I have to admit, between the ‘renovations’ we’re doing at the new house, and the updates we’re making at the old house to get it ready to put on the market, I’m finding it hard to find time to sit down and actually WRITE A DARN BLOG POST about the things that are being accomplished.
Also, that was a run-on sentence. But I keep reading it to try and figure out how to divide it up, and I just can’t. 🙂
Talk to me about this kitchen.
You know I love taking risks in my home decor, and I’ve loved these chartreuse kitchen cabinets over the years. But ever since we bought the new house, I knew the clock was ticking on this cabinet color.
I’ve never apologized about this obnoxious choice. But I know that having a light and bright (read: NEUTRAL) kitchen is important to a lot of folks that are in the market for a new house. And I don’t want the kitchen to be a bad first impression for people, since the main entrance goes right into the kitchen.
We thought the kitchen at our new house would be built by now, but things have been slow moving (TO SAY THE LEAST). We didn’t expect to have to carry two mortgages for this long. And we need to get this sucker on the market!
So last Friday, I got out my impact driver while Nick was at work, and I JUST STARTED. I took off all the pulls first, and then the doors and hinges.
But before we jump right into this process, I want to acknowledge that painting your kitchen cabinets seems like an enormous and daunting task. Even for a seasoned DIYer like myself that has been around the block with painting kitchen cabinets. I’ve been dreading it and putting it off for months.
And finally, I took my own advice and JUST DID THE THING! I printed out my own motivational checklist, and knocked this project out in a weekend. And you can paint your kitchen cabinets in a weekend too!
*This post is sponsored by DAP. Thanks for supporting the fabulous brands that make Reality Daydream possible! This post contains affiliate links*
There’s just something about thinking through the actual steps of the project and tools/supplies needed to accomplish that helps me feel so much more prepared and mentally organized to tackle a project. And I give this method all the credit for us pulling off this project in a weekend (with small children in tow I might add).
So let’s break down this project of
PAINTING YOUR KITCHEN CABINETS!
1. Gather your thoughts and your supplies
Oh yeah, we just discussed this.
2. Remove cabinet pulls, doors/drawer fronts, and hinges
In that order too! And I recommend putting all the pulls and their corresponding screws in a gallon ziplock baggie together. And the hinges with their screws in their own bag as well… just to keep everything together and organized.
Additionally, as you’re taking down doors, use a pencil to number the doors in an inconspicuous corner on the back side of each door and drawer, and the same number just inside the cabinet that the door or drawer goes on. This will save you a ton of time when you go to put the kitchen back together!
FIRST THING SATURDAY MORNING
3. Scrub those doors and drawers
If you’re like me, your doors and drawers have actual visible chunks of nasties on them. But even if you’re not like me and yours look relatively clean, THEY’RE NOT. They’re greasy from food, and they’re greasy from your hands touching them. And paint doesn’t stick to grease.
We hauled our stack out to the patio with a bucket of hot soapy (dishsoap) water and a bucket of clean water, and started scrubbing! Using these scrubbie pads is a good choice. Wipe down every inch of them with soapy water, but give special attention to places where you know hands have touched them regularly, like around the hardware/handles. You’ll also want to spend extra time on cabinets that might have been above the stove top.
Feel free to recruit tiny helpers for this task. You can’t mess this part up! I washed, and they rinsed with the clean water. Then we dried them with a towel.
4. Fill Holes and Cracks
I’m embarrassed to even say this, but I never fixed the old hardware holes from before we upgraded our hardware. If you look closely at the pics at the beginning of this post, you can see holes centered on the drawers. #facepalm
And even though we’re painting this kitchen essentially for someone else, I wanted to do the job right and not cut any corners. So I whipped out my favorite wood putty (by DAP!) and started wiping it into the holes and pushing it in with a putty knife.
The thing I love about this stuff is that you pop open the lid and it’s ready to use. No mixing components or smelly fumes. And it’s so easy to work with! Make sure you glob it on pretty thick so that you can’t see the hole or crack anymore. Then when it’s dry, sand away! Dell and I just hand-sanded with a little piece of sandpaper, and we were done in about 30 seconds.
LIKE IT WAS NEVER THERE!
