Wendy Lee - Artist | DIY-er | Sun-Worshiper

Blog Ramblings

The life of an ADD Graphic Artist and all around creative Gemini.

Kitchen Reno - DIY Cabinet Rehab Addtion!

Its been a while since I posted any DIY projects! Last weekend I spent all day Saturday finally re-painting my kitchen cabinets. About a year ago I thought it would be a great idea to paint them all from the boring cream color to a fun turquoise blue with rustic gray shining through. It was a great idea since we were not planning on moving at that time. I painted all of the top cabinets, took me forever, winter came and then I gave up on them.

Well within that year we have decided that we are going to move and that this house is going to go back up on the market. First thing on the list of home updates, be gone with the blue cabinets! It was a fun idea for me if we were going to stay in this house, but its not a color for everyone, and it could make it a harder sell. Most people don't want to be re-painting cabinets like I did so I figured a nice light gray would be better then the blue or the other boring cream cabinets that were left unpainted.

This took me all day Saturday and I mean ALL DAY! From 1030am until the very last door was back up at 10pm! OK so I started late and technically its not all day but a good 12 hours. 

Below is the before, half blue and half cream kitchen.

If you have cabinets you want to re-paint or re-do here's are the steps I took and what you need.

Things you will need:

• Nitrile gloves - suitable for chemicals
• Clean white rags - lint / dust free a must!
• Liquid Sander  / De Glosser
• Fine grit sanding block
• Primer in one cabinet paint.. I happen to like the Valspar brand
• Paint Brushes
• Small roller (they make cabinet rollers)
• Paint bucket
• Paint tray
• Some kind of surface cleaner - I used Windex / vinegar based

First things first - you have to take all the doors off the cabinets. I highly recommend taking all hinges and door knobs/ handles off too... it just makes it a whole lot easier to paint.  When it comes to drawers, if yours come out I suggest taking them out too. Mine did not since they are custom built cabinets and they are bolted in. I had to work around that. 
PS.... power drill! It's a whole lot faster than the conventional screwdriver. LOL  I know this because the first half of the day I did not have a power drill available to me. My husband had it in his work truck.
Once you get all the doors off here's the tedious part.

  1. Clean all doors, cabinets and draws down with your surface cleaner. Make sure its completely  dry before going on to the next step.
  2. Give each cabinet, door and draw a quick light sanding with a fine grit block.
  3. Put on your nitirle gloves and grab some your rags. Saturate the rags with liquid sander and wipe down the doors cabinets and draws. PLEASE make sure you follow the directions on your specific container of sander / de glosser! everyone brand is slightly different.
  4. Let those dry for about 15 mins. (or whatever is recommend on the back of your container)  You might have to go over and do it one more time depending on how glossy your cabinets are.
  5. Get your paint ready! I poured a little paint in my hand bucket and some paint in a small tray.  I started with a brush first since my cabinet doors have raised molding. I wanted to make sure I got into all the little cracks and corners.  I painted the whole thing with a good base of paint, then took the small paint roller to smooth out the edges and center portion of the cabinet door.   I started with all the doors fronts one by one and put them aside to dry. Once that side was dry I flipped them over and painted all the backs.

A glass of wine comes in handy when you are doing these kinds of things.... :)

Now paint takes a little bit to dry so depending on how humid cold or dry it is in your house it might vary.  My house happened to be cool and dry that day so the paint dried quickly.  Just make sure the paint is not tacky when you go to flip the door over and paint the opposite side! As I was waiting for all the cabinet door tops to dry I  started with my brush on the actual cabinets! Again going back over with a roller to smooth out any brush strokes. 

If you can I would let everything dry overnight but if you're like me.... impatient a bit and wanting things done now you can opt for fans. I had fans blowing and air flowing to dry those cabinets faster!  I screwed in all the handles and hinges back on and by 10PM I had my last door hung back on the cabinets!

PS drink lots of water, take breaks and make sure you open windows... de glosser fumes mixed with paint fumes cant make you dizzy. 

Here is a quick pic from Sat night after after the last door was put back on!...

Whats coming up this weekend??!  New tile kitchen floors!  blog post to come next week. Here's a quick preview of what tile looks like.  Then at some point replacing that terrible tile counter top as well.

Have any questions? feel free to email me! Good luck and enjoy! :)