I’m a sucker for painted cabinets. I never understand those people on House Hunters who declare their hatred for white kitchen cabinets. That’s about when I turn the channel.
I have painted my kitchen cabinets in my last three homes. And I’d do it again every single time. It’s worth it.
Friends walk into my kitchen and are always curious about painting their own kitchen cabinets. They ask about every detail. What kind of special paint did I use? How much sanding did it take? Was it messy? Did it take forever? Did I use a sprayer? and on and on. I think people have this idea that painting kitchen cabinets is a huge ordeal. It’s really not.
I’m fairly lazy when it comes to painting prep, I just want to get to the good part. With all of my kitchen cabinet makeovers I did very little sanding of the cabinets. I used regular old latex paint in semi-gloss (allows you to wipe it down). I always clean the cabinets with T.S.P., do one coat of primer, and 2 coats of paint. And I never sand in between the coats of paint. The hardest part is taking all the doors and hinges off (labeling them) and then having to reinstall them all. But the painting part really isn’t that hard.
My first two kitchens were pre children. Before plasma cars and hockey sticks made a daily appearance in my kitchen. Those cabinets never had a dent or scratch on them. Even a tiny splatter of spaghetti sauce was wiped off within seconds of ever landing on a cabinet door.
This time my kitchen has met its match. My current kitchen is a whole other level of dirty. Sometimes I’m amazed our house is even still standing. My husband and I joke that there’s no point in cleaning. We’ll just burn the house down when the boys move out.
I painted these cabinets almost four years ago. And they held up pretty well for the first two years. But now they are starting to show some wear. I think our biggest problem is that each of our doors and drawers still have child proof locks on them. So every time we open them we have to put our hands on the actual door and not the knob.
The cutlery drawer takes the most abuse.
The cabinets directly below my sink have also seen more wear than other areas. This area gets wiped down a lot more often.
Good news is that these scratches are easy to fix. I just sanded the area down a bit, just to get it smooth. And repainted. I did have to repaint the entire front of that door or drawer front. But it takes only a few minutes to do so and I didn’t even take them off the hinges to do it.
That’s what I love most about painted cabinets. You can easily fix anything with a coat of paint. Before I painted this kitchen the dated honey oak cabinets had water damage in a few areas. And that’s impossible to hide.
I’m getting ready to paint the cabinets again. I’m thinking more of a grey than a blue.
1. I’m going to buy the best primer I can find, and I’ll do two coats of primer this time.
2. Clean the cabinets with something like T.S.P. really well. Last time I was pretty lazy with this.
3. I’ll still do it in phases. I picked one week to do the upper cabinets on the left side, the next week I did the lower cabinets on the left side etc. Especially with kids this makes a big difference.
4. With little kids in the house I think I will always keep my lower cabinets dark and the uppers white. The dark paint really does hide those little finger prints.
5. And the biggest change I would make is using a topcoat of Minwax water-based Polycrylic. I’ve used this product on painted furniture and it’s been great. But first test it on a small area to be sure it doesn’t yellow (if using white paint).
For just a couple of hundred dollars you can completely change the look of your kitchen. I find it makes cooking food for kids who never eat anything way more enjoyable.
I promise you can’t possible regret it.