Saturday, December 11, 2010

DIY Kitchen: Before and After (do's and don'ts)



Since last Spring I've been on a major mission to lighten and brighten my surroundings. When we moved into this house over 7 years ago, I repainted almost every room, upstairs and down, but the kitchen I had pretty much left alone. A new Jenn Aire cooktop did wonders for the space, but I just couldn't get myself to be able to tackle the big job of painting the cabinets.



Each time I'd see one of you with a kitchen cabinet redo, I'd moan and groan and whine and sigh. I really wanted to do it, but I just didn't know where to start. My woodwork is white, my built in ovens are almond, my fridge is white, and my tiled backsplash (which I love) is antique white. Not to mention the sort of creamy white kitchen table, chairs, and cupboard. See what I mean? How would I get it all to blend?




Not only all the various color issues, my husband just isn't "inclined" for big house projects. He has a very demanding job and works way too many hours a week as it is. I don't like to hit him with extra things like this. But he was willing, so we tried to see how we could do it without it breaking the bank, and driving us into divorce court. (just kidding, but you know what I mean!)


First of all, I'm a "hands on" kind of gal, I'd rather do it myself than wait for a contractor, or workman if possible. I had an itch to have it done before Christmas, 'nough said.


I'm also not a perfectionist. Let me reiterate...
I am not a perfectionist.
Good thing, or I'd never have done this.




I had tons of comments on this post, and many many questions, so here goes on what I did: good or bad, and what I'd do differently if I were to do it again. (not here, not in this lifetime) LOL!!!


There are two sizes of drawer pulls and handles. We have the older size (3 inches). To be able to buy new pulls we would have had to cover up holes, re-drill, and then worry about the old holes showing through. I didn't want to spend a fortune on this, over 50 handles needed, yep, big kitchen (special orders needed). AND I wanted to spray paint the existing pulls brushed nickel since my faucet is nickel. This was the deciding factor on just removing all the handles but leaving the cabinets in place. Yes, that's right, we didn't remove the doors, or remove the cabinet contents. And because we didn't remove the doors that meant painting the hardware hinges white. Here's where it's obvious I'm not a perfectionist. There's just no way to make a painted hinge look fabulous. Opening and closing will wear off some of the paint. But since I like shabby, old, distressed things. Hey, it works for me.




Here's another biggie. We didn't sand either. Heaven forbid. Another huge ordeal.
Now, here's where I wish I would have done things differently. I used my wonderful Behr paint that has the primer included. I would not do this again. I would use a regular latex primer like Kilz or something else. There are lot's of them out there. The result was the same, but I had to do 3 coats as it was, and a primer first would have made it easier. The Behr paint is great, but it's a really heavy paint and I had to be super diligent and observant because of drips. Not just on the doors, but on the body of the cabinets.
So maybe another type of paint would have worked better for the cabinets.


I used a 1 1/2 inch trim brush to do the insets of the panels and a small 4 inch roller to do the rest. The roller gave it a smooth consistent finish which I am pretty happy with. I used an off white paint, called "Dove White" in interior Eggshell. I finished with a coat of Liquid Poly from Minwax in "satin". LOVE this product.

I used the Behr "two in one" paint for the walls in a custom color and I loved it, I only had to do one coat. Yea, a time saver on this front.

If you're not sanding you WILL have to make sure and wash down your cabinets thoroughly (made the husband do that yucky job!) I just used Ivory Liquid dish soap diluted. Make sure you remove all grunge or you will have a big problem. Paint won't stick to dried up, year old brownie batter.


So, I'm pretty happy with the results. I have a few not too noticeable drips, but I'm really so happy I did this. It's not perfection, but then I don't require it.

These following photos were taken in October, hence the Fall and Halloween decor.
I should have taken "before" shots but I was in a hurry.
(Story of my life)










I wish I would have done this years ago, the cabinets are 28 years old and the finish was less than great. It's so much lighter and brighter. I'm still just giddy when I walk in there. I've always loved painted white cabinets, so it was worth all the hard work! I'll make a link to this post on my sidebar for reference.

