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!

Refinished Staircase Banister Before & After

 

banister-before-after-shibang-designs

Sometimes a lot of elbow grease and very little in the way of supplies can have a huge impact. In this case, I’m talking about refinishing staircase banisters. This was something that I tackled early on because the honey oak colour was not my style.

My neighbour refinished her banister and this gave me the confidence to try it myself. This was a lot of work (especially since we have two staircases) and it’s messy but it was worth the effort!

I used leftover paint as a primer on the spindles followed by a topcoat of the leftover kitchen cabinet paint.

I chose a very dark, almost black stain for the railing. There’s a Canadian company, Saman, that I like to use because the stain is water based and it had the topcoat mixed into the product.

Kitchen Staircase

This photo is from when we first moved in and before any of my painting & moulding projects.

stairs_kitchen- before

Here it is after using a stripper to remove the varnish followed by sanding. This is an important step because without the necessary preparation and removal of the varnish, the stain won’t go on the wood evenly.

Staircase Banister Progress

This is the finished banister.Finished Banister // Shibang Designs

Basement Staircase

This is how the staircase that leads to the basement looked when we first moved in.  Here I started by painting the walls a lighter colour and then we added a large, statement light fixture.

Staircase Before // Shibang Designs

This is the view from the basement.

Basement Staircase

The view from upstairs.Basement Banister Progress

The finished banister.

basement_after

How to Refinish a Staircase Banister // Shibang Designs

If you look through previous posts there are lots of other photos that show the finished banister from other angles.