If your cabinets are a wood finish that you’re wanting to paint, OR if they were previously painted with a glossy sheen of paint, you do need to sand them. This doesn’t have to be as grueling as you might think. All you’re doing is roughing them up a bit and taking the sheen off the finish so that the prime and paint has something to really grab onto. It will prevent chipping over time, and will make your cabinets durable! To make this task quick and easy, use an orbital sander. They’re super inexpensive! Here’s the one we have.
Since our cabinets were previously painted in a satin finish, we were able to omit this step.
But before you do, put a little piece of painters tape over the number you put on each door so it won’t get covered with paint!
Clear out your garage, and roll out strips of brown paper to protect the ground below from getting painted. When you’re laying out your cabinet doors and drawers, put them UPSIDE DOWN. You want to paint the back first! And make sure you leave yourself rows where you can walk!
If your cabinets fit the criteria for not needing to be sanded (see Step 4), then you can also skip priming!
We didn’t prime this time since our cabinets were previously painted a dull sheen. But if you do need to prime, use this stuff and use your paint gun according to the painting instructions below, sanding lightly afterwards. One light coat on each side is enough.
6. Mix your paint
After lots of research, we decided to go with Sherwin Williams Pro Classic paint in the satin sheen (color: Silverplate). We love it’s durability properties and super soft/perfect finish. But before dumping this stuff into our paint gun, we did a little mixology. You want about 4 parts paint, 1 part water, 1 part Flotrol (which is an additive that magically helps the paint settle and dry smooth without any orange peel texture or brush strokes).
Let’s chat about paint guns.
We’ve used a TON of different brands, but our current favorite for this type of application is this Fuji Paint Gun. If you don’t have an air compressor, don’t go buy one just for this. Fuji has a paint gun that comes with it’s own air compressor for wayyyyy less than what you’d pay for both. Or this one that is even more cost effective.
Our goal was to get the first coat of paint on before dinner, to allow 4 hours to dry between coats. That way we could put a second coat on before going to bed and allow it to dry overnight before flipping over. There are so many things to think about when painting your kitchen cabinets!
8. Flip and paint again
Since you let the backs off the cabinets dry overnight, you can feel comfortable flipping them over to paint the fronts. But even if a crumb sticks to a tacky spot on the back, AT LEAST IT’S THE BACK, right?!
Two coats, four hours apart, and you’re GOLDEN! Or in this case, Silverplate gray.
7. Tape off and paint the cabinet boxes
Meanwhile, between coats on the doors and drawers, you can paint those cabinet boxes! There were a few places I needed to tape off. Like around the backsplash above the stove, and around the corner cabinets and floor.
Nothing fancy here, I just brushed on the paint. And since this paint had the Floetrol added, it self-leveled and dried perfectly without any brush strokes. And once again, this took two coats.
8. Put everything back up!
How are you feeling about painting your kitchen cabinets?!
Even though the can says the paint is dry after 4 hours, we let the final coat dry for at least 24 hours before putting everything back together. Avoid stacking the cabinets when you bring them into the house, because they’re prone to scratches these first couple weeks!
Nick got all the cabinets up, and I came in and put all the hardware on.
And we stood back and admired:
My honest opinion is THAT I EXPECTED TO LIKE IT MORE.
I mean, I don’t hate it. And I know that it is serving a purpose. But I really thought that I would LOVE the gray, and think ‘this is gorgeous too!’
In the words of Nick ‘it looks like its unfinished. Like we primed it and forgot to paint it.’
Although, putting the hardware on and adding plants really helped matters.
I know many of you are wondering ‘If you’re painting your kitchen cabinets to sell the house, why not paint it white?’
I have several reasons:
- The walls are white. And if everything in the kitchen is sterile and white and lacking personality, it wouldn’t go with the rest of our home. It would feel out of place and wouldn’t flow naturally.
- I just couldn’t
Also, note that you can’t see any old hardware holes on those drawers anymore. It’s like they were never there. YOU’RE WELCOME FUTURE HOMEOWNER.
Here’s a side-by side for comparison to what it once was.
I’m very interested to hear all your thoughts and opinions! I’m so far removed from this house at this point that it won’t hurt my feelings what you think either way.
Most importantly, do ya wanna buy my house? 😉
Thanks for pinning!