Its amazing the dramatic difference a can of paint can make. That is a can of paint, a power sander, primer, paint brushes, drop cloths and some labor of course. My landlord gave me the go ahead to transform my ancient stained kitchen cabinets to white painted pristine. My dad was also so generous to fly up from Texas and help me out. So over the course of 4 days (it could have been 2 though – read below) we transformed the dull dingy kitchen to a happy bright space. It really looks like we installed more lights!
Here are some tips for a successful kitchen cabinet paint job -
1. Get brush-outs of your paint samples. The paint chips at the paint store are not actual paint, so therefore there can be (and will be) color variances. Having a brush-out will give you an accurate picture of what color you are looking at.
2. ***THIS STEP IS KEY*** Once you have selected your paint color from your brush-out samples, order the paint and have them BRUSH OUT YOUR ACTUAL PAINT. This simple step can save you soooo much time. We spent two days getting an excellent paint job on our cabinets. We left for dinner to let them dry, came back and started putting in drawers and holding up the cabinets to get a sneak peak on the final picture. Once we held them up it was VERY apparent that we had the wrong color. We then painted some of our quart of paint to our original brush-out and sure enough the paint store had mixed it wrong. This color was incredibly blue compared to the color we had selected. So we had to spend an extra two days applying the correct paint color to the cabinets. So please please have the paint store brush out the actual paint so you can compare it to your sample brush out.
3. Employ the use of a power sander. You can get one for around $80. Using a power sander will not only make the sanding process go incredibly faster, but also more evenly and uniform. We used 180 grit to remove the original varnish and 360 grit in between coats of paint. We took the cabinets off, sanded, then primed them. Don’t skip sanding.
4. Label your cabinets so you know where they go when its time to put the puzzle back together.
5. Prime. We primed before putting the first shade of white on, but even when we discovered that we had the wrong shade of white we should have primed again. This again would have made our lives easier.
6. Sand in between coats of paint – this will ensure an even smooth coverage with no brush strokes.
7. Use foam brushes. These gave us more control than a roller and didn’t leave the brush marks that a bristle brush would have.
So finally, here are the before and after pictures! The color we used was Benjamin Moore Affinity A-5 Frostine in semi-gloss. It took less than 2 quarts of paint to get 3-4 coats of paint on.
you can see just how beat up these cabinets are
the picture is taken at the same time of day with the same camera settings – look how bright!