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.) This is where people tell you to sand your cabinets. I didn’t. I didn’t sand my cabinets once this WHOLE process. So, there you have it. Why didn’t I sand them? You can see in the top picture that they weren’t VERY glossy. I read a couple tutorials where they skipped this step and I felt like I wanted to as well.
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:
Water-based=no stink. Sticks to all surfaces without sanding. Seals uniformly. Blocks stains. Dries in 1 hour. Use with any topcoat. Um okay. I felt like I hit a gold mine. Right there in the Walmart paint section, I found gold in primer form. So, for $17 I took it home with me. I gave all of the doors and cabinet boxes a coat of primer. I used a brush for everything. Looking back, I think I would have done 2 coats of primer, because it ended up taking 3 coats of paint. However, I probably still would have done 2 coats of paint equaling the same 4 coats, but my paint was more than double the cost of the primer. So, my suggestion–do 2 coats of primer.
This marks the end of the first day. Washing and priming everything. Day 2 I gave it my first coat of paint.