Between our diningroom and our kitchen is an ittibitty hallway with a built-in cabinet and a single piece of hardware in the doorframe indicating that there once was a swinging door closing off this area. Behind the drywall to the right of the built-in is a window through which ice was delivered for the kitchen's ice box. The frame is still there, visible now only from our enclosed shed which once used to be a small porch.
This little hallway between the living quarters and the kitchen is usually referred to as a "breezeway", and the built-in in our house is the lower-class equivalent to a butler's pantry in a more stately home. We love the quirky original floor plan and kept it, busting out no more walls, and leaving the kitchen a separate room from the rest of the house. I cook complete meals everyday and don't want an entirely open floor plan "for entertaining".
The built-in provides a ton of storage but like anything else here at the Duckling, it needed TLC. A LOT of TLC.
Joe was so nice to take one door home to fix the broken frame work but the cleaning and painting was all mine, of course. Fortunately, it wasn't quite as boring as painting trim.
First order of business was a good scrubbing. There were some scary mystery stains on the second shelf but luckily, with the paint the stains scrubbed off as well.
Once the whole area was primed, I started feeling frisky (maybe that's the VOC speaking) and decided the back of the cabinets needed "something". I wasn't really sure what that "something" might be and contemplated painting the back the same turquoise as our dining room YHL-style but then felt like that would be too much of a contrast for this small area. Then I remembered I had another stencil that had sat unused since Christmas and broke out the yellow paint. Yep, you shouldn't use spray paint for stencils but you know what, I really like the 'washed out' look it created. It looks like an old design painted on plaster.
[Still in-progress: It always looks worse before it starts looking better. Look how nicely the wood filler and the stencil design are color coordinated!]
Two coats of white satin paint, a quick cleaning and unpacking three boxes with glass items, platters and some of my milk glass pieces later, the built in started to look civilized rather than a practical eyesore.
It's so so SO much better now, all bright white and clean and shiny.