This post is sponsored by Lowe’s
Our week-long phase 1 kitchen refresh is all but done now. The most dramatic change besides rearranging the cabinets (did you even know you could do that?) was painting the cabinets this past weekend. Everyone knows how transformative paint can be, but one of my favorite aspects is one hue isn’t going to be more or less expensive than another. This deep green-gray color we chose (Sherwin Williams Thunderous mixed in HGTV Home by Sherwin Williams Infinity Line at Lowe’s in a Satin finish) is really rich, unified our kitchen added a lot of depth and made everything look a lot more intentional (and even more expensive) for very little money (we also added a bunch of this shiplap vertically as our backsplash and wooooooow! It’s a really amazing product that actually comes pre-painted white, but we painted ours the same green as our cabinets. Back to that…
Painting cabinets sounds really daunting, but this is our 4th time doing it and we’re pretty confident we came up with a system that anyone can do. We even had my niece and nephew (both 17) to help us and they nailed it! Whether you’re planning to eventually swap out your cabinets or they’re going to be there for the long haul, this tutorial is for you. And there’s a few time-saving (and sanity saving) tricks we can happily pass on! It’s even the perfect weekend project if you time it right.
Paint: We used HGTV Home by Sherwin Williams’ Infinity line in a Satin Finish available exclusively at Lowe’s. It’s an advanced hiding paint and primer and promises a one-coat perfection (we did two just because ), flawless finish and lifetime protection. It’s the creme de la creme. Lowe’s also carries an enamel paint specifically made for cabinets that has that dries super hard, but it only comes in a semi-gloss finish. Since we were trying to minimize some of the antiquing done to our cabinetry, we were happy to go with a lower sheen (Tip: the higher the sheen, the more imperfections will shine through, so if you have textured walls; or erm, cabinets, a lower sheen will minimize that!). The good news is that our paint dried hard with no tackiness at all–so far, so good!
Primer: No sanding required, but don’t skimp on the primer (even if the paint boasts it has a built in one). This is what is going to make the paint on your cabinets last! Also, primer is significantly cheaper than paint, so a coat of primer will actually help extend your paint coverage. We really love Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Interior/Exterior Multi-purpose Water-based Wall and Ceiling Primer. It’s designed for all surfaces (interior/exterior drywall, concrete, wood, non-galvanized metal), dries quickly and my favorite–adheres to glossy surfaces without sanding. Tip: If you’re going for a dark paint color like we did, the paint counter will tint your primer dark for you for free! It definitely cuts down on top coats.
Liquid Deglosser: No need to sand your cabinets and make a huge mess when you use this. We’ve tried a couple different brands and really prefer this Jasco Easy Liquid Sander Deglosser. It works on paint, varnish, enamel, lacquer, polyurethane, and stain–you name it. We’ve used it on cabinets, wood moldings and doors with great success.
Paint Applicator: You have options here. You can brush/roll by hand or you can spray. Spraying will give you the smoothest finish by far, which will help extend the life of your paint job, but it will require a bit more of an investment up front. Whether you go the paint sprayer or brush route–here’s what we’d recommend.
Plastic Wood (optional): This was one extra product that we used to help fill heavy knots (the kind that have holes in them) and old hardware holes we weren’t going to use again. It’s the consistency of peanut butter and you’ll apply it with a spackle knife. It dries really hard and then grab a sanding block (I promise the only time you’ll touch one and it’s only if you NEED to) and sand off the excess. Also, I’ll save you some confusion–it’s supposed to be stored upside down so the label is placed that way.
Okay, okay–so what exactly is the process?
We hope this empowers you to take on the task of painting your cabinets! It’s so transformative.
The color we chose is the definition of a chameleon color. Sometimes it’s sage-y. Sometimes it’s charcoal. Other times it leans blue. We love how it changes throughout the day. Our to-do list is not quite finished, we added a few shelves yesterday that still need paint and I’m determined to paint the wood window trim, along with bringing back in all of our plates and styling this kitchen! Can’t wait to show you the afters–I think with all the accessories in it and hardware–it’s going to look completely different than even these photos!!
What is the name of the cable color?
Thank you for your post. I love how the kitchen looks and I’m now motivated to tackle my own kitchen. I do have a question though in regards to wood grain showing through the paint. I don’t think they are oak but they are that similar look from the late 90’s. In your experience with painting cabinets do you know if I prime properly and paint 2 coats if the grain of the wood will show through or do you recommend sanding and wood filler to mask the wood grain?
This may be a silly question but I live in the Midwest-humid! Any extra tips for doing this in a more humid climate? My husband is super intimidated by this project but I told him I’m following Chrislovesjulia’s method-it has to work!!
Thank you so much for all this detail… I am so excited to start on my kitchen paint job.
This is super helpful. Would you recommend this same process for painting wood paneling? We have an old 1960’s house and our mudroom has original solid wood paneling and cabinets. We debated removing it, but I love the idea of painting it a color similar to this. The wood has some gloss to it… do you think we should sand AND use the chemical sander? Any tips you may have would be GREATLY appreciated!
Looks great! What color black did you use on your windows
I have read thru your post on How to Paint Your Cabinets in a Weekend without Sanding Them a couple of time. I’ve been wanting to redo our interior doors for quite some time. Some are damaged pretty badly from previous owners and I’ve always thought I’d refinish them with stain. They are currently are mahogany; however, I’m now leaning toward painting them instead and have a couple questions on your How To’s: (1) Do you think this process would work for internal doors? (2) Did you or do you recommend spray painting the primer? I will most likely spray paint the color.
This was truly one of the best blogs I have ever read. Thank you for the details and care you put into it. That kitchen is incredible!
Hello! Thank you for posting this. This definitely gets me excited painting my cabinets. Would you do anything different from the steps you shared when painting dark color to white?
LOVE how your kitchen turned out. This post has been so helpful in preparing to renovate our new kitchen. This might be a very dumb question but did you use the sprayer for the primer as well? Confused if that is a bad idea or not. Thank you for all the advice!
