Giani Nuvo Cabinet Paint Tutorial

4 Materials
1 Day

This post will talk about my experience/how to with Giani, Inc. Nuvo Cabinet Paint. Giani was gracious enough to send my this paint to me free of charge in exchange for my honest review of their product. We used this paint on out master bath vanity during the Fall 2018 One Room Challenge, and let me tell you, it was SO easy (WAY easier than our kitchen cabinets – I honestly wish I would have used this stuff in our kitchen, because not only is it super simple, but it looks gorgeous and has held up great)!

(I later used Nuvo in our guest bath makeover as well - we love It and it has held up so well over the past 3 years).

((Head to my blog for more!)

The BEFORE! Obviously we renovated the entire bathroom, which you'll see in the after photos below!

We chose to use Hearthstone as our color – a gorgeous greige (I considered a lighter grey but I didn’t want it to blend in with our light grey walls).

Giani sends you a Wooster brush (my favorite)! I used this to paint the frames and edges/decorative spots, but used the roller to tackle the door and drawer fronts.

The best thing about Giani’s cabinet paint (besides that they send you everything you need, including the paint brush), is that it’s little to no prep. Let me say it again for the folks in the back – LITTLE TO NO PREP! Basically, for any painted surface, you lightly sand, and then clean like crazy. No trying to sand off every last bit of paint on your cabinets, etc. (Giani has instructions for other types of surfaces, so be sure to follow their instructions if working with stained or untreated wood, etc). For us, the lack of sanding was a LIFESAVER.

Step 1: Our cabinets had been painted multiple times by previous owners – but i just had to lightly sand and that was it! Use a sanding block or 180 grit sand paper to just scuff up the surface.

Step 2: Next, you use Windex or Cinch or SImpleGreen to clean the heck out of your cabinets. This is the part you DON’T want to skimp on. Think your cabinets are clean? Nope. Clean once more just for good measure. If they aren’t clean, and you paint them, you’ll see cracking in the paint. I had a few spots where this happened due to not cleaning well enough – its hardly noticeable (Especially after the touch ups I did – see below) so not a big deal to us, but learn from my mistakes! The spots you should focus on are the places where your hands tend to go – drawer and door tops, etc. Anywhere there might be grease from your hands, hair products, makeup, and what not, you want to spend extra time on. The cleaner, the better. Seriously.

And once you are prepped (don’t forget to use Frog Tape (better than painters tape) to tape off any surfaces you don’t want getting paint on them, like walls and floors and countertops), you literally just paint it on!

Step 3: ALSO, another AMAZING thing about this paint is that you DO. NOT. NEED. TO. REMOVE. THE. CABINET. DOORS! You can if you want to, obviously, but ours were nearly impossible to remove, so I appreciated this step. The hinges had already been painted previously as well, so I want to paint them to match anyway.

Step 4: Start with the frames, and then tackle the fronts of the doors, and then the backs. I ended by painting the drawer fronts. By the time I finished one coat, everything was already dry. I waited about 15 minutes in between just to be safe, but I literally could have started again on coat #2 as soon as I was done with the first one. Next, paint the door fronts, and then the backs (obviously leave the doors open so they don’t dry shut).

Repeat 2-3 more times, cycling through with the frames, door fronts, backs, drawer fronts, etc. If you DO end up with a bit of cracking, as I did, just take a small brush and touch up. Giani warns that if you do touch ups, the finishes may dry differently. This was sort of true on mine, but I preferred the very slight difference in finish to the cracks. Touching up the spots that cracked seemed to resolve that issue, so I’ll take no cracks over slight difference in finish. Let dry for at least 8 hours (I always wait longer – usually 1-2 days just to be safe) and voila! Pull off your tape, close your cabinet doors, put your drawers back in, and you’re done!

Does this seem like the easiest tutorial ever in life? That’s because it is! Literally. Giani’s Nuvo paint is spectacular, it levels out amazingly well (no roller or brush marks), and I’m trying to figure out how to get more so I can tackle our guest bathroom! I truly can’t recommend it enough, especially for the lazy DIYer – it is absolutely incredible! You can see how lovely it turned out in these after shots!

Smooth, Polished. And a stunning greige color! We love it!

I hope you'll come check out my blog for more DIY and home decor inspiration! See you there!

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Clancy Phythian
    Clancy Phythian
    on Apr 11, 2021

    Where did you find those gorgeous mirrors. And did you remove the big mirror yourself or have someone remove it and retexture the wall?

  • Glenda Brown
    Glenda Brown
    on Apr 11, 2021

    How did you get the brick background. ?

  • Harley
    on Apr 12, 2021

    Looks great, I'm about to do all my kitchen cabinets but after watching a LOT of DIY videos I do have a few specific questions for you : 1) you said to sand and THEN wash / clean the surface - knowing all the YEARS of oil / grease etc..from a normal kitchen I was told to use a TSP-type cleaner 1st (so as not to sand-in all the grime) and THEN sand + clean with wet cloth etc...a bit more work maybe but for a kitchen don't u agree? 2) would this kit work with painting a lighter color OVER a dark-colored cabinet? usually that requires primer + sealer , does this kit INCLUDE all that? and u have to sand between prime coat and the actual PAINTING? Did you use 2 coats of paint or just 1 prime & 1 paint coat? 3) my cabinets have decorative ribs / seams in the front (like yours), does this kit INCLUDE special brushes / roller to get all the primer / paint INTO ALL those crevices? 4) my kitchen has a light-beige tile floor and the cabinets are currently VERY dark brown - what (lighter) color would U suggest to paint the cabinets? I think pure white may be too "bright"? Sorry for all the questions - just want to do it right (even if that means removing the fronts / hardware etc...)

Join the conversation

2 of 15 comments
  • Barbara
    on Apr 12, 2021

    So, so beautiful and timeless!

  • T321cutey
    Just now

    FYI to remove paint from hinges (if you can get them off) place in an old crackpot with water overnight and it'll come right off.

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