I knew it was going to be a busy week, but I’m happy to say the kitchen makeover mission was accomplished at my mother-in-law’s house. The cabinet painting was complete and reassembled before she got home. Here are some quick before and after pictures of each side of the kitchen, before I get into all the details of the process. The fresh paint really brightens the space.
As far as the process, it was not without mistakes, frustrations, and lots of sweat, but that just makes it feel even better to have it complete and that she is happy with the results. When Bob and I returned home from the beach last Sunday, we started the project of making over his Mom’s kitchen. The days started to blur together, but I finished all the sanding by Monday. For the drawers, we were changing from knobs to handles, so I filled all the knob holes with wood filler, allowed to dry and then sanded it smooth (pictured in between filling and final sanding).
After the sanding was completed, I started to paint the drawer fronts.
Unfortunately, the first coat of “Icy Bay” did not really look any different than white. So, I took the paint back to Lowe’s and asked it to be darkened. But, it turns out that Icy Bay wasn’t dispensing properly, which is why it wasn’t much different than white. They couldn’t darken the paint, so instead color-matched it to the Icy Bay sample. I tried that paint Tuesday night. But, yet again on Wednesday morning it didn’t look any different than white. This time at Lowe’s, I choose another similar color and they tried to use that to darken it, but again failed. So, I ended up just changing from “Icy Bay” to “Summer Breeze”. Once I got the color situation worked out, I made good progress. It also helped that I took the day off work on Wednesday to work on the cabinets all day. I took pictures of all the steps. Since I was painting the top cabinets Delicate White and the bottom Summer Breeze, I separated them into two different work areas so that I didn’t get anything confused (more on that later).
It worked well to have the bottom cabinets in the garage and all the top cabinets in the sunroom. We numbered the cabinets when we took them off, but that is one step that I should have done differently. Bob and I were working together and just started taking all the cabinets off on the left side, top and then bottom, and then switched to the right side top and then bottom. I wasn’t thinking ahead and should have just taken all the tops and kept in numerical order and then the bottoms in numerical order. Since we didn’t do that, I had to go back and count the cabinets inside and write myself a cheat sheet of what was top and bottom. Then, once I had it straight I separated it by the work areas.
I worked on the inside of the doors first. I used a brush to cut around the magnet on the doors. The rest I rolled. I used a small foam roller (labeled for doors and cabinets) for the sides, and then a full size roller for the door. I found this foam roller and it worked very well.
I used the same process on the white doors. I did two coats on the sides and insides, switching between the colors to allow dry time between coats.
After I got two coats on all the insides and sides of the doors, I went inside and started working on the frames. I’m a terribly messy painter, so I needed to tape everything surrounding the frames to not get paint on what wasn’t to be painted.
There was not much surface area for frames, but it did take much longer than I expected it to take since it was so tedious. After I got one coat on with each color, I went back outside and flipped the doors to begin painting the first coat on the outsides.
I had time left in the day to put a second coat on inside.
Then, it was time for me to quit for the day. Thursday evening, I returned and put a second and final coat on the outside of the doors.
I was very happy with the finish of the paint.
Friday, was the only day I didn’t work on this project, but Bob did. He began putting the knobs on the doors and reattaching them to the hinges. It was then that he discovered a problem. I had written down the door numbers correctly according to the paint colors, but I hadn’t followed my own notes. I painted two bottom doors in white instead of color. So, Saturday morning I had to work on those two doors to get them the correct color. I did that between preparing the drawers to be reassembled. I used a simple process to mark the drawers for the new holes to be drilled:
Step 1 – Lay handle on the sticky side of painters tape
Step 2 – Use a pen or pencil to poke holes through the tape where the screws go
Step 3 – Place the tape on the drawer and measure from the top to ensure that it is level, by having an equal distance to each hole. I also measured from the original center knob hole to each of the new marked holes to make sure the handle was centered left to right
Step 4 – Securely attach the tape based on correctly measured placement.
It worked very well. Bob just drilled directly through the holes and tape to make new holes for the handles. I painted the two doors in between our reassembly and we got everything put back in place on Saturday except for the two doors that needed dry time.
I should note that reassembly took much longer than we thought it would. The cabinets were so snug it was like a house of cards, you got one right and then went to put in the next and you would have to go back and readjust the other one.
Sunday morning, we returned and attached the last two doors and took our final pictures.
This project definitely resulted with what I had envisioned. Not only is my mother-in-law happy, but so am I.
I do want to note for anyone who is considering a similar project, you need many hours. And, however many hours you think it will take….double it. I was fortunate to have an entire day when I took off work, so I made a lot of progress in one day, but it was a solid 10 hours of work that day. I hope that the little details of the process will help someone else complete a kitchen makeover. I think we just opened a can of worms with this project though….now we are considering redoing the floors in her kitchen too.
Have you ever painted kitchen cabinets? Anyone considering a kitchen makeover?