How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets

After showing this before and after photo of our new kitchen that was done with very little resources, I’ve had a few questions from people wanting to know how to their paint kitchen cabinets.

This is the second kitchen I’ve painted and yes, it takes many hours to do but the results and low cost are worth it.

Here are some before & after photos of our former GTA home. I started by painting the cabinets in 2015, then trim & crown moulding and in 2016 we replaced the counter, sink & faucet and added a backsplash. When it came time to get rid of the old counter, sink and faucet I posted it for free on Kijiji and someone came to pick it up – everything got reused.

After Photo: Heidi Lau Photography

After Photo: Heidi Lau Photography

Materials

These are the supplies I used:

  • Primer -STIX by Benjamin Moore (It is expensive but doesn’t require any sanding!!)
  • Benjamin Moore Advance Paint in Pearl Finish
  • Velour or Foam Roller
  • TSP to clean and degrease the cabinets first – very necessary!

 

I considered renting a sprayer to do the cabinets but instead used a roller since I have limited moments of time to work so I could slowly paint a little bit each day. Also if you’re using a sprayer and working in a garage you have to make sure that the temperature isn’t too cold.

 

Choosing a Paint Colour

There are unlimited colours to choose from. For our last house, I considered a dark colour but since it was a galley kitchen with white appliances I decided on white so that the appliances would blend in and the white would make the small space feel larger.

For our current kitchen, I used the same shade of white as the last time because it worked and I love the name – Vanilla Milkshake. I like classic style and for the number of hours it takes to paint the cabinets, I don’t want to grow tired of the colour.

The shade of beige/grey for the island is Pashmina, which has brown tones rather than purple tones which work with the cooler white.

There are so many shades of white if you go that route and while the paint chip may appear like a dark white it will like a bright white once it’s on the cabinets. In my experience, white and beige/grey look lighter when painted on cabinets.

Cabinet Doors off or on?

For the last house, I kept the doors on to paint because I was apprehensive about taking the doors off and not having the hinges line up properly afterward. It worked fine and I had good light to work with but some areas were hard to reach. It took me one week of late nights and one day to complete this entire kitchen (while my husband was out of town!).

This time I took the doors off and did all painting in the garage. It felt like the process went on forever because I would only work for about 1-2 hours at a time and this kitchen has 24 doors and 12 drawers.

I painted the upper doors first, then the bottom doors, then the drawers.

Each cabinet door needs:

  • 1 coat primer front
  • 1 coat primer back
  • 2 coats paint front side
  • 1-2 coats paint back side

Then you should ideally wait  5 – 7 days until the paint has cured. This step is important. I was eager to restore order and put the doors back on before the paint had cured and I chipped the paint. Even once the paint has cured, small chips happen in frequently used areas like around the knobs and door openings.

Process Photos from Both Kitchens:

The first kitchen had a few more steps after painting. The white opened up this space but it was so basic still. The backsplash was what pulled it all together and the quartz counters elevated the kitchen.

Our Current Kitchen

Priming
Removing Upper Doors – Hardware taped inside each cupboard.
Painting the doors in the garage. I used a brush to paint the inner edge and then followed up with a roller.

Upper Doors Painted

This is how the kitchen looked for one week! It was definitely a relief to have the doors back on.
The outer cabinet doors – BM Vanilla Milkshake vs the island doors – BM Pashmina

This is how the kitchen looked when I was still painting the walls white.

After – Paint, Trim on the island, stools, 2 drawer pulls.

 

More to come with how to add more details to the kitchen such as:

  • Moulding & Trim to Cupboards
  • Choosing a new counter & backsplash tiles
Before – Builder basic kitchen. oak cabinet doors, laminate counter, no backsplash.
After – Painted Cabinets, Backsplash, Trim, Quartz Counters

Photo: Heidi Lau Photography

 

 

New House Kitchen Makeover

Welcome to the kitchen in our new home. It’s now been 4 months since we moved from Ontario to BC and now that the main floor painting is mostly complete I’m tackling the kitchen with the aim of having it ready for Christmas.

 

This is the plan:

 

Our home is 14 years old and the main floor is open concept with a huge island in the kitchen about 8 feet long. This is how we have been using the space since we moved in this summer – standing at the kitchen island. It took me a while to figure out what kind of stool to use at the island. I usually choose secondhand but finding 4 stools the right height and style for this high island was not turning up any results so I started looking at Wayfair for options.

