Sunday, February 23, 2014

While Hubby's Away, the Wife Will Play (with power tools)

We've been MIA for awhile now, but in all honesty what I'm sharing with you today is literally all that has been going on in the house for the past month and a half. I didn't want to share it part way through the project because I felt the reveal would lose some if it's WOW power. I'm talking about painting our kitchen cabinets people. I'm. In. Love. More than the floors but not quite as much as my husband.

 This is a project I knew I had wanted to do before we had ever even found a house. All those poor unsuspecting kitchens out there never stood a chance.  I've loved the look of white cabinets for a long time.  But since buying brand new custom cabinets just isn't really in the budget right now, painting them was the perfect solution. I did a lot of reading on different methods for painting cabinets; spraying, rolling, brushing, etc. etc. etc. I decided on using a Rustoleum Cabinet Transformation kit. This kit ran us around $70 and it's supposed to cover about 100 square feet.  *supposed to*

The first thing we did was take the cabinet doors off, take all the hardware off of them, and wash them down.

Then came deglossing. Deglossing is exactly what it sounds like- taking the gloss off the surface. This is necessary so the paint can really adhere to the surface. There are two methods for deglossing; sanding with a fine-grit sandpaper or a chemical deglosser. Rustoleum's kit uses a chemical deglosser. With a scrub pad, plastic gloves, and a bottle of deglosser, I went after the doors.  This process also does a good job of getting the built up grime off. It was amazing how much gunk came off that wasn't visible to the naked eye beforehand. This step became a bit old after the 2nd week but I sucked it up because if you skimp on this step, it will ruin the entire project because your paint won't adhere very well.
Then came painting. I painted the backs of the door first to get the method down- if I was gonna screw up I wanted it to be on the back of the door where no one could see it. The instructions tell you to do one thin even coat, let dry, and then do one more white coat and it is "supposed to" be good.  Wouldn't it be nice if projects worked out perfectly the way they're supposed to according to directions?! After 2 coats it looked...bad.

I was frustrated and a bit panicky at this point because I thought I had ruined the cabinets. Our cabinets weren't bad to start off with. They're actually very well-built solid oak cabinets and I'd be lying if I said no one had tried to talk me out of painting them. But since I was past the point of no return I put another coat on. The 3rd coat pretty much did the trick, there were just a few spots in the cracks that needed a 4th touch up layer.  I had heard that the white color didn't cover very well like the darker colors do. We don't have a very big kitchen so if you're wanting to do this in white and your kitchen is bigger, get an extra can or two of bond coat!

The white bond coat is pretty cool stuff. After painting it, the brush strokes for the most part disappeared. Since our cabinets are oak you can still see the indents of the wood grain, it's not a smooth factory like finish, which also helped to hide any brush strokes that may have been left behind. Long story short, they got 3 coats of white and 2 coats of protective top coat.

We also bought new hardware. Adding new hardware is the easiest way to update your cabinets if you don't want to go all out by painting them. We chose the Lansa handles from Ikea. This was an inexpensive update at around $85 for the whole kitchen.

1st door goes up at 2:30 am
The Hubster was gone this weekend and I wanted to get the doors back on before he got home.  I grabbed the power drill and at 2:30 in the morning the dog and I put them back up.  This was not an easy task to hold the door, align the door, put the screw in and drill it all by yourself but I was determined and I succeeded.

But after a month and is our new kitchen!




I have to buy some longer screws to attach the handles to the drawers.  The drawer fronts are thicker than the cabinet doors so the screws that came from IKEA aren't long enough.  And the door that goes underneath the sink...well, that hinge and I are fighting so I'm gonna see if Hubster can fix it.

Directly behind me in the last picture there is a 7 1/2 foot tall cabinet that will serve as the pantry.  We added a toekick to that last week but now we have to secure it to the wall.

We bought this guy at IKEA.  His name is Varde and I think he's pretty neat.  This will sit perpendicular to the stove creating an L-shape with the other counters.  It will add some MUCH needed storage and counter space.  He'll eventually get painted to match everything else but that's not at the top of my list right now.

Next on the list is trimming out the dining room window, patio door, and walk-thru between the living room and dining room.  Joe has about half of those boards primed and painted so he has to put those up this week.

 We will also FINALLY be ordering carpet this week for the upstairs. Then we can move our furniture up there and quit camping out on our bedroom floor.  Not that it hasn't been fun but I'd rather keep the camping for all the fun camping equipment we got for our wedding...and for the outdoors.




  2. Amanda,
    I am married to your mother in laws cousin but that doesn't make me a bad person, and I have been dying to try this in the same color you have used. So if you could share a little more info, how many cabinets do you have and are the bases(part on the wall) done the same way as the doors? How much of the product did you need and if you did it again would you sand them?

    1. Hi Kim! Nice to 'meet' you :)
      Our kitchen is fairly small as you can tell by the picture. We are probably a bit shy of 20 LINEAR feet of cabinets if you were to line the tops and bottoms up side by side plus that big tall guy that will be the pantry. There are 3 standard size upper doors, 10 smaller doors, 2 large pantry doors 2 large drawer fronts, and 5 smaller drawer fronts.

      The bases are painted the same way with the exception that you only paint the fronts and the inside ledge, you don't paint the entire inside where your glasses and dishes sit. If you want to paint the insides of your cabinets you will definitely need another kit. You would need to figure the square footage of the inside of your cabinets to determine how much extra. We used all of the included 2 quarts with a tiny bit left over. From what I can gather the large light kit comes with 2 quarts and dark kits only come with 1? All I know is ours came with 2 and if your kitchen is any bigger than ours, you will need to buy another kit. The kits run about $70 and if you have to buy 2, so be it I think, it's still WAY cheaper than buying all new cabinets.

      I plan to use this same product in a dark tint for some furniture and a bathroom vanity and no, I do not plan to sand it. The liquid deglosser does a good job as long as you use it correctly.

      The hardest part of the whole process is the protective bond coat. It's completely clear so it's really hard to tell where you have painted, plus you can't put it on too thick. I found that if I put it on too thick it got bubbles, obvious brush strokes, and in some spots it almost stripped the paint right back off. I put two coats on and now that they're up I'm still finding some little patches that need another swipe.

      My advice is GO FOR IT! There are not many 'cosmetic' projects that cannot be fixed somehow if you goof up but in all honesty, this project is very DIY friendly. It is quite a process so make sure you don't give yourself too strict of a deadline. It took me about a month and a half but I probably could have busted it out in 2 weeks if I absolutely HAD to.

      That got a bit longer than I had intended, sorry! Let me know if you have anymore questions and I will do my best to answer them. Thanks for reading!

  3. Thanks Amanda, now if you could go ahead and install a tub surround, that is my only other project I would like to try but am not sure about.

    1. No tub surround but we will be tiling around our tub :)

  4. Looks great!! Painting our kitchen cabinets is on my "someday" list. Our Kitchen was actually nicely updated before we bought the house, but I don't like the dark brown. I've been debating between going black or white, but I just love the brightness of the white.

    1. Thanks Samantha! We are loving the white cabinets. I feel like it made the kitchen double in size without having to do any demo! It's your house and you're the one who has to stare at the cabinets everyday. Make them into what you want them to be. Just go for it! :)


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