Transform Your Outdated Kitchen With This Stylish Update

13 Materials
1 Week

A friend of mine wanted to paint her kitchen cabinets. They were oak and she felt they were out of style.

Step 1: Clean

I used TSP and hot water to deep clean the cabinet. I wiped the outside of all the cabinets and the inside of the cabinet doors.

Step 2: Number Your Cabinets

This is one of the most important steps.

Write the same number on two pieces of tape. Place one piece of tape inside the cabinet and one piece on the door.

I used letters and numbers - "A" is for the upper cabinets, "B" is for the lower cabinets and "I" for the island cabinets.

Step 3: Remove Hardware and Hinges

Once you have your cabinets marked, removed all the hardware and hinges. Place the hinges into a zip lock bag.

Remove the doors.

For the drawers in this kitchen, the actual drawer fronts unscrewed from the drawers. Place the drawer screws into a zip lock bag.

Step 4: Lay Out the Doors and Drawer Fronts

In the garage, I laid pieces of plastic drop cloth onto the floor then I placed pieces of scrap wood underneath the doors to elevate them off of the floor. This will increase air flow when the doors are drying.

Place the doors with the back facing up.

Step 5: Fill Holes

I was replacing the hardware so

1 - I filled the holes with wood filler

2 - and sanded when they were dry

Step 6: Tape Walls

Another important step that you don't want to skip is taping off the walls around the cabinets. These walls had been recently painted so I used painter's tape made for delicate surfaces which is yellow.

Step 7: Prime Cabinets

2 - I used a 1/4" nap cabinet roller with this primer.

3 - To get into the seams, I also used a natural bristle paint brush

4 - I used the roller on the outsides of the cabinets too.

I applied one coat of primer and allowed it to dry 24 hours as per the manufacturer's directions.

Step 7: Paint

I used Valspar cabinet enamel for this project. By using this type of paint, you don't have to seal the cabinets. The enamel gives them a hard protective finish.

2 - 4 - I used the 1/4" nap roller and brush to apply the paint the doors and cabinets.

I applied two coats of paint allowing them to dry 12 hours between coats.

Step 7: Spray Hinges

The homeowner was changing the hardware to a nickel finish so I I applied two coats of spray paint to the hinges in a nickle finish.

Step 8: Distress

The homeowner didn't want a flat cabinet, so I distressed the cabinet doors.

1 - I mixed one part white paint with three parts water and mixed for a consistency of water

2 - I sanded the edges of the doors with fine grit sandpaper and removed the dust with a tack cloth

3 - 4 - Using a paint brush, I brushed the paint/water mixture onto the door

5 - 6 - then immediately used a soft cloth to remove most of the paint.

Step 9: Add the hardware

Once the doors were dry, it was time to attach the hardware

1 - Using a Kreg jig specifically made to drill new holes for hardware , I measured to find center

2 - then drilled holes for the pulls and knobs

3 - I used a hand screwdriver to attach the hardware

4 - and a power screwdriver to reattach the hinges

And here is the finished kitchen! Now scroll to the top and look at the before (I'll wait)

What a difference right? It looks updated and clean. And the homeowner loves the new look.

Resources for this project:

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Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

3 of 59 questions
  • Cassity Cassity on Oct 20, 2020

    did the wood grain show through?

  • Tawanna Tawanna on Aug 22, 2021

    My cabinets are the same “color “ as all the trim in my house. Would doing something like this to my cabinets look good?

  • Anita Anita on Aug 23, 2021

    My cabinet doors and drawer fronts are cheap with a type of plastic trim on the edges. How can I make the paint stick to the plastic.


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