When we started looking for a home in Oregon, the first thing I noticed was an abundance of what I call “orange wood”. Don’t get me wrong, I love gorgeous natural wood in homes, but every piece of furniture and decor we own clashes violently against it (ok, violently is a bit dramatic).
The wonderful home owners before us took amazing care of the cabinetry, which made our decision easy. If the cabinets had been horribly damaged, we may have considered replacing them. Estimated cost of replacing cabinets hovered around $5,000. Since ours are custom height, we could have expected to pay closer to $8,000. Instead, we spent under $200 for gorgeous matte, navy cabinets…that I am absolutely in love with.
Let