I shared a little bit about this on Friday, but I’ve been working on painting our upstairs bathroom cabinet. Yeah, I know that we’ve got big plans for the condo and especially for the kitchen, but those plans are delayed until next month so I looked at what else was on the to do list and decided that since we have time, it would be a good idea to paint the upstairs bathroom cabinet. See, I was really nervous about painting all of our kitchen cabinets. When I did them over 4 years ago, it was a massive undertaking and I used oil based paint and it was just a big, ugly project. I wanted to get some practice painting over the oil based paint with latex and I thought that if I’m going to mess up a project, better to do it on one small cabinet than a dozen-plus kitchen cabinets.
So I did some research, gathered my supplies, and got to work. Here’s what I was starting with -
About four years ago I painted the cabinets just like the kitchen cabinets except with brown instead of black. The logic was that I didn’t want all white because it wouldn’t look right with the beige counter, but I didn’t want all brown because it would be too dark. Thus I rationalized the two-toned cabinets. Over the last few years, I’ve liked them less and less and since we were already going to undertake painting all of the kitchen cabinets, I thought this would be a great trial run!
If you don’t follow Ugly Duckling House, you definitely should start. Sarah is funny and always has fantastic blow-by-blow recaps of her projects. Last fall she painted her kitchen cabinets and I pinned her posts for reference. Here posts about prepping, priming (here and here), and painting her kitchen cabinets were incredibly helpful in the whole process.
Here’s a recap of my experience repainting the cabinets -
1. I removed the cabinet doors from the base by unscrewing the hinges. (Obvious, I know. I’m just being thorough.)
2. I wiped down the cabinet and doors with TSP substitute. I used this one from Amazon and followed the instructions; basically – just spray a cloth with the cleaner, spray the cleaner onto the surface, wipe with dampened cloth, wipe with clean cloth and let stand for 10 minutes. It did a great job of cleaning the cabinets but also de-glossing the paint to get it closer to being ready to paint.
3. I sanded the cabinet and doors – first with 80 grit and then with 120 grit.
4. I wiped everything down with the Krud Kutter again to remove the sanded dust. When I was done with that step the surfaces were ready for paint! This is what the doors looked like -
6. I painted all of the surfaces in Mt. Rainier Gray. I had this color-matched at Lowe’s to their Valspar Signature paint in semi-gloss. I was going to use Rustoleum Painter’s Touch based on my mother-in-law’s recommendation but they didn’t have it at Lowe’s. Overall I was really happy with the paint! The color was much more baby blue than we were hoping it would be, but we really like it in the bathroom and it brings a nice bit of color.
7. When the paint had dried, I reattached the hinges and put the doors back up. I kept the cabinet doors open for a few more days to let the paint cure and so far we haven’t had any problems!
So here is the finished cabinet -
We’re so pleased with the painted cabinets so far! With the steps that I took, the oil-based paint was covered up and the latex paint hasn’t shown any signs of chipping or scratching.
Here are a few lessons that I’m glad I learned before we tackle the kitchen:
1. We don’t love the Mt. Rainier Gray for the whole kitchen. It’s pretty in the bathroom but it’s really bluer than we thought. We’re going to pick out something gray-er and we’re both feeling good about that.
2. When I paint the cabinet doors I should start with the back and then flip to the front. On the bathroom cabinet doors, I started on the front and then flipped them over to paint the back; I ran into a few drips and imperfections this way so hopefully the change will be an improvement. I’m also going to buy some painter’s triangles to make it easier.
3. Painting in different directions (horizontal on the top and bottom cross-pieces) is the worst part. For the kitchen, I’ve decided to keep going vertical even though that means going against the grain on those smaller pieces. I don’t think that it will be very noticeable and I think it will save a lot of time.
Have any of you ever painted a cabinet? Or painted over oil-based paint with latex paint?
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