Painting Kitchen Cabinets, Part 3 (hurry, before you lose your mind)

If anyone out there is still reading, bless you, and I promise today there WILL be PAIN PAINT.


Alrighty then, since we’re now cleaned, sanded, and primed it’s time to choose a paint.  All the research I did pointed to using one of three latex paints: 1. Sherwin Williams Pro-Classic, 2. Benjamin Moore Satin Impervo, and 3. Cabinet Coat (sold at Ace and some Ben Moore’s).  All of these formulas are water based (even if you prime with oil, you do not want to use an oil-based paint for a top coat as it will yellow – of course if you are painting your cabs a dark color, this is not a problem), and all promise some degree of self-leveling.  We chose the SW Pro-Classic mainly because we used it in out first house and were very happy with the finish.  I think any of the three will give you excellent results.  Be advised these are more expensive paints, but this is NOT the time to break out an old half-gallon of cheap semi-gloss.  If you’re like me, your cabinets will be in heavy daily use in a room that can be, uh, MESSY.


I’m not even going to talk about this because the mere mention of paint color still makes me twitch and it’s been over a month since this happened.  I’ll say this: if your counters are brown, cream colored cabinets will look better; if they are black, gray, or similar, use a white (which white is a whole ‘nother ball of wax).  Try not to hurt yourself or anyone else in the process.  Husbands, be supportive during this difficult time.  Margaritas, foot rubs, and shopping for things that ARE NOT PAINT are good ways to help. I have to stop now, things are getting blurry.


Step 5:

Grab a foamie and get busy.  2 thin coats ought to do it, but you may need 3 to get the smooth look you want.  Sand in between coats with 300 grit or even steel wool – just enough to barely dull the surface (don’t forget to wipe the dust off after you sand with a wet rag or tack cloth).  When you are finished, walk away.  It may look awful.  The self-leveling paints need time to do their job – so let them.  After 24 hours, it should look something like this:

I’m not sure why we took the worst possible pictures of the cabinets after we were done painting, must have been the paint fumes.  Don’t worry, I’m not NEARLY done showing you pictures of the kitchen.  Y’all will think it’s the only room in the house by the time I am done. Here’s a few up close and personal to give you and idea of the sheen:

And one more to show the big difference from the old stained cabinets to the new (pardon the stuff under the sink):

Oh by the way, we used SW Pro-Classic in Pure White (SW 7005) Semi-Gloss. I love it, it glows like a pearl – not too shiny nor too dull. Remember, the higher the gloss, the more mistakes are visible. Think carefully before grabbing that gallon of high gloss paint.   I also waited two tortuous weeks for the paint to cure before I put anything inside the cabinets (and then only on top of clear shelf liner!).

Finished! So that, my friends, is how cabinets are painted!

Wait, what? The doors? What doors? Oh, you noticed.  I was hoping no one would notice.

Sigh.  Nope, not done.  Not even close.  Hello nasty Virginia winter?  You’re excused.  I have cabinet doors to paint and you are keeping me from it.

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4 Responses to Painting Kitchen Cabinets, Part 3 (hurry, before you lose your mind)

  1. Dena says:

    Not only are you a culinary goddess, but you are a paint/reno goddess too! You, my friend, have much more patience than I do. Bless you! (and Russ too.)

    • ourpile says:

      Dena, you are a MOTHER, so by default you have at least twice the patience that I do. However, I will happily accept all Goddess compliments, so thank you! Listen, if the weather EVER improves, we have GOT to get together. I am dying to see you, Grant, and that adorable child of yours!

  2. Christina Callahan says:

    This would be the exact point in the process where I would give up and decide, “Who needs cabinet doors? What a nuisance!”. I wonder if you’ve ever pondered how much you would charge someone to do your work at your high standards. Or, possibly, you avoid thinking about per-hour vs per-project when you realize how much time you’ve put into it. I have much respect for you. Seriously – remember how I’d get halfway into a paint project and then hire a professional? I’m a momma and still don’t have your patience. Paint girl paint.

    • ourpile says:

      Trust me, the thought has crossed my mind. It is quite nice just grabbing plates out of the cabinets without having to open the doors ;). I think the kitchen might be missing that special something, however.

      I try not to think about how much time I’ve put into it and think about how much $ I’m saving instead. =) Otherwise, I’d go nuts. But the weather has been so lousy this winter that honestly, it’s not keeping me from anything!

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