As much as I loved our house the first time I walked into it, I wasn’t crazy at all about the kitchen cabinets. The old hardware was difficult to clean and the color of the cabinets just made the kitchen seem dark and dreary. New cabinets were not an option though since the cost wasn’t in our budget of improvements we needed to make in our new home (well, it was new to us!). Also, it really wasn’t a necessity like so many other projects within the house that needed immediate attention. So, I decided I would paint them. I only talked about this project for FIVE years until the week before a huge family get-together at our house motivated me to finally get it done.
I knew this project was going to be a tough one, but I really had no idea just how challenging it would be. I will not even attempt to make you think this was an easy project….although it was worth it. The most difficult part of this project wasn’t priming and painting the cabinets, it was removing the old hardware that had been there since the 60′s. Then I had to reset all the new hardware which didn’t measure the same as the old. So if that’s a step you don’t have to complete before beginning this project, you are in luck!
Here are my preparation steps…
Step 1- First, I removed all the old hardware. This was very challenging since (according to our neighbors) these were the original cabinets. Our house was built in 1963, so that hardware had been there for a long time! I had to take some of the screws off with pliers because I had stripped them with the screwdriver (they just wouldn’t budge! My hands were blistered…
Step 2- Next, I cleaned the cabinets with bleach water, removing any residue.
Step 3- I sanded the cabinets, just lightly scuffing them with a 3M sanding sponge.
Step 4- Filled all holes with Elmer’s Wood Filler .
Once dried, I smoothed out the patches with 220 sandpaper.
Step 5- Added new hardware. Since the old hinges were placed on the outside of the cabinets, and the new hinges were for the inside, I had to fill the old holes and measure for the new. For this step, I used what is called a cabinet mounting template which helps you measure and mark on your cabinets where the hardware will be placed. Since the new handles were longer, I had to drill new holes completely through the cabinet doors since those screws went all the way through. For the hinges, I just used the screwdriver bit on my drill to fasten them into the cabinets. I hung the cabinets up and set all the hardware before painting them. That way, I would have all the holes ready just to screw in the hinges.
Step 6- The fun part…priming and painting! I used Benjamin Moore’s All-Purpose Primer to get started. Thankfully during this step, my brother was there to help! The top coat of paint we used was Benjamin Moore’s Waterborne Satin Impervo. This is absolutely my favorite paint to use on any trim, cabinets, or doors!
Step 7- Put the doors back…NOW, the project was worth all the work!
Here are some “after” photos….