Update and refresh your dated kitchen cabinets with this step by step tutorial of how to prepare and paint your wood kitchen cabinets.
This kitchen project I am sharing is a little unique. This little cape-style home on the Connecticut shoreline has been the setting of my family’s story since my grandparents built in 1952. When they were no longer with us, the house became my mom’s. This home is full of wonderful memories. When I think of this place, I can’t help but smile.
A couple of years ago, I had to sell this home. My mom has Alzheimer’s Disease. With the level of care that my mom began to require, this house provided the resources that were needed to help my mom live a comfortable life. As difficult as it was for me, there is a silver lining to this story. My life-long friend, Lisa, a friend who is truly more like family, purchased the house. She had asked for my help in updating and decorating the home. Together, we added a more contemporary, coastal style, while honoring the home’s past.
With high ceilings and abundance of natural light, this eat-in kitchen had so much potential. The biggest change in updating the kitchen was painting the cabinets.
Here’s a look at how the space started out.
Materials Needed to Paint Wood Kitchen Cabinets
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- Krud Kutter Cleaner / Degreaser
- chemical resistant gloves
- cleaning rags
- lint-free cloth
- Frog Tape painter’s tape
- paint sprayer (I used Wagner’s Flexio 3000 Paint Sprayer)
- INSL-X Bonding Primer
- four inch foam roller and roller covers
- 1 inch angled high quality paint brush
- utility knife
- Benjamin Moore Advance Paint (I used White Dove for the upper cabinets and Stunning for the lower cabinets.) When choosing colors, Lisa ordered these wonderful peel and stick color samples from Benjamin Moore.
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Prepping and Cleaning the Kitchen Cabinet Frames and Door
The first thing I did was to sketch out a quick drawing of the kitchen layout. I numbered each cabinet, so I would be able to easily put it back together once it was finished.
I began my removing all of the hardware from the cabinets. Then I took all of the cabinet doors off, numbering and labeling them, using a piece of painter’s tape.
Next, you want to clean all of the cabinet doors and frames really well. I followed the directions on the bottle of Krud Kutter, while wearing chemical resistant gloves. Krud Kutter worked really well at getting off any grease and grime. Once the cabinet frames and doors were clean, I wiped everything down with a lint-free cloth. It is so important to take the time to properly clean and prepare the cabinets.
Next, I taped off the cabinet frames using Frog Tape painter’s tape.
Since I wasn’t working at my home, I had brought the doors back to my home to work in my garage. That way, I could work on them a little each day, giving at least 24 hours to dry between each step.
Priming the Kitchen Cabinet Frames and Doors
It was time to prime! I primed the cabinet frames and doors using INSL-X Bonding Primer. This product was a little pricier than other primers, but it was well worth the investment.
To prime the cabinet frames, I used a 1 inch angled brush to paint along the edges and a fine finish foam roller to paint the frames.
For the cabinet doors, I sprayed them, using my Wagner Flexio 3000 sprayer. This was a huge time saver and made them look so professional. You want to let them dry at least 24 hours before priming the opposite side. Once they are dry, wipe them with a lint-free cloth.
Painting the Kitchen Cabinet Frames and Doors
Now that the cabinets are cleaned, primed, and wiped again, it’s time to paint!
What paint should I use to paint my cabinets?
I chose to use Benjamin Moore’s Advance Paint. My children used to work at our local Ace Hardware and they both recommended this paint to me. This paint is self-leveling and dries to have a hard, durable finish. As it dries, it cures, so it does not require a top coat.
How do you achieve a smooth finish when painting cabinets?
Again, I used the paint sprayer and gave each door and cabinet frame three thin, even coats, giving 24 hours between each one to dry and cure. Using a fine finish foam roller and a high quality one-inch angled brush on the frames helped to achieve a smooth finish.
Add Hardware and Hang the Doors
Once the paint was cured, the doors were rehung and we added some new hardware. Lisa chose these classic brushed nickel knobs. I love the simple, timeless look of these.
I am absolutely amazed by the transformation of this kitchen. I love how light, bright, and fresh it feels, while maintaining the New England character and charm.
I am so incredibly grateful to Lisa for purchasing this home and for letting me share in its transformation and preservation. Thanks to her, it is a place that will continue to feel like home to me.
Thank you so much for visiting today! I would love to connect with you on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or here on the blog!
Wall color: Benjamin Moore: Stonington Gray
Cabinet colors: Benjamin Moore: White Dove (uppers) and Stunning (lowers)
Quartz counter tops: Pental Terreno
Floor Mat: Similar one linked here
Clock: Italian Pottery Style Lemon Wall Clock (The ivory is currently unavailable.)
The tile look is a sticker, ordered from the same company that I used for my bathroom floor tile stickers.