Kitchen Cabinet Redo

Thursday, February 13, 2014

It's snowing in NC
Which for most people here, means they can't get anything done
For me, it means I have finished my kitchen cabinet redo.

Here's some of the before:

I didn't mind the cabinets that much...
I just didn't love that the color of them were so close to the floor color.
Although you can't really tell in these pictures
The tan on the walls was a pinky-tan. Also not my favorite.

Step one was actually painting all the walls… in the entire house.
Robert and I almost didn't make it.

For anyone contemplating their own cabinet redo,
This is how I did mine:


This is a step a lot of people think they can skip, 
but if you want the cabinets to look their best, you shouldn't skip this. 

I don't know why this picture won't flip right side up…
But I used a Dremel tool to sand the part of the cabinet connected to the walls.
I used a slightly bigger sander to sand the flatter parts on the cabinet doors
And then sanded the crevices by hand.
Make sure you wipe off the dust.
If your rag is wet, give it time to dry before painting. 

***you may want or need to clean the cabinets first
There was a lot of grease on some of the cabinets
so I used an all purpose vinegar based cleaner and a rough sponge to clean off before sanding. 
You will end up messing up your sander with the grease if you don't
Or worse, you will just end up sanding the grease and not your cabinets. 

Once the sanding was done
I used some saw horses and boards and laid the cabinets out in my living room
As you can see some of the finish is removed from the cabinets.
This is actually okay.
You shouldn't strive to remove ALL of the stain 
but you want to give the paint a good surface to stick to


I picked a Valspar paint+primer called FoxTrot in a semi-gloss texture
It's an off white ish color.
My countertops being the tan stone, I thought white might be too much contrast.

I taped up the cabinets attached to the wall and painted them first.
I chose not to paint the inside of the cabinets, mostly for convenience.
The picture below was taken the night before we moved in so I needed the cabinets useable
and it didn't bother me.

As you can see one coat didn't cut it.
I ended up doing three coats to get an even coverage. 

Next: I moved on to the cabinet doors

This is after coat 2. A third coat on these was more than necessary. 


Once the paint was sufficiently dry I proceeded to glaze the cabinets.
Lowe's has a "mocha" glaze by Valspar that worked perfectly.
If you're only antiquing, a little goes a long way.

I put it on, not really thick, but not thin either.
I started wiping it up with a damp paper towel
But I found that it worked better to wipe the bigger "globs" with a dry wash cloth
Then wipe up edges with the damp paper towel. 

I let the glaze dry for around 3 days.
The bottle recommends a full week but I assumed that was just for people who used it to glaze their entire cabinets. I just antiqued them so I figured less time was okay but you should make sure its completely dry before applying a sealer. 

The glaze didn't stick in the cracks of the drawers
so I ended up having to paint the lines on the edges and just cleaning up a little
You can see how that looks a little further down in the post.


This is the step that I don't think is worth skipping, but you could if you really wanted to. 
I used a polyurethane, semi-gloss in a can. I bought it at Lowe's.
I brushed it on with a foam brush.
It took a little longer than the proposed 4 hours for each coat to dry.
I recommend two coats on each side. 

*** Please see the update for this post (soon to be published) and do NOT use polyurethane unless you want your cabinets to turn the color 40 years worth of coffee and cigarettes turns teeth.  

Put It All Together

We ended up keeping the old hinges
We tried to replace some of the hinges in the half bath 
And after having to re-drill EVERY hole I didn't want to go through that again.
I actually think it looks fine:

I picked black handles that looked like they had been antiqued too
I picked up an all black handle first but I thought it was too harsh
I am much happier with this. 

and… ta-da!

It's hard to really see how crazy the transformation is when the pictures aren't side by side 

I am so happy with this transformation!
Thank God for snow days that allow me to have a complete kitchen!

I still might change out the mats to a brighter color
I am looking into islands or cabinets for the opposite wall
so there will probably be an update one day…

Until then, hope everyone is enjoying their snow day and staying safe and warm.

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