Thank you for all of these great tips! If we’re priming and painting using a brush/roller (instead of a sprayer), do you feel two coats of paint are necessary? We’re painting our cabinets and all interior doors from a creamy color to a more true white. Also, we decided to tackle this project with a 5 week old baby, so if the extra coat isn’t necessary, we wouldn’t be too mad about it. Haha! Thank you guys :)
This is pure BS.Sure, it looks nice, until you touch it specially around the knobs and pulls. Then you will see scratches and paint worn down to the original finish, specially if not sanded, to the point it looks worse than before. No sanding just makes it worse. Let’s see this kitchen a year later. I dare you.
Hi! I love love love your kitchen! My husband and I are so inspired we are going to paint our cabinets. I was wondering how the painted cabinets are holding up we have four children and I want to make sure painting the cabinets will be durable.
My husband and I have been researching painting our own cabinets for a while now and after studying this information we are giving it a try! I just wanted to know if the deglossing/liquid sander works on mdf cabinets? We have older cabinets from Home Depot (off the shelf) They are in excellent condition but do you think the liquid sand/deglosser will work? Sanding probably isn’t an option since they are mdf. Thank You!
This might seem like a silly question, but did you spray the primer as well? If so, did you have to use a different nozzle? Thank you… your work is so beautiful.
Hi!! This was amazing. I was addicted to watching this transformation on insta stories and since we’ve been in quarantine, I’ve been trying to muster up the courage to paint some cabinets! I had to come back to this post. I was wondering if this method would also work with bathroom cabinets? We don’t do a ton of home renos so we’re definitely rookies and don’t have a ton of knowledge. I just wasn’t sure if we needed to factor in humidity when choosing a painting method. Can we follow the exact methods here or will we need an extra step? Thank you so much for the constant inspiration!!
We used this same method for both kitchen, bathroom and back entryway cabinets. Worked great!
The end caps of my cabinets are MDF (I know I know…)….can I use the same recommended products that I’m using for the doors?
Hey there! Decided we want to paint our kitchen cabinets, but the paint you recommended HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams Infinity Base C Satin is no longer available. Is there another paint you can recommend?
My husband and I are thinking this is the perfect time to paint our cupboards. Did you let your doors dry overnight on your step? We live on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia where the weather is damp. Do you think that might interfere with the drying process?? I so love you guys by the way. You have helped me in so many ways and enriched my life. I am truly grateful for you.
Love your tutorials on painting cabinets!
I have a few questions…
1) Did you spray the primer on the bases as well as the doors, or do you roll the bases?
2) Which sprayer did you like better?
a) Wagner Spraytech Flexio 590 (from your two tone, white and light gray, cabinet post)
b) Graco Magnum Stationary Airless (from dark green cabinet post)
Thank you so much!
3) Did you use the same spray gun by purging the primer then using the color?
I think that is all my questions.
Thanks for all the advice. After living in the same house for 26 years, we’ve downsized and moved into a fixer-upper from 1974 and are needing to update everything. I had no idea how much new Hvac, siding and windows would be! There went most of the profit from our previous sale! Thankfully I found your website and it has given me some great ideas and much needed motivation and confidence that my husband and I can remodel in stages, and still have our home function well and look nice.
Rustoleum Cabinet Restorations
Comes with almost everything you need!
I’m not sure if this has been asked/answered, but what if you don’t have a covered porch or garage? Where/how would you recommend taking the doors to be prepped and sprayed to them stay out to dry overnight?
Thank you so much for sharing! So appreciate all of the details. Makes me feel like just maybe we really can paint our cabinets! It would go SUCH A LONG WAY in our kitchen, which really is beautiful but just needs a new, fresh color! Makes me think my husband and I can take this on.
We just bought our first home and we are painting the entire interior. ???? goodbye dark tan everything! We have received a few quotes from local painters, but feel like it would save us so much to do it ourselves. We are both nowhere near handy and have no idea how to use a sprayer at all. Could we use the tips here and get away with doing the whole house? Buy the sprayer you recommend, spend a looooooong time taping off everything, and then going to town? Primer first over the tan, and then going back in with the same sprayer and painting? It’ll save us a biiiig chunk so I think we might attempt it, but I’m nervous because we are rookies. Any thoughts? Tips? Should we just pay someone? Haha.
Sorry if this question was posted and I missed it, however, how much would a project like this cost? I know it would obviously vary based off kitchen size but mine looks pretty similar to yours! Thanks!
I am wanting to repaint some cabinets but I can’t find the liquid deglosser and it says on Jasco’s website it’s been discontinued. Do you have a recommendation for another brand?
If someone asked this already, I apologize. With the deglosser (I’m using the same brand), how much should be left on/wiped off? There is a white residue left over – should I get that all off, I assume? Did you just use a lint free rag? I’m debating using a scrubber sponge as well. Just want to make sure I’m not creating issues for myself down the line!
Your phase one kitchen is so inspiring and I love your tips for painting cabinets! I have painted cabinets in three different houses using various methods (including oil paint in one) and I’m loving the great advice here. We definitely learn from our mistakes but it was feeling like I was just learning what NOT to do! We don’t have cabinets to paint now but I had some furniture to paint so I used a lot of your tips for the prep. I borrowed a professional sprayer from my dad and ended up ruining my furniture and getting overspray on my patio! In desperation I decided to try the one you recommended here (the Graco Magnum Project Painter Plus Electric Stationary Airless Paint Sprayer). I bought a smaller tip/nozzle to keep the sprayed area smaller and used Benjamin Moore Advance paint. All I can say is “WOW” and of course “THANK YOU”! The sprayer did an amazing job. I am so impressed with how professional the results are. Thank you so much for sharing everything with us with you as you go. I love seeing your progress and all your helpful tips and inspiration.
I love following all of your projects–you two are so inspiring! Thank you for sharing all of your tips and sources so we can try to attempt for ourselves and follow in your footsteps! I have a rather sad coffee table that I want to paint. Do you think I could follow the same tips as you provide here for prepping & painting the cabinets or would you recommend a different process and/or materials for painting a coffee table that will get more action than cabinet doors? I really appreciate any tips you can provide!
