Thursday, July 22, 2010

Kitchen 101-How to paint your ugly, goldenish kitchen cupboards.

How is that for a un-creative title?
I know-I'm lame!

So I have had a ton of questions about the kitchen and how I did everything.
I thought that I would share a couple of tips that will make your life easier!
We are always up for things that make life easier right?

So if your cupboards looked like mine-

and if they don't-you so wish that they did right?
If you are just dying to paint them-here's some tips and things I learned along the way.
It's OK to paint wood.
My grandpa might disagree with me, but it's your house.
If you don't love it-
do something to it so you do love it!
DON'T strip your cabinets. Well, you can if you really want to, but I didn't want to.
I'm lazy.
What can I say?
My home is an older home-about 15 years old.
Because of this-I didn't have a lot of the finish left on the cabinets.
What I mean by that is, they were pretty used and NOT new.
If you still have a pretty thick finish on yours-you might want to consider stripping.
If you are not sure-just do what I did.
I went to Home Depot-got a sample can of paint.
I stripped one side of a drawer and not the other.
I then painted them to see if I could see a difference.
I figured by the time that I glazed them-I wouldn't need to strip.
Totally up to you.
If you don't strip them-you will save yourself about 12 hours worth of work stripping, waiting and scraping.
Use TSP instead.
Tri-sodium Phosphate
This is a heavy duty cleaner that will get all your surfaces ready to paint.
Warning-this stuff is pretty harsh-so you might want to wear gloves.
I didn't-so my hands and fingertips were raw.
It was not cool.
This stuff is about 4.00 a box at Lowes or Home Depot.
If you are painting your walls as well-give them a scrub with this also.

Alright-now you are good to go!
Again-a reminder of why you want to do this...
(your cupboards look like this)

I used Behr paint and primer in one.
Navajo White-1822 in flat.
I used the paint and primer in one because I am lazy.
Now, don't use the flat if you are not going to do some kind of finish treatment like glazing.
It's cheaper to buy flat paint so that is what I went with.

We took the cupboard doors off of their hinges and sprayed them with the paint sprayer.
This took 7 minutes.
I labeled the inside of my cupboard's with tape saying what was in the cupboards-
just so I knew where to put the doors back on.
I just used a good paint brush to paint the cupboard's themselves.
I did not glaze the cupboard's-just the doors.

If you are going to use a glaze-make sure that you get an oil based.
Pick a chocolate color that you like and get a quart or so.
When you are ready to glaze-mix some glaze in a paper cup and then add paint thinner until it's pretty runny.
If you do this-the glaze is much easier to work with.
Paint on and then wipe off.
I let mine sit there for about a min or so.
I like the look of it that way.
Just play around with it until you get the look that you want.

*Use old t-shirts to wipe with.
I don't know what it is-the 100% cotton works much better to wipe off than anything else.

If the glaze is too dark and you don't love it.
Just put some paint thinner on a clean cloth and wipe it off until you get what you like.

Add hardware if you don't have it.
If you do-spray paint the hardware you have.
I just made sure that I primed mine with Rustoleum Primer in white

I then used Satin Colonial Red-Rustoleum 2x coverage

 and finished it off with a couple coats of polyurethane.

I also added bead board wall paper to some of my cupboard inserts.
I will talk about what to do
 and what not to do.

You can do this!
If you have questions-just shoot me an email.
I would be happy to help if I can!
It is so worth it!!

My laundry is calling my name.
Got to run!



  1. Thanks for all the tips! Your kitchen turned out super darling! I love the colors you chose :)

  2. I seriously might do this!!!!! My cabinets look exactly like your "before" cabinets. If I decide to, I may hit you up for more tips. Thanks!

  3. Thank you so much for the hints and tips. I so want to redo my kitchen and you make it seem so do-able.

  4. Your kitchen turned out beautiful, Tausha! love it...I so want to do mine now!

  5. the original panels didnt have bead board on them.... did you replace the doors or add the bead board?

  6. I painted my kitchen cabinets red in a brand new house. We were the first to live there. I did not strip my cabinets first and it worked great. The key is to use a good primer if not striping the finish off.

  7. bah! I love it! My cupboards look exactly nasty orangy and I want them to look so pretty and glazey like yours!! Thank you for the tips!

    But do you think this would work too? My house is older as well and I don't think there is much of a finish left to them. I takes me a good 30 seconds to sand the cupboard... that would work too right? Instead of using TSP or stripper?

  8. The cabinets look amazing.. but.. there's bead board wallpaper??!?! Textured like bead board and everything?? This is terribly exciting. I must look for this stuff!

    Now back to your cabinets.. you did a truly incredible job. I had a friend who recently had her cabinets redone just like this by a local artist. They looked great but it wasn't cheap. Good to know it can be a DIY job! Thanks for the tutorial. Might have to try this in my bathroom since we just redid our kitchen.

