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How to Transform your Kitchen Cabinets on a Budget

Painting Kitchen Cabinets

is not for the faint of heart….or sissies…or anyone that can afford to hire someone else to paint their cabinets for them. I am not ANY of those things…so I painted my kitchen cabinets all on my onesies. It really wasn’t horrible or painful or even hard…but it took quite a while. I suppose I could have knocked it out in a week or two….Yikes!….but that would have killed me I’m sure.

I decided to paint my cabinets in sections.

The idea of removing ALL of my cabinet drawers and doors at the same time and living in a war zone did not appeal to me at all, so we opted for one section at a time. We started with this wall that the refrigerator lives on. It’s a wall of cabinets all to itself…the dining room is at one end of it and the entrance to the laundry room and garage are at the opposite end, so it seemed a great starting point.

The first wall of kitchen cabinets.  Lower cabinets get paint, upper cabinets get removed!

The first wall of kitchen cabinets. Lower cabinets get paint, upper cabinets get removed!

This wall is also completely visible from the family room,

and one evening while laying on the couch enjoying some TV (I love me some TV) I looked over at this particular wall of boring builder grade cabinets and said to Dee (the muscle behind SomethingPaintedWhite, and also my handsome hubby) “What if we took those upper cabinets down and put open shelving on that wall?” He mulled that over for a few minutes and finally said, “I don’t hate it!” He’s good like that. 🙂 So the idea had begun and it evolved as we went along. I’ll tell you all about the open shelving in another post. Mkay?

Finally one day in June

of last year (I know, I know, I told you it took me a long time) after MUCH research (aka Pinteresting) on what is the best way to paint cabinets, including what kind of paint to use, what brush, to prime or not to prime, how much coffee to consume while painting cabinets, etc., etc., etc., I made up my mind that it was time to get started. I took off the first 4 of many cabinet doors, and dove in head first.

It's getting real now! The doors are off and it's time to start sanding and priming!

Doors are Off!

I decided to use Sherwin Williams

Pro Classic Trim and Door Paint. I had used this very paint….in this very color (Dover White) about 3 years ago to paint the bottom of my dining room table. That table gets kicked and bumped with the vacuum on a regular basis, not to mention it has moved from Washington to Arizona and was even stored in the back of a moving truck for 2 months in the desert heat….and it’s never required a single touch up, that was all the criteria I needed when deciding which paint was best.

This paint has held up so well on my dining room table base that I decided it would be just the ticket for painting my kitchen cabinets!

This paint has held up so well on my dining room table base that I decided it would be just the ticket for painting my kitchen cabinets!

Once the doors were off and the hinges removed

I gave the doors (both sides) a light sanding with 150 grit sandpaper wrapped around a sanding sponge. I really only sanded them enough to get the sheen off and give the wood a bit of grip. As an avid chalk-painter this is a new step for me, but because of the paint I’m using for this project, the waxing step is eliminated at the end so it balances out.

When in Phoenix in the summer, paint inside! The first 4 doors the kitchen makeover are underway!

Painting the first 4 cabinet doors inside…It’s too hot outside!

Remember when I said

earlier that I started this project one day in June??? I live in Phoenix…June in Phoenix is no time to be doing ANYTHING in the garage…I have a bedroom turned painting room/workshop inside my house so that I can paint while enjoying the A/C. I never once felt like this paint had a strong odor…I really love this paint and intend to use it on all the cabinets throughout my house. 

Yes, AZ has amazing winters, if you don't like snow and cold, but the summers are much too hot for painting in the garage. Thank goodness for my indoor workshop!

This is why I paint indoors in the summer here in AZ!

Thank goodness I happen to have a ping-pong table in my family room, it makes a wonderful work bench. :)

When you need more space for painting, a ping-pong table comes in handy!

TIP: 

Ping Pong tables make a great place for painting lots of cabinet doors at once. 🙂 You’re welcome!

Priming is a very important step,

not one to be skipped, so I chose Sherwin Williams Extreme Bond Primer, which, according to the nice man at the store, only requires one coat. I like to start with the back side of the doors so that the final coat is on the front side which means you don’t have to lay it face down again. Make sense? Anyway…according to the can of primer you should wait 1-4 hours before painting…however…the man at the SW store told me to wait 24 hours (I wonder now if i just mis-heard him). At any rate, I waited 24 hours for the primer to dry and be ready for paint. Meanwhile I sanded and primed the face frame on this section of cabinets and gave them a coat of primer as well. Waiting isn’t all that bad because it frees up time for doing laundry and housework…or in my case watching TV while perusing Pinterest. 🙂

This is after two coats of paint! The drawers are back in and ready for hardware!

I need a lot of work in the picture taking category.  I didn’t get one of this section with primer only, but here it is after the face frame and drawers are painted! Looks better already!

The wait is over and its time for the fun part…

painting the color on…Dover White is a lovely, warm, creamy white. Did I mention that I chose this color (after much consideration, and bunches of little paint color cards) because it matches my HUTCH almost perfectly. PS: The hutch was painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White and Pure White mixed 1:1. Wow…do I like my warm creamy white or what? I was amazed at the perfect match….also…my dining room lamp (post forthcoming) was spray painted with Rustoleum French Cream….again…perfect color match…Wow! Hey..I have a color preference…there’s no denying it! 🙂

I love the warm creamy white that Dover White is!  This is my favorite color ever  for kitchen cabinets as well other furniture makeovers.

