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Kitchen Makeover 1.2 – Painting the Cabinets

Well Hello there! Let me say a belated Merry Christmas to you and Happy New Year! I’m feeling so much better now and almost out of the woods. Still ridiculously tired… but that comes with the pregnancy territory.

Continuing with my Kitchen Makeover series, I have a few more tips and lessons learned to share with you regarding the cabinet painting process. To view the first two posts of this series click, 1. Kitchen Reveal, and, 2. Kitchen Makeover 1.1.
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Using a Paint Sprayer:
Click here for a link to the spray gun that I purchased by recommendation of the employees at my local hardware store. They said it was the best one they had on the lower end scale and considering that I’m not a professional house painter and only need the gun for my home DIY projects, I was told that I didn’t need anything more heavy duty than this. You’ll need to practice on cardboard or scrap wood before going for your cabinets. It takes a little bit to get used to the gun and make the right adjustments. The only downside that I found to this sprayer was that it needed to be cleaned out very frequently or the paint starts to clump a little bit. Not sure if this is a common problem with other sprayers, but it’s an issue that I ran into. Other than that, it did a fine job.

Caulking:
One of the most important tips that I will give you for this project is to CAULK YOUR SEAMS/CRACKS! It seems like such a little thing to mention, but I’m telling you it makes such a huge difference. Caulking properly will give your cabinets the finished and more high-end look opposed to a cheep job. After you paint that first coat, you will notice every seem and crack will start to show. I would recommend that you get a paintable, kitchen/bath caulk and fill every seem, including where the cabinet meets the wall.

Hardware:
Sometimes just adding hardware alone can update your kitchen to a more polished complete look. And you don’t have to spend a lot to get the WOW factor! I found my hardware at Ikea (link here) for a fraction of the cost that I would have spend at my local hardware store. Even if price wasn’t an option, I think the look of the Ikea hardware was the best choice. Since I was working with existing cabinetry that didn’t reflect the modern styling that I prefer, I chose a very contemporary long and squared-off hardware handle. This added a modern effect and enabled me to almost camouflage the traditional shape of the cabinets. The stainless steel on the hardware complemented the existing appliances and the contemporary backsplash.kitchenreveal4

In my last post of this series, you may remember my little rant about the irritating “paint dust” that comes with the use of a spray gun. Since that post, a more experienced friend of mine told me a tip to solve that problem. It sounds like common sense to me now, but sometimes we need be told the answers! Basically, tape your clear plastic drop cloth to the ceiling and drape down to create a “wall” border around your work area… thus no paint dust escaping to the rest of your home. Why didn’t I think of that? Genius I tell you!

Now that my cabinets are painted, I absolutely love them and I’m so so happy that I did it… despite all the hard work! Your wondering now if you should tackle this project yourself or hire a professional? I guess it depends on who you are. I am not a perfectionist, so this was a “good enough” result for me. The finish is smooth and it looks good both from a distance and close-up. But if you start to really look and inspect the paint job, you will find imperfections (which is okay for me). If your a type-A personality, you may want to hire a professional. I seriously got to the point where I just wanted it done and didn’t want to spend another dime on paint. Next up in this series, I’ll be sharing the details of backsplash installation!

Check out all the posts in the Kitchen Makeover series!

kitchenseries1 kitchenseries2 kitchenseries5 kitchenseries3

Lots of love,
Mary

Kitchen Makeover 1.1 – Painting the Cabinets

This is kind of a funny story… you see I had thought that this was going to be a Saturday project. Bahahahahahahhahaha! Yeah, a few weeks ago I wasn’t laughing so much, more like crying! Just being honest with ya’ll! But am I glad that I did it? YES! If your thinking of painting your kitchen cabinets, just know that it is a big job. There are so many different tutorials out there and so many different ways to do it, how do you know where to start? Well, I’m going to share my experience with you complete with all the mistakes and successes. Feel free to comment or email me if you have any specific questions that haven’t been covered.

Last week I revealed my before and after photos of the complete kitchen makeover. To read the entire article and view additional photos, click here.

Before:
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After:
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After viewing and considering many online tutorials, I decided to use one that I found on Pinterest detailing instructions from a professional cabinet maker. This tutorial was posted by allthingsthrifty.com. Click on the below photo for the Pinterest link which links back to the specific cabinet tutorial.

Source: allthingsthrifty.com via Mary - on Pinterest

This tutorial is very detailed and extremely helpful! Things you should know that I didn’t expect:

1. The paint that is suggested (pre-catalyzed lacquer) was not easy to find. At least in my area, none of the local hardware stored carried this product. I had to drive 30+min to one of the larger Dunn-Edwards Paint Supply stores to find it. And be prepared because it is expensive – about $75 per gallon for the tinted lacquer and about $50 per gallon for the clear lacquer!

2. Prep-work takes longer than the actual painting process! I kind of knew this going in, but wasn’t expecting how much longer the prep-work would actually take. Remember, I thought this was going to be done in just one Saturday? Well, two days into the project, I was finally done with all the prep-work and ready to paint.

3. I totally underestimated the size of my kitchen. In addition to what’s pictured in my before/after photos, there is also a desk nook space and double sided butlers nook in the kitchen hallway area. Also, I decided to paint under the island the same white color in addition to all the interiors of the cabinets. Lets just say I went through way way too many gallons of paint. That was unexpected in both the budget and time spent category.

4. When using a paint sprayer, be prepared for the “paint dust” that gets EVERYWHERE! I was not ready for this. The kitchen area was well taped off and drop cloths covered every exposed area of the floor. Sounds good right? Nope! When painting, even with all the windows open, dust covered every exposed inch of the downstairs level of our home. This meant that I had to deep clean everything after the project was complete. And since this project took way longer than expected, it was a bit of an inconvenience during that period, to say the least. Not to worry, this “dust” doesn’t stick like paint — it’s just a little irritating.

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So why did I choose this process over all the other tutorials out there? Well, I wanted to do it right! There probably are quicker ways to paint your cabinets, but I was going for the professional look. I’ve seen painted cabinets where you can tell that someone picked up a brush and painted them themselves, but I didn’t want my cabinets to look cheap or hand-done. Also, since I was going for a modern clean styling, it made the process a bit more difficult because it had to look “perfect”. Normally, when I paint vintage furniture pieces, I work with the imperfections and bring out the beauty of each piece with distressing techniques, etc. This was totally different in that the style I was going for did not allow for distressing so the imperfections had to be hidden and not revealed. Does that make sense? If you want more of the shabby or antiqued look on your kitchen cabinets, the process should be a lot easier than whats detailed here and you may be able to get away with a different/less-expensive paint to achieve the look you desire.

This post is getting to be a bit long and I don’t want to overwhelm you. I’ll share more tips with you on another day. I understand that I’ve been sharing a lot of the “negatives” with you thus far and I absolutely don’t want to discourage you from this process, but rather inform you so that you know what your getting into and can be more prepared than I was. I will leave you with this: I LOVE MY KITCHEN! And yes, I would do it again!

Check out all the posts in the Kitchen Makeover series!

kitchenseries1 kitchenseries2 kitchenseries5 kitchenseries3

Lots of love,
Mary