Refreshing Cabinets With a Layers and Layers of Paint.

6 Materials
4 Days

i was able to change up some things at my vacation rental while there doing repairs. I originally had painted my cabinets a plain white in the kitchen to try and open it up to look bigger then the small galley kitchen it was. The cabinets doors were handmade out plywood so it spruced them up at the time. Being a vacation rental they were constantly getting gouged and stained from food and coffee. Every time I went out I had to repaint all the doors and tried to repair what I could with drywall mud. After taking the plunge and redoing my dining table into a weathered coastal look I decided it would be perfect for my cabinetry as well. I figured since it was a small kitchen it wouldn’t kick my butt too much. Boy was this old women wrong!

It was a cute little kitchen but it really needed something. So I went to work. I lightly sanded everything and wiped it down good with dish soap to remove any grease and spills. After removing knobs I knew I would never be able to get cabinets doors plumbed to open and close correctly again so I decided to leave doors on for the painting technique. It was raining outside and if anybody knows the south I wouldn’t be able to get the paint to dry without the air conditioner of the house and also did not have space to lay them out inside the house.Any other time I would have removed doors instead of having to clean up hinges the whole time. Lesson learned.

I got out the acrylic paints I had purchased for dining table redo. I used ten different acrylic paint colors a light and dark grey, light and dark turquoise blues, a navy blue, beige, red, dark and browns and black and of course chalk white as base color. The more colors the more dimensions. I mixed drywall mud with my white base color to adhere to my already painted cabinets and let them dry for 24 hours.

The next day I started applying my different colors with a cheap chip brush. I like the chip brush because they create brush stroke easily. I also used a spray bottle of water to moisten colors while blending. This project literally took me days because I needed to let all coats dry. I found if I wasn’t patient when I was applying more paint it would wipe right off down to the base white. So patience was easy when I knew i could take a walk a couple of blocks and go to the beach 🏖

I kept going back over it with whites and blues during the whole process to give it the coastal weathered look.

This was literally the hundredth time I went back over it with colors ( I may be exaggerating a tiny bit!). It probably would have been fine 50 times ago but I kept thinking it needed more! Don’t make that mistake.

I had upgraded my cabinets knobs to look more coastal with twine, but that is another post!

It actually turned out better then I thought. I applied two coats of poly urethane for durability.

I thought it would close things in more but it actually gave the kitchen personality rather than plain white cabinets that had coffee drip stains down them.

This weathered look will hide a multitude of stains and works great with my coastal decor. They should be durable too. Hope my guests enjoy it as much as I did. Thank you and I hope you enjoy.

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 6 questions
  • Linda
    on Feb 21, 2019

    I was wondering how well the paint is holding up? I have tried pro painter twice and made one attempt myself to paint my cabinets and each time the paint started chipping within a few months. You have given me some hope for success if your paint is wearing well.

    • Ruth
      on Mar 26, 2019

      Thank you, I didn't worry to much about prep because I had touched up the cabinets so much and I knew a good scrubbing would do it. So far they are holding up well as I am in my busy season. I have gotten positive complements on the kitchen cabinets.

  • Debbie Jean
    on Mar 3, 2019

    We have plastic cabinet doors at our place ..( i KNOW?? Never have i seen this in my 50 years) will this work for them? Im sure it will but wonder if a coat.of clear on top will help it last longer? Any tips anyone can give?

  • Crystal
    on Apr 8, 2019

    I like this alot!!!! Do you paint layers of different colors. You blended all colors together right. We're you aiming for a particular color to stand out? Cause using the all them colors you can pick a color out and use one for a accent color around in the kitchen & dining and even switch up with different colors. I just love this idea. Great thinking!!!!

    • Ruth
      on Apr 8, 2019

      Hello Crystal, yes I just kept grabbing different colored brushes and blended together. I wanted more coastal so whites,blues and grays were dominant.

      Thank you!

Join the conversation

2 of 93 comments
  • Bcfatbroad
    on Apr 13, 2019

    I love it ..just want to fo my cabnetd that way. As I do often get black and white pictures. Then slowly add colors to them as I change room colors they still match. YEP. Just blending more colors in on them

  • Ruth
    on Apr 14, 2019


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