Do you have any tips on alkyd vs latex paint? We are getting ready to paint some built in book shelves and trim pieces. I’m trying to research which would be better? We want a harder finish that won’t leave smudge marks after you place something on a shelf. Can you use alkyd semi gloss in a sprayer?
Hi! We are in the middle of priming our cabinets. (Thanks for the step by step! Excited to see the finished product thanks to y’alls help!)We have the sprayer and I was going to spray the doors and hand paint/roll the frame of the cabinets. I’m leaning towards spraying the frame of the cabinets bc it’s taking forever to hand paint/roll. When y’all prepped the kitchen to spray the cabinets did y’all cover the ceilings, floors, and walls with brown paper everything you didn’t want to get paint on?
Getting ready to tackle my kitchen cabinets with all your tips! I can’t seem to find the Jasco sander Deglosser anywhere. It’s not available at my Lowe’s or for delivery ????. Is there another brand you recommend? ????????????
I’ve followed you forever and I complymissed you painted it with Thunderous! We had the outside of our home painted in the same color and just love it! Different times of the day it looks like a completely new color! Just like your kitchen. Super amazing work! Can’t wait to use this tutorial on our 1990’s oak built in!
I was wondering if you were painting new, unfinished cabinets if this process would change drastically? Would it still include no sanding in between painting coats, the same paints and primers etc. I’m getting some cabinets built for a laundry room but they don’t paint and wanted to use this as my guide minus the obvious parts that wouldn’t be unfinished but was curious it is actually almost the same or different because they’re unfinished? Thank you!!
Thank you for listing this out step by step. You are truly inspirational and this is such a great example of your motto, Don’t Wait. I’m in awe. I am looking to use this tutorial for our laundry room cabinets, and the Jasco Easy Liquid Sander Deglosser is no longer available at Lowe’s and I can’t seem to find it anywhere else. Can you recommend another brand that works as well, or do you know where else you can purchase this? Thank you!
Question: I did the deglosser on a painted crib and then did the primer. Even after hours after the primer dried, it would scrape off with my fingernail. Is that normal or did I mess something up? Thanks in advance. I’m love love love your kitchen and how it turned out!
Thanks for this helpful tutorial! Does this process work on thermafoil cabinets?
It looks beautiful! Nice work! How do you keep the freshly painted wet cabinet doors from sticking to the drop cloth/paper while drying?
I LOVE the makeover! I have the same countertops and am going to try and paint my cabinets the same color. Fo you think it will look ok with dark wood grain tile flooring?
Very helpful…thank you! The process is complete, and really shows me that I can do it with patience, the right products, and, well, patience!
Can you tell me how long the deglossing took before you could start priming? Thanks!!
I saw that you used a smaller paint sprayer when spraying the cabinets. The price point is better for me based on the project size I am doing. Did it do well on the cabinets? Did you have to thin the paint?
I really want to refresh my cabinets, especially the knobs, but the current ones are huge and also left deep imprints. Is there any way to help lessen the look of this when refinishing yourself?
I love the way they turned out!!
Do you think this technique would work on builders grade formica cabinets?
LOVE how this turned out! How long will the paint last without peeling or chipping?
This is such valuable information!! Thank you for putting it all together. I am getting ready to paint an old stained desk made by my grandfather, which now sits in my daughters room. And now I’m a little less intimidated!!
We are planning our own small kitchen remodel: new backsplash, new countertop/sink, painted cabinets. If we have to phase it out, what do you suggest the order we do these in?
Thanks for all of your lovely inspiration!
So amazing. This is a stupid question but how did you cleanly tape off the inside of cabinets and shelves so there was no paint getting inside or along edges? I saw you put paper- did you tape edges first and then tape paper in?
Is there any other paint that you would recommend as we don’t have a Lowe’s near by?
You guys are such an inspiration ????
super helpful post–thank you so much!
Did you paint the inside of the cabinets too??
Do you use paint thinner or water for the Critter sprayer?
When you were using the critter spray painter, did you use water or paint thinner? I’m about to do some smaller molding/light cover detail painting and figured this small sprayer would be best.
Will this whole process work on veneer faced cabinets?
Thanks for the great tips! We have been so nervous to pull the trigger on doing this ourselves as we are not handy at all. Would these steps work going from a dark color of cabinets to a lighter one?
This looks amazing and I’m wanting to do something similar for our kitchen. Any tips on moving or rearranging cabinets? Our oven/stove is in our kitchen island. It takes up so much space in the middle of the room. Any tips on how to put a cabinet in the open space once it’s moved? I would want something to match as much as possible but also plan to paint our existing wood cabinets…? I feel kind of stuck.
Perfect timing with all the advice!
I hear a lot about sanding in between coats. Any thoughts on this?
This looks SO beautiful!!! I have lived with a cabinet color and layout I don’t like for 4 years because the thought of painting and rearranging them was overwhelming. This has inspired me, I’m going to go for it! You guys are awesome, thank you!
I love that color and love the satin finish! Beautiful job! I am going to use your technique to paint mine as soon I figure out what color to use with my existing dark gray countertops.
Looks amazing! We painted our kitchen cabinets in our last home and loved the outcome. The process however, seemed to take forever. We brushed and rolled the primer on but used a paint sprayer for the paint. We did sand in between each coat. So you think that sanding is totally unnecessary? I think that is what took us so long with all of the sanding and then wiping the sanding dust off between each coat of paint and primer. Also, did you spray the cabinet doors outside just as you have them laid out in the photo? How did you navigate between everything with your paint sprayer to make sure you got good coverage? We are looking to do our kitchen in our new house this fall, but I dread the long process again. Thank you!
This is a great resource! We painted our cabinets last year, and I read probably every blog on the subject on the entire internet and none were ANYWHERE near as comprehensive and helpful as this. We made all the mistakes even though we did so much research. We are still happy-ish with how it turns out but we had at least 100 working hours in it :D
We had full wood cabinets from 1961 that were unpainted, so we sanded and did multiple coats of primer just to cover the knots and oil stains. Now I think we could have used a knot blocking product. We also painted all the backs and interiors of drawers and insides of the cabinets which I now realize was probably unnecessary! We used a few coats of oil based Kilz primer (lots of drying time), 2-3 coats of Magnolia for Kilz chalk paint (which we heard was good for cabinets/adhesion, but honestly, i don’t know that we needed to use it, especially since we had already done the sanding/primer which is sort of the point of chalk paint), and then 2 coats of polycrylic on top because chalk paint with nothing on top is matte and pretty but not durable at all. Between all those coats and drying times (both sides of each door, all sides of each drawer (face palm) it took us weeks to complete.
