DIY Kitchen Makeover: Painting the cabinets
For the second part of our kitchen makeover we painted our cabinets white.
And before I lay out all the details, I want you to know that I quoted a professional cabinet painter to see how much it would be to paint my cabinets. And let’s just say, the quote of $3,000 (for just the cabinets) was left right there … as a quote.
And for the record, we spent less than half of that quote above for our entire kitchen makeover. Details and all. So with a little bit of “labor of love” and that is what it is, you can save a TON of money!
Painting the cabinets white…
Once the tile was complete, I was so excited to move on to the next phase. Immediately, the floors felt cleaner and the space bigger. After a few weeks went by we were ready to begin the kitchen cabinets.
While this part of the project was a little more time consuming, and at times felt like some tedious work, it was ohh so worth it!
We first began by removing all the doors and drawers. In our garage we laid out 3 – 6 foot folding tables, and taped up large pieces of plastic to make our make shift home paint booth.
Before we began painting, I reached out to a California Home Decor and professional painter I s
talked and followed found on Instagram. She always shared her work and projects she would do for her clients. After drooling over her pictures, I finally sent her a message praising her work. And, I then asked her for her pro tips and said a prayer that she might tell me her secrets.
Graciously, she not only gave me her pro tips, she also listed out all the products she uses for each cabinet makeover she does for her clients, and she also gave me pictures as well. I couldn’t thank her enough!
I will share all of that information with you and more. We pretty much followed her exact methods.
Removing the old finish…
First, we completely wiped down the cabinets with warm water and let them dry just to remove any surface dirt that may have been on them. Then we used this deglosser to remove the finish and de gloss every surface. We used this on all the doors, drawers and cabinet bases.
Do not skip this step. In fact, I know some other bloggers and DIYers will tell you can, but if you really want that professional looking job, don’t skip any of these steps.
I have seen in several tutorials to use the Krud Kutter brand, but we did not. One reason for this is that once you wipe it on with the brand we used you don’t really have to do anything after. You can choose to sand the cabinets, but its not completely necessary.
We sanded, lightly, anyway. We had an electrical sander and we purchased 320 grit sand paper just like these for a light sanding. And, I mean we did it super light. Just to knock of any deep down grit that may have been lingering on the surface. Nothing fancy about it.
Once that was done, we shop vaccummed the dust away. And I also used tack cloths to remove and pick up any fine pieces of lint and dust.
Side Story on tack cloths. I never really knew what they were. Every other tutorial out there mentioned them, but never explained what they were. So here’s my FYI on them.
- They are very tacky. Very hence the name.
- They will make your hands feel like you have been playing with glue from gluesticks.
- You need more than 1 or 2. You will use them a few times, and so it is best to get a nice stock or like 5 or 6 cloths.
- They are super thin. Do your best to get the most use from one.
- You will be so glad you had these little bitty tacky cloths.
By the time you get ready to paint the cabinets and you have done all the prep work up this point, you are either tired for the day, or it has been two days (in our case) depending on how big your kitchen is and how many doors and drawers you have. So, rest up and begin the paint the next day.
For us, we purchased this paint sprayer to make this fun part of the job even more fun!
I cannot recommend enough a paint sprayer…. at least for the doors and drawers. You can roll the bases, which is what we did, but I have more on that in just a bit.
Once you have the sprayer, and your make-shift paint booth all set up, spray the doors and drawers with a primer.
Yes, primer. Don’t skip this step. I repeat DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!!!
Our primer was really smelly. We sent the kids off for the weekend with the grandparents because it was a pretty loud potent in smell. Open all your doors and windows to air it out. I rolled the bases for one coat then did another coat while hubs sprayed the doors with primer.
Do two coats of primer, you will be glad you did.
After the first coat on the bases, I was little worried because it just looks bad, and smells strong. You begin to think, what have I done. And, you’ve have done all this work to this point, so you can’t just quit. Power through. The second coat makes it better!
