Kitchen

Lighter, Brighter Kitchen Part 2: Cabinet Makeover Complete and a step-by-step breakdown!

If you follow me on Instagram and if you read my last post, you know we have been working hard to update our kitchen with some paint on our orangey-brown cabinets and a fresh coat of paint on the walls and ceiling. Well...we are FINALLY done! Someday I hope to replace our countertops and install subway tile backsplash, but for now, I am calling Phase 1 complete. There are so many cabinet painting tutorials on the web (my favorite is Young House Love here) that I won't spend too long detailing every little thing. I will say that it took me much longer than I expected...and it was more difficult than I hoped. But, in the end, I'm SO happy with the results. We recently had some friends have their cabinets professionally painted, and I think mine look almost just as good!

Tools I used: Orbital Sander (we have this one) Sanding block (medium grit) Foam rollers 2" Angled Brush HomeRight Finish Max Paint Sprayer (see here) Liquid Deglosser Zinnser 1-2-3 Primer Benjamin Moore Advance Paint in Cloud White Dropcloths Construction Paper

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Step 1: Remove All Cabinet drawers and doors from boxes We used dropcloths to turn the office right off the kitchen into a painting studio and I used plastic cups to set all the doors up off the ground. you want them to sit on top of something so they don't stick to the ground.

Step 2: Sand away!

Some people don't sand...they just prime and paint. Some people just paint. Some people just sand and paint. We decided to do all three. I want this finish to last! So I sanded all the cabinet boxes and backs and fronts of the doors with a medium grit sandpaper to rough it up and remove the varnish. Then I wiped everything down with a liquid deglosser that I bought at Lowe's.

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Step 3: Prime time The final pre-painting step is to prime everything. I rolled the primer onto the boxes with a small smooth foam roller, and it took two coats. The paint sprayer uses more paint and generally requires fewer coats, so I did one coat of primer on each side of the doors. Here was my method for spraying. Always spray/paint the backs of the doors first so that if there are any drips you can fix them on the front before you paint it. The backs don't matter as much. With the sprayer, I would pick up a door and set it upright along a piece of paper or my old work chair and spray it and set it back down flat on the ground to dry before picking up another door and setting it upright. You can't use the sprayer at a 90 degree angle, and it's best to let the doors dry flat so the drips don't run vertically. I did a coat of primer on the back,  let it dry the amount of time listed on the can, and then flipped all the doors over and did the fronts.

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Step 4: Paint. I am a cheap paint girl. I have had great success with Olympic One from Lowe's, and I generally color match my Benjamin Moore or Sherwin William's colors to the cheaper paint, but for cabinets, I did not want to mess around. I wanted them to have a factory finish that lasts. So I splurged on the recommended Benjamin Moore Advance Paint for $50 a gallon, and it was worth every penny. This is an alkyd paint which I understand means that it has an oil-based finish with a water-based cleanup. It is recommended by so many people for cabinets. It is self-leveling and really did give us a factory finish.

It took 3 coats of paint on the boxes and two coats with the sprayer on the doors. I actually pulled out the sprayer in the kitchen and sprayed the sides of the boxes for the final coat, but be careful when spraying vertically to watch for drips for about 10 minutes after the coat.

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The thing about this paint is that it has a LONG cure time. Read the back of the can, but I waited a full day in between coats to be extra careful, so this painting process took me about a week. Once again, I did the backs of the doors first and then the fronts. And here is my assessment of using a sprayer. The finish was WORTH IT. I would use a sprayer again, but I would do it better now knowing a couple things.

First, WATCH FOR DRIPS, and don't look too closely at the edges of a few of my cabinet doors. I couldn't avoid all the drips, and I should have watched more carefully.

Secondly, the sprayer is messier than you think. Often I didn't realize how much overspray I was really getting until I turned around and my Keurig Coffee Maker was covered in white spots. Yes...we have a few souvenirs of white speckles of paint around our office and kitchen now. I covered areas directly around me, but I should have been more meticulous.

Thirdly, you need a big space. The office was NOT big enough for my 24 doors, and I messed things up a couple times tripping over doors or knocking them over. We currently don't have a garage, however, and it was the best space I had.

In the end, the sprayer gave everything such a smooth finish, and it was worth the hassle!

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Step 5: Hardware

We didn't have hardware before, so I started from scratch in drilling the holes. We ordered our hardware from Build.com (half the price of Home Depot or Lowe's), and we bought a hardware installation template to install the knobs and pulls. Adding hardware adds SUCH a higher end look.

Step 6: Shiplap

For a little more custom detail, we installed 5" shiplap around the back of the peninsula. I love the interest it adds!

Step 7: Lighting

We replaced the track lighting in the main part of the kitchen with recessed LED lights, and we replaced the recessed lights over the island with pendants from Lowe's!

Are you ready for the final reveal?? SO excited to show off this room!

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A little reminder of "before" Ta da!

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Sources: Wall paint: Stonington Gray by Benjamin Moore at 50% strength Cabinet Paint: Cloud White by Benjamin Moore Cabinet Hardware: Build.com Pendant lighting: Lowe's Recessed LED lights: Home Depot Kitchen Table Pendant Lantern: World Market Kitchen Table: World Market Kitchen Chairs: Craigslist Kitchen Cart: DIY from an antique desk Metal Wall Art: Magnolia Homes Hanging plates: Various thrift stores and Home Goods

Kitchen Carts Are a Girl's Best Friend

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Friday was my birthday. Jeremy really made it a birthday week. The Saturday before, we spent the day in the country and had some really relaxing quality time and ate some amazing farm fresh food. The Monday after, we had a double date with some dear friends. Then on my actual birthday, I got pedicures with a best friend in the afternoon and then came home in the evening to a clean house, a sweet husband, and the coolest birthday gift I've ever received. I present...my new kitchen cart.

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When Jeremy and I were in Chattanooga, TN in June, we popped into a couple of antique stores (one of our favorite pastimes), and we stumbled across this adorable antique desk, and I said it would be the perfect size for a kitchen cart. Little did I know, Jeremy went back later without me and bought it and brought it home and hid it somewhere for nearly two months. Then he built a base for it and put it on wheels and created the coolest kitchen cart I've ever seen! I came home from work on my birthday to find it in my kitchen, and I gasped. My love language is gifts, and the fact that he put so much thought, creativity, and work into something for me was so special. Four years ago, my birthday present was a diamond ring on my finger, so that's hard to beat, but this gift was definitely a favorite! Also, it's gonna look so good in our newly painted white kitchen (that update to come soon!) The kitchen looks nothing like these photos right now...it's a lot brighter, whiter, and messier at the moment.