^ laundry list of our mistakes so others don’t do them! haha, do what CLJ says instead!
Great progress, Since this is round 1 of the remodel, after a few years, you might be going after a completely different look in terms of the island, cabinets, color and so on. What fun it is to just experiment with what you have to make it more “you” while the rest of your home is dramatically changing. And, the whole home repainting job really helped lift your spirits to work on the rest of the tasks. I also noticed that the lightness of the room changed when you took out the upper cabinets as well as that overhang in front of the window. The darker cabinets fit in beautifully and they are a change of pace from everything being so white and bright.
I looked at the picture with the fronts on your porch – what a variety of styles. But, are the columns also different styles? I see curves as well as straight columns. But the darker paint seems to hide those variations.
Another question – are there two wood cutting boards that are hidden – by the stove and by the sink? My mom had one of those and they were useful, but we didn’t worry about cross contamination issues back then! IS Chris planning to use them, after reconditioning?
I have never been more motivated to paint our kitchen!! And I’ve been wanting to for a long time. This is absolutely gorgeous! Plus you make it seem actually possible that we could do this ourselves. Fingers crossed it doesn’t turn out like one of those memes “what I think my kitchen will look like (insert a photo of yours)” vs “what my kitchen actually looks like (disaster). Hahaha. Thank you for all your insight! :)
OMG OBSESSED! Just when I thought the blog was going to trend towards more expensive renos that are out of my budget for the long foreseeable future, you come out killing it in the budget game like this. WOW.
I fully support the suggestions made below of a blog post with inspiration boards to pair paint colors and tile with existing laminate or brown counter tops! I really want to try installing your concrete countertop DIY but worried about the labor of demolishing it in a phase 2 many years from now..
We have high end veneer cabinets (Baulthap). Do you think they could be painted?
Love the new arrangement. Hate the colour… but who really cares what I think!!! It isn’t mu home it’s yours!
If you love it that’s all that matters! Hope you make lots of lovely memories in your new (dark :) ) kitchen!
(Actually prefer the undercoat – looks light and breezy).
I absolutely love how your painted cabinets turned out! I’ve been wanting to paint my builder basic oak cabinets for years now. Time to decide on a color! Do you think the Plastic Wood would fill in the oak grain to get a smooth outcome or would you recommend a different product?
I’ve been reading comments on several Instagram stories (from last week) about blogs vs Instagram. This kind of post is why I love blogs, and always read them regularly! I love watching your phase 1 progress. Thank you both.
If you were going intending on not redoing your kitchen in the future, would you add a step to protect the paint finish? Like using poly? Not sure if it’s a necessary step?
Did you have any issues with dust settling on the cabinets/paint? I’m thinking of spraying our cabinets ourselves but am nervous about dust ruining the finish!
Kitchen looks absolutely amazing! And it isn’t even totally done! You guys are my heros! ;) One question for you…if you already have cabinets that have been painted (ours are old and have at least one coat of paint on them), we still need to sand them right? Would love your insight!
Feeling very inspired to tackle my own kitchen phase 1!
Your eye for paint and color has taught me so much Julia- I’m struggling to figure out options for my existing black granite countertops beyond white (my subway tile backsplash is already white). Would you consider doing an in-depth post with granite + paint pairings? Especially for the granite that many of us have – inspiration photos feature a lot of white granite, which is a great blank slate… just not what I have. Thunderous Gray completely transformed your granite and I’m so impressed by the vision!
They look great for DIY the only problem I see is your choice of paint. Infinity is not rated for cabinets and will have issues within a year or two. Paints like this do not hold up well to hand oils and will break down and get sticky around the most frequently handled areas.
As a professional to those of you reading this and considering doing it please do not use this product. Instead use Emerald Urethane, PPG Breakthrough, Insulx Cabinet Coat, or Benjamin Moore Advance. All of those are rated for cabinets and will give you a longer lasting job.
One last thing I’d like to note is that the knots should have been primed with BIN or any other brands pigmented shellac primer otherwise they will eventually bleed through. I prime all my cabinets with it which also allows us to skip the deglossing step because shellac sticks to just about any surface without dulling including tile, glass, and stainless steel. Plus it dries in 10 mins which is an added bonus.
All in all it looks fabulous and I really like the colors! You may get lucky on those knots because the color you went with is dark. I’m definitely impressed with the finish you got for DIY.
Totally agree with the type of primer you suggested for the knots!!
What type of primer do you suggest, BIN or pigmented shellac primer? What does that mean exactly? Is there a brand/line that you would recommend?
Thanks! This was perfect helpful!
Do you spray the primer on the cabinets as well? Beautiful!
What do you guys do about paint drips when you are hand-rolling? I feel like no matter how careful I am, I always get drips, and it’s super hard to sand all of them smooth. Any tips?
It looks so amazing! Does this process apply to laminate cupboards?
I have a question about the infinity paint for cabinets. I know it is Lowe’s top line paint for SW. However, at Sherwin William’s there is the Emerald paint (the Urethane Enamel). I know this post was sponsored by Lowe’s and you cannot get the Emerald there, but I was wondering if you had ever used it in all of your cabinet paintings? and if so, is there a difference in the end product?
we used SW emerald line throughout our entire house – cabinets, doors, walls, trim. My boyfriend is a professional painter and he really recommends it to all clients. we love the durability – it wipes clean so easily and looks flawless!
Thanks so much, I went out and bought this paint sprayer today! We’re gearing up for a similar project of our own this fall and this makes me very excited. We’re dealing with 60s cabinets that have been painted multiple times so I think we’ll still have to sand to get a good finish, but the paint sprayer is going to be much nicer than doing it all by hand.
I’ll have to admit that at first I was concerned about the Phase 1 makeover. However, you really nailed it. It looks fantastic and now, I want to paint my cabinets the same color.
