I’m halfway through painting my kitchen cabinets, and I thought I’d take a little break to update you and share a few things I’ve learned along the way. I’m planning a comprehensive “How To” guide when I’m finished, but while the paint is drying between coats, I’ve got a few previews.
Here’s what I’ve learned so far in repainting my kitchen cabinets:
- Small kitchens are a blessing in disguise.
- Priming and sanding both have their place. I’d love be able to just do one or the other, but they each serve different purposes.
- Krud Kutter is my new best friend. I couldn’t believe the stuff it cleaned off my cabinets. I wish I’d been using it all along. My kitchen will be cleaner than it’s ever been when I’m finished with this project.
- Tearing up your kitchen the week of Thanksgiving is probably not the best idea. (To my friends who warned me about this, I give you permission to say “I told you so.”)
- Benjamin Moore Advance paint is worth it. It’s a waterborne alkyd, which essentially means it performs like an oil paint, but cleans like a waterbased paint. It’s got a longer drying time, so you have to plan around that, but that means it levels better (no streaks or brush marks!) and performs better in the long run. And since I’m never doing this project again, I want it to last!
- Mohair rollers. The best way to hand-paint without leaving marks. They’re so soft you almost want to wear them.
- Don’t overwork the paint. Rollers have a nap (direction the fibers lay). Find it and go with it. Rolling back and forth is what leaves marks and bubbles, so try to roll the paint on in the direction of the nap and keep going. It will level out as it dries.
- Label. All. Your. Doors.
- Leave your coffee maker and supplies out when you’re packing away all your kitchen stuff. This project needs coffee. Often.
- For a smooth, professional finish, use 320 grit sandpaper between coats.
- Be patient. Let the paint fully dry before sanding and re-coating. If you sand too soon you will freak out as the paint starts coming off.
- You can cook almost anything with a microwave and a toaster oven. And last, but certainly not least…
- It’s got to get worse before it gets better.
Someday everything will get back to normal, but first, I have to get the cabinet doors painted! Wish me luck, and I hope if you are taking on a project like this you’ve been encouraged by these tips.
Also, I know you’ve all been waiting with bated breath for the results of my paint color poll. So without further ado, I’m happy to report that the chosen paint color is… Valspar’s “Totten’s Inlet”. (I don’t know where they come up with these names.) As one of my reader friends so helpfully pointed out, “White is white.” Now that I see it in person, I do think I could have gone with any of the three colors I was choosing between. Oh well, I sure appreciate all my friends’ and readers’ help figuring that one out!
Stay tuned for my final reveal and tutorial on painting kitchen cabinets!