I decided to create a summer bucket list for some projects I wanted to tackle this summer.
One of the projects on that list was painting my kitchen cupboards.
I knew it was an ambitious goal, but I also know I am an ambitious girl.
I live and function by a to-do list and I am accomplishment-driven in all that I do.
Thanks Mom 😉
I went into summer with a few things I wanted to complete…painting the dining area/kitchen walls and the cupboards to name just a few.
I was kinda scared to do the cabinets to be honest…would I ruin the cabinets?
Would I be able to live in the mess of a kitchen project?
Would the painted cupboards draw attention too much to the other projects I hoped to do in the near future such as replacing the countertops?
Did I have enough momentum to get this project done?
This was a project I knew my husband wouldn’t be able to help with (or would WANT to help with) so it was me, myself and I.
That’s pretty much how all of my projects are…I’m not the blogger that simply paints a piece while her husband does all the behind-the scenes working to get the piece ready for paint by making repairs and such.
That’s just not how it is with us.
And that’s ok!
I work fairly independently in all I do and this project would be no exception.
I was pretty close to talking myself out of it to be honest.
Does this surprise you coming from a seasoned painter like me?
Well, let me tell you…painting cupboards is VERY different than refinishing a dresser!
I had painted our previous kitchen in our old home and I knew the results would be worth the work.
I painted very dark, yucky wood cabinets white in the old house…I painted with little knowledge or research on my project while the doors were still on their hinges and before I had started my furniture painting hobby.
My ignorance was bliss.
It was a great improvement, but I think it served to inform me of just how TEDIOUS this project would be!
Plus, I am an end-result person, not an “I love the process” person.
I want the end result and immediate gratification of a project being checked off my list!
This would not be that way.
So…I had to mentally get over some hurdles before I was able to begin…once I was able to do that, I just couldn’t wait to get rolling!
Here’s a before picture of my kitchen in our new house…we have lived here just over a year and I knew when I first saw the house that I wanted to paint these cabinets.
I am a white kitchen cabinet girl.
The wood is a heavily grained oak and the quality of my cabinets is good so I knew they were great candidates for a makeover!
The first thing I did in preparation for the makeover was to do a lot of research online regarding kitchen cabinet painting.
There are many helpful ideas and tips that assisted me in figuring out how to successful paint my cabinets.
Pinterest is a good friend of mine.
I broke up this project into three phases: preparation of cabinets, priming of cabinets and actual painting of cabinets, and reassembling kitchen.
I had to break it down into manageable steps so I could conquer this task.
I had to loosen my expectations a bit and really understand this would be a LONGER process than most of my projects.
I hated that part as that is soooooo hard for me!
I cleaned off my countertops and cleaned out all my (junk) drawers first.
Oh my that was such fun 😉
Then I stripped off all the old hardware and proceeded to clean up the cabinets using a solution called TSP.
It’s an all-purpose heavy duty cleaner.
It’s necessary to clean off all the cabinets so there isn’t any dirt, grime or grease as this would prevent the paint from properly adhering.
I just followed the instruction to use it and it worked well.
I honestly thought my cabinets were pretty clean….ummmmm…..nope!
I was really glad I took the time to clean the cabinets well.
I had decided that rather than hand-sand all the surfaces that would get paint that I was wiser to invest in a liquid sander/deglosser to remove the existing finish.
I figured it would take less time, but my primary motivation was not having to deal with all the dusty mess.
This product helps the paint to adhere better to the wood so for that reason, it is worth the few dollars it costs to purchase it.
Truly painting cabinets is pretty inexpensive…the biggest cost of this project is certainly TIME.
Some more tips that I learned through this process…
My hinges on the door looked pretty intimidating when I considered rehanging the doors so I was sure to take pictures of the hardware as it was to be attached before I took off the doors.
I do this with my regular furniture painting and it has always served me well.
It is easy to refer back to your pictures to see how it should go once done.
Hinges and I have never gotten along well 😉
Another important thing to do if you decide to paint your cabinets – be sure to number all your doors and drawers so you can put them back where they belong.
I created a map so as to know what door or drawers went where…and I used it to reassemble my kitchen.
