If you've followed this blog for a while now, you are well aware that over the month of June we tackled our kitchen, of which one of the biggest projects was painting our cabinets. Over the month I did three separate posts about the painting process, but I thought I'd do a roundup of our whole process in one post so that it's easier to reference. If you're hungry for mega detail, please see the original posts here, here and here.
Here's our kitchen before.
This is a summary of the method we used, and although time consuming it was pretty painless. We've had the doors back on for almost a month now and still haven't had one chip, which is much better than I was expecting.
1. Number all of the cabinet boxes and the corresponding doors. This will make it easy to reattach when you're done and not have to guess which door goes with which base.
2. Remove all the hardware and cabinet doors. We have the quick release hinges but didn't use them. Instead we unscrewed the hinges from the doors and left them attached to the bases. By doing this we saved having to redo all of the finicky adjustments when we reattached the doors.
3. If you are reusing the hardware (or spray painting it like we did) make sure to store everything in one place. You'd hate to be short a handle at the end of the process.
4. Wash, wash, wash. I used soap and water on every surface that was going to be painted. I also used a degreaser (BBQ cleaner is what I had handy) on the areas that were sticky and greasy.
5. Tape. Tape off any areas that touch the wall or appliances. If you are really good with a brush you could skip this step, but we figured it was safest for us to tape.
6. Degloss. We picked up a can of liquid sandpaper at our local Benjamin Moore store. This stuff is super smelly, so make sure your windows are open and the kiddos aren't in the room. Also, before you start this step you need to be organized with your primer. Although it didn't say it on the bottle, our paint guy told us that the deglosser shouldn't sit for more than an hour on the cabinets without primer being applied. We used an old rag to rub the liquid sandpaper on. Honestly, it was hard to see the difference unless you looked in the right light and squinted. At the right angle though, you could see that it was scuffing up the surface.
7. Prime. I love Zinsser 1-2-3 Bullseye, so it was my go to primer for the cabinets. The only trick with this primer is that it dries super fast, so make sure to clean up any drips as you go. We used a brush to cut in and then a small foam roller for the larger areas. We did 2 coats of primer on the doors and the cabinet bases. We could have probably gotten away with 1, but the primer is way cheaper than the paint, so I'd rather do 2 coats of primer to save another coat of paint.
With 1 coat of primer:
8. Paint. Use a good quality paint. If your family is like ours, your cabinets are going to get some serious wear and tear, so don't cheap out on the paint. We researched a bunch of options, but landed on a paint I love - Benjamin Moore Advance in a Pearl finish. Advance acts like an oil paint but is water based, so it cleans up really easy. It takes a long time to dry, but once it does, it's hard as nails. We picked Benjamin Moore White Dove for our cabinets. Same technique as the primer - cut in with a brush and then roll.
9. Wait. Advance has a 24 hour recoat time. The waiting is the hardest part for me.
10. Sand. After the 2 coats of primer and one coat of paint we used 220 grit sandpaper to sand out any drips or uneven parts. Make sure to wipe off all of the sanding dust before painting again.
11. Paint again. Apply the second coat of paint. I am guessing you won't need another coat after this, but if you do, wait another 24 hours and then reapply.
12. Wait. This is where the real waiting begins. You have to wait 3-5 days for the Advance paint to completely cure. We waited 5 days because I wanted to make extra sure that the paint was rock hard before coming back into our kitchen.
We did steps 5-11 twice - once on the back of the doors and once on the front. We did the backs first so that we reduced the risks of scratching the fronts while painting the backs.
13. Reattach the hardware and the doors. Thanks to the numbering this part should be a cinch.
The process is long and fiddly, but it's really not hard at all. It took us about 3 weeks from start to finish to get everything done. We chose to break up the top and bottom cabinets so that we didn't live without doors in the whole kitchen at once, which extended our time frame considerably.
Here's the before and after.
We also installed a new tile backsplash - you can read about the whole process here. If you have any questions about the whole process please don't hesitate to leave a comment or shoot me off an email.
Looking for an update on how the cabinets are holding up? You're in luck....there's a full update here.