main kitchen area was small, with a cranky, old stove and fridge and the summer kitchen had paint hanging in peeling strips from the ceiling. The main floor as a whole was in desperate need of a fresh coat of paint and some inspiration to highlight the gorgeous old bones of this family home.
The kitchen is truly the hub of a farmhouse and we wanted to create a space where the daily grind of cooking and seasonal preserving would be easier. A non-bearing wall was knocked down to widen the kitchen making room for a center island that houses the new stove, and tiles were laid on the countertops and backsplash.
Tin ceilings are a major component of this style and we went for the real thing in both kitchens. They can be primed with metal primer and then painted, but we opted for their natural polished finish, which gleams and reflects the light and pastel wall colours. To everyone's delight, the old linoleum floor was ripped up to reveal the original cheerywood floor.
There was a priceless supply of barn boards on hand as well as planks milled from a tree that had to be taken down in their front yard. Our carpenters built a rustic pot rack and a huge dining table from this wood that held special meaning to the family. Recycling from the past is a perfect way to keep memories alive and continue building history.
Beautiful wood wainscoting throughout the home was left untouched (except in the kitchen), and the upper walls in the living room and hall were painted cheerful shades of mauve and blue. A colourwashed stripe now runs around the rooms to add even more character to the plaster walls.
To make a focal point of the main wooden staircase, we stenciled a pattern on the risers. This touch of whimsy is the first thing you see when entering the house and complements the rustic, welcome appeal of the main floor.
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Colourwashed Kitchen Walls
The rustic beauty of original plaster walls is highlighted with a subtle colourwash. Working in sections over a dry base coat, Jim rolled on clear glazing liquid first and then a lighter shade of the basecoat. (For paint colours see resources.) He used a rag to wash the colour over the surface producing a mottled effect.
We built the pot rack from large old boards found in the barn. The ends are cut dove tail fashion with a jigsaw to interlock without the need for nails or glue.
The rack hangs over a custom-built center island that houses the new stove and is topped with tiles to match the kitchen counters.
A work bar topped with stainless steel, shelves for storing preserves, wicker baskets for other necessities, and a stunning hand-hewn farmhouse table built from the milled planks of a tree from the farmyard transform this summer kitchen into a year-round gathering spot.
The tin ceiling is an important component of old kitchens, and is gaining popularity again. The tin tiles are available in different sizes and patterns, and are easily installed. They can be painted or left in their natural finish. Please see resources.
A decorative design was applied to precut pieces of Masonite; it's easier to paint and can be removed without marring the original wood risers. To make the stenciling quick and easy, we made a small screen that fit over the Masonite and glued the stencil to the screen. Place the stencil over the riser and spray with latex paint. Remove the stencil straight up to prevent bleeding. To add another colour, tape off small sections of the stencil and spray again.
Taping is the secret to an even line. We used 1 1/2-inch-wide painter's tape and ran three rows above the wainscoting. The middle row of tape was removed and filled in with a dry brush paint technique. Dip your brush into paint and remove most of the paint onto a paper towel, then apply paint in crisscross strokes. Your brush strokes should be very visible but start and finish on the tape.