This kitchen update is the first phase – making a couple of cosmetic changes with paint and a few handles and new stools. Eventually in the future, I’d like to lower the counter and make it all one uniform height which is why I wanted the seating to be adjustable so that it could work now and one day if we lower the counter.

Since our kitchen table chairs are quite high and large I was looking for stools without a back for a lower profile that could be tucked away.

These are some of the other options I was looking at that would be childproof – ie. no fabric to stain, adjustable height and a solid wood top. One of these below isn’t solid wood (Jolene) but the Alva one is.

kitchen and dining chairsAlva Dining Chair //
More Kitchen Chairs
bar stoolsSwivel Bar Stool //
More Bar Stools
bar stoolsDonington Stool //
More White Stools
bar stoolsJolene Barstools //
More Swivel Stools
bar stoolsMaureen Bar Stool //
More Gold Stools

Here’s a look at the island one more time before I get painting. I haven’t completely decided on the island colour yet. The outer cabinets will be a shade of white and the island will likely be a taupe colour from one of the Benjamin Moore colour samples below.

In our previous home I painted the cabinets and only changed the drawer pulls. That is what I intend to do this time as well. The current knobs are an unlacquered brass and I found pulls at Lee Valley (shown above) that had similar colouring.

Now it’s time to get started and finished because Christmas is only a month away and there’s nothing like a self-imposed deadline to get a project completed!

Fall ORC – Week #3

 

Unifying with Paint

This week’s update for the One Room Challenge is about a quick and easy project.

We no longer have our plants or pots so I set out to get new ones for the office. Finding plants was easy but to buy new pots gets pricey and I needed quite a few. Now that we’re starting off fresh in so many ways and I’m continuing to use secondhand as much as possible I went to check out thrift stores for pots.   I decided to unify them with paint and in a grey, imitation cement look. Here’s the before (I’m still looking for a pot for the fern).

I used a chalky finish spray paint (and did a terrible job of it) to have a base for the paint to adhere to.

Then I painted them with a couple of different grey paint samples, Benjamin Moore Willow Creek and Baltic Grey to be specific.

Here’s the finished look. Now that the pots are all the same grey it’s not as busy with lots of colours and the plants take centre stage. Being able to choose secondhand items for their shape rather than colour made it much easier to find the right pieces however I still need to find a couple more!

These will be going on a floating shelf that I’m planning to put up above the desk.

 

Here’s the link to see how the other One Room Challenge projects are going:

 

UPDATE: Thanks Apartment Therapy for featuring this project!

Screen shot 2019-11-01 at 9.28.04 PM

ORC – Spring Weeks 2 & 3

Weeks 2 & 3

Continuing on with the budget bathroom update that I wish I had done sooner — next on the list was painting and a new vanity mirror.

I tried a light grey first for the walls that was a lighter shade of what we have in our bedroom but it didn’t look right so I ended up going for white.

Getting the right shade of white can be tricky.

At first, I intended to use leftover white paint (Benjamin Moore Simply White) but it was too yellow and looked dingy in the bathroom.

Next, I tested out some plain white, straight out of the can, untinted white that I use for baseboards and doors. I was hesitant about how it would look but this article from Houzz about 10 Beautiful White and Wood Bathrooms helped me finalize my decision to paint the walls white without thinking it would look too clinical.

This white instantly brightened the room and made it look cleaner too. Paint is such an easy and inexpensive way to update a space.

To keep things simple I painted the doors and baseboards the same white as the wall.

Next was removing the large mirror above the vanity. This was something that I had wanted to do for awhile but was very hesitant about taking the mirror off. It actually was quite easy to remove and replacing it with a round mirror instantly updated the look of the bathroom – why didn’t I do this 4 years ago??

 

 

That’s it so far, a huge change on a very small budget and something that could easily be done on a weekend. To see the progress other people have made follow along on the One Room Challenge site.

 

 

 

Spring 2019 – ORC
Fall 2017 -ORC

Side Note: Notice the Difference

between the current

ORC and the last one?

DIY Aged Terra Cotta Pots

Do you add more houseplants & flowers to your home this time of year?

Terra cotta pots are a classic & inexpensive option for plants but the ordinary colour isn’t my style. Doing a quick paint job adds that aged look.

Here’s a look at the before and after – which only took a couple of minutes and hardly needed any supplies.

