A blog about the restoration, remodel and renovation of a 1929 Chicago-style brick bungalow

The Kitchen Cure: Special Project

As part of Apartment Therapy’s Spring Kitchen Cure, we were to choose a special project to work on, something that would improve the kitchen aesthetically. This prompted me to put the kitchen wall repair on the fast track, something I’d been wanting to start on anyway.

To refresh your memory, this is how the wall looked:

(You can read why it looked the way it did here.)

After several weeks, the recessed cabinet was built and the wall properly sheetrocked.

Before painting, the recessed cabinet and a section of the wall next to it were hit with a couple coats of magnetic primer. I used Active Wall Magnetic Primer but there are several other brands that probably work the same.

Yes, the primer is dark gray, and this stuff is heavy — a quart of this stuff seemed as heavy as a gallon of paint!

The Benjamin Moore Aura paint covered the primer easily with two coats (the photos don’t do the paint color justice!), and the cabinet door was covered inside and out with chalkboard paint.

Writing the grocery list on the inside of the cabinet makes it handy but still out of the way (I just have to remember to look at it before going to the store!), and I have plenty of room for various canned goods. The larger 28-oz. cans don’t fit in this space, but overall it has cleared up a lot of space in my pantry and its proximity to the stove makes it convenient for cooking.

I was a little disappointed in the “magnetic-ness” of the wall — novelty magnets, like our Wallace and Gromit figures are too heavy to hold up, but sheet magnets work pretty well. They also recommend using rare earth neodymium magnets, which I bought here. For such strong magnets they still don’t hold as well as I’d like, but they’re strong enough to hold a recipe to the wall which I can easily read while cooking. Just don’t expect it to hold several sheets of paper.

All in all, I’d say a major improvement to the hole in the wall! Photos of the rest of the kitchen to come.


  1. Erik on April 10, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    How did you transition the drywall to the edge of the hidden cabinet frame or door? I’m thinking about doing something like this in my bathroom that just disappears into the wall.

    Congrats on the house – your projects look fantastic! Working on a historic 1897 Victorian here.

    • denise on April 11, 2013 at 10:27 am

      Hi Erik–thanks, and good question on the transition! I couldn’t really remember, but I just looked at it and it appears we used some 1/2″ wood trim for the frame edging, and then mudded the seam between the wood trim and the drywall. Does that make sense? If not, let me know and I’ll explain further or see if I can find a photo. One thing I would suggest is not to make the door too long/tall–ours bows just a little bit (it’s probably about 5′ tall). Good luck!

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