In April 2014, when my daughter was just 2 months old and it was Easter weekend, I decided it was the perfect time to paint my builders grade oak kitchen cabinets. Because why not? Seemed like a good time to bite the bullet and do it. Before I could change my mind, and before the hubs got wind of my plans, I quickly removed the cabinet doors and got sanding. Like a ninja. I used the steps nicely laid out by this blog post. I thought I would share my 4 tips for painting cabinets and review how they have held up over time.
A few before photos…
And here we are, 2+ years later…
So how are the painted cabinets holding up? Great! I have been pretty happy with the results! There is only one place where the paint has worn and that is near the silverware drawer. The area above the drawer was where a knife was sticking up out of the drawer and rammed right into the cabinet. Then, there is one area that just plain stuck to the drawer and pulled off the base cabinet (see below).
Here are my tips for painting your cabinets:
Make sure you pick the right color. I was so excited to get to the painting, I did not really take the time to research my color choices. It was back when I did not realize that whites and greys had warm and cool tones to them. So after about 3 weeks of a disaster of a kitchen, sanding, priming, painting and sealing, I stood back and was a bit bummed by my color choice. Don’t get me wrong, I still thought it was 1 million times brighter and liked it way better than the oak, but I was not expecting to be disappointed after all that work. Since then, I have learned to embrace the cool tone I chose and roll with it.
Sanding is a pain but so important. It is really important to get that shiny layer off of your cabinets so your paint/primer can really adhere to the wood. So if you can stand it, sand, sand, sand!
Consider a sprayer. Like really consider a sprayer. It will save you loads of time. I used the old school brush and roller and it took FOREVER! A sprayer will take a fraction of the time, give you a more even coat and get into the grooves of the wood way better.
Don’t forget to seal! This may seem like a silly, unnecessary step but I assure you, it is not! I used clear Polycrylic, 1-2 thin coats, on our kitchen cabinets and there was only those 2 areas of wear after almost 2 1/2 years and tons of use. While our upstairs bathroom cabinets had much more wear after just barely 2 years (painted in August 2014) and no sealer.
*Polycrylic can ember or yellow. I put 1-2 VERY thin coats with a foam roller over my Dutch Boy Refresh paint and have NOT had any yellowing.
So those are my 4 tips on painting cabinets for those of you who are thinking about it. Hope this helps!