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Disaster Strikes + The BEST Mushroom Paint Colors: One Room Challenge Week 3

It truly feels like it’s been weeks since I last posted about the Holly House kitchen remodel but it’s just been one of those weeks…

Welcome to week 3 of the One Room Challenge! To those of you who are new here, I’m currently part of a design challenge that consists of designing and renovating one space in my home in just 8 weeks! The space I’ve decided to complete is the Holly House Kitchen! Each Wednesday I log on to document my progress and share the fun projects we’ve been up to around here!

kitchen remodel

Last week, I shared all about how we painted our kitchen cabinets and refinished our butcher block counters! I also created a round-up of the stunning unlacquered brass hardware we selected! Now, let’s get into the hot mess that was this past week:

The Countertop Disaster:

I REALLY didn’t want to have to write this section but here we are… After 700 hours of sanding, 500 hours of bleaching, copious amounts of stripper, excessive stain testing and multiple coats of polyurethane, I had the neutral wood butcher block of my dreams…

Seriously, I was over the moon that I had been able to neutralize this bright cherry wood using a whitewash stain (Simply White by Minwax)

I allowed these counters to cure and we began using them this past week. Because I finished them with poly, I wasn’t using them for actual food prep, always made sure I was using a cutting board, etc…

A few days into using them, all hell broke loose…

I have NO idea why the polyurethane AND stain peeled up from the counter this easily. My only thought is that SOMEHOW, the counters weren’t stripped down enough which prevented the stain from really sinking INTO the wood. It almost seems like the stain is sitting on top of the wood grain, like paint.

From all the tutorials I read, triple-thick polyurethane is super difficult to remove from wood… Somehow mine just peeled right up.

I’m obviously annoyed and frustrated but I felt compelled to share here because

1). I don’t want to promote a method like it works and have others go through this same thing and

2). I want others to understand this is how DIY goes… It’s lots of trial and error and pivoting. Even experienced DIY’ers face really frustrating situations like this!

Countertop Options For a Small Kitchen

We are now in this strange limbo of trying to decide what to do about the counters.

Option 1: Sand and strip counters down again. Use no stain and seal with Tung oil or Waterlox.

After doing even MORE research, I learned that if your butcher block has ANY stain on it, it’s technically not “food safe”. Which is fine if you want to use cutting boards, etc. However, I make a lot of bread/dough and I feel more comfortable knowing that the counters are totally food-safe. PLUS this would ensure no stain or poly peeled up again.

Cons to this method: I won’t be able to disguise the red-ness of the counters anywhere NEAR as well as I did with the white stain. 🙁

Option 2: Purchase new countertops.

I really wanted to save money by refinishing these counters but another option is purchasing new ones. Our kitchen is cozy, so it’s really only two small sections of countertop that we’d have to buy. I’m still wrestling with the budget piece since I have ZERO idea how much it would cost (but assuming a pretty penny).

The counters I’ve only ever dreamed of are soapstone. The classically stunning, veined black soapstone of many an English kitchen…

stunning soapstone kitchen

My next step is to price counters and then source if the price is doable… I will keep updating ORC on this countertop situation. But enough about that, let’s move on to MUSHROOM PAINT!!!

Natural Cream by BM: The Perfect Warm Mushroom

I shared in last week’s post that I selected Natural Cream by Benjamin Moore for our cabinets and I am still obsessed. This color is a super light and neutral mushroom that pulls warm and perfectly compliments our rich-colored heart-pine floors!

natural cream BM kitchen

Mushroom paint colors are incredibly popular in 2024. The boring stark white of the mid-2000s is old news, but if you want to keep your kitchen light, neutral + interesting, a mushroom paint color is your perfect ticket!

natural cream kitchen

Mushroom paint colors, just like whites and neutrals, have strong undertones that influence how the color is perceived (especially depending on the lighting in a space). Natural Cream by Benjamin Moore is pretty neutral when it comes to undertones, but I’d say it pulls a bit warmer and less grey than other mushroom paints which is why I LOVE it!

How to Select The Perfect Mushroom Paint

  1. ALWAYS test a paint sample in your space. Even if you love how a color looks in someone else’s kitchen, it can look COMPLETELY different in your own space based on lighting, etc…
  2. Decide what undertone you need. I tested multiple mushroom shades and several of them had pink undertones which creates a purple or mauve look which I did NOT want in my kitchen. Other shades had gray undertones and in certain light looked cool. I really love a warm paint shade so Natural Cream, which has a mix of yellow and pink undertones, worked perfectly!
  3. Pair the paint color with other complementary shades. I selected Alabaster by SW for our contrasting paint color. I have used Alabaster before and it’s just about my favorite creamy white that is warm without looking yellow. Test your paint samples with other colors you plan to pair it with. There is nothing worse than painting a whole room and then realizing it doesn’t go with your accent colors!

Best Mushroom Paint Colors of 2024

Here, I’ve rounded up some of the most popular and best-loved mushroom paint colors of 2024! Whether you are searching for mushroom paint colors for kitchen or living spaces, these are some wonderful options.

best mushroom paint colors 2024

Looking Ahead…

Our plan for the next week is this:

  1. Install a shelf over the stove
  2. Create a pot-rail shelf for the vent/stove wall
  3. Install new sconces
  4. HOPEFULLY figure out the countertop debacle

As always, be sure to check out all the other fantastic contributors to the ORC Spring 2024 here!

Also be sure to check out Apartment Therapy for some of best featured projects!

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