Looks so good and love the color! My painters just finished painting my oak cabinets white (Sherwin-Williams Pure White) and I can see so much of the wood grain through the paint. Not sure if they sprayed or brush painted. I know the texture can show but should the color? I’ve asked them to come back and look. Similar to what you mentioned about the knots, I’ve read that using spackle on the whole cabinet can reduce my issue. I’m also trying to avoid the paint looking too thick and “pooled”. Thoughts?
Texture, yes, wood color, no. I painted oak cabinets white, but used shellac based primer after reading about bleeding when painting oak a light color. It worked well (painted cabinets white in 2 different rooms). I used shellac based primer even when painting oak a dark color even if it’s overkill! If you go with a lower sheen, the texture isn’t as obvious (satin is better than semigloss).
I have wanted to paint our cabinets but they are also antiqued wood with those huge knots in them. Some of the knots are on the raised edges of the cabinets and I haven’t been sure how they would look filled and painted. Did you have that issue at all and if so, how do they look filled and painted? I love your kitchen! Thanks for the post!
Wow, I’m very impressed. Lining up the cabinets and unifying the craziness with one color has an incredible impact. It’s also amazing how fast you’ve done this! I know we’ll have to tackle our phase 1 over weekends and evenings so it’s not reasonable to expect that we could complete our as fast but seeing your process is so helpful and inspirational. The last owners did such a bad paint job over the original 1950s plywood cabinets. The paint is just peeling off and is tacky. I suppose we’ll still need to sand the fronts that have had peeling paint but deglosser and primer seem like it should do the trick for the rest. I REALLY want to get started on this ASAP. Anybody have recommendations for the best mask for safely painting while pregnant?
First consult with your doctor. If he or she is ok with you painting (be sure to know the voc of the paint you choose), I would choose a respirator type mask used for painting.
Do you think it would look weird to spray the doors and hand paint the boxes? I was thinking it would be nice to avoid taping the kitchen but still save some time by spraying the doors. But do you think the difference in paint methods would look obvious?
I did that in my kitchen and the results look great. As long as you use the right roller for the boxes, the finish is nearly as smooth as the sprayed doors and you cannot tell the difference. Good luck!!
No top coat (clear) needed?
Right on time! I was just discussing painting our cabinets with my husband last night. Thank you for this post.
And your cabinets are lovely. Beautiful job.
It looks amazing. You both are so inspiring. A year ago I saw a Halloween picture of your family with your Bernese mountain dog. Little did I know you would be one of the best diy people to follow. I have truly enjoyed watching this all come together.
This is the best content on the internet right now. Thanks so much for sharing this transformation!! I’m feeling so inspired to tackle our cabinets this fall. Do you think you could spray the doors and drawer fronts and then roll/brush the cabinet boxes to avoid having to tape everything or would that lead to an inconsistent finish?
I am SO impressed with the sheen and smoothness on your cabinets. I honestly would not have imagined that the deglosser would have worked that well! So you think spraying the cabinets is the best way to go?? I love the color you chose also.
It looks amazing! I love how that shade compliments the granite and makes it look intentional.
Hello! This looks FAB! Thank you for the tutorial. I’m planning a bathroom re-do, which will involve painting cabinets, so I needed this help. And I was just last night looking at wall colors, and you’ve given me EXACTLY the color I’m looking for … not grey, not green, not blue … YAY! Thank you!
Absolutely gorgeous! LOVE the tutorial – thank you!
Gorgeous! Do you think that these steps would translate to painting furniture like a dresser?
Simply amazing! Thank you for sharing such detail about cabinet painting and how moving cabinets can give you a freshened up look.
Will you be sharing how you addressed the walls where the cabinets were removed? It looks as if the wall around the cabinets is built up and the thickness difference would leave an edge when the wall is painted.
Do you think everyone can get away with not sanding? Your cabinets looked pretty smooth before, would my old old cabinets need a little more TLC? Would be great to skip but I’m not optimistic :)
This looks so beautiful and “easy” to do! Love it!
I’ve been wanting to tackle my kitchen cabinets. However they have like a wood veneer glued on and the doors touch/rub each other. Would I need
To remove the veneer and then sand the doors down so they don’t touch and cause paint to chip?
WOW this looks so amazing! You guys and your vision!! Slow clap every time. Love following along!!!
So interested in the “vertical shiplap” trend- I love it, but isn’t it just paneling??? The same look that everyone used in the 1960-80’s and everyone in the 90-00’s tried to get rid of??? I think it’s fun to see again, but what is the difference in “vertical shiplap” and wood paneling from bygone eras??
I am wondering how you like the small towel bar space to the left of the sink under the counter. Is it convenient? Does water drip too much and you worry about water and/or marks on the wood?
Looks beautiful! And the granite looks so much better with the cabinet color.
I think that I need a paint sprayer. – or I wish that I bought one two years ago!
About how many gallons of paint and primer did you use with this sprayer to do this project? We have about the same amount, or maybe a bit more, cabinetry than you do. I was literally going to call painters this morning to hire out our kitchen but this post popped up and I feel like this may be something we can actually tackle.
If I were you, I don’t think I’d be able to tear this kitchen apart in a year! A year is a long time to live in a kitchen you hate, but such a short time in a space you love! I LOVE everything you’ve done and you definitely inspire me to work with what I have first. I was away on vacation so I just binged the whole makeover on IG and I. AM. OBSESSED. I cannot wait for the full reveal!!! And then to have to wait until Thanksgiving for this brand shoot?!? Ugh, just another reason to pray for Fall.
Loving the updates you made! Our house was built in ‘98 and has the typical oak cabinetry if that era. The sides/back of the peninsula cabinets aren’t wood (not sure what it is, probably particle board or MDF). Would we be able to use the deglosser and paint on that too?
I painted my old kitchen cabinets while recycling them for my basement laundry/craft room project about five years ago. Last year I revisited our old house when it went back on the market and noticed a few tiny chips along drawer edges. I didn’t prime … didn’t think I needed to. Guess I should have. But otherwise the craft room looked great!
