Painting The Kitchen Cabinets

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a sneak peak at the painted cabinets

Now that the cabinet doors are all removed and everything has been prepped...

In case you missed the last post about cleaning and prepping - click here

I placed drop cloths over every table surface I could find, including my coffee tables, both dining tables and all end or side tables.  This makes your project move much faster because while an entire table of cabinet doors are drying, you can move on to paint another entire table of cabinet doors.


4 large drop cloths
3 quarts of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (ASCP) - I used "Old White"
Annie Sloan Lacquer - 2 quarts
6 medium sand paper blocks
2" angle brush - a good quality brush
scrub brush
Scotchbrite scrub pad sponges (6 pack)
paper towels
vacuum cleaner with attachments


The wonderful thing about ASCP is that you don't have to sand your cabinets or apply a primer before you begin.  This paint will adhere directly to the cabinet.  Be warned that the first coat will look scary because all your brush strokes will be visible.  Don't freak out.  The 2nd coat is magical and makes the strokes disappear.  I like to apply the first coat with my brush strokes all going in the same direction.

As you can see above, I began by painting all drawer facings.

Then I painted the first side of the cabinet doors.

While the first coat was drying, I painted the cabinet framing.
This paint dries FAST, by the way.  After the first coat was dry, I applied a second coat of paint.  This time, I made my brush strokes go in the opposite direction.  In other words on coat one, I painted horizontally but for coat two, I painted vertically.  Finally for the third coat, I just brushed in both directions, smoothing out any areas where strokes were too obvious.


Here's the fun part.  I used a NEW TECHNIQUE on the cabinets and I LOVED it!  I ran my sandpaper block under water and then squeezed all of the water out.  I used that damp block to smooth out all the paint, sanding in all directions, it created the smoothest finish on the surface of the doors.  I started out by keeping my bucket of water and scrub brush beside me and I cleaned and scrub-brushed the block frequently.  Then, I found out that it was easier to take the sand block over to the kitchen sink and scrub it rather than to keep changing out the bucket water.  Mind you, paint water droplets were all over my sink and faucet but it cleaned up well with mineral spirits.

I put a little more elbow grease into the edges and areas that I wanted to sand down to the wood.  I also kept my vacuum with it's attachment so I could suck up the chalk dust and mess as I went.  This method with water in the sand block really does cut back on the chalk dust.  Plus my sand paper lasted so much longer than usual.  I only used a total of 5 sand blocks for the entire kitchen project!
A damp scotch-brite sponge also works well for exposing edges and light distressing.

During all this sanding work, I started my dishwasher.  In a few minutes, I noticed Cocoa standing very still in the middle of the kitchen, ears perked up, staring very hard at something.  I came around the corner and there were suds and foam running out of the dishwasher!  This is what happens when you remove the sponge rack from your kitchen sink cabinet and drop it the dishwasher.  There was obviously a lot of dish liquid and soap on those little sponge racks!  I then spent my (MUCH NEEDED) paint and sanding time to scoop suds out of the dishwasher and mop up soap and water from the floor.  Lesson learned! I'm just glad I was home to catch it before it damaged the kitchen cabinets or floor!


After all the cabinet doors were sanded and distressed to my liking, I began applying lacquer.  Lacquer needs to cover every single area that has been painted.  I used Annie Sloan's Floor Lacquer and it worked great!  It has a matte finish which was exactly what I was looking for.  The reason I chose this rather than a polyurethane is because this lacquer will not yellow the light paint color like many protectants will.

I applied the first coat and then waited 2 hours before applying the second one.
It's important to apply the laquer in a VERY THIN COAT!  I brushed mine with all strokes going vertically but I discovered that it didn't really matter because this lacquer dries so clear that you can't see any brush strokes.

As the cabinets dried (on my work tables), I began carrying them to the hearth room, leaning them everywhere (as you can see below).  Don't plan on sitting on the sofa tonight!

During the project, I would randomly carry cabinet doors into the kitchen and lean them up so I could visualize what it was going to look like.  It kept me motivated!


I allowed the lacquer to dry overnight. 
The next morning (DAY 6), it was time to put the kitchen back together.


This is the new hardware I chose.  I like it because it has clean lines and the color matches the lighter cabinet finish.  I also think it slightly modernizes the look of my kitchen.

Tomorrow, I will reveal the finished cabinets and we have so much more to do!  
This kitchen remodel hasn't really even started yet!


Granite vs. Quartz
My remodel just took an unexpected turn!

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