Dover White! Creamy goodness!

As much as I loved the color

after two coats of Dover White…I knew it needed something else. Dark wax? Glaze? Hmmmmm! Well…I’ve used Annie Sloan Dark Wax many times so that seemed the best answer. It was a bit more work than I liked. I used a tiny artist brush to get the wax down in the crevices and along the front lines and then I had to try working it in without actually wiping it off, apparently I wasn’t thinking about the fact that since I didn’t use Chalk Paint the wax didn’t behave quite the same way. But I kept at it until I got it looking like I wanted…and I like it. A lot! But I decided to try something else on the rest of the doors and drawers.

Glaze!

Valspar Antiquing Glaze in Asphaltum. I was worried it would be too dark…and it’s definitely darker than the AS dark wax, but it’s easier to work with on this paint and i really like the end result. One tiny little bottle of this stuff lasts Forever!!! Yay!!! I used the same technique to apply it…but working it in is so much easier…just a swipe of the finger (dampened from the moist shop towel in my other hand) and this process goes fairly quickly. The nice thing about glaze is that it’s forgiving. It takes a while to dry so if you get too much on or get it in the wrong place, it’s super easy to wipe off and start over. Yay! I did that many times. Just sayin!

Valspar Glaze in Asphaltum is just what my cabinets needed to get that beautiful French Country flair!

I love Valspar Glaze ! So easy to use!

It’s time for the hardware,

Yay!!! I searched and searched and finally found these fabulous french country handles at cosmas-hardware.com. They were exactly what I had visioned and I love them! They’re just fabulous and are super good quality, I can’t believe how inexpensive they were, $2.30 each. Right?!? I needed 28 of them so that was very appreciated.

I love this hardware that I found at cosmas-hardware.com.  Top quality and the price cannot be beat!

Hello French Country Hardware!!!

 

Installing the hardware was really easy,

thank goodness. I made a template out of a big plastic ruler thingy, I even drilled holes in it so that i would be sure that my hardware would be perfect. It worked great and I’m thrilled with it. I love having hardware on my cabinets!!! I quickly realized that drilling the holes for the hardware AFTER painting the cabinets was not a great idea. The paint really needs about a 7 day cure time to harden completely and since I have no patience I drilled the holes as soon as it was dry which caused a tiny bit of peeling just around the hole. It didn’t cause any issues because the hardware covers that up but I did decide to go ahead and install the hardware on all of the cabinets so that when they get painted, the holes will already be there. And now, looking back, I’m really glad I did that because it worked much better for painting.

 

The first section of the kitchen cabinets is complete! They turned out so beautiful and the hardware is the perfect icing for this fabulous cake!

The first section of the kitchen cabinets is complete!

Fast forward to January 2019…

the cabinets are finished and I love them! Now don’t be discouraged and think that it takes 7 months to paint kitchen cabinets. It does not! I completed many other small projects in between working on cabinets, took 2 out of state trips, was down with a bad back a few times and various and sundry other distractions. Doing the cabinets in sections worked out very well for all of those reasons I just listed. As soon as I started on a section…I worked at it until it was complete so that our kitchen was always functional.

What a fabulous transformation!  From boring builder-grade cabinets to a beautiful french country kitchen a

Painted Kitchen Cabinets, AFTER!!!!

Photo taken Christmas 2017, painting actually started in June of 18. Totally worth the wait!

BEFORE!!!

This was the final section that i painted.  I love how my kitchen went from plain and boring to beautiful french country by painting and adding hardware.

The final section is complete! Yay!!

Final Section Before painting.

BEFORE! (although these have the hardware on them already)

Would I paint kitchen cabinets again?

Good question! If the day ever comes that we sell this house and buy another one with boring builder cabinets, I would most certainly have to paint them because having my creamy white kitchen cabinets makes me very happy. But cabinet painting is far from behind me at this point. I still have two vanity’s in my master bathroom, cabinets in the guest bath,  hallway cabinets, a linen closet, and a built in bookcase which means…..well, it means I better get busy, I’ve got stuff to do. Here are a few more pics for you to enjoy!  

See those awful wood shelves in the corner cabinet?  They are gone and have been replaced with glass shelves.  Check it out in the after photo.  :)

See those awful wood shelves in the corner cabinet? They are gone and have been replaced with glass shelves. Check it out in the after photo above. 🙂

 

Amazing what a tiny little $7 piece of wood can do to transform the look of an entire kitchen. No more boring builder grade cabinets! We got our French Country Farmhouse goin on!!!

Hello French Country Kitchen Cabinets!!!

 

Painting kitchen cabinets is a lot of work but very worth it!

Second and Third Sections complete!

Happy painting my friends, have a wonderful day!!!

-Cindy-

 

 

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Hi! I'm Cindy....wife, mom, Mimi (aka grandma) and home décor enthusiast. I love thrift stores, flea markets, yard sales and good junk!