Google+ Nine Red: Painting Kitchen Cabinets: Part 1

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Painting Kitchen Cabinets: Part 1

Well we did it! We painted our kitchen cabinets, finally. They weren't horrible to begin with luckily, just not what we were going for.  Our kitchen has a lot of wood going on, and while I love it - I love bright and light a bit more.  Before & After reveal, of the top half:
What a difference, right?! Let me just say, this is something you can definitely do.  It's pretty easy, just time consuming! I made a major boo-boo in when we did this top half.  Ha... let me explain.  We did the top by hand, using high density foam rollers - the works, ya know? It came out great BUT on the LAST coat I realized...  I HAVE A HVLP Sprayer!!! Why in the world didn't we spray them??  Oh well... at least now I can verify that it CAN be done by hand, if you don't have a sprayer.  Stop me, I'm rambling- Here's a better shot of our cabinets before.
Pretty standard, nice cabinets.   I was just happy to have this many cabinets in the first place, though you can never have enough. So one brave weekend, we took to the job. I referenced East Coast Creative's awesome tutorials, which you can find here and here.  It looked relatively simple...Here's a quick run down:

First we removed the cabinets & hardware:
With all that food & junk we definitely won't be going with the open shelves look... haha...

Quick tip: To remove these cabinets you take the screws out of the hinge portion on the cabinet door. This also leaves the settings on those crazy hinges intact, and makes them a lot easier to re-install. Here's a crappy photo that sort of shows what I mean:
The hinges remain.... see? But ya know, do what you like, it's probably fine either way.

Side note, many of you asked about our stove from the Entryway Command Center Posts... here's a full frontal:
Isn't it perdy.. in pretty good shape too. When we first moved in we considered getting rid of it, but a combination of everyone saying we were insane & then falling in love with cooking on it, it's decided to stay. Someone said it was from the 1940's, but I forgot where I heard that. I might have made it up.

Ok, cabinets! After the hardware was removed, we did a simple steel wool job to remove the glossy finish. We'll be using Paint & Primer in one (best stuff ever) so I'm confident in how it will adhere. Even still, steel wool is an extra step that will really bump up your cabinets durability rating.
Just run over the fronts to scratch them up a bit, I'm using the coarse - paint removing steel wool. In person you can see scratches in the glossy finish, and that's how you know you're good to go.  Be sure to get the sides and in those grooves too, as best you can.

Then start painting! We started by doing the details by hand, notice we propped the cabinets up on some old wood scraps so they didn't stick to that gorgeous blanket:
And finished up with a high density foam roller. These foam rollers are different than your average paint roller, as they leave a very-very smooth finish that looks clean & professional.  The rollers are smaller, about 6" wide, to see it on, click here.
Yum....The paint color we used is just white. Semi-gloss white, Paint & primer in one.  There were SO MANY whites to choose from so I walked up to the counter and said "Don't  you have just...ya know... white?" And they did. And now we do.

After about 3 coats we were happy, and let them dry completely.  Working backwards we just installed our hardware, and popped the cabinets back up. Just in time for dinner. 

Surprise! I have a gif for you..

Ha! Get it? A Gif?!? Ok, bad joke...

So that's it! We're done with the top half. The Paint & Primer in one paint, in semi gloss, adhered wonderfully to the cabinets & provide an excellent finish.  If you want to be extra safe, you could slap a few coats of semi-gloss minwax polycrylic on these babies.  I had every intention to do so, but got hungry and forgot.  I would have gone back and done it by hand, but in my dreams there are new cabinets with glass fronts anyway... so who cares.

Let's see some finished photos that aren't as difficult to look at as that crazy gif:

Don't mind that wild white cord, the lighting in here was just ONE of those little boob lights, so we had to improvise. I'll get to it someday, I swear....
Hey did you guys notice that weird yellow animal on top of our cabinets? I have NO IDEA what it is! But it was yellow & cute in it's own weird way, and $3... so it came home:
A blow-fish? A pig? An artichoke?  I just craved a little yellow up there, and I couldn't stop staring at this thing.  Hey, good conversation starter...

So that's that. Cabinets done in white, and I love 'em. What do you think? Have you painted cabinets? What tips & tricks can you share?  Up next we are conquering the bottom half... and there are twice as many. Break out that sprayer!

Enjoy your day please. (One time at the end of a phone call, the person said to me "You have a nice long day, Jess"....what the!?)


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  1. They look amazing! We've desired to paint our very similar cabinets for years, but have completely chickened out. It seems so daunting. But you guys made it look so easy....and I know, time consuming lol. I'm really thankful you did this post. Aside that you're a pro at painting techniques, this really seems do-able for the non-pro.:)
    I'm assuming you scuffed up the sides and in between areas of the main cabinets so you could paint as well, right?

    1. Thank you! oh yea, major scuffage in those areas. Just wanted to make sure there were no glossy areas. When you are buying the paint, just be sure and tell the person working there that it's for cabinets. Paint + Primer is a great help! We did semi gloss so they are wipable, too. You can do it! OH - also - those rollers were key, they are smaller, 6". Here's a link & I'll update the post with this stuff too. Thanks! Hope you get this reply :D

  2. Yay, thank you! It's so helpful. I'll check out the link.

  3. Looks great. So, are you going with white on the bottom, or grey? Love ~ Love ~ Love your stove and am glad you didn't get rid of her. ;) I was thinking the yellow thing was a blow-fish. HA!!

    1. Ah, you noticed! heh... We are going with a darker grey. Like a blue-slate. I wanted to do the white, but I thought it would show dirt more. Yea, I know, if it's dirty clean it - but realistically those areas get skipped a lot! :D

  4. wow!!!
    The chalk paint makes your kitchen cabinet more beautiful and fashionable. After reading your post i am thinking of doing similar Renovation in my kitchen. Can you please help my by telling which color is best for my kitchen cabinets?....Thanks
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  5. I love your kitchen design and also the spotlight effect of hidden lamp underneath the cabinets, they add an exceptional design to the kitchen. - kitchen cabinetry Hawaii

  6. Wow, your cabinets turned out beautiful! Thanks for sharing such a wonderful tutorial with all of us!

    Bobs Furniture | Bob's Discount Furniture

  7. Can you post a photo of the color formula from the paint can? I went to Home Depot today and we they did not have anything called Martha Stewart Blue-Grey Slate? Did it have a different name? Love the color, please help. Thank you,

    1. Oh my goodness! I'm guessing you're talking about the bottom cabinets. We went with a martha stewart color, but until now I didn't realize it's not! Here is the link to the exact color we used on the bottom, and i'll update the post:


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