Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Whiter and Brighter, Re-Painting Our Cabinets


I finally lit the fire under my ass and started painting cabinets.  I started with our guest bath vanity to test out the paint I wanted to use and my process.  I really didn't want to invest the time into doing the kitchen if it was going to easily chip, scratch, or peel.


I painted the vanity BM Black Iron.  I was so happy with the paint itself, Benjamin Moore Advance, and while we'd love to replace the vanity top, that's a someday project since it's not really a necessity.  We did buy new faucets since one is broken and both are nasty with crazy calcium and lime build up.  Which I know some CLR could take care of, but we just wanted to update the dated ones.  We also have two new mirrors ready to go, but that will also require removing the current giant one and patching the massive hole it's medicine cabinet will leave behind.  Overall, we are happy with the easy upgrades we did to the bathroom without having to do a full renovation.  It feels fresh compared to it's prior sloppy purple self.


I gave myself the deadline of having the kitchen cabinets completed by Christmas.  The husband told me from day one I was on my own repainting the already white cabinets, white.   Which really wasn't a problem aside from the two little rugrats that are attached to my ankles and interrupt even the quickest trip to the bathroom.  As long as they could be entertained or contained, I could get to work without having to stop ten times an hour.  I figured I would break the kitchen down in sections; cabinets closest to the slider, cabinets over the stove, cabinets next to fridge, and island.  I assumed I would only be able to get to one section each weekend, but turns out I caught the painting bug and banged it out in less than 10 days.   I'm pretty obsessed with the refresh and the husband actually admits it looks different and better.  I'm not saying someone who doesn't live here would notice, but we definitely do which is why it was worth it.


The cabinets were painted white by the previous owners, and while they looked nice in pictures, but in reality they were grimy, chipped and banged up.  And when we moved a cabinet from next to the sink to above the mounted microwave it, we had some touch ups to do (above).



I also decided I want to paint the lowers a dark color.  I originally was into the tuxedo black and white look, but I think going with a deep moody navy would be more my personal style and be a touch warmer for the space.  It will also hide all the dog and kid grim and inevitable toy crash chips.

So two weekends ago I started the uppers and finished up this afternoon.   I started by sanding the cabinet doors, with a palm sander, with 120 grit to rough them up a bit to make sure the paint had something to stick to.  I used a sanding block on the frames, which I kept attached to the wall, which didn't pose any issue for me.  After the rough sanding, I wiped the frames with water and vinegar and the doors with Krud Kutter deglosser.  I again used Benjamin Moore Advance paint straight from the shelf in un-tinted white semi gloss.  This alkyd paint acts like an oil based paint, but cleans up with water.  It's self leveling and when left to properly cure between it's not scratching off.  I used a foam roller and small brush to apply and then after drying sanded with a 320 grit sanding block in any areas that weren't even or needed some smoothing before applying the second.


Another step I took was painting our hinges.  We have exposed hinges that are brass, but over the years are more along the lines of "aged brass".  Not quite oil rubbed bronze and definitely dark enough to stick out like a sore thumb.  As much as I'd love to put in hidden hinges, it would be really expensive at $5+ a pop and time consuming drilling all the new holes.  Our pulls and hardware are brushed nickel, so we considered switching to matching hinges, but honestly I just rather not see them at all.  I figured it couldn't hurt painting them, though I'm sure they will eventually chip.  I cleaned the hinges and screws and gave them a few sprays of Rustoleum white gloss paint.  It definitely helps make the cabinets look a bit more seamless.


And a before and after shot...


And the before and after you have to see.... picture from the house listing and picture now.


The kitchen (and house) has definitely been a slow labor of love.  Once I pick a color for the bottom, I'm going to try to get that wrapped up along with finally putting the new pulls on the drawers.  A couple pie shelves for the cabinet next to the window and a DIY roman shade.  Hang with me here!

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