27 Jun 2012

The Kitchen: Finished Cabinets and Hardware Upgrade

WOO HOO! The bottom cabinet doors are finally back on.  I seriously couldn't be happier.  Living without cabinet doors for weeks on end started to really get on my nerves.  I like hiding my mess.

It's hard for me to remember what the kitchen looked like before.  I look back on the 'before' pictures and it doesn't even look like our house any more.  Here's a flash back for ya....

The white cabinets make the kitchen feel so much brighter and bigger - which is an added bonus we hadn't expected.

I've already shared with you most of the checked off  items from our original Plan of Attack (paint, tile, remove cabinet).  There are just a couple to go - the beadboard island and the updated hardware. 

So, let's talk hardware (the island will come your way in a few days). 

Can you see in the before picture that the hardware is totally basic silver and boring?  It's a builder grade special.  I hated them....with a passion.  It wasn't the shape so much that I hated, it was more the fact that you can buy the same handles at Home Depot in the bargain section.  I don't want my house to be so obviously from the bargain section.

I started looking at new hardware and realized pretty quickly that it just wasn't going to be an option for us.  To get what I wanted was going to be at least $5 a handle.  5 bucks, 5 bucks, 5 bucks....it started to add up quickly.  The hardware alone was going to cost more than the tile and the paint.  I just couldn't justify it. 

But I sure as heck wasn't going to live with the bargain department handles either.  So, I turned to spray paint (gasp...I know...me spray paint? Say it ain't so...).

We took all of the handles off of the cabinets and stored them in a mug until I was ready to get my spray paint on. 

Then I washed them all with hot soapy water to get any gunk off.

And layed them out on my special spay paint carpet (it's the back of an old piece of carpet and works perfect for spray painting).

And sprayed away using Tremclad Hammered Metal in black. 

I really wanted to make sure that they didn't have any drips, so I sprayed a few light coats making sure to move the can back and forth while spraying.

Here they are after 1 coat.

And after 2 coats.

The hammered metal spray paint left a texture on the handles that really makes them look and feel like they are made of iron.  

Surprisingly enough, I actually really like the handles now.  It's amazing what some spray paint can do. They don't look like bargain handles any longer.  You can't buy these puppies at The Home Depot.  The best part is that instead of over $200 for new hardware, we were able to refresh these handles for $6 and about 10 minutes of work.

Here's another shot of the fresh new cabinets with their spray painted handles (sorry, couldn't resist showing it to you again.)


  1. Looks fabulous! I hate painting, especially with oil paint on cabinets, but it always pays off. All these simple changes will make a huge difference when/if you decide to sell.

  2. I forgot to say that reprinting your existing hardware is a great way to save money. I was shocked at the price of new hardware.

    1. Thank you. Some things are so ridiculously expensive to me and hardware is definitely one of them. It can go in the category of fabric and landscaping stuff - other things that I think are totally over priced.

  3. Hi! Im so psyched to see your hardware! I love the lines of my hardware but hate the color. How have they held up? Ive wanted to paint the hardware but I was afraid it would require scrubbing, sanding, and deglossing with chemicals, and I really would rather not do that. If hot soapy water gets the grime off, then that might be the right direction for me!

    1. They held up pretty good. I had to take a few of them off (on the cabinets we used all the time) after about 6 months and give them another spray, but thats it. Someone suggested using spray polyurethane over them, and that might have helped too. if they are super shiny it might also be worth using a spray primer first just to help adhesion.


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