Mini-Kitchen Makeover With Pink Appeal

More in the kitchen series: Yes, technically a this is also a kitchen, but for very small cooks. And very pink.

Have you ever seen two little girls play in the Pottery Barn Kids store in the kitchen section?  Let me tell you, I thought I would not be able to get my girls out of there recently. But for $700, there better be a real stainless refrigerator in that set, right??

Kitchen Remodel for a Screaming Ugly Play Kitchen

When I had the chance to pick up a really sturdy wood construction three-piece kitchen for just $10 at a recent consignment sale, I couldn’t pass it up.  But, boy, was it ugly.  Purple, deep pink, and a shade of blue that made my eyes hurt.

Still, I could tell this kitchen was worth remodeling. The girls got to play with them for a couple of weeks, then down to my workshop they went. There were some details I liked, including the foil burners on the stove…

DIY play kitchen remodel details

And some details I didn’t like, as in the unfinished backs and interiors.

DIY play kitchen remodel

Even though it’s miniature, this kitchen paint job starts like any other. With a simple step, you can avoid this mistake: properly prepare oil paint surfaces.  Use this tip to tell if you have latex or oil paint on your existing surface.

how to test for latex paint versus oil paint

Color Choices for a Super Cute Kitchen Remodel

Then primed, lightly sanded between coats, and rolled on two coats of Sherwin Williams Impatiens Petal SW 6582.  Picking this shade might have been the hardest part of the project, but luckily, I am an expert at picking Color with No Regrets.

It always amazes me how bad the primer coat looks. I’m showing you this just in case you want to paint your real cabinets. Remember to use a good quality roller and sand in between coats to remove any fuzzies that are left behind by the roller.

painting kitchen cabinets remodel

I decided not to mess with the attached kitchen faucet on my set, and I saved a few bucks by spray painting the handles a stainless steel finish. There were two different sets of hardware here, but it didn’t make sense to spring for the $20 bucks for new hardware. Remember, the whole 3-piece play kitchen set only cost $10 to start.

hardware for play kitchen remodel

Kitchen Remodel: The Big Reveal

I was able to finish and bring the kitchen back upstairs a week before Christmas. The girls love it. Last week I thought one of the clients who visits my home office was going to rush over and get caught up in kitchen play when she saw it. I originally wasn’t going to keep all three pieces, but once they were done, the girls loved it so much that the whole set ended up in our living room instead of the play room. How could we not keep them all?

play kitchen remodel reveal

Santa (aka Nonni) did come through with the actual Pottery Barn tea kettle that makes boiling and pouring noises.  At $40, it cost more than the kitchen and all the remodel supplies together, but it is the splurge that makes our little play kitchen irresistible.

play kitchen remodel with tea kettle

I especially love that the backs and insides of all the pieces are finished now.  Thank you, IKEA, for such cute play fruit. And I love that the kitchen is actually storage as well. The dishes and food are always stored inside the three pieces.

play kitchen remodel- after painted cabinets

All in all, for the few hours of work it took to bring this retro kitchen up to speed, I can say that it was SO worth it!  This is a kitchen set that I am happy to have in my home for the next few years. And I’ve even happier to have “saved” $680 versus the other kitchen. The girls seem to love it, too.

play kitchen remodel- with kids

And yes, in case you are wondering, the painting process I followed here or a cabinet paint product would work just as well for your real wood cabinets, in pink or any other color.

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Stephanie Newcomb

    Love this, Darla! What a great treat for your girls AF such minimal output of time and money. In my opinion it’s way better than the pottery barn set…WAY better! Good job.

    1. HeartWork Organizing

      Thanks, Steph. The kitchen is open for visiting chefs, anytime!

  2. Val

    What a sweet and clver job you did with this. I love it. 🙂

    1. Darla

      Thanks, Val. We do love it, enough to have it on display in the “formal” living room for all to play at. I love the colors on your blog and (I suspect) in your home.

  3. Nina

    You did an amazing job! Almost makes me think I can do it myself?? I have a fear of painting and am scared I will ruin it! I just recently bought a 4 piece pottery barn kitchen set off craigslist and was interested in painting it from blue/red to white. On the website it says it is finished with glossy paint and sealed with lacquer. Will I be able to just use some primer and acrylic over it you think? I wasn’t sure if oil based paint and lacquer needed the same sort of pretreatment. And what sand paper grit would you suggest? Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

    1. Darla

      Nina, thanks for stopping by! I hope you got a great deal on your own play kitchen. Go ahead and paint it!!!! It is definitely not true lacquer. I can’t remember anything I’ve seen at PB that is true lacquer. You can test it to see if it’s oil-based using the tip in this article. But even if it is, just use great quality primer (your local hardware store or Home Depot will help you pick it out) and then cover with a high gloss or semi-gloss paint choice. Do not use a flat paint on this play item, as it will get dirty almost immediately. Or you could use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and skip the primer. (Search my site for articles on chalk paint to see how easy this is, especially for beginners like you.) This sounds like a great project for you to get started with. I know you and your kids will love it. I invite you to post before and after pictures on my FB page ) Please let me know if that helped.

  4. Sarah

    Did you paint this or spray paint it? What kind of paint did you use gloss, high gloss?

    1. Darla

      I painted these with a mini roller. It went really fat using a roller. I can’t recall now whether it was semi-gloss or high-gloss, but it was probably the latter. For surfaces where you will handling them often, you want the glossiest finish you can get. Hope that helps you with whatever project you have cooking.

Comments are closed.