Now....back to Christmas!!!!
p.s. I'm linking up to Jennifer Rizzo, who was my inspiration to do this!

love ya,
Debra

57 comments:

  1. Your "new" kitchen is beautiful - so bright and cheery. I admire anyone who will pick up a paint brush and a can of paint, it terrifies me.:)

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  2. Absolutely beautiful. You should be very proud of yourself. I wanted white cabinets,my husband didn't and when we actually purchased this house the woman in the office had actually already placed the order with dark ones. My next home will have white cabinets. I am in love with them.
    Thank you for sharing and enjoy your gorgeous kitchen. Merry Christmas

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  3. Thanks for all the tips. Now I need a tip on how to talk my hubby into letting me paint our cabinets and woodwork white. But I know that will never happen.

    I'm a 'want-to-be' perfectionist living with a 'that'll have to do' hubby. Not always the best combination for a home project, but somehow we seem to get a few projects done, drips and all.

    Your kitchen does look so much brighter. You should be proud of all the work that went into this makeover.

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  4. Well I LOVE your new kitchen! I did this last year. Wanted a brighter space with painted and stained cabinets. So what do I do? I went with black granite countertops with my white cupboards. Go figure! But I'm loving my new look too!

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  5. Looks great Debra ! If you hadn't told me I would have assumed you bought them that way. It's so nice and bright in there now.
    Sharon

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  6. Hi Debra...Your kitchen looks like a whole new room! Isn't it amazing what white paint can do?! I just love how everything looks.
    We painted our cupboards white last year. I didn't remove any doors either, or the hinges. I went with brushed nickle pulls, and love the way it looks.
    We have black counters, and appliances tho...next time, I'll go with white ones.
    Great job!!!!
    Debbie@lakehouse

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  7. Your my kinda gal embracing imperfection and all not to mention the not sanding part:}

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  8. Oh, my! What a beautiful job you did! I would be just like you...no sanding, leave the doors and hardware on and make the job as fast as possible! Your results couldn't be better! Just beautiful!

    Malisa

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  9. Night and day difference with stunning results! I love how much larger and airy your kitchen looks. Thanks for the painting tips, soon we will be painting some cabinets at our farm and I was kind of dreading doing it but your encouragement really helps. Happy Holidays!

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  10. Debra, Your kitchen transformation is wonderful. What a difference painting the cabinets made. I think it is beautiful and that you did a great job.
    xo,
    Sherry

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  11. Debra the difference is amazing from the first shot to the last with the dark cabinets. So much light and new the cabinets look. It really looks great and I hope you are happy because that really is all that matters.

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  12. Yes, I agree with everyone, it looks fabulous! Love the subtle white differences. It really makes it all blend well together.
    I did just about the same process as you on our cabinet redo. No sanding, just paint. Makes a huge difference in the overall appearance of the kitchen. That's what matters :)
    Blessings
    Becky C

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  13. Now I'm the one that's moaning and groaning. I still is yuck cupboards. Your's turned out so perfect looking. I am going to paint mine in Febuary since I have the month off. I think I might give your idea of keeping the cabniets on to paint them. Seems like such a great way to speed things up.

    Thanks for posting all your tips. I'll be memorizing this post so I won't do anything wrong!

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  14. When I asked the lady at Home Depot about my windows & doors, she told me not to use the Behr with primer so that probably would be for cabinets too. I'm going to tackle mine in January. They look a lot like yours. Thanks for the advice. Jan

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  15. Absolutely love what you did. We are looking at houses that only have a bright and airy feel to them. I to love white kitchens so inviting. You should be so very very proud of your work.
    Cheers
    Maddie

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  16. That looks great! Very bright and cheery! We re-did our kitchen using red for outside the cabinets and on one wall, with light chocolate on the wall over the cabinets, and the doors and drawers are wood. We're going for more of the cabin/rustic look, and the cabinets were all white when we bought the place. It just didn't look right with the rest of the house and exposed timber beams.

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  17. I'm so glad you waited until the end of the post to show the "before" shots. I almost fell out of my chair (now who the heck would have picked me up). Your transformation is wonderful...doesn't even look like the same kitchen. Talk about practical magic...girl you created it!
    Love it all. BTW...do you hire out?
    Debbie

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  18. WOW!!! It is beautiful!!! Like you breathed new life into it!!!! And honestly it looks pro! You had a wonderful vision and I bet you are glad you carried it out...

