Or at least how I did it.
There are about 150 tutorials online on painting cabinets and I researched thoroughly the different possibilities and techniques. Some things I did, some things I threw out the window and there are some points that I wish I did. But the main goal was achieved. Our kitchen cabinets went from this:
Before I give you more before and afters at every angle imaginable, I want you to know I did this project from start to finish solo. I'm only telling you that to give you any motivation and confidence you need to do it yourself, in YOUR kitchen--even if you have a toddler. Chris would have helped me, but he was out of town and I wanted to surprise him. One tutorial I read made this task feel completely impossible and horrible and something she would NEVER EVER do again. To be real with you, my back hurt a bit during this and I sweat a lot and I would have rather been at the beach (this is pretty true of any time), but if I was faced with the same situation again--I would do it again. And actually, that negative tutorial I read gave me the push I needed to get started. I wanted to prove I could do it. The results are worth it. You can do it. I'll tell you how.
1.) Get a bucket of soapy water (I just used dish soap) and clean your cabinets. The tops. The doors. The hinges. The fronts. I was so grossed out while doing this because I saw how dirty my cabinets were. There was grime everywhere. So even if you aren't planning on painting your cabinets, this might not be a bad idea.
2.) Take all of your doors off your cabinet boxes. If you have hardware on your doors, take those off too. I kept my hinges attached to my doors because they were an ugly dingy gold and I wanted to paint them the same color as my cabinets. At first, I brought them all upstairs to the extra bedroom. Mistake. They really didn't fit in there. I mean, they fit, but there was no extra room for maneuvering around the sides of each door. So, I moved them all into the garage and placed them each on their own pedestal (think paint can, bucket, cooler, whatever you got) so that I could paint the sides with ease. I did not paint the backs of my cabinet doors. FYI. Also, it's not a bad idea to use painter's tape to number each cabinet door with a corresponding number marked on the cabinet box. I didn't do this and there were a few moments of panic when I went to rehang the doors.
3.) Prime Time. Because I wasn't going to sand, I wanted to make sure I got a good primer. And, because of little Greta, I didn't want my primer to be stinky with tons of fumes. I found this primer by Zinsser:
This marks the end of the first day. Washing and priming everything. Day 2 I gave it my first coat of paint.
4.) Paint is another thing I researched thoroughly before I started this project. From what I read, the best thing to use on cabinets is an oil-based paint or alkyd because of its durability and easy-to-clean surface. Again, I was faced with the issue of VOCs and fumes. Fortunately, I found a product that mimics oil-based paint, but is water-based. Benjamin Moore's Advance.
It is a waterborn alkyd meaning it has that rock-hard enamel feel when dry, leaving our cabinets with an insane amount of durability and wipe-ability. I had to drive an hour to get it (or wait for it to be ordered in at a closer store), but it was worth it. The brushstrokes disappeared a couple minutes after painting leaving everything looking smooth. The downside is the 16 hour dry time between coats. The color I went with is Benjamin Moore's Mountain Peak White. It was about $46 for a gallon.
5.) Day 3 I did another coat.
6.) Day 4 I did my final coat. And I was done. Remember, I didn't sand in between. You can if you want, but this paint left things so smooth, I wouldn't sand even if I was doing it all over again.
7.) The label on the paint can said wait 3-5 days before hanging. I waited 3.5 days and hung everything back up and patted myself on the back.
More before and afters?? MMkay!
Insane, right? And no, I'm not talking about our pink countertops. Those are a different kind of insane. We couldn't be more happy with the results. It feels like a new kitchen. It feels so bright and open and a part of the rest of the main floor now. Chris is, of course, breaking it in the "new" kitchen....he promises to share all of those details tomorrow. :)