  9. This is just the post I've been looking for. Your kitchen looks fabulous!
    Thanks!! =)

  10. I found your site from Ucreate. You did an amazing job. Our kitchen cupcoards are on my list...probably in the fall when it's not 1000 degrees outside ;) I'm now following because I can't wait to see and read more.

  11. I saw you on Ucreate and Studio 5 today. I had to find your blog and will definitely be a new follower.
    Love your kitchen makeover - fabulous way of doing it without a saw! :)

  12. I think I love you. We redid our whole kitchen except the original cabinets from 1981 because I'm too cheap to buy new ones. So our kitchen looks weird with Ikea countertops, glass tile backsplash and reddish brown fugly cabinets. Thank you for the wonderful idea! PS You have the cutest personality. I love it whenever you're on Studio5 cause you're hilarious. And super creative.

  13. I have always wanted to try the beadboard wall paper. Thank you so much for the great tutorial! I do believe that hubby and I may just have to tackle a beadboard wallpaper project soon!

    ~Emily N. from "too Blessed to Stress"

  14. You two gals are a bomb! I love your tutorials and the projects that you tackle. I am anxious to follow you to see what you decide must be tackled next. I thought it was funny that you said your mother has an older home -- 15 years old (haha). I still consider that "new". Crazy, huh? Ask your mom about that. I'm your newest follower. Please visit me and if so inspired, I invite you to follow me in return.

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  16. Hello! First of all, kitchen? PHENOMENAL! I am doing this because now I feel it is within my reach! :) I do have one question about the cupboard paint. You went with Flat 2-in-1 paint which I love! I used it to cover a hideous dark green wall that was in our new house, painted by previous owner, and it worked great! So, I will certainly use it again.

    My question is since it is flat and you glazed the cabinets only - did you leave the cupboards themselves flat or did you use a eggshell or semigloss for those? I was just thinking for durability purposes and those fingerprints which I know my family will leave. I love a wipeable surface whenever possible with 3 kids! :) Thanks!

  17. I LOVE what you did! Do you think the same process would work on a dining table? The lady I bought it from had tried to paint it, but she had bubbling and peeling. Any ideas? I would love your advice, your kitchen is too cute!

  18. nice guide! thank you!/I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.

    Kitchen Cupboards

  19. love your kitchen!!! what type of spray gun did you use for the cabinets? 7 minutes sounds amazing! i'm overwhelmed by the choices in spray guns (and the range of prices!)... many thanks!

  20. Just stopping by to say I found your tutorial the other night & it's EXACTLY what I want to do with my kitchen! I knew I wanted to add bead board to my cabinet fronts but never knew about the wallpaper! :D Our kitchens are very similar except mine is split by my garage door.

    I'm about 1/2 way through the project as I type this. I will keep you posted on how it turns out. I can't wait! Thanks for your awesome tutorial & pics! ;)

  21. What a great transformation! I'm from New England so I had to laugh at your description of your house as an "older home - about 15 years." Uh, okay. I guess mine at 10 years is also older even though I consider it new. (100 or 200 or 300 years old is "older." :-))

    In any case, I did a similar transformation on my bathroom vanity and I have just a couple tips to add. My vanity still had plenty of finish and I also did not strip and got perfect results.

    First, don't use TSP - use a "no-rinse TSP substitute." (This is what it's called in many brands.) You can buy it in a spray bottle, like Windex - just spray it on and wipe it off. It cleans and deglosses but is not as harsh as TSP. Second, if you do have some finish left, you don't need to strip, but it's a good idea to take a foam sanding block and just lightly go over everything to knock down the gloss. This is quick and easy - you're not trying to strip-sand, you just want to help later coats of finish adhere.

    Then, I used Glidden Gripper primer - a water-based primer made for hard-to-adhere-to surfaces. I was going with a deep espresso paint color, so I used a gray-tinted primer. I used foam brushes and a high-density foam roller and got great coverage. Foam brushes have sharp angles and can get right into the corners without leaving pools of paint or brush strokes, and the high-density foam roller has no nap (and, of course, is very dense) so you get a smooth and totally lint-free finish.

    After priming and letting it dry for 24 hours, I painted. I also went with the Behr Premium Plus - perhaps overkill, primer-wise, but Premium Plus has a different color palette from the regular Behr, and it had the darkest brown shade. I did two coats of this, again, with 24 hours in between. Yes, it seems like a lot of time, but labor-wise, it's really not that bad.

    I love the idea of bead board wallpaper! I originally planned on this and then liked what I had going on with the original panels. It's also not that hard to pop bead board panelling in where the old panels were and that is of course more durable. We looked at the construction of our doors and it would have been pretty easy to do, though maybe not worth it for older cabinets. (Our are still in great shape, just wood, which is a little outdated looking.)

    I love the colors you chose! The red knobs are a different choice, and really interesting and the color makes the knobs pop.


Thanks for stopping by. Hope that my craziness might have inspired you! I would to hear what you have to say. (as long as it is nice)

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