Before + After: Fabulous Finish

Ruth Gamarra relies on the power of color to remake a stodgy kitchen with fresh flair

It turns out it’s possible to completely transform a kitchen with little more than a few coats of paint—a fact illustrated by Unique by Ruth, a custom furniture and cabinetry refinishing company that recently worked its magic in an Ashton, Maryland, home. “The house was built in 2005; the kitchen was designed well, and my clients didn’t want to get involved in a construction project,” recounts principal Ruth Gamarra. “They wanted to refresh the kitchen without having to trash the cabinets, which were in perfect condition.”

“We envisioned a relaxed atmosphere, brightened and lightened,” says the wife, “so we would feel uplifted walking in after a long day at work.” She and Gamarra selected Benjamin Moore hues in a satin sheen: Cloud Nine for the cabinetry and Kensington Blue on the island; Gamarra applied the colors using an industrial paint designed and engineered for spraying on wood. The two shades create bright, crisp contrast and a modern vibe. New matte-black hardware complements industrial-style pendants. A backsplash of handmade ceramic tile and marble-look quartz countertops complete the look.

Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing: Ruth Gamarra, Unique by Ruth, Rockville, Maryland. Photography: Daniel Pinto.