I received an e-mail from a reader inquiring about the process of painting my cabinets.

Here is what she said:

Hi Lakeitha,

My name is Carolyn, I found your blog today, and I must say " I enjoy it". I'm emailing you in hopes of getting some information on the process you followed when repainting your cabinets. I fell out of love with my kitchen cabinets a few years back, I can't afford to replace them, so a new coat of paint is my only option. Any feedback you can provide will be much appreciated. Here's a picture of my kitchen, the cabinets are a maple color (more like a soft pink)...so not me! Looking forward to hearing from you...thanks!


One of my biggest regrets about my cabinets is that I didn't take the time to document what I did. I hope that the information in this post give you a good idea of the steps taken to get my cabinets from this

To this

  1. Tell your husband that you know what you're doing
  2. If the first step does not work, wait until he goes to work the next day
  3. give your cabinets a good cleaning with mild soap to remove any build up from cooking (you know, any grease or whatever)
  4. Remove cabinet doors and number them(as you can see I don't have many cabinets so I didn't have to number mine). Also, I'm a little lazy and a lot impatient!
  5. Now it's time to sand. I sanded the "base" cabinets with sand paper sheets like these

as far as the grit of the paper, for this step I think I used 100 grit. For the doors I used this baby

6. I smoothed everything out and then used a damp towel to clean up the dust.

7. After you have sanded all of the surfaces, its time to prime

8. As far as primer, I swear by this brand

( A lot of people use Kilz, but I'm a Zinsser Kind of Gal!)

9. When priming, it's good to let the primer dry completely before starting a new coat and sanding between coats.


(These are the exact tools I use)

I can not stress that enough. Sponge rollers are your friends (No ladies, not the kind for your hair!).

11. Now remember when I said sand between coats of primer? That is to also ensure a smooth coat. And for that you should use a finer grit like 220 or so

12. After your second coat of primer is dry and you've given your cabinets and doors a light sanding then it's time to paint!

13. I use semi-gloss on my cabinets because its easy to clean. Applying the paint requires the same technique as priming. Apply 1 coat with sponge roller and brush if needed. lightly sand after its dry, and then do a second coat and let it completely dry and your done!

***********DRY TIME FOR ME IS AT LEAST 24 HOURS************

I really hope this helps. It's easier than people may think, but it is time consuming when you already have 3 boys (5 and under) running around wanting to "help"! I would say that my project could have been a week long project, but when you add in being a stay at home mom and a husband who is really not into the DIY thing, it took me a month. But, looking back at the before and after I would do it again!

So what do you think? Is there any other information that would help her out? Come on guys put it out there!!!

Thanks Carolyn for your email!


Dayka said...

There is also a product that is like a liquid sandpaper, and it will "rough up" the cabinets if she doesn't want to sand them by hand. I would also add, think long and hard about painting the inside, and if you want it done, do it while everything else is going on, otherwise you'll never go back!

Isabella & Max Rooms said...

Great instructions and I love your humor! Janell

Symone's Mommy said...

Great post!

Erika @ BluLabel Bungalow said...

Very thorough! Your cabinets look lovely...you should be proud!

Anonymous said...

For me this would be a really ambitious project. I'm downsizing my living space and my new place has really old cabinets. It certainly could use a new coat of paint..maybe 10! Thanks for sharing.

Riviera Boardwalk said...

Oh' girl, I have so much to say to you! First of all I sooooo wanted to be your number 100 follower. Guess I got close enough. If you want, visit my blog and sign up too if you like.
Secondly, I love the pic of your home. I had to sell mine and size way down. I have lung cancer and am taking chemo and trying to raise a 17 yr. old grandaughter.
Thirdly, I would give anything to have my "push water" back and energy so that I could paint my kitchen cabinets white. There was a time when I could stay up all night working on home projects and work all day at my job. It is so hard to come to terms with finding it easy to fall and not have what it takes to get my jobs done. it is raining here and I have a roof leak so I am going to have to tell my land lord and am going to ask him to paint the kitchen for me but I know he will say no. Last month my stove caught on fire and he had to replace it so I cannot be his favorite renter!!!! You go girl, go!

Brooke said...

I say paint your kitchen cabinets BLACK! it would look great as you mentioned in a previous post to another blogger. It is so spacious. I want to paint mine but HomeDepot keeps saying no way JOSE! LOVE all that you do with your home!

BellaLovesPink said...

This is just what I needed to see! I totally want to paint our kitchen cabinets, but didn't have a clue where to begin; this is SO unbelievably helpful.



Holly said...

This is great info. I am on the fence about painting on my own or not. I know I can do it..it is just the time...I have a 2 year old helper. Really good advice and something to think about.