How to Refinish Kitchen Cabinets: Part 2
Howdy! If you haven’t read Part 1, you’ll want to do that first.
Step 12: Prep your primer (and later, your paint).
- Pour a small amount of paint into a personal paint cup/old plastic container.
- Don’t dip your brush into the gallon because it might contaminate the whole supply–eek!
- With a personal paint cup, if you get debris on your paint brush, you’ll only ruin a small amount of paint.
- Use a hammer and nail to punch small holes into the rim of your paint gallon–this allows excess paint to drip back into the bucket. Cover your gallon and hammer down the lid.
- Frugal tip: paint is the most expensive part of this project, but by following the above paint conservation techniques, you’ll use less paint! Don’t open a second gallon until you absolutely need it–you can return paint for a full refund if you don’t use it (I’ve returned many a can of unopened paint. I’m kind of a legend.).
Step 13: Apply primer coat #1.
- If you’re going from wood to white like we did, priming is key.
Step 14: Lightly sand.
- We lightly sanded our cabinet door fronts in between the two coats of primer to ensure a smooth finish.
- Use fine grit sandpaper (220) for this step, NOT liquid sander.
- Being lazy & pragmatic, we didn’t sand the cabinet boxes since they’re not as noticeable as the door fronts.
- It’s all about priorities and this fits in with the Frugalwoods 80/20 home improvement principle.
Step 15: Apply caulk.
- Frugal Husband caulked the seams between cabinets after the first coat of primer. These gaps weren’t noticeable when the cabinets were wood, but when they’re white, whoa are the voids prominent.
Step 16: Apply primer coat #2.
- The wood grain of our cabinets definitely needed a double primin’ to cover its ugly self.
Step 17: PAINT!
- Finally, the pièce de résistance!
- Since kitchen cabinets are high-use items touched by paws (human and otherwise) with great frequency, buying the right paint is important.
- We used Benjamin Moore Advance, which is specially formulated for cabinetry (who knew?).
- Two coats were needed to achieve a smooth, even finish. Be prepared to allow for drying.
- Frugal tip: this is one of those times when it makes sense to invest in a product that’ll ensure your cabinets will last for years. Don’t skimp on paint and find yourself needing to redo the project in a year.
Step 18: Painting cabinet doors.
- Hey! You’ve just realized that the doors have four sides, all of which you need to paint. Never fear, we made a bunch of mistakes, which you don’t need to make!
- You can buy plastic door prop triangles but, being Frugalwoods, we made our own in three different styles, which we tested so you don’t have to! Style #1 was our fave, but the others worked too:
- Style #1: hammer a brad (fancy name for a small nail) into a shim (fancy name for a piece of wood)
- Style #2: cut off the corners of cardboard shoe boxes (I KNEW I was saving those for a reason!)
- Style #3: twist a piece of 12-gauge solid copper wire (salvaged from a dumpster by Frugal Husband)
- Utilizing your custom-made door props, you’ll be able to paint all sides of your doors at one time and leave them to dry atop a drop cloth/paper bag.
Step 19: Painting drawers.
- How to paint drawers without smudging?! Let them hang over the edge of a table covered with a drop cloth/paper bags.
- How to let drawers dry??? Prop them up on a shoe box or package of sponges (those were the things I grabbed as Frugal Husband held the wet drawers and Frugal Hound tried to lick them. I told you, mistakes were made.)
Step 20: Let paint dry and apply a second coat.
- Use your judgement on whether or not you need a second coat, but don’t skimp if you think it’ll help.
- Vastly easier to apply the second coat now than realizing after the fact that your wood grain is peeking through. So embarrassing.
Step 21: Put it all back together.
- Pat yourself on the back for copiously labeling your hardware, doors, and cabinet boxes!
- Peel off the tiny tape covering the numbers on your cabinet doors and match it all up.
Step 22: Rejoice & admire! Woot!
DIY-ers who came before us and wrote up their tips, which we found very helpful!
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