We are well under way in our kitchen makeover and I am excited to start sharing it with you!
We are nowhere near being finished, but I thought the best and easiest way to share it all was to post about each project as we get them done.
Today, I am going to share our journey in painting the cabinets.
Earlier this week, I shared how I was cleaning the kitchen cabinets.
In that post, you saw where our kitchen started.
This is the way we had the kitchen before we started the makeover, but it is not the kitchen we had when we bought the house. We bought our home from the original owners who built it and raised their four kids here. Buying from the original owners was so nice because they took such great care of the house and could tell us all about every square inch of the house. Even though they took immaculate care of the house, there were many cosmetic changes we made as soon as we moved in.
Even though we made tons of changes right away, the kitchen cabinets weren’t in the spectrum to change. They were in very good condition so why would we change them? We have never been a fan of the “orange” oak color, but we were always too hesitant to paint them. How big is that project? Is it as horrible as we have heard? What happens if we don’t like them painted? Will we ruin perfectly good cabinets? All those questions went back and forth for years and kept us from really loving the kitchen we had.
That hesitant mindset changed last year. I started researching and reading tons of stories about painting cabinets and decided it was something Hubby and I could do.
To start, we cleaned the cabinets.
I had no idea how dirty cabinets can get! EEWW!
Getting the cabinets clean is super important. You need to have them free of dust, grime and dirt. To clean them, take the doors off and all the hardware (including hinges). There is a lot of dust and grime that lives around the hardware so to get them clean it all needs to come off. Make sure to put all the screws and hardware pieces in Ziploc bags labeled for each cabinet and drawer.
The kitchen looked like this at that point:
I was okay with it this way. Yes, I knew I would be organizing like crazy once the kitchen was done (something I love to do anyway), but I was still able to help my daughter bake brownies and get meals ready. At this point, we were in working order with a lot of chaos going on inside the cabinets. I was surprised it was going so well because I had read so many horror stories about living through a kitchen makeover.
This was nothing.
What were they talking about?
Then, this happened:
We could no longer see the table or the top of the bar. Cups and utensils were replaced with drills and paint brushes. Finding a fork was like searching for a needle in a haystack in these totes of
*Note to self: When doing a kitchen makeover, invest in some paper plates and plastic utensils until it is over.
Once we had all the cabinets cleaned, we sanded them.
Holy saw dust!!!
What were we thinking bringing in the rotary sander to sand all the cabinets?
Oh, I know. We wanted to get it done.
Yes, there was some extra dust on
everything a few surfaces, but I feel like we did a better job prepping the cabinets this way. I don’t think a hand-held sander would have done as well.
I was dusting things for a few days afterwards, but if we were going to paint the cabinets, I wanted to do them right.
(Did I ever tell you that dusting is my least favorite chore?)
Now, we were ready for paint.
I think one of the biggest parts of painting the cabinets that made me so hesitant was the color. I had been pinning pictures and obsessing over kitchen cabinet colors for months. It was a relentless search for the perfect color. I kept coming back to a lighter “greige” color. I didn’t want white cabinets, but I wanted to lighten up our kitchen so I knew I needed a lighter-colored cabinet. I thought long and hard about painting the bottom cabinets a dark color and putting a lighter color on top, but decided against that and went with one color on all of them. (I will be painting our bar cabinet a darker charcoal color though).
The paint color and the actual weekend we started to paint is a “meant-to-be” story. We were at home on a Saturday morning without anything planned so I suggested to my husband that we head to Sherwin Williams to look at paint colors. I wasn’t planning on buying any paint, I just wanted to browse the colors and talk to the “experts” there and see what they recommend for this “daunting” task.
Now, you know I am always decorating on a budget and buy a lot of my paint in the mis-matched section at the home improvement stores, but for this job, I wanted to do it by the book. I wanted to buy the paint from an actual paint store that had knowledgeable people who could help us with what we were doing.
I had no idea (not kidding), but the weekend we went to Sherwin Williams, they were having their 40% off paint and 30% off supplies sale! My husband and I laughed when we found that out and we knew then that I had to buckle down and pick out a color. Since I knew which direction I wanted to go, I had it narrowed down quickly. Within twenty minutes, I had the color picked out: “Agreeable Gray”.
After talking to the staff at Sherwin Williams, they told us that they tint the primer to about 80% of the color I chose. That way, we would be able to see where we had painted once we put the actual color on the cabinets. It worked out very well and my husband and I couldn’t believe the quality of the ProClassic paint! It went on the cabinets like butter and since we got it on sale, I love it that much more! 😉
While we were painting the cabinets, a few things happened that I thought were important to mention. I loved all the tips and tricks I read while researching this project so I am happy to share a few that I didn’t find in my research.
We picked the most humid week to paint our cabinets so we couldn’t paint outside. We set up tables in the toy room in the basement to get them done. I was not able to do laundry for that week because all the cabinet doors and drawers were lined up in the laundry room to dry. We survived that, but it was not fun doing ten loads of laundry at the end of that week. If you can, pick a time when the weather will be good for painting outside. Then, make sure you have a large area set up to paint. If you run into humid weather, make sure your laundry is caught up so you can use your laundry room for cabiniet door and drawer storage. 🙂
This next tip won’t be for everyone. It just depends on the design of your cabinets. Our cabinet doors have a “lip” and I noticed that the paint would collect in excess at the corners.
To remedy this, Hubby would use a roller to paint the cabinets and I would go over the corners, edges and lips with a brush. If you have two people painting, it goes a lot faster and you have two sets of eyes checking for drips and streaks.
That leads me to the tools we used.
Since I was using the brush, I chose a 2″ short-handled paint brush*. I liked the way the smaller brush fit in my hand.
For the roller, we took the advice from the staff at Sherwin Williams and used a 1/4″ nap roller*.
They both worked very well.
Even though we were very careful, we did find a few drips.
This was easily fixed by sanding out the drips and then priming and painting all over again.
Yes, it was tedious work to do it all over again, but I thought it was the end of the world and the cabinets were ruined if we found drips.
I was so relieved it could be fixed.
We are planning on getting new hardware, but until we do, I cleaned and spray painted our old hardware black. I did this because we didn’t have the new hardware picked out and I wanted to get the cabinets and drawers off the basement floor so we could move on with the makeover.
This is how the cabinets look now!
What a difference a coat of paint makes. We are amazed every time we walk into this room now. Why didn’t we do this earlier?
To be totally honest, painting the cabinets was not bad. Granted, we don’t have TONS of cabinets to paint, but what we were fearing was nothing in comparison to how it went.
If you are thinking about painting your cabinets, go for it. Do a little research, pick up a few tips and just do it. You will be so happy you did.
We still have a long list of projects to get done. This little area in next on the list:
We are by no means professionals at this “kitchen cabinet painting”. It is our first time doing this and we really learned a lot. I hope some of my tips will help you tackle your own kitchen cabinets.
*denotes affiliate links so you can easily find similar products that we used online!