Supplies:

  • Terra Cotta Pot (from a home improvement store, dollar store)
  • Paint Brush (any size or shape)
  • White, Cream or Grey Paint ( I use my leftover house paint samples)
  • Newspaper or scrap paper to dab paint

 

The trick to this look is using a dry brush technique. Dip the paintbrush into a tiny bit of paint, then dab most of the paint off onto the scrap paper. Apply the paint to one spot on the pot and then rub it with the brush and gently spread the paint outwards until no more paint is left. Continue these steps until the whole pot is covered.

Using very little paint is key.

Here they are finished and below is a pot I did a few years ago with white paint. This larger herb pot was left outside over a couple of summers too so that’s what added to the patina.

Well spring may be a few months away still but it feels more lively in here with extra plants & forced bulbs around. 

Powder Room – Before & After

This before and after of our powder room has been a gradual project. A couple of years ago I shared photos of how I installed wooden shelves behind the toilet to create a display area and storage for hand towels.

The first change I made to the powder room was to paint it a dark teal because a small space is perfect for experimenting and trying something bold. Next, I replaced the mirror with a vintage one that I had. Below is the listing photo of the bathroom.

This is the only photo I took of the bathroom before because I was pretty quick to get a new coat of paint on the wall.

In September I won a contest and my prize was my choice of faucet from Delta Canada. I chose this single handle Victorian faucet to go in on our pedestal sink. The old-fashioned style of this reminds me of the taps in the bathrooms in the house that my Grandpa’s family built in the early 1900’s when they first came to Canada. I chose the single lever style to make it easier for kids to use and the chrome finish to match what was already in the room.

I chose the single lever style to make it easier for kids to use and the chrome finish to match what was already in the room.

This is what we had before so the new faucet was a big upgrade and like adding shiny jewellery to the room.

For most of my projects I like to use what I already have, so even though I was changing the faucet I wanted to keep the same pedestal sink.

My neighbour kindly installed this new faucet for us one Saturday morning. He bought shut off valves from Home Depot and new hoses to connect it.

 

 

 

 

 

Behind the faucet I added a wide, modern chair rail by Metrie to add interest on the wall behind the faucet. Now that I’ve done it enough times, trim installation is a quick project, especially in a tiny space like this. I did have to use a mitre saw to cut this chair rail because of the 4″ width and 1″ thick profile.

I painted the pieces before installing them. Since I didn’t have a lot of leftover paint from the bathroom I did a basecoat with a different dark paint I had first.

To install I used the same process as my other posts with a hammer and nail setter.

Here’s the room now and another before & after collage with the faucet and trim.

Kitchen Makeover on a Budget

All White Kitchen // Shibang Designs

Here are some photos of the backsplash installation. This part dramatically changed the feeling of the space.

Subway Tiling // Shibang Designs

White Subway Tile Backsplash // Shibang DesignsHere you can see a little look at the honey coloured wood that used to be here.
White Subway Tile Backsplash // Shibang Designs White Subway Tile Backsplash // Shibang Designs

I added some wood corner pieces on the corners of the walls to conceal the tile edge as well as  crown moulding along the top of valance. It took me several weeks to complete all of my finishing touches when the tiling itself was only 5 hours when done by someone we hired. I like learning and every time it gets a bit easier to install moulding and other architectural details.

White Kitchen and Herbs // Shibang Designs

It looks like a different kitchen and it still has the same elements, just a lot has been added to embellish and customize it.

How to get your dream kitchen on a budget

 

UPDATE:

We have since sold this home and I have just finished painting our new kitchen. It is so much work to paint the cabinets but you can’t beat the low cost and major impact it has!

This is the before:

Shibang Designs Kitchen Before
Our New Kitchen – Before Painting the Cabinets

Related Posts 

Shibang Designs Painting Progress
Painting Kitchen Cabinets
White Quartz Samples
White Quartz Counters
Thrift Store Table Refinishing
Thrift Store Dining Table Refinished

 

 

 

At Home: Before & After Side Tables

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted any photos of projects. I have tons of before and afters to share so here are two living room side tables that I painted to blend in with the walls in the room. These are actually bedside tables which were the perfect size and shape for what I wanted. 
IMG_1437
A quick coat (or two) of paint can quickly transform the look of secondhand furniture. I also painted these with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. The light grey is a mix of pure white and graphite and the dark table is pure graphite.

Shibang Designs BeforeGraphite Chalk Paint Shibang Designs

Graphite Chalk Paint Shibang Designs IMG_0121

Paint colour for the light grey wall is Grey Taupe by Benjamin Moore Origins OR-489. It is a warm grey that changes depending on the light and I would recommend it.

Shibang Sketchbook : Paint Sample Benjamin Moore Origins Grey Taupe