I was also sure to take the hinges to the correct side of the shelf I removed them from…just to be on the safe side!
This is going to be my view for the week…oh joy.
Get used to it kids…I think this is one of the worst parts of the whole project!
I actually did some research on Pinterest regarding painting over oak cabinets as I was concerned the heavy grain my show through the paint.
I really didn’t love that idea so I found a blogger that recommended making a paste of wood filler with a bit of water to brush on in a thin coat over the wood prior to using primer or paint.
Looked time consuming and kinda messy, but I thought it was worth a try.
It went on fine and I used it on the base of my cabinets, but I wasn’t convinced it made that much of a difference once I started painting so I ditched this idea.
I think it worked well in theory, but it was JUST MORE PREP that I wasn’t entirely convinced I needed to do.
CABINET PAINTING AND PRIMING
Finally, it as time to prime!
I hate priming.
I do understand why it is important though so I did prime the base of my cabinets as well as my doors and drawers with two coats of water-based primer.
The paint guy at Sherwin-Williams recommended oil-based primer, but I had some primer left from a previous project and opted to use what I had.
I suppose either kind would work fine.
I worked on the doors and drawers in my garage which was a great space to work, but it was so blessed crowded out there! And when you paint drawers, and drawers, you have to lay all the pieces out flat and they cannot be stacked.
Stacking means sticking and then you will have to repaint.
And trust me…you won’t have the patience!
My Jelly Bean was such a great helper…look at all the moral support she is sending my way 😉
Many different kinds of paint can be used…milk, chalk, acrylic, and so on, but in my research, two kinds were recommended most…Sherwin Williams Emerald and Benjamin Moore’s Advance.
Well…it just so happened that Sherwin-Williams was running a special for 40% off paints and stains so they won my business.
At 40% off, my paint was $55.
It retails for regular price of $90.
I had my paint color matched to a Valspar color had used on my shiplap wall- the color is Swiss Coffee.
I chose to go with a semi-gloss and I thought a slight sheen would be nice.
This Sherwin-Williams paint is water-based, but hardens exceptionally well as an oil-based paint would so it was a great choice for my project.
We are in process here…over a week in process that is.
I couldn’t stand all the chaos, but I managed with the end goal in mind.
In the meantime, my lovely hardware from D. Lawless arrived!
I love these oil-rubbed bronze knobs and they would be PERFECT for my cabinets!
You can find them HERE!
It was so motivating!
Just peeking to se what it will look like here!
The longest part of the project is all the coats of paint of course…especially all the doors and drawers with two coats primer on each side and two coats paint on each.
It took several days to complete this.
The doors and drawers painting part takes a long time to do and then to allow 24 hours in between coats to dry.
I honestly thought I would never be done at this point!
A week later, they were finally done!
Done enough to hang back up and reassemble my kitchen anyway!
REASSEMBLING THE KITCHEN
1st of all, PRAISE JESUS!
We are ready to put the kitchen back together!
Believe me, I was a praisin’!
I intended to just put on one set of cabinet doors the first evening…I swear.But once I saw how pretty it looked, I couldn’t stop!
My husband dug in and put all those doors back on those crazy hinges WITH A PUNY SCREWDRIVER.
Wish we knew where the electric one had gotten to.
DO NOT DO WHAT WE DID.
Chris nearly died.
(P.S. – This is why women live longer and men can’t handle being sick or having babies for that matter…oh the drama)
The end result was fantastic and I felt all the anger and frustration just leave my body once I saw the end result!
The makeover was a HUGE success and I am so thankful I did it!
It is DONE!
And it’s fabulous!
Now my kitchen cabinets really look nice alongside of the eat-in dining area off the kitchen.
We recently added some DIY shiplap on the wall to add some charm.
Click HERE to see more about that process.
What a difference it makes!
I just can’t believe this is my kitchen now!
I wake up and come out for my coffee and wonder where I am some mornings!
I even think I can live with the countertop for a while longer…the whole room looks different and I LOVE it!
Hmmm….I wonder what’s next on the project to-do list?!?!
Shhhhhhhhh…..don’t tell my husband 😉