When we decided to buy this house, I knew two things- the kitchen needed to be renovated and that I didn’t have enough money to pay for that renovation. What’s a girl to do besides an affordable DIY alternative? So instead of tearing out all of the cabinets and appliances (like I’d love to do), the kitchen is getting a painted makeover.
Here’s what fun about this- I think there are A LOT of people out there who hate their kitchen but don’t have the budget or don’t want to tear apart their kitchen. My idea is to share how to do a full transformation with as little money as possible! Of course, that means more work, but that’s ok. I’ll take one for the team! 😉
As you may know, I’ve been doing everything humanly possible to complete a budget friendly kitchen remodel. I started by painting the fridge pink, next I even attempted to to redo my counter tops with a coat of paint, the backsplash got some peel and stick tile, I installed open shelving, and updated the hardware.
Let’s get to it!
As you can see, the room was dark with wood everything. It was no bueno to my light and bright decor loving self!
how to paint kitchen cabinets
Let’s start with the video tutorial so you get an overview on what I did. Then, I’ll dive in with more details below:If the video doesn’t work here, you can watch it on YouTube here. P.s. I’m trying to build that page up, so if you’d subscribe, I’d really appreciate that!
- sea green chalk paint (uppers) – 2- 32oz containers
- fluff chalk paint (lowers) – 1 galloon
- Gator Hide top coat – 1 – 32 oz. container
- blue sponge to apply the top coat
- paint brush
- sanding block
- sand paper
- caulk gun
- painters tape
- cabinet hardware template
step one- clean your cabinets
Use a sponge and some cleaner and clean everywhere you’ll be painting. Rinse with warm water. Remember, proper prep will make the finish look beautiful and last longer.
label your cabinet doors and drawers
Use some painter’s tape to label your doors and drawers. Make sure to mark where your hinges hit the cabinet box with a pencil. This will help so that when the doors go back on they are straight. Things will be much easier to assemble this way! Next, use a drill to take the cabinet doors off.
tape glass on cabinets
The glass on my upper cabinet doors are curved. I simply used my painter’s tape and moved it with the curve to get coverage. I still got a little paint/top coat on the glass and it was a pain to scratch off! So I’d definitely suggest to tape!
start painting the frame of your cabinets
For this step, I used a paint brush and painted the frame of my cabinets. I didn’t even empty the cabinets!
paint the cabinet doors and drawer fronts
I laid a drop cloth down in my kitchen and then started painting the cabinet drawers and door fronts. I loved having everything close by so I could do a coat on everything, and then go back for a second coat when it was dry. The beauty of chalk paint is that it dries quickly!
Side note, I spoke to a friend who used latex paint to paint her cabinets. She said she let them dry for 3 weeks to harden! I was able to assemble and start using the cabinets the night I started this project! If you have questions on what chalk paint is, I have a full blog post here called Chalk Paint 101.
After just painting cabinets with latex paint, I 100% recommend going with chalk paint! The reason being is that the dry time is sooooooo quick! By the time I finished the cabinet box and the drawers/doors, it was dry enough to start in on the second coat. You can go here to see my whole breakdown on the pros and cons of latex paint vs. chalk paint.
For both the lower and upper cabinets, whenever there was a paint drip I used my sanding block to clean it up between coats. When I was little and loved to sew, my mom said that ironing and trimming your strings was the trick to a professional project. For DIY, its caulk and sanding! It takes time, but looks soooo much better!
put on your finish coat
Do this before you put your drawers in :). For the last step, apply the top coat. This adds a slight sheen and really protects your cabinets so they’ll stand up to all the wear and tear a kitchen gets. Make sure to apply it in a thin layer (or it might yellow your finish). I’m fully confident the paint will preform well! I’ll keep you posted though.
assemble your kitchen cabinets and clean up
Use your drill and put the cabinet doors back on after the top coat has dried for a few hours.
The finish on the cabinets is beautiful. You can see a little bit of brush marks, but it’s pretty smooth. I got the request to post some close-ups of the finish so you can see it-
Update- if you’re wondering how these countertops are wearing/any regrets, check out this post.
I thought I’d celebrate being DONE with the cabinets by styling one section in rainbow colors. I had some of the pieces, but wanted more. I spent about $15 at the thrift store and scored some great colorful glass pieces! I love, love how this section came together and now I want to do the other side!
after- my painted cabinets
Alright! So there are the finished painted cabinets! What do you think? I like how much lighter and brighter they are! The color is perfectly my style and I can’t wait until the whole room in complete. P.s. you might have a sneak peek of tomorrow’s project on the video- tiling behind the stove. Stay tuned!
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