I’ve really enjoyed this mini remodel in your kitchen. Love this kind of project.
Looks wonderful! When you showed the kitchen in the first tour, i was like “WOW that’s a nice kitchen!” and now it’s even better! Thanks for sharing this–love seeing these approachable updates!
I was going to ask if you’d thought about painting the window trim! I figured I should read your post first to see if you mentioned anything about it. It all looks amazing – can’t wait to see the finished product! I’ve been wanting to paint our cabinets for a while now, and you’re making me feel like I can do it. Would this process and these products work just as well on laminate cabinets?
I wished i had your tutorial before tackling my cabinet paint job last year, which was a beast of a DIY that took me over 20 hrs – active hours spent prepping, priming, hand-painting, and cleaning the cabinet hardware.
My first mistake was that I followed a tutorial that said to leave the cabinet doors/drawers on, which seemed to be a time-saver at first but quickly became more work than it seemed having to paint around them and avoid painting over the hardware.
My next mistake was not removing the hardware after i decided to remove the cabinet doors and drawer fronts, which meant I then had to paint around them and scrape the accidentally-splattered paint off afterwards.
And lastly, hand-painting everything took forever and a half. I spread it over i think a week of 3-4 hour nights and was over it less than halfway through. Painting at night didn’t help either, as I’d miss some spots or over-painted others so the finish wasn’t as smooth as I would’ve liked.
The end product turned out fine and really transformed our kitchen, but the whole process made me wish I would’ve spend the money and hire it out. I *may* attempt a similar project with a paint sprayer next time. Even though the 6 hours you guys spent on taping things off seems like a lot, but knowing that i spent 3-4 times more times brushing/rolling makes it worthwhile. Thanks again for the tutorial – love following your renos!
I have been there, too! After reading this post, I think that I will split the difference next time – hand paint the frames and spray the doors. It’s the doors that take forever, especially if you paint both sides!
Hi Chris and Julia! I’m in awe, I just love what you’ve done here. Since this isn’t your first rodeo, what do you do to protect the inside of the cabinets where the boxes and shelves are painted? In my case they take more wear and tear than the doors and drawers and, man, pots and pans do some damage. Any recommendations?
Instead of painting, I wrapped the shelves and insides of the cabinets with a removable wallpaper. It holds up great! You could do a custom order of the same color as your cabinets, or a fun pattern. :) Good luck! :)
Great idea! Thank you!
I’ve seen painted cabinets that end up chipping, peeling, or worn off. This has stopped me from painting mine. If I follow your steps/brands, what is the durability (we are a house with 4 young kiddos)!
Second, do you paint the inside of your cabinets/drawers? I read you painted the inside of your upper doors, but how about the inside of the boxes/drawers? Love following your real life (and real time!) transformation!
Wow….thank you for some much good information and details for painting kitchen cabinets. It’s always nice to get tried and true tips from someone you trust!
You guys are rockin’ this kitchen update…..can’t wait to see it finished and staged.
(By the way…I wasn’t positive I was going to be a fan of the paint color…..I was wrong….IT IS SO GORGEOUS!
Love this project – it’s a great example of how smaller interim changes can allow you to live more comfortably in a space you don’t love while you save up for a larger renovation.
I’ve never seen a kitchen with so many outlets! Curious if you are going to use painted covers to blend them in b/c there are so many or just go with white?
So good! Do you think this technique would work on thermofoil cabinets?
Julia! love it!! you defiantly have inspired me on this DIY project for my Kitchen. I’ll be picking up all the supplies I need from Lowe’s this weekend. Love it so much ! Keep up the amazing job. You guys are an amazing team and I am obsessed with your Stories updates. :)
How are you dealing with loss of cabinet space?
What are you going to do about the outlet covers? paint them the same color? or leave them white?
I am really hoping you write a post on how Chris added that wood piece and trim above the fridge to make it look seamless!
Your kitchen looks amazing! It’s like night and day from where you started. I have a kitchen that was done by previous home owners only 7 years ago, but it looks like something from the 90’s. All cabinets have shiny plastic laminate doors. Do you know if it would possible to paint over plastic laminate?
Would also love to hear your thoughts on this topic!
It looks gorgeous!! Well done! And I can’t aait to see it styled with the brass hardware and shelves. What color are you painting the inside window trim? Are you taking Jenny Komenda’s tip for your plumbing fixtures? Thanks for sharing all of this information!
Love these tips! My husband and I are currently house hunting and so many times I look at a kitchen and think “how hard would it be to paint those cabinets?”. I saw on Instastories how you made a cabinet panel for your dishwasher, someday can you post a step by step on the blog!?
Why would you put shiplap behind a stove?
Love the color! Instead of a look-for-less kitchen post (since it’s already budget), would you consider a post with mood boards for this budget kitchen reno with different tweaks for options/styles besides cottage? Looking for recommendations for a tile that works with that granite…
Also- one more question. We have judges paneling in our family room that we want to paint. Do you think this same process would work (deglosser, prime, paint)?
I am loving this kitchen makeover! It looks so great already so I know the final touches will make it even better! I love the new cabinet color!
We used your method for our laundry room update. I am SO glad I read this before! Made this project go so much smoother knowing which products we needed plus such clear steps! By the way, if anyone is debating whether to spray or roll/brush…. SPRAY!!!!!! It is amazing how much of a difference it made. We rented a sprayer for 24 hours and it was without a doubt the next decision. Thanks for such a great post!
In one of your prep photos you have cabinets with the shiplap in middle of the cabinet doors (if that makes sense). I don’t see those doors in the finished paint photos. Did you end up covering that panel for a more modern look? That’s how my cabinets look and I’d love to cover that up!
Ok, just to clarify – Wait 14 days to wash/fully cure, but you can go ahead and re hang
After 48 hours? Like, they’re hardened enough to handle, reattach, etc? Thanks! Loving your phase 1 SO much!!
Wow! During the process it didn’t seem that the color jived with countertops as much as it does looking at it with all the cabinets painted. It looks fabulous!!!
