February 20, 2011

How I Painted My Cabinets

Disclaimer – This is not an easy job… or a weekend job. I spent two weeks on the process and then two more days to re-install and put on the new hardware. Not for the faint of heart!

If you’re game then here are my suggestions and steps for success!

Take a bad before shot (the worse it looks the better your”after” shot will look)

Bad Before Shot

Then you have to take all the doors off, But WAIT Number them first and put a corresponding number inside it’s cabinet home.  Best place to put the number is in the hole for the cabinet hinge. Tape’s no good because you have to remove it when you paint and then things get all mixed up!

Remove the Doors and Number Them

Maybe I should have emptied the cabinets, but I didn’t. This is real life folks!!

Next step is to remove ALL the hardware, handles, hinges and everything – this will make your job so much easier…trust me.

Next step is to wash the doors on both sides with TSP and be sure to also RINSE them off as the TSP residue will prevent good adhesion from your primer.

Washed, Filled and Lined up for Primer

After they are dry you can begin to fill the holes where the old handles lived.  I used wood filler and a putty knife and after it dried I sanded it and did it again. Try not to leave a big smear of the filler on the door surface, make your repair small and as good as you can possibly get it. Sand the surface of the doors with a palm sander, or by hand if you’re comfortable with a medium grit sand paper.

After sanding use a tack cloth to clear the surface of all debris. (What the heck is a tack cloth??) It is a sticky cheese cloth type of thing, costs about $1 at the paint store and it picks up all the remaining stuff on your door before you paint and despite it’s sticky texture it does not leave any residue on your door. Get one or two, you’ll thank me!

Next you are ready to prime.  Use an oil based primer and make sure it is well mixed.  My trick was to place the door on a small box on a lazy Susan so I could spin the door and get good coverage on all sides.  Try this, it was a good trick!

Spin that Door

Apply the primer thinly with a brush meant for oil based paints. Allow it to dry at least overnight.  I placed each door on a box in my basement to dry flat like this…

Doors Hanging Out

I kept the Uppers and Lowers separate through the whole process and it helped keep me sane.  You will need some room to spread out and let them dry flat so prepare your space for this.

Once your primer is dry, look at those hardware holes you filled and make sure they are smooth smooth smooth. If not, sand again and prime again.  The primer is important over the filler so the texture of the topcoat doesn’t change over the filled areas.  Allow it all to dry.

Once dry you are ready to start painting. I recommend the Benjamin Moore Advance Paint in a Pearl Finish. It is adverstised to set up like oil paint but it can be cleaned up with water and I can confirm it does both beautifully.  You will need two brushes (if you are working on two sets like I was – this allows you to wash and dry your brushes throughout the several days of topcoats you have ahead of you). I also recommend having some of those small rollers on hand.  The best type is the one that is the same circumference of a full size roller but 1/3 of the length. These give a nice flat roll of the paint. I Don’t recommend those skinny longer mini rollers (fuzzy nor sponge) the fuzzy type is not good with this paint it clumped up and was no longer round…a total mess and the sponge ones put too much air into the paint and can leave bubbles.

The best technique is to roll and then brush the thinnest most even coat you can and then roll lightly over it all again. Careful that you catch any drips on the edges…the Advance paint has a tendency (like oil) to do this, but the lazy Susan is a great help in getting to all sides and preventing this. Let each coat dry at least overnight.  I did three coats on the front and two on the insides of all my doors.

During this process you also have to paint the sides of your cabinetry and the little trim bits inside the cabinets. I used the roller exclusively for this part.

Sand Prime and Paint the Cabinetry too

At this point I was pretty exhausted by the whole thing and so I took a few days off.  When I returned I re-installed the doors, made a cardboard template for the new hardware I purchased and spent a full day installing the hardware. I love using my drill so this part was kind of fun:)

Almost Everything Back in it’s Place

Next step is to get a new sink, have the counter tops measured and order the back splash tile.   New lighting is also a must and I feel like we are well on our way to having a great ‘like new’ kitchen!!

You can do it too peeps!! it just takes time, space to spread out and patience.  I ran out of all of these at one point or another, but that’s normal. It’s done and I cant wait to call in the professionals to do the counter and the tiling work!!!

Let me know if you found this helpful. I am happy to answer questions or give suggestions. just email me. nicole@scottdesigns.ca

Cabinet Colour – Niveus by Benjamin Moore

More Posts to Come!!

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February 20, 2011


Nicole Scott

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