Tips For Refinishing Your Cabinetry

Thank you, thank you, thank you
so much to everyone who stopped by last week to check out our kitchen all gussied up!  I can’t tell you how much I appreciate all your sweet comments!  To be able to share before and afters with you makes the whole process of fixing up a house a lot more fun!
I received a lot of questions about how we improved the space and thought I’d share some tips with those of you who are interested.  I am by no means a painting expert, but I have done many a home improvement project in the four homes we’ve owned and learned some lessons along the way. 
The most important thing I can say is this: 
if you are going to put the time and effort into painting your cabinets, don’t skimp on the prep work or you will be sorry in a few months’ time when all your hard work results in this:

The existing paint was chipping off the cabinets everywhere because the former owners painted right over the oak cabinetry without properly preparing them.  I highly recommend sanding and priming any wood or painted surface as a prerequisite to painting. 

Lightly sand and then prime with an oil-based product.  I despise oil based paint so very much – it’s messy and stinky – but there is nothing like an oil-based primer for durability!  While we have tried other primers, we always come back to Kilz. 

As with any spray paint, make sure you shake your can thoroughly before using.

I removed our cabinet doors and had my very cute assistant help me take off the hinges and knobs.

I sprayed the doors on empty boxes in my basement. 
(Notice that even the walls in the unfinished basement are painted PEACH – what was with the former owner’s obsession with this color?  Maybe they got a good deal on big batch of mistinted paint!)

I used a small foam roller to prime the cabinet boxes and drawer fronts.
I sanded after priming and between coats of finish paint for a smooth, professional-looking job.  I also brush-painted the doors because we prefer this look to the finish of spray or the foam roller, using Benjamin Moore “Ben” Semi-Gloss latex paint in White Dove
This paint is desirable because it has low VOC and low odor, and we have been very happy with how it holds up on trim around our house.

Remember how I mentioned that while our kitchen didn’t look so bad to begin with, it was actually in a bit of disrepair?  While the doors and drawer fronts are solid oak, the rest of the cabinetry is made of laminate and particle board and has not held up well in it’s 26 years. 
I reinforced the drawers and did my best to get them rolling in and out smoothly.  I also sanded the edges of the cabinetry that the previous owner’s pets had chewed, and they look perfectly fine now.
The best change was in this little box:
new satin nickel hardware! 
So much for a manicure!
I was all ready to buy new knobs, bin pulls and hinges at Lowes when Shannan recommended I try ebay, and do you believe I saved a whopping
$175.34 by going this route?!?!!  Prior to checking out ebay I had shopped around and thought Lowes’ prices were not half bad compared to other hardware suppliers online, so I can’t even begin to tell you how gleeful I was to find brands I recognized on ebay for so much less.  I chose Amerock hardware because I had held this brand in my hand in stores and knew the weight and the quality of the hardware.  I loved the pulls and decided to go with knobs and hinges from the same company to make sure the metals matched. 
Thanks so much to everyone for helping me decide on a hardware finish, especially Rene at Cottage & Vine who ultimately swayed me towards nickel with the argument that this finish is here to stay versus being a trend that might go out of style in a few short years. We love how the hardware reflects the light and are so happy with the end result!
If you are trying to decide on a direction for something like hardware or a color scheme, there are so many wonderful design blogs to consult.  I am by no means a designer so I scoped out the kitchens of bloggers whose styles I admire for inspiration.

A few more tips:
If you are baking cookies whilst painting cabinets, make sure said cookies are on a timer. 
The time can steal away from you when you are knee deep into a painting project!
And while you’re busy fixing up your house and making it a cozy home, turn up the radio and rock out once in a while!
If you have any other questions about our kitchen “refresh” please leave a comment and I’d be happy to help! Thanks so much for stopping by today!