kitchen cabinets

Painting the Kitchen Cabinets

I have wanted to paint my kitchen cabinets white for several years. Time finally made it possible to do just that. My hubby and I took a week’s vacation around the Memorial Day holiday to paint our kitchen cabinets.

I will say this now about painting the kitchen cabinets—I will not do this again. With that said, I love the final results of our hard work. And, hard work it was. It took us eight days to do the whole process. It probably would have taken maybe six days, but at the last minute we decided to paint the kitchen walls also.

We don’t have a huge amount of wall space, yet enough that it took more time than we thought to add this task. We’re glad we did paint the walls though as we’re not to Phase 2 of kitchen makeover (installing the breadboard around the island). So, the update of paint works great in the meantime.

We painted the walls the same color as the exterior of the house (Smoked Salmon). There is a kitchen window above the sink which looks over the pool deck area. When one walks into the kitchen the eye takes you right out into the pool deck through the window. Opens up the view very nicely.

Okay, back to the painting the kitchen cabinets.

A few months ago I purchased two ktis of Rust-Oleum Cabinet Transforms. I found a super deal of $47.00 for each kit (regular price is $75.00) at Home Depot. We have 25 cabinet doors and 11 drawer fronts. Some of those doors are very large so we decided to buy two kits…glad we did.

We took most everything out of the cabinets, which meant we had kitchen “stuff” stacked up all over the house. A lot of that “stuff” did not come back in the kitchen. It was donated to The Red Cross.

cabinet restoration painting
Before cabinet paint, but backsplash painted

rough blueprint drawingThe preparation process included clearing the cabinets, taking off all the hardware, taking down wall decor, removing the window treatment, taping everything not being painted, then cleaning the doors and drawers. I drew a rough blueprint of the kitchen layout, numbering each door and drawer to use as a guide. We then numbered each door with the corresponding number on a piece of painter’s tape so we’d know what door went where. Also numbered plastic baggies to put the corresponding hardware in.

I washed each door with Dr. Bronner’s Castille soap as it’s a super degreaser, yet mild soap. Dan painted the kitchen walls while I cleaned.

After the cleaning it was time to degloss everything with the “deglosser” provided in the kit. This involved using a brillo type pad scrubbing using lots of elbow grease to remove the glossy finish. This was a very important part of the process.

By this time, I had been standing at the laundry room tub cleaning and deglossing cabinets and drawers for two or more days. My feet were hurting.

Even after the deglossing we felt that they needed to be sanded so Dan sanded each door and drawer front.

We staged our work area in the garage,however, we had to move all that inside when the garage door installer came three days early to install our new garage door.

We now had a living room and family room staged for painting. It was a mess, but functional. We Bought a couple folding tables too, otherwise it would have taken longer as we only had so much space to paint so many cabinets.

Painting the bond coat (the white color) was easy, yet time consuming. We ended up putting three coats of bond since we were not going to use the “deglaze” layer which would have given a textured look to the cabinets. I wanted white, not a glazed look.

After painting the bond coats we applied  two coats of  the protective/final coat with spot touch up afterward of areas we missed. Mind you, there were hours wait between each coat of paint and finish.

Finally, it was time to put the hardware back on so we could install the cabinets. I could hardly wait to get this done.

After a week of hard work, a couple frustrating moments, drips, a few heated words here and there, no divorce though, we ended with beautiful white cabinets. We started on a Friday working through Sunday. Took Monday, Memorial Day, off to pay respects to our fallen warriors and get some very much needed rest. Then started back on Tuesday, finishing the following Saturday.

I won’t do this large of cabinet painting again. However, I will consider doing the bathroom doors and drawers which are a lot fewer than 25 cabinets doors and 11 drawer fronts.

We have Phase 2 (beadboard on island), 3 (backsplash), and 4 (counter update) yet to go in the kitchen makeover, but we’re on our way and it’s looking marvelous!

Enjoy the kitchen cabinet photo gallery.





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