Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The kitchen that was...then wasn't...and now finally is! PART TWO

If you are curious about the title of this blog post, I chose it because this kitchen redo almost wasn't, due to several problems I ran into. But as time went on, I was able to resolve the problems, thankfully. Not every project goes smoothly, but you learn so much from mistakes. I will discuss these later.

The kitchen cabinets. Just to refresh your memory, here is where we started!

I should start off by saying that there is no ONE way to paint cabinets. Every set of cabinets I have done for customers, I have done different almost every time. How you approach painting them depends on how you want them to look and function in your kitchen. For my own use, I needed a high level of durability, and wanted a glazed look rather than a distressed look for the finish.

First step we took is to remove the hardware and sand the cabinets to take the sheen down.
I chose not to take the doors off of the hinges on this project because they were pitted and old and I wanted to blend them into the cabinets rather than have them stand out.  Most of the time for customers, I do remove the hinges. But I used a Kilz primer spray to cover the hinges and get in the space between the hinges and the wood.  Above is a  pic of the cabinets primed, with brushed on Kilz (a quart) oil base primer.
Lightly sand in between the primer coat and the first coat of paint. I chose to use a semi gloss white, which can require more coats than a satin finish, but it's shinier and scrubbable. I applied two coats and sanded in between. For the glazing and antiquing I used a medium brown paint mixed 50/50 with glaze medium and applied it to the crevaces of the cabinet doors.  My goal was to keep the cabinets as bright as possible with using just enough glaze to antique it, but not make the cabinets look dirty. I kept the same hardware and just updated it with a bit of bronze Metallic spray paint and popped them back on. They look great with the bronze of the countertops!


I added a pop of color above the cabinets to play off of the fabric I selected for a valance. I love the bright colors in the material and plan on getting accessories that have those colors. And as you can see, I painted in a chalkboard above the sink area.  I love putting in surprises like that...and a chalkboard surprise behind the cabinet doors makes this kitchen fun.

So my cost of materials for this kitchen redo???

countertop paint  20.00
embossed wallpaper  20.00
polyurethane  12.00
metallic spray paint 5.00
bronze and copper glaze 10.00
spray primer 5.00
kilz primer 9.00
chalkboard paint 8.00
bronze metallic spray 5.00
 off white semi gloss 12.00

Well, if I had to do this kitchen again, I would do a couple things differently. The Countertop paint is very toxic and takes days upon days to dry, and still seems a bit touchy after that. I would make sure next time to sand the countertops nearly into annihilation first before putting any kind of paint on them. I also wonder if using just plain Kilz oil primer on those counters would have done just as well bonding, as it does when we use it on furniture, and then you can use any color paint after that.  I will have to try it out and compare the durability of both products.
I will not rush any steps, hence creating twice the work. Because I was doing the work for myself, I rushed through a few steps and paid for it later. Paint is paint, I cant control what it will do. But I can control myself and makes sure to do each step thoroughly. It will save time in the long run.
I will double the stated drying time on anything oil based, like the countertop paint and the polyurethane. And factor in the humidity outside. That made things dry sloooooowly.
The reason I called this the kitchen that "it almost wasn't" was because I almost felt like giving up on those kitchen counters and cabinets. I ran into problem after problem. but I hung in there with it and was persistent, and kept working the problem.
So to the victor go the spoils. It is done and it is lovely.
If you plan on doing this project yourself, it is worth it I believe. When you start off with a major league ugly kitchen, you can only go up from there. Just remember to take your time, and try not to lose momentum, which is what happens when we do home projects.
Hope you enjoyed this blog! And keep following us!


  1. I think they look fantastic...everything. I so want to paint my kitchen cabinets and also do my countertops. I bought kits to do the cabinets and afterward discovered that my cabinets are not solid wood like I thought but have an almost veneer coating to them...UGH! What would you do? Paint over anyway?

  2. Karin what do you charge to paint kitchen cabinets? Looking for someone to do ours and the kitchen is about this size. I can take photos. Could you email me? Sales@paperroo.com