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Painted Kitchen Cabinets One Year Later

Just over a year ago when I published an in-depth post on how I painted my kitchen cabinets, the biggest question I heard from my readers was “how will it hold up?” It always bothered me that I didn’t have a first-hand answer yet to that question, and I knew I’d need to do a follow-up someday. So today I’m happy to be back with the long-term results.Painted-cabinets-one-year-later

Would I do it the same way again? The short answer is: “YES!”

But since one word does not a blog post make, here are a few more details…

First of all, I can honestly say that (aside from the pile of dishes in the sink) my kitchen is in just as good shape today as it was when I first finished the project. I couldn’t be happier with the results, even after a year which included lots of spaghetti spills, blender disasters, and general chaos in the kitchen.

Here’s a quick reminder of how the kitchen looked before:

Kitchen Before 1

And now after:Kitchen Cabinet Makeover Reveal

My three favorite things about having painted kitchen cabinets are:

  1. They’re bright and clean looking and really lighten up the room.
  2. They’re super-easy to clean with just a cloth.
  3. Any small nicks can be easily re-covered with a quick dab of paint.

You can check out my original how-to guide to see the whole project from start to finish, as well as what products I used, but let me just say here that good paint is one of the keys to a long-lasting finish. I used Benjamin Moore Advance, and was so impressed with how easy it was to use and how nice the finish turned out. And now I’m just as impressed with how well it’s held up to loads of wear and tear over the past year.

The other key to a durable finish is proper preparation. I know there are all sorts of ways to get around sanding and priming, but I’m a believer in both. After taking the time to do the whole process, I can say that the only spot that has needed touching up of the paint is on the corner of a cabinet door that I didn’t sand properly. Bet you can’t even see where the repair happened in this photo.Kitchen-Cabinet-Closeup

A fourth favorite that’s worth mentioning here is the price. For about $160 I feel like I got a whole new kitchen. So if you’re wondering if it’s really worth it for you to DIY your own kitchen cabinets, I vote yes! I can’t tell you it was quick or easy, but I’ve never regretted a single moment of the whole project, except maybe not having done it sooner.A New Kitchen for 160

For your own project, check out my complete Kitchen Cabinet Painting Guide, and 13 things I Learned along the way. Also, for more background information, check out this completely updated guide on how to paint kitchen cabinets.

In the meantime, here are three quick tips that, even if you take none of my other advice, will help make your cabinet painting project easier.

  1. Label your cabinet doors using this raffle ticket system BEFORE you remove them.Repainting Kitchen Cabinets? Label your doors the easy way!
  2. After the first coat of primer or paint, use caulk to fill in any edges and gaps for a flawless finish.Filling gaps before painting gives you a professional look
  3. Paint paneled doors from the lowest surface to the highest, and lay flat to dry, to prevent drips.The secret to drip-free, mess-free painted cabinet doors from


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I wish you the best of luck with your own kitchen cabinets, and let me know if you have any questions!

P.S. I’ve had so many questions about cabinet painting, I decided to write a book! Check it out if you’re tired of scrolling and googling, and still wondering how to get started on your project:

Everything you need to know about painting cabinets, all in one handy ebook. With 2 worksheets to help you get started!

Kelsey Fisher

Monday 30th of January 2017

I really appreciate how in-depth your original post about this was, I'm getting ready to paint my cabinets in just a couple months when it's a little warmer here in NW Washington. Yours came out beautifully, hopefully following your careful instructions will help me as well!

Renee Bouffard-McManus

Thursday 2nd of June 2016

Did you paint the inside of the cabinet doors?


Thursday 28th of April 2016

What do you do if your cabinets are already painted? Follow the same steps?


Thursday 5th of May 2016

Yes, exactly. If your paint is in good shape you can just follow these steps. If your paint is peeling or cracking, you'll need to scrape it and sand it really well to remove most of it first.


Tuesday 2nd of February 2016

wow, that kitchen looks soooo amazing!!!!! I what a wonderful job you did!!! I love that you let everyone know how they are holding up after a year!!!!


Wednesday 3rd of February 2016

Thank you Christine! I've had a lot of questions about them, so it seemed easier just to write a whole follow up post. :)


Monday 25th of January 2016

Great job! Lots of hard work! My cabinets are red oak stained the 80s honey color. Very sturdy, custom made and beautiful wood grain. My husband doesn't want to paint and I have mixed feelings, afraid the wood grain will show or I won't do a good job and create a mess. We will soon replace our linoleum floor with hardwood. So I'm afraid there will be too much wood. Any advice? Nervous in NC. :)


Monday 25th of January 2016

Hi Liz, I know just what you mean! You hate to cover over something that looks and works great, but maybe just isn't your style, when you're not sure you can do better by painting. That's actually how I felt when I started too. My cabinets were in great shape, and people thought I was crazy, but I just really wanted white. I was afraid of making them worse. (Maybe that's why I've been so thrilled with the outcome!) My advice would be to wait and see how they look with the new floors. If it's too much wood, or the colors are clashing (like in my situation) you'll have an easier time taking on the cabinets. But if they look great, then you're off the hook and your hubby gets his way! :) p.s. I've run across a couple of good tutorials online about filling in the wood grain of oak. Try searching for them if you do decide to paint...


Creating a color-filled life. Conquering my little world one DIY project at a time. With lots of coffee and chocolate. Albuquerque NM. Pinterest ~ Instagram ~ Facebook