Art For Your Walls, Decor For Your Home: White Kitchen Cabinets Makeover

This is a project we finished in December last year and I didn’t have a a chance to share it with you all.
Our kitchen cabinets are oak, good condition and good layout( I didn’t say perfect), but the finish had gone orange and ugly. Remember the 80’s? Yep, that’s exactly how they looked:


You know that oak is grainy, mine however wasn’t heavily grained, so I decided to try painting the kitchen cabinets myself.

Half of the project happened in our garage for the doors and drawers, and the other half( for the frame) in the kitchen itself, of course.

To get a professional finish I decided use Sherwin Williams Enamel Latex Primer and Sherwin Williams ProClassic Interior Acrylic Latex Enamel paint, semi-gloss.

For color, I went with Sherwin Williams Snowbound: a creamy white, not too yellow, but not a stark white either.

Step 1. Remove doors, drawers( and any hardware attached to them)
You ( and especially your family) want to have a functioning kitchen, so leave the contents of the drawers in the cubby holes created. They are loose, in plain view, but hey, they’re still usable for the month to come 🙂 !
Remember; you want to survive this reno!!


Step 2. Clean them( drawers & doors) thoroughly. I used old trusted TSP spray cleaner. Let them dry.

Step 3. Sand drawers and doors. My Sherwin Enamel Latex Primer specified that glossy surfaces should be sanded dull, to get an “exceptional adhesion”. So I did sand them along the grain of the wood. Then all of them got cleaned: back and front.It took some time, but it’s not the most time consuming part of the job.
Here there are my pantry doors being sanded:


Step 4. Paint drawers and doors: this is the worst part of the project( and I’m not lying: it involves painting on and on and on…).
Each drawer and door need to be painted with primer twice, for back and front. AND, after that , each drawer and door needs to be painted with paint twice back and twice front. I have 33 doors and 13 drawers( including the pantry), so the whole “assembly line” happened in the garage.

Step 5. Use tape to protect the walls and surfaces you don’t want painted and repeat steps 1, 2, 3 and 4 for the frame.
Now it’s a good time to get repaired nicks and fill any gaps you might have in the frame, using some wood filler.


After all the painting was done, I attached new hardware, as the drawers and doors didn’t have pulls and knobs.

This is the final result with everything back in place:


I will leave for another post how I gave some depth to the peninsula by adding molding, changed the old rolling doors below the sink with new ones to match the rest and replaced the wooden hood!

Few tips I learned along the way:

always start with the back of the door for both priming and painting; you want to end up with a perfect painted front door; if any marks would happen, they would happen on the back of the doors
follow manufacturers instruction for drying time. If it says it takes 5 days to cure, let it be 5 days. You cannot rush the process, or you would end up with nicks and marks in the paint.
use quality primer and paint. Sherwin Williams cost more but it was worth every penny. This paint levels so nice and it covers very well; and that was important as I used both brush and rollers. the finish is hard and resistant to every day use.
be prepared to have a mess in your kitchen for a month( give or take few days, depending on your daily schedule 🙂 – steps are easy, but the whole process is so time consuming! img_0765-8693619

And another BEFORE and AFTER:

painted-kitchen-cabinets-01-4550871 img_0748-3619647 How did your kitchen cabinets makeover go?

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