Step 5: Painting the kitchen cabinets.
We have a mix of laminate wood cabinets with hardwood faces and doors, so we certainly learned a lot while painting these suckers over the last two weeks. Yup, it took two weeks…
If you are looking for directions to paint like a pro, check these out from All Things Thrifty. We started here, the modified as we needed to. Especially since their cabinets were all knotty pine and ours were mostly laminate wood. We also don’t care about ours looking picture perfect, since they’ll only be around for 2-3 years.
We started by taping everything. If you can get the tape a little bit behind the cabinets, then you don’t have to worry as much about drips. We still had some, and we’ll be doing touch-up painting in a number of places over the weekend.
First thing we figured out: no using a paint brush. The streaks it left in the paint were nearly impossible to get rid of, even after 4-5 COATS.
A foam roller is definitely the way to go. We also ended up getting some small foam brushes for the corners and edges, which worked much better at blending everything together than the paint brush.
For paint, we picked out Valspar’s Ultra Gallon Interior Soft-Gloss Kitchen and Bath Tintable Base Paint and Primer in One (thank you Lowe’s 10% off coupon!). We didn’t put any color in it, just used the white straight from the can.
Here’s what our first cabinet looked like after one coat. This side set of cabinets was the hardest to work on. They are 110% laminate wood, and after the second coat, I gave up and made Adam finish this one. It hated me. I kept hitting my elbows and could not get the paint to roll on smoothly, even with sanding between coats, as recommended on All Things Thrifty. (Thanks hunny!)
Our main cabinets are much more woody. The shelves are wood and there are wood pieces over the laminate pieces, so these were easier to paint. This is how far I got on Day 1. Come on y’all, it was tiring!Now for some reason, the paint was going on much thicker when I picked up on Day 2. I’m going to attribute this to the crazy heat and humidity wave that’s been hitting Philly. That was also right around the time when our AC was breaking… So the set on the right had a bit of an advantage because the first coat really looked like two.
Side Note: you can see those massive bricks still piled up on our new counter tops. Technically, the counter tops didn’t get finished until last night, when Adam and I put on the last end cap. So we were multitasking quite a bit.
Daphne was really not happy with how much time we spent working in the kitchen the last two weeks. She just wanted to play, and we were busy. She was a good sport most of the time, hanging out and napping nearby.
Still on day 2 here. You can really see how thick the first coat went on the cabinets on the right.
After three coats, these babies were looking pretty good. We ended up doing 4 total, with some sections getting a 5th coat as needed. But at some point, you have to put aside the roller and the perfectionist streak and just accept them.
We decided not to bother painting inside the lazy Susan. Though I did fall off that little red ladder and land inside of it one day… It’s just not worth the hassle. We’re also not painting under the sink (that cabinet in the bottom right corner). Both sets of doors will get a nice coat though. So in theory, this is what our kitchen will look like! Woo hoo! We are taking some Rustoleum 2X Clear spray paint and putting a light coat on the shelves in each of the cabinets to prevent any stickiness from the paint. We also used the 2X to seal up a few grease stains and paint over, which we don’t recommend doing everywhere, but in a pinch it will work. So, what’s left on our list? We have one more cabinet that needs to be painted and installed in the blank space over the lazy Susan. We have to finish the doors and drawers (though I’ll probably steal the drawers from the second kitchen to use until these are done). We need to get some additional shelves to put next to the sink, and we need to figure out something to put under the lone top cabinets: either more shelves, an island, or something.
Then, we need to unpack! We have friends coming in one week, and we’re nowhere near ready!