Can’t wait to see the final product. You guys, for so little money to get that kind of transformation has gotten me all inspired! I know it was a lot of work, but SO worth it! I’ve been waiting to make some changes in our master but I now have all kinds of ideas for things to do to make the space better while I save for the big items. You guys never disappoint!;-)
This looks AMAZING! Great job! I know you had mentioned in your stories that you should have thought about your faucets – but I don’t hate the ORB. I do hear you on the window trim. I would drive there to paint it for you! Love it! Can’t wait to see how you finish it out!
Swooning and wiping the drool from my chin! That is an awesome job!
Looks amazing! That color green is fantastic! And I didn’t notice until seeing the before and after pics at the top of the article but…that window has a pretty arched shape that isn’t noticeable until you removed all that extra cabinetry and it looks like it lets in more light.
Where the green/blue cabinets painted or stained before? We are in the midst of a phase 1 Reno as well. The previous owner did a very very poor job painting the kitchen cabinets and it is chipping/peeling/falling off everywhere. I am feeling we will have to sand them because of how irregular things are. And the paint drips from too heavy of coats.
We had our kitchen cabinets painted and they either didn’t degloss enough or skipped the primer step so now there are places that are wearing off. What do we do about those areas if we were to tackle this since there is a texture change there?
Would this same technique work for baseboards?? specifically dark baseboards? Not having to sand?
It is coming together so beautifully. Thanks so much for sharing the process its so inspiring! Do you think this same process may work on cabinets that have already been painted? or cabinets that have been painted with chalk paint?
Do you worry about water damage to the paint from the sink. Our lacquered undersink cabinets are starting to peel from the occasional drop of water?
This is so beautiful! You guys really know how to bring things to the next level. I can’t wait to see the finished room for phase 1!
The previous homeowners of my house re-did the cabinet doors, leaving the original cabinets. I can’t tell if they replaced the doors completely or just refinished them, but they are turning yellow :(. So My kitchen cabinets need to be re-done and this how to was so helpful! I do have a question (if you don’t mind). The cabinets are super smooth which is great, but I can’t tell what kind of wood they are, would the deglosser work on them?
I’m dying this is so beautiful!! I just love that color!! I have a question for you – do you think this system would work on thermofoil cabinetry? Thank you!! Also did you see Jenny k’s comment about the black rub n buff?? I think that would look amaze.
LOVE LOVE LOVE. So glad you didnt do white or gray. Time to move on from those colors.
So great! Really want to paint our kitchen cabinets-but the exposed sides of both uppers and lowers have a sticker film made to look like the grain of the wood etc-it’s just builder grade kitchen cabinets in a light oak. Not super grainy but wondered if we needed to add a real wood panel to cabinet sides or if we can paint over it the same?
We are in the process of painting our cabinets right now. I read somewhere that you should use an oil based primer??? I just bought the Kilz oil based. Should I have just got a water based? We are painting the cabinets white…
I have an oak bureau but the top of the bureau seems to be some sort of plastic veneer. It’s in excellent shape—can I paint it???
Love this! Seems easier than some past cabinet painting tutorials. Do you no longer recommend the Wagner paint sprayer? I just bought it a week or so ago and now I’m wondering if I should try to return it and get one of these newer recs before I start. ????
It looks amazing! Our cabinets are wrapped in a laminate material would these products work on laminate?
The combo of the three colors and the varying heights of the old kitchen hurts my eyes to look at it, the new version is so calming and lets you think. And…it looks like a completely different kitchen.
I need to repaint my bathroom vanity and I’m going to use what you used.
This looks so good! It’s amazing that you used a lot of what was already in the kitchen! I LOVE the dark and moody green cabinets! Your Instagram stories are more entertaining than most shows on HGTV! Thank you for sharing this process!
This is so helpful! Thank you! I can’t get the shopping list link to work
Chris, How in the world did you cut that shiplap so perfectly in that arch? Please say there was some kind of projector or arc laser involved. However you pulled it off, you need to reach over your shoulder and pat yourself on the back.
I’m planning to paint our laminate cabinets in the fall and have read lots of tutorials that say to not skip sanding. Does using the deglosser instead mean you’ll have less longevity of the paint? Any concerns with deglossing instead of sanding? Would love to skip the sanding if I could, but I’m nervous!
I’ve read so many blogs on painting kitchen cabinets, and this one is by far the most helpful. I just started painting my kitchen cabinets and am so grateful I came across this article. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
I’ve been watching this process avidly on Instagram, I can’t believe the transformation – incredible! Can’t wait to see it all styled out.
Did you spray the primer?
Beautiful transformation and I can’t wait to do ours with your pointers! One question – what size sprayer tip did Chris use with the Graco Magnum?
Your cabinets look great! I love the color you chose; paint is so transformative!!
I really want to paint my kitchen cabinets, but I have those terrible, builder-grade oak cabinets that have a whole bunch of grain that I feel would show through horribly if just primed and painted. Have you ever had to paint grainy cabinets and use a grain filler? If so, any you might recommend?
We used grain filler and it’s a MESS, but really does make a difference! If you want a nice smooth finish, you’ll need to sand it smooth, wipe it, and then probably go back for another pass where you thought it was smooth but it was just dust settled into the cracks. Even with the prep work, the grain shows through a little. We had our paint professionally sprayed but I think a first coat done by hand might be better because it can work into any little crevices that didn’t get filled…when you spray, it sort of skims over those imperfections and brushing paint into the grain at that point ruins the nice sprayed finish! We also ended up buying new cabinet doors from a company called Barker Doors and it was SOOO worth it! You just send in all your measurements, pick your style and they make them all custom for you. I thought it was pretty inexpensive as well! Our oak cabinets with arched insets just weren’t going to give us the look we wanted but our cabinet boxes were in really good shape and the configuration was working for us. Hope that’s all helpful!
Thank you so much, Michelle!! I’ve actually been considering just buying new doors from either Barker Doors or a place called Kitchen Cabinet Doors too. It just seems so much easier than dealing with sanding and filling all of the nooks and crannies of my existing doors, especially when I don’t like their style to begin with.
We have arched oak doors that I hate and I’ve been eyeing Barker doors. Did you do a full overlay, partial overlay or inset? We have partial overlay now but I’m dying to replace them with inset doors. If you did inset- how has the paint held up?
