If you’re craving a new kitchen but don’t have the budget, try a low-cost makeover and paint them! Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on how to paint kitchen cabinets. [this post contains affiliate links, which means we may make a small commission if a purchase is made. see the full disclosure here.]
Approximately 33 days ago I started the process of painting the kitchen cabinets. Approximately 34 days ago, I remember standing in the hallway of my office, telling my two coworkers that there was no way I wasn’t finishing all the cabinets that weekend. I remember telling them that the blogs I was browsing through made it seem so complicated. What could be so hard about painting a few cabinets?
Well, put my foot in my mouth on this one. Three days… Thirty-three days… Close enough, right?
I am not a fan of dark cabinets. When we first looked at this house, Brett and I were in complete agreement (which doesn’t happen too often) that they needed to be changed.
At the time, Brett was traveling a lot for work and I needed a project that I could do on my own. Thus, the plan to overhaul the kitchen cabinets was born. It was something that I knew I wanted to get done sooner, rather than later.
So, a few weeks after moving in, I was ready to paint.
Step one: Begin by taking all the cabinet doors and drawers off the base. Remember to label them so you know where they go after painting. I put each doors’ hardware in a separate plastic baggie and created a key on a piece of paper.
Step two: Sand down the cabinet base and doors. I used 100-grit sandpaper. After sanding, use a damp cloth to wipe down all surfaces and go over with a dry towel.
Step three: Tape the base of the cabinets. I tend to get a little crazy when I paint, so I lined the walls, floor and inside of the cabinets with painters tape.
Step four: Start painting. I painted the base of the island first and put two coats on it. Then I started with the base of the cabinets along the wall. I ended up putting four coats on those, plus a little touch-ups here and there. Looking back, I should have used a primer, since the cabinets were so dark to begin with.
Step five: Paint the cabinet doors. I used a brush to paint along the inside edges and then went back over the entire door with a roller. Much to my surprise, there aren’t any visible brush strokes.
Step six: Apply the glaze to the cream colored cabinet base, the island cabinet doors and the cream cabinet doors. (Stay tuned for a how-to post on the glazing process)
Step seven: Put the doors back on. I washed the hardware in hot soap and water before reattaching them to the base.
Step eight: Sit back and enjoy!
What We Learned
- When multiple blogs say that a project is a lot of work and takes a significant amount of time, they are telling the truth. Don’t be arrogant and think you can skirt the process. It doesn’t work.
- Check the paint and see if there are any restrictions on its use or compatibility.
- Also, read the directions and application process.
- Sanding the cabinet doors and base is a dusty, messy process, but very necessary.
- Using a roller for the cabinet doors doesn’t leave brush strokes.
- I wish I would have used a primer on the cabinets that were painted cream.
- Paint is a game changer. It has this ability to completely transform a space. Who knew color had such an impact on an area?
Yes, this mini-makeover took a lot longer than expected. But, you know what? I don’t care. It was so nice to be able to do a project at the speed that I wanted. If I didn’t feel like painting, I didn’t paint. If I wasn’t in the mood to glaze a few cabinet doors, I didn’t glaze. That is the beauty if doing a self-paced project. You can do what you want, when you feel like it.
In the end, Brett and I are so happy with how they turned out even though I am still convincing Brett that the island isn’t too “girly.” I think he secretly loves it 🙂
How about you? Do you like self-paced projects? Have you tackled a kitchen cabinet makeover recently? Share your thoughts and comments below!
All our best,
Cabinet paint: Dutch Boy Cabinet and Trim Paint
Island paint: Dutch Boy Cabinet and Trim Paint
Cabinet glaze: Rustoleum Glaze Java Brown