We’ve talked about it for four years.  Now it’s time for some action! (yay, I think?) After researching this topic and all the “how to’s” out there at length – we’ve taken the plunge and are diving right into this daunting, crazy project of painting our kitchen cabinets.

Our kitchen was all green (I really dislike green) counters and builders oak when we first arrived here four years ago.  I just found a photo from when we moved in on October 17, 2011

Kitchen beforekitch before

You’ll notice in the later photos that the counters have been replaced along with the sink, faucet and light fixtures.  We also added hardware to the doors/drawers.  The counters were replaced after a major PINTEREST FAIL!  (I painted them to make them look like faux granite – have you seen this on pinterest?? http://www.remodelaholic.com/painted-formica-countertop/ )

I have to say they looked beautiful….UNTIL.  But THAT is a post for another time…..let’s just say, they needed replacing after that disaster.  I will write that post….soon!  It’s actually sort of funny.  Sort of.

For now – back to overhauling the kitchen cabinets!!

I will post all the steps as we go along – biggest part of this project is all the PREP that has to be done – but so worth it in the end…..

STEP ONE: Cleaning Cabinets and Drawer Fronts

First, we chose to remove all the doors and drawer fronts and took them out to the garage for cleaning with TSP (trisodium phosphate).  You can find TSP at Lowe’s, Wal-Mart, etc.

Kitchen before we began this craziness just yesterday:  Lots of oak everywhere……33 pieces in fact – that need to be cleaned, sanded and primed before painting…..here we go!!

DSC_0506 DSC_0507
It’s really important to clean the cabinets before sanding.  The top recommendations out there say use TSP – so that’s what we’re doing – and DON’T forget – after cleaning with TSP you MUST wash them off with clean, clear water as well.  Paint + TSP is not a good thing apparently!

STEP TWO:  Removing and Labeling each piece

We have 33 pieces that are being removed and taken out to the garage – so in order to make sure they all get back to where they came from….we labeled them with a sharpie.  A pretty genius idea from my husband.  He numbered them in order starting in the corner of the kitchen and working his way around and placed the number where we will not prime/paint. There is no need to prime/paint the very center of a drawer front that will be attached again to the drawer and not show at all.  In addition:  on the cabinet doors he placed a number in the hole where the hinges go – so again – not a place that will get covered over!  Genius! (When he painted using the sprayer – he simply covered the number with a square of painter’s tape too!)


STEP THREE:  Sanding it all…..

My husband is the hero here!  I can hear the hum of the sander now as he tackles the huge task of sanding all the drawers and cabinet doors – front and back!  I am coming along behind him to get into any tiny crevices he may have missed and then taking the shop vac to them to get most of the dust off.  The shop vac was also used again and again to suck up all that dust inside the kitchen as the sanding began there. Daddy even had a little helper today…..


We purchased a roll of contractor’s paper at Lowe’s too – and used this to cover the counters while we sanded in the kitchen.  We also used it to cover the floor while painting/priming the cabinet boxes:



The finished pieces are piling up!  As soon as we are done sanding – we are going to clean the dust off and then wipe them down with a “de-glosser”.  We will also move back inside to sand the cabinet boxes that have already been cleaned with TSP.   We hope to have all of this finished today and then tomorrow we begin priming each piece!

Can’t wait to show you the finished product!  But we’ve a ways to go for now….wish us luck!


One thought on “Kitchen Cabinet Makeover Begins!

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