So no poly topcoat is needed??? That’s the step that I hate and is holding me back from painting my cabinets.
This looks amazing! Thank you for doing projects like this to give others confidence in tackling something like this in their own home. I’m bummed you posted about the sprayer you used on the doors in stories (the critter) and did not talk at all about it here. I was hoping for a few tips and tricks with that sprayer.
Honestly your kitchen reno is the only ‘show’ I am addicted too. :D
Looks gorgeous! Would these products also work on laminate cabinets? Have you ever had success in painting laminate?
Thank you for all the tips! We’re actually painting unfinished cabinets next weekend and will be using this as a guide! What was the name of the other paint sprayer you recommended that uses an air compressor?
If my cabinets were painted poorly previously (by me! I wish I had used that primer!) do I have to sand them down or is the deflosser + Zinsser primer combo going to be enough?
This is beautiful!!! Can you comment how smelly the Jasco Liquid Deglosser was?
Really enjoyed this process. Just bought a new home where I would love to tackle painting some cabinets. You make me think I can do it! One question – did you use the paint sprayer for the primer as well?
You guys are so talented and what’s special about your brand is that it’s so accessible. I love that you can make your phase one just as beautiful as your bathroom you saved up for years to do. Totally selfish but any chance your going to paint those countertops? I’m wanting to phase one my bathroom while I save and my granite is too dark and fussy to leave it. Beauty job Chris and Julia. So inspirational.
It looks like a whole new kitchen! The color you chose is amazing and looks soooo good! I love the step-by-step and it totally seems doable by an average person. We have knotty pine cabinets that are just not my style, but a whole new kitchen is $$$. Painting them might be just the ticket!
This is so helpful thank you!!! Embarking on painting bathroom cabinets and then maybe a kitchen refresh. You all have totally inspired me. ????????
When you put the instastory up showing Chris painting those cabinets, I was flabbergasted! The kitchen looks beautiful. I can’t wait for the reveal.
I love that this is an easily tackled project on a budget that makes such a big impact! Also allows you to try something trendy for a short time before phase 2 if you want something a little more classic. So fun & moody. Thank you for sharing options for every budget! I’m here for this reveal!!!
I love that you did this little makeover. It’s actually totally transformed the kitchen I think! But I’m glad you did it to show that you can work with what you have and still make your home yours without a huge renovation. This is the type of renovation the majority of people need inspiration for because it’s not feasible to completely start over. Its amazing! Love it!
I can’t believe how much I love the color! Just absolute perfection.
I cannot wait to see the finished look. I’m amazed at how different and how much better it looks already with just your few improvements! so good. Best content on the internet right now!
It’s just sooo good! Cannot wait to see your finished product!
This is so helpful and inspiring! What would you recommend if one was doing this with oak cabinets? There is a super deep grain and from what I’ve read, it can bleed through. Would you try to fill with plastic wood? Thank you!!
I LOVE this!!!!! I feel like I could do this…almost. Do you have a post about all the prep work? I’m scared to spray in my house!!! I imagine the paint spray spraying everything like a firehose gone wild!!!
This is an amazing tutorial. So thorough. Wish I could paint my rental cabinets…..❤️
Absolute perfection! The fridge Crome plate stuck out like a sore thumb before, it looks SO much better now. I’m curious about the front panel Chris made for the dishwasher. Was it a panel dishwasher prior or did you take off the front and somehow hack it? So curious! Can’t wait to see final pictures ????????
Thank you so much for this post! It’s really really helpful! I’ve never used a liquid deglosser or a paint sprayer, both of which I am now eager to try! Your instructions make it seem very doable! Can’t wait to see the finished kitchen!
Color looks great with the counters!
It’s looking SO GOOD already! Question – is there a reason you didn’t paint the arched window trim (white portion) the same green color (which would have been my first instinct)? Is it to break up the green, or be consistent with the other windows? Always curious as to how other design minds work :)
Looks great! I can’t wait to see the full reveal.
Hi! I’ve loved following along :) I was wondering – how many hands on hours does it take?
Love it! I can’t wait to see the finished project but it’s gorgeous already (and so much better than it was!)
Love, love, love the color! Thanks for all the tips. My husband and I have been talking about hiring painters to paint our kitchen cabinets, but this post really does empower me to try it ourselves. Thanks!
Our wood grain Shaker cabinet fronts were designed for busy, high-traffic homes like ours. Clad with durable textured thermofoils, this line is compatible with Sektion, Akurum, Godmorgon, and Besta cabinets from IKEA. It's the perfect, practical way to add the warmth of wood to all the rooms of your home.
We have teamed up with Loloi to create a line of rugs that are as affordable as they are beautiful. This collection houses a great mix of traditional and modern rugs, in cottage-y colorways, as well as vintage-inspired beauties that you’ll want to roll out in every room.
We partnered with Stuga on a line of hardwood floors — The Ingrid is really livable, and the color is very neutral. It doesn’t lean warm or cool, it’s that just right in-between. We have really loved putting it everywhere in our house. It’s the best jumping-off point for design, no matter your interior style. In addition to being beautiful, Ingrid is really durable — we have three kids, and we always have a home construction project going on. Ingrid stands up to it all.
Looking for our favorite things? A place to shop our home room by room, or just catch up on what Julia's wearing / loving right now? Browse the CLJ shop.
Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here.
We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen.
Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.
We recently painted our study a dark, moody green color. This is after we first painted it a muddy green, then repainted it a blue-gray. I guess what they say is true; third time’s a charm! The journey was worth it, though, because I’m so in love with this glossy green in contrast with the […]
We've been doing this since 2009 and we've posted a whopping 24145+ blog posts and counting. You might need a little help searching, huh?
Another way for us to stay in touch! Joining our weekly newsletter gives you access to exclusive content, never-before-seen photos, your questions answered, and our favorite DIYs. Sign up below!
Welcome to our online community where we've posted home, DIY, style, renovations, and family since '09. Renovating our #cljmoderncottage in Idaho and headed for new adventures in Raleigh, NC. #cljfam #cljtransformations
Make yourself right at home
What do you think?