cabinets: before and after

I have way too much of an interest in home decor...is it lame to say it's a hobby? This has been done for a week or so by now but I finally have a spare second to write about it! Phase 1 of the main floor makeover is DONE!

Painting your cabinets may be one of the best and worst things you ever decide to do. Best because the transformation is probably needed and worth it. Worst because it takes for freaking EVER. Especially if you're doing it in 2-3 hour spurts when you actually have a spare second and then you get the flu right in the middle of the project, like me. Blegh.

But two weeks later, it is finally finished! 

Blah oak color. I don't know what it is with me and that color of wood. I'm just not a fan. Too cabin-y for me. 

(like how my kitchen was so incredibly tidy in the before pictures? I also already started on the cabinets above the fridge, hence why they are already missing) 


It really brightened up the whole room! I love it. Everything feels cleaner and fresher. 

I'm planning on putting more "after" pictures up after we finish "phase two" which is putting up bead board around the back side of the bar. 

I used the Rust-oleum Cabinet Transformations kit. Which is essentially TSP (Trisodium phosphate)- a wood deglosser, base paint with primer, and a polyurethane top coat (umm I think it needs to be said I just spelled polyurethane correctly the first time I typed it. No red line for me. I am awesome.) So if you don't want to pay the price of the kit, it would probably be cheaper to just buy those 3 things (though the kit does come with a glaze also if you wanted to do that as well).

Allow me to give a few tips, from someone who learned the hard way, if you ever plan on doing this:

- The "deglossing" part is the most annoying part, but the most important. If you're using TSP (or equivalent) you don't have to sand, which is great, but you do have to scrub the crap-ola out of it. 

- So you don't have to sand, but about half way through I lightly roughed up the doors with sand paper and wiped them down after the TSP and felt like those turned out a little better. 

- Start painting in the least obvious place in your kitchen (frames or doors). The painting technique takes a couple doors to get down solid where your brush strokes are even. I started in the most convenient place which was also the most obvious place, and those doors have more mistakes that I can see. 

- The kit instructions say to use 2 coats of paint. Bull. Mine took 4. Fortunately the paint goes a loonngg way. (This could have been because I painted them white, so there was more to "cover"). 

- It's really easy for drip marks to dry when you're painting, especially with the last clear coat. After you're done with each cabinet, run the paint brush along all of the edges again to collect any drips that may have formed. I also visually checked them after about 10 minutes for any drips. You can't get rid of drips after they dry without sanding them off and repainting. 

- When you're painting close the floor, especially the baseboards of the cabinets, I would double tape along the floor. So use two strips of painters tape next to each other. I only used one strip and got several paint spots on my floor (fortunately that's one of the things to go so I wasn't super worried). 

- Plan on eating take out or leftovers for however long the process takes. It's not worth the risk of using your kitchen a lot and messing up your fresh paint (especially the stove area) for a meal. 

WHEW. They didn't turn out perfect. If you choose to do a darker color I think any mistakes would be a LOT less obvious. But ultimately, it cost me $75 and I achieved the look I wanted to!

Phase 2: bead board around the back of the bar
Phase 3: New wall color on the main floor (I'm loving Benjamin Moore's Revere Pewter! See?)

Phase 4: New flooring! I want to go with a darker wood. Right now it's a light oak (nasty) and brownish/gray carpet. The carpet isn't awful at all but I want it to be uniform across the whole floor. So goodbye carpet.

Phase 5: A new light fixture above the dining table. 

Whew!! We're (I'm) hoping to do all of this by the end of this summer! Can't wait! 

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