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  19. Well, I think it looks fantastic, Debra! We're looking to downsize this coming year, otherwise I'd be figuring out the easy way to do this myself. Love the outcome!

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  20. Wow Debra your cupboards look amazing! I am at the whiny stage too where I would like mine white, but when I think of all the work. NOT so much! I DO think I could handle the way you did it as I am a hands on girl too. No contractor working in this house...except hubby! LOL
    Are you ready to come and paint mine?? I also have kinda the same problem. Almond stove, bisque refrigerator (shade of almond) , almond sink, white brick and walls...ugh. How to make everything work. Oh and black microwave and black front on stove. Too funny!!
    Hugs~

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  21. You KNOW you made the right decision when you realize you should have done something years ago! It's unbelievable how much brighter your kitchen is. It looks fantastic.

    I've now painted 3 different sets of kitchen cupboards. The funny thing is I've done it differently each time and I have been happy with the results each time!
    Chris

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  22. So much brighter and better! I am a huge fan of white kitchens....great makeover!

    Kelly

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  23. Way to go! I now will take your spot as the "whiner and sigher" for I too wish to paint my cabinets. The good news is that my hubby is just as eager to paint them as I am. I think it will be happening real soon. Thanks for the tips...I'll need all I can get!

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  24. WooHoo Debra, your kitchen looks beautiful! I want to paint my cabinets white too! I had mine refaced years ago, and when they did it they replaced the doors with a non wood formica product...YUCK!!! So my McGiver(he's a house painter), says NO, NO, No to my pleadings of painting them. He insists even with all the GREAT NEW products, that the paint will not stick... so untill I have enough time to do it when he's hunting or something. They're still honey colored! Your kitchen looks fabulous and someday I'll do mine too! One thing I know works really well on surfaces to clean and take the shine off before painting is TSP.I'll use that to prepare when the big day comes! Thanks for sharing, you've inspired me! 'Another' Debbie @ Cottage Hann~Me~Downs

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  25. This turned out beautifully! We painted ours several years ago in BM Bennington Gray, a light taupe color...after the holidays I am lightening mine up to white, too!

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  26. So much better, Debra. I've always loved white cabinets...I grew up in a house with them. This house is the first time I've had them myself. Your kitchen look so different..a complete transformation! Now your kitchen looks like a place you would like to spend time in. It's so you.

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  27. Debra,
    You have the same (old) cabinets that I do and I have always wanted to do this, maybe now I will have the inspiration to do so. You just have that special "eye for design" and the willingness to share with all of us "want tos." Anyway it looks fabulous! Hope your season is being blessed.
    Love, Peace, and Joy! ~ Katie

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  28. Debra, your kitchen looks fabulous! Great makeover! How are you?

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  29. Wow, I am speechless!!! Debra, it is gorgeous...I LOVE it!!!
    XO

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  30. Amazing! The difference is just eye popping! I'm doing the same with mine as we speak! One more section left and I'm done and my kitchen is much smaller, but what a bright, refreshing York Peppermint Patty sensation!:)Alyssa of Boston Bee

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  31. Girl, I think you kitchen looks tons better!
    Theresa
    aka:tot

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  32. Beautiful job dear Debra! I love it and it is so light and bright! My cabinets are white and I love them! Have a blessed day my friend! HUGS!

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  33. Looks great! I don't think my husband and I would make it through a project like that! I give you a round of applause!!

    Great job!

    Polly

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  34. Hi Debra, what a great post, I really enjoyed reading this. Your kitchen is just gorgeous, it really turned out great. We painted our cabinets too, and by we I mean my husband. He did remove the doors and he also used Kilz primer. We purchased white hinges and he put them in which were the most work really. But we're glad we did. We also replaced the hardware, So filling and sanding were involved but he took his time, and when it was finally done, I was ever so grateful.

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  35. Debra~ I enjoyed seeing the ~before~ and ~after~ shots of your kitchen. It all really looks good! We have so much to do in our kitchen. Seems we do it a little at a time. Maybe it's best to just ~dive in~. *smile* Happy Sunday! Love~Mandy

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  36. Your kitchen looks fantastic! You did a wonderful job! I am so glad I could serve as your inspiration! :)

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  37. looks really nice! I plan to paint mine sometime this year too. I prefer satin finish for the cabinets, I did this once and I loved the results!

