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Painting Kitchen Cupboards

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Inspired by many similar projects here at Hometalk, I had been wanting to paint our cottage kitchen oak cupboards for two years. I knew it would be a time-consuming project that required energy and effort, but with hubby's help for the hard manual stuff, I finally got the cupboards painted and the counter top replaced. We love the change!!! It is so much brighter in there, and for an oceanfront home, the new look fits much more than it did. I have physical limitations due to chronic pain conditions, so this took a while, but as they say - slow and steady wins the race. :)
The BEHR Alkyd Enamel paint I used cost $56, but I used less than 1/3 of the can. We bought a new laminate counter, and that cost a bit over $300, but well worth it.
Since many have asked, here is more info on that black box atop my stove. That is a very old toolbox bought at a vintage shop that had 4-5 coats of paint. I couldn't sand it all down, so I covered it in black chalk paint and then waxed it. I normally don't leave any herbs or spices out in the light of the kitchen, but the tops of the bottles barely show and putting the vinegars and olive oil up there has given me counter space.
Time: 3 Weeks Cost: $350 Difficulty: Medium
  • painting kitchen cupboards, kitchen design
Our cottage kitchen before I painted. Nice enough, but not beachy or cottagey enough for me. This mobile home was built in 1988 and is still in great condition.
  • painting kitchen cupboards, kitchen design
Upper cabinets before paint.
  • painting kitchen cupboards, kitchen design
I used a "deglosser", this brand, based on recommendations by others who have painted their kitchen cupboards and other projects. It is easy to use and basically removes the accumulated gunk after years of kitchen use.
  • painting kitchen cupboards, kitchen design
I still sanded the doors and the cabinets because there was a good amount of varnish on them and they were stained quite dark. Not a bad view when outside working on projects, eh? :)
There was no going back! I primed with Zinsser Bullseye 1-2-3, a latex primer. I primed two coats on everything.
  • painting kitchen cupboards, kitchen design
There was no going back! I primed with Zinsser Bullseye 1-2-3, a latex primer. I primed two coats on everything.
  • painting kitchen cupboards, kitchen design
Here are some doors with a couple of coats of primer applied and a first coat of paint.
  • painting kitchen cupboards, kitchen design
For the upper cabinets and doors, I used BEHR's Alkyd Enamel paint in "Pure Classic White". I wanted the lowers to have a light grey hue, so I mixed some chalk paint by Crooked Label and found a colour we really liked. I painted everything with three coats of the BEHR paint. I let every coat dry at least 24 hours before applying another. I painted with a brush and with a roller, which took some effort and time, but I paced myself and some days I only painted three or four doors. We lived with the mess for almost three weeks, but I couldn't work too quickly anyway, and it's just hubby and I who were at the cottage at the time, so no problem.
  • painting kitchen cupboards, kitchen design
The upper cabinets after all that painting. They are bright and clean and new!! You'll notice that the stove hood, in its original almond colour no longer matched. Also, the original knobs were going to be replaced soon.... you'll have to keep scrolling to find out about those.
  • painting kitchen cupboards, kitchen design
My husband removed the stove hood and I spray painted it in a bright white, by Rustoleum. Now the hood doesn't stand out like a sore thumb! Cost? Maybe $1 or $2 worth of spray paint. Yaaay!
  • painting kitchen cupboards, kitchen design
A close up look at the upper doors once all the painting was done. You can still see the oak grain, which is what we wanted.
  • painting kitchen cupboards, kitchen design
Again, inspired by so many other DIY'ers, I found out how to create our own stone knobs. I collected the stones at our own shore, so they have special meaning and cost me NOTHING! I like that. The epoxy/glue I used is sold in all hardware stores. I found the bases at Home Depot. They are called Chicago screws in some places. Like these ones - http://www.spsco.com/product-type/fabrication-supplies/material/screws-and-bushings/becker-chicago-screw-stainless-steel-specify-1-4-or-3-8.html
We bought screws separately as we needed longer ones. There are knob bases to be found online in many areas in the U.S., but I couldn't find any in Canada and wasn't going to pay a high price for shipping.
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AFTER! We just LOVE the new look and feel of the space! The new counter is installed. We chose a stone look laminate and hubby installed it himself. I also changed all the original knobs for stone knobs, with stones I collected at our own shore. We still need to paint the walls, but that will happen next spring when we go back. I can't wait for it to finally all be finished, but I am so happy with the results already.
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After! We'll paint next spring, so that the walls match the new airy look of our kitchen.
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I applied three coats of clear water-based varnish on all the knobs so they'd stay cleaner longer and so the variation of colours and markings in each stone stand out.
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Nice view inside and outside now! Please disregard those clean dishes ... I couldn't wait to start taking pictures! :)

Material I used for this project:

  • Paint
  • Hillela G.
    Hillela G.
    on Nov 29, 2016

    I love it! Looks like your hard work really paid off!!

  • William
    William Burbank, IL
    on Nov 29, 2016

    WOW! They came out perfect! Love the pulls. Cool idea!

  • Marj
    Marj Canada
    on Nov 29, 2016

    Thank you!

  • Diana Deiley
    Diana Deiley Nokomis, FL
    on Nov 29, 2016

    Love everything! Great job. Thanks for sharing all your hard work. :) Enjoy.

  • Haysha S.
    Haysha S. Cedarhurst, NY
    on Nov 30, 2016

    Amazing Transformation!! So Inspiring!

Inspired? Will you try this project? Let the author know!