Also – pro tip (because I’m not really a pro) change your air filter after rolling your cabinet bases with primer. You will be glad you did! We should’ve done this sooner than later, as the primer was really strong, and well we had this black one happening in the midst of our makeover…. so we changed it!
For the doors and drawers hubs sprayed the back and then the front. I recommend doing both coats on the back first, then flipping over to spray the two coats on the front. This minimizes dry time and flipping times.
And just a side note….. I FREAKING LOVE this paint sprayer! It is amazing and it gives the most professional finish – ever!!!
When it came time to paint the actual paint on, we chose Pure White by Sherwin Williams. My favorite paint brand by the way. We opted for the semi-gloss finish, because it was recommended by my Instagram pro I consulted with and well because kids, y’all. This finish just holds up better to wear and tear, and we are not a delicate living family.
We bought the paint on sale and used a coupon. We got the higher end cabinet grade paint, so after the discounts it wasn’t too bad to get the good stuff.
The thing about this paint is that it has self-leveling properties so if you do roll or brush it on it actually settles into a smoother finish. Pretty amazing right.
I rolled the bases for the primer coats, and the first coat of paint. I used my Purdy brush to get hard to reach edges and little nooks. I had a couple of them in different sizes too, just to help me out even more in all the edges I had going on.
We aren’t pro painters by any means, and I may be a “crafty” kind of girl, but hubs will be the first one to tell you that, I am probably not the best painter. So if I can do this, you totally can. Just take your time. Remember, it is a labor of love, and you will be so glad you took your time.
Because we had more doors than could fit in our make-shift spray booth in our garage, we had to do them in sections. This extended the project by a few days because we had to completely do one set before doing the next set.
While we waited for that set to dry, hubs and I decided to “spray the bases”. Yes, I said that. Spray the bases… that were permanently affixed inside the house?! We taped off the plastic everywhere. Even in rooms far away to catch any random over spray.
He did get a bit on my floor (our new floor) but luckily I was able to get it wiped up before it dried forever. If you decide to do this. (its not necessary) just decide it from the beginning if you will spray or roll the bases.
I really like the finish it gave and it really smoothed out any brush strokes I might of had from rolling or brushing.
Once the doors and drawers were completely dry (24 hours from the last spray) we moved them inside to dry in our foyer.
Yep, thats right, we let them dry some more. In fact, some will tell you to let them “dry” or “cure” inside your house for up to 2 weeks before actually hanging them back on the hinges. We did 5 days.
Again, this was a pro-tip form the Instagram pro I mentioned earlier.
Five whole days I had to walk by them looking at them just sitting there on the floor, praying nobody played or fell on them or damaged them. They weren’t actually on the floor, we used these babies to lift them just a little. Once again recommended by the pro.
Putting it all back together…
Once, they were dry, we got to finally hang them back up. Oh happy glorious white kitchen day. I think for the first few days having it all put back together, I found myself just standing and staring at the kitchen for long minutes at a time.
I mean just look at the transformation.
The work was totally worth. I am completely in love with it and love it every time I walk into my kitchen. No adults or children were harmed in the process, and while I wanted to cry at times I never did. All in all it took about 2 weeks start to finish for the cabinet makeover.
There is only 2 places where I found two minor dink-type needle sized paint flaws. They aren’t in plain site, and they totally do not bother me and my slight OCD mind. And, if you can’t find the, well then I won’t ever tell you where they are!! Ha!
It has been 4 months since completing the entire kitchen makeover and can I just say, it is still looks amazing. They seem to be holding up pretty well and I just love our kitchen. I am myself amazed how well its holding up.
If you are seriously looking to update your look, painting just the cabinets alone is the way to go. And for less than a few hundred dollars and a little bit of “labor of love” you will love your transformation.
Tomorrow, I will share our backsplash and finishing touches!
Missed the tile transformation? Check it out here.
If you want to get our full supply list and materials we used, I have created an easy to use shopping list all in one place. Just use the form below to download completely for FREE!!!!