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  38. It's all just beautiful! And your pretty white hutch just sparkles for Christmas!

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  39. Thank you, Debra, for the wealth of information you gave us today. Good tips and great warnings. I can not believe the huge difference painting your cabinets made in your kitchen! No wonder you're giddy! I would be too! (IF I could ever talk hubby into letting me paint ours.....) SUPERB job! :)

    xoxo laurie

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  40. Debra,
    Beautiful! I do love white cabinets, too! Light and bright is wonderful.

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  41. Debra, your kitchen turned out wonderful! The cabinets look professionally done!

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  42. Hi Debra, I love what you did to the kitchen! What a difference.. so light and bright. White is my favourite colour for a kitchen. You should be very proud of yourself it looks absolutely beautiful! take care, Maryann

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  43. Hey Debra
    Isn't it amazing just the different feeling paint can give. When you first walk into a room it has a certain feeling... which is the color and then you see the overall details. Your kitchen has such a beautiful feel to it. Congratulations on a job well done... enjoy!
    Blessings
    Rebecca

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  44. I just love how your kitchen turned out! White cabinets can really make you feel like you have a brand new kitchen!
    Blessings,
    Janet

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  45. It's sooo much more light and bright. Great job! I love it. Blessings... polly

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  46. Debra, your kitchen looks beautiful! Thanks for sharing all the tips! Cindy

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  47. I love it Debra! I am going to be renovating my kitchen. If I would have had enough cabinet space I would have just painted and put down a new floor. But we just don't have enough cabinets and Hubbo was up for the entire re-do. I am excited to see it progress. Yours truely looks lovely. I love the white.

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  48. i'm a new follower, and just found your beautiful kitchen! painting cabinets is such a major job and this looks so bright and much larger-wonderful!

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  49. I went hunting around your blog to find this post, looking for your fridge and seeing the before and after. Just stunning~what a difference! I feel the same way about perfectionism, so glad I am not cursed with that gene. I painted mine too, but used old white chalk paint and wax. Although I am now changing out the countertops, I think the paint job was the biggest thing I could have done to the kitchen, and was thrilled to do it. I didn't take my cabinet doors off either~but I was lucky to have hidden hinges, either way, I would NOT have taken them off. Great job!!

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  50. Looks wonderful! It really does make your kitchen brand new!

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  51. I have been trying to find other blogs basically for searching the information regarding to kitchen sinks Thank you so much for this post.
    Stainless Steel Portable Sinks

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  52. I love your kitchen, too. You did a great job. I love all the white.

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  53. I love painted cabinets too! We did it in our 70's house and also in our vintage 50's updated to
    70's lake house. Yours turned out great!

    Jillian
    Bella Rosa Antiques

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  54. Thank you, thank you for this post! We have a condo which has cabinets just like your old kitchen ones and it just makes the kitchen dark and dingy. Plus, since the kitchen is open to the living/dining area it just clashes with the beach vibe I wanted to have. I've been wanting to paint them white since we (let's face it, ME) have decorated with white wicker and a very beachy lightness. What I didn't want to do was, as my husband suggested, remove the cabinets or sand. Especially since it probably would be me doing it! First of all, we're on the third floor and only have a balcony. I'd already tackled spray painting all the wicker furniture (I'm talking A LOT of furniture)ON THE BALCONY 3 years ago, complete with plastic drop cloths attached to the rails, floor. Needless to say, I did not want to go there again. Nor did I want sanding grit (except for beach sand!) all over the condo. So to make a long story, well... short? I am sooo encouraged by how you did it! I will definitely do your technique when the weather gets cooler. Thank you, thank you!

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  55. You guys did a pretty good job, considering all the shortcuts LOL. Your kitchen looks really warm and spacious – much better than all that dark cabinetry! I have flat white laminate doors on my cabinets and have thought about giving them a shaker-style makeover for a long time. But then I think about having to clean along the grooves as my house gets quite dusty in the area I live in Phuket (an island in Thailand). Maybe I’ll just stick with a coat of paint and new handles…

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