The Cabinets are painted!

Painted Cabinets

Painted Cabinets

Hello, gorgeous!  I am so happy this step is done!

There are a ton of posts that outline how to paint cabinets.  In no particular order, here are the one’s we consulted:

  • Young House Love – link
  • Better Homes and Gardens – link
  • This Old House – link
  • Curbly – link

We studied these four tutorials and then came up with our own variation.  I’d say if 1 is just rushing through it and getting it done and 10 is taking every single precaution and step to do it exactly correct, we we’re probably a 5 or a 6.  We learned a lot along the way about how to properly use deglosser and whose better at what jobs when splitting tasks.  Here is the basic rundown of our steps that we utilized:

  1. Remove all the doors and drawer-fronts and all of the hardware from them (like the pulls and hinges).
  2. TSP everything.  Really get that junk clean.
  3. Degloss.  Everything.  For more on what we learned about deglossing – see below.
  4. Fill in all knicks and the holes leftover from the pulls if you won’t be using them again.
  5. Sand.  Everything.  We used a high-grit (a 220 worked well for us) to just smooth everything out evenly.
  6. Wipe everything down really well.  Dust is enemy.  Dog hair is worse than dust.
  7. One thin THIN THIN coat of primer.
  8. Let the primer dry and cure overnight, then a very light sand over thin coat of primer.  Make sure its smooth.
  9. Wipe everything down really well.  Again dust and dog hair are baaad.
  10. Repeat 6-9.
  11. Once you are satisfied that your primer is properly cured (READ THE CAN), move on to painting.
  12. Paint the very first very thin coat.
  13. Follow your paint can on how long to wait until the second coat, then second coat on everything.
  14. Once your second coat is on, we gave it abou 20-24 hours to just sit and cure, then we mounted the doors.
  15. Attach new cabinet pulls/handles/etc.
  16. Enjoy.

So here are my caveats.


This was our first attempt at using deglosser.  Neither of us had a huge grasp of how deglosser really worked – until now.  For the cabinet doors that we started with, we just wiped it on and 15 minutes later we figured hey it must be done.  Just like the bottle said.  For the first doors we did, we didn’t do anything else.  We just started priming after we wiped post-deglossing.  For the cabinets, and for the second batch of doors we did, we implemented the sanding. HOWEVER, for the remaining cabinet and last door that we did not do with the first batch (this cabinet had been removed and left in the basement and we decided we’d hang it back up – so we just left it til last to do), we deglossed MULTIPLE times.  It turns out, there is a ton of gloss on these, and the more deglosser we use, the better the wood looked.  They ended up looking like bare wood when we were done.  We are actually still working on these remaining cabinets, so I will let you know if theres any difference in appearance in the finish.

Also, I will say that for the ones we did not sand between deglossing and priming, the primer was still a little tacky when we went to paint.  They sat for WEEKS and were still tacky.  I called the Behr hotline and the guy said it was fine.  The doors that were like this have been hanging in the kitchen for a couple of weeks now and I can’t tell the difference between them and the ones that were sanded.

The lesson?  Degloss multiple times THEN sand.  No matter what the bottle says.

Dog hair is the enemy.

I really have no speech on that.. but there are little tiny flecks of dog hair in our finish in some places.  Why?  Because our dogs shed so much we couldn’t control it.  It’s not really obvious unless you shove your face up to the exact spot where there is a piece.  And really theres only like 4 or 5 of them over the entire thing, so it could’ve been worse.

The lesson?  Shave your dogs before doing this.

Now on to what we used.

BEHR Premium Plus 1-Gal. Stain-Blocking Primer and Sealer Interior

BEHR Premium Plus 1-Gal. Stain-Blocking Primer and Sealer Interior

Our cabinets were gross.  We TSP’ed everything twice.  And if anybody has worked with TSP you know that stuff will remove your skin from your bones so dirt is no problem.  But we were still worried the grossness of them would come through the paint.  As a result, I made sure to buy a stain-blocking primer and sealer.  It did the trick.  Follow the directions on the can and if you have any questions, call the 1800 number on the can.  I did and they were awesome and helpful.


Behr paint in "Silver Drop"

Behr paint in “Silver Drop”

Even though we initially started out to get a dark grey cabinet, priming changed ur minds.  Weird, I know, but after seeing how bright and sunshiny the kitchen felt with the white primer, we wanted something lighter.  However, everybody painting everything white all of the time no matter what it is has really turned me off from white kitchen cabinets.  Plus, I had my heart set on grey.  So the compromise was a very light grey.  After the first coat, they looked white.  I was nervous.  I doubted how light I went.  But they look grey now and almost spot on to the color sample.  Heavenly.

This is the exact paint we bought – link.  We didn’t buy the paint+primer in once since we already primed.



Just for fun, lets look at the sidebyside for the before and after painted cabinets:

After painting, before painting

Side by side. After on the left, before on the right.

So here’s where we stand on that checklist of ours:

  • Prime, paint, and seal the cabinets. (we opted to not seal)
  • Buy new hardware and add it to the cabinets (duh)
  • Paint the walls and ceiling
  • Re-do the countertop (either paint or re-laminate)
  • Replace the floor
  • Finally finish installing the big light
  • Replace the under cabinet light
  • Find a permanent solution for the trash and recycle bins (on our way!)
  • Make the upper corner shelf open shelving (just have to add the shelves back in – more on that later)
  • Possibly replace the above-window light
  • Add some sort of curtains to the window and the door
  • Strip and repair the doors to the outside and to the basement
  • Paint the doors to the outside and the basement
  • Bright high glass white paint on the trim
  • Create a family command center on the big open wall that includes a calendar, mail center, meal planner, and anything else we may find useful.
  • Decorate.
  • Enjoy.

Stay tuned!

One thought on “The Cabinets are painted!

  1. Pingback: Ceiling Changes | 412 reasons to love

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