Thursday, June 9, 2011

How I Painted My Kitchen Cabinets

I've had this post written for almost 2 years but haven't published it because there are 12,617 tutorials online about painting cabinets that are so much better than mine. But since posting my kitchen I have received lots of questions about painting cabinets, so I thought it was about time to hit publish on this post. I'm not sure if I painted the cabinets "right" way but so far so good.

This is how my cabinets started out. Dark and pretty grainy wood. There were lots of dings on the cabinets but I think they were made that way.

The first thing I did was give them a good wash down with TSP. There was lots of grease and gunk build up that I needed gone. After they were clean, I started to fill most of the dings with wood filler. I didn't fill them all, perfection wasn't the look I was going for and with a house that is 60 years old, that isn't what you are going to get so don't fight it. If you are painting your cabinets use WHITE wood filler or the brown will blead through.

Make sure you number your cabinets. Even if they all look the same and you think that you can just rehang them any way you want, you most likely can't. So just take a few extra minutes and label the cabinets, it will save you a big headache in the end.

Since I had hidden hinges I just numbered inside the hinge socket.

I layed everything out and got prepped to paint. I did a light sanding on the cabinets.
After this picture was taken we bought some sawhorses. They were a life saveer and gave us more support and room to paint the cabinet doors.

This was what our paint shop looked like. I don't know how I lived like this. But I am really big on goals and deadlines so I knew it would be over soon enough.

The biggest tip I have is to paint the backs of the cabinet doors first. I am not a very patient person when it comes to painting. I know that I don't like to wait for the proper amount of time for something to dry and cure. By flipping front to back and back again I am sure that I would have had some marks on my uncured paint. My best option for having a successful paint job and not having to start over was to paint the back first. I painted the primer and paint on the backs of the doors and let it cure for a few days before I started on the fronts.

This is the primer I bought from Sherwin Williams

I followed it up with 2 coats of paint, color Benjamin Moore Soft Chamois 96, but mixed it at Sherwin Williams. I did sand between coats to make sure everything went on smoothly.

I used a brush to get inside the corners and edges and used a small foam roller for the rest. Make sure to always check for drips on the underside of the cabinets!!!
If we had a nicer kitchen I would have loved to have the doors sprayed, but my paint job was good enough.

I usually applied a coat of paint before I went to work and then after work I would sand and apply the next coat of paint. Since I finished the backside of the doors before I even started on the front of the doors I didn't have to worry about marring the fresh paint job.

The cabinet bases I used just a foam roller but the process was pretty much the same. Since we already lived in the house I didn't want to move everything out of my cabinets to paint the insides so they remain wood.

White cabinets do require a little more maintenance that wood stain cabinets. They do show dirty fingerprints or spaghetti splatters, but that same mess is on wood cabinets you just don't see it as easily. I would rather have to take a few minutes to wipe white cabinets down than have gunk all over my wood cabinets because I can't see it.

I will say that since the cabinets have been painted the flaws are more noticeable. There were a lot more dings that I couldn't see with the dark wood, but it doesn't bother me enough to fill. I do wish I had done a better job filling in where the old hardware was, I may go back and fix it one day but for now it is fine.

I didn't seal the cabinet and I used a latex paint. I didn't want to run the risk of the paint yellowing. I would rather have to touch up some spots instead of my cabinets turning yellow. There have been a couple of little dings in the paint but a 2 second touch up and all is well again.

For a gallon of paint as a weeks worth of work I think I got a pretty good deal!


Pine Tree Home said...

Great work. I too just used regular paint on my island for fear of yellowing. I little magic erasure does wonders.

Nikki said...

They turned out awesome! e did the same thing a few years ago, but did some major sanding. It was awful, but just like child birth, I forgot the pain and it was worth it.

Of course I've never had a child so really what do I know.

Comeca Jones said...

I love it looks so nice.

Kat said...

It's amazing what a little paint can do!

Red Gate Farm said...

I LOVE how your kitchen turned out... especially the painted cabinets! I've painted cabinets in 3 kitchens now. My mode was very similar to how you did yours... tsp, sanding, priming, latex paint. I also painted the insides first! Each time I've changed it up a little... my cabinet painting was green so I did put a coat of oil based sealer on top (you couldn't see any yellowing because of the color). The second kitchen in my current home I only used latex paint but it is a super durable latex enamel from Kelly Moore. Finally, the third kitchen was at the "peach palace" (our rental house) since it was going to be a rental I did go with oil based paint for durability but I must say it was way harder clean up and took a lot longer to cure. We'll see how it holds up!

Thanks for your very detailed tutorial, tips are always good! I must admit, I didn't number my doors the first time and it wasn't fun when we rehung them!


Kim @ NewlyWoodwards said...

Just beautiful! Your kitchen is amazing and you did a wonderful job on the cabinets, that's such a huge job, but it's worth it!

(PS. I loved your countertop post so well that I linked to it yesterday. Just wanted to tell you.)

hartmom said...

Vanessa, you did a beautiful job on your cabinets. Your step by step process is fantastic...and they look so good! Thanks for posting this. I really love your wood warm and gorgeous!

Granite Worktops said...

Fantastically done. hats off to you. They are worth every effort

Jena @ Involving Color said...

Your cabinets are beautiful, and this is such a great tutorial! I was browsing around your blog and your home is just beautiful. I would love to add a few of your room images to the inspiration galleries on my site and include you in a feature post. What are the paint colors in your dining room, guest room, and guest bathroom? Let me know if you're interested! I'm a new follower!

Chloe Anderson said...

wow it looks way better than before! great job on repainting your cheap kitchens cabinets!

Kalona Mincey said...

Even if there are 12,617 tutorials online, there could still be many differences in each of 'em. Woah, wait! How were you able to count them all? People really ask when curiousity arises. Good thing you posted this, right? Just look how beautiful the comments and reactions turned out! Your whole week doing the job was absolutely worth it!

Anthony Selby said...

A lot of people say that you can never go wrong with white. I think they are correct, especially if you are talking about painting your kitchen cabinets. Although the old wood varnished cabinet looks good, the white one looks even better. It makes the kitchen space look brighter and immaculate. It is simple and elegant at the same time. [Anthony Selby]

victoria eden said...

Thanks so much for sharing. I get relavant information from your post.
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genny poulin said...

What a beautiful transformation. It is so elegant, I love it!
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