Friday, May 11, 2012

DIY: Paint your Kitchen cabinets


I painted my cabinets when Ada was almost a year in prep for her first birthday. I am not crazy (maybe a little). The Realtor was super pleased by them and so I thought I would share...

My original plan for the cabinets was to do a few each weekend until it was done. After  the first cabinet, I did the bottom cabinets under the sink the next weekend, but then kinda hit a stand still. It has been so busy here! We have been go go go almost every weekend and just haven't had the time. But I had given myself a  deadline..Ada's Birthday. Looking ahead, I knew that I needed to kick it into high gear. So..Last Sunday Sam helped me sand everything, Monday I started painting. Tuesday I finished painting, then yesterday I glazed everything. I am so happy that it is done. Not only does it look great, but it is done!!

How did I do it?? Well, I did a trial run with that first cabinet, tried to see what was necessary, what wasn't, etc. This is the process that I used, which is in no way professional.  It is what I would like to call the Lazy Dana approach. First, you have to sand everything. If there is a most important step..this is it! Our cabinets had a nice sheen to them that needed to be taken off in order for the paint to stick. Otherwise, if you don't, the first time that little rascal of yours spills something on the cabinets, and you wipe just a teensy bit too hard, off comes the paint. So, sand, sand, sand! I used the electric sander on the doors and  Sam hand sanded the cabinets. Why not use the electric all around? It probably would have been better, but then, I would of had to empty all the cabinets, and then it would have taken forever to clean. Instead, there was minimal sawdust, but it was sanded well enough to be painted. 

Then comes the painting. Kill me please. It took forever. I had to paint the inside of the doors too. So I did those first. In the garage, in 30 degree weather. My hands we aching and bright red and it took seriously FOREVER to dry. It takes two coats. I used a sponge brush - Wooster - which was amazing! When I had started the project, I knew I would need a sponge brush. So I headed to the brush aisle with all the million different kinds of brushes. I was tempted to grab the .30 brush. But then my mind when to the bench and painting that. After 1 use..ONE USE, the plasticy part had broken through and the brush was done for. So I figured that the .30 brush may not really be worth the .30. But is the wooster .75 brush worth it? I mean it is over double the cost..2/3 of the cost of a bottled soda out of the vending machine, and probably a really good candy bar (all these things went through  my head). Is it worth the extra .45? Yes, yes it is. And I convinced myself that day and didn't look back. It was fantastic. It lasted through all the painting, washing, and I used it for the glaze. Seriously worth the .75..trust me. 

Every where I read told me to wait at least 12 hours between coats, and then 24 hours for the glaze. Hmm..I don't have that kind of time. So after the first coat on the back of the doors, I did wait 24 hours, but mostly because I needed to, not wanted to. One - it took forever to dry, and two- Ada took a ridiculously short nap that day then I had plans with Sue that night..so I had to wait. I did a second coat on the backs during nap time and did a first coat on the cabinets. That night, I moved the doors inside to do the fronts. I was tired of all this painting in the cold crap. I did the first coat at around 7pm, did the second coat on the cabinets, then did a second coat on the fronts again. I finished at 10:30 and said to hell with waiting 12 hours. When I did the lower cabinets before, I painted and glazed all within 5 hours. I know - I am a rebel. Any who..the best part about this project is that it doesn't have to be perfect. The little imperfections are what make it wonderful..or that is what I tell myself. Seriously - I think if I put 5 coats of paint on it, it still would not have been "perfect." By the way - I asked the guy at Lowes if I could get the Signature Paint with primer already in it and then skip the primer..he said yes, of course. Well - I didn't have to prime, but it still took two coats - so not worth the extra $5. 

Then came glazing. My hands are still somewhat blackened and it looks like I haven't showered in weeks according to my fingernails. I found it to be rather easy, once you know the level of glaze you want on it. Now, in preparation for this step, I did watch a short video that showed a women rubbing in some glaze then ever so lightly wiping off the excess - it was perfect. Easy? Not that easy. I first got a pack of rags for about $2. We didn't have any old t-shirts (other than my old MC ones Sam said would be perfect..Blasphemy!) So I picked up a pack and it had  about 30 rags in it and they worked perfectly. The first door I did, I did exactly what the lady did. When I went to wipe off the excess, there was still too much excess, and the more I wiped, the less came off and it was starting to take the paint off with my scrubbing (maybe I should have waited the 24  hours??). PANIC!! I remembered reading that you have 15 minutes to work with it. I was thinking in my head if it had been 15 minutes, while yelling at Sam to run like the wind and get a wet rag because it will all be ruined. So, he got a rag wet and then used that. Perfect. It was the exact level of glaze I wanted. I used the sponge brush to cover everything. then took a rag and wiped off as much as I could with 1 wipe. Then took the wet rag and wiped again, then took a clean rag and wiped again. It worked perfectly. I did find that it went faster when you use clean rags ever 2-3 doors. Now it says to work in small areas. After the first door I realized that the 15 minute rule is a load of crap and I just did the whole door at once. I was on borrowed time people with a clingy, sick baby - nap time was it.  I then hung the doors as I finished (also says to wait 24 hours to hang - but I was tired of seeing what I previously thought was my organized cabinets - it was too stressful. I didn't cook for 3 days, couldn't handle walking in the kitchen). and did last minute touch ups. It took all day and into the night, but I am finished! It changes the kitchen so much. We still want to some major improvements like a new back splash, non-white appliances, and new counter tops. But for now and the next few years, this will be perfect! (Oh how times have changed!!)

Don't you love white on white?!? I think black appliances will look perfect!





Voila! My new kitchen and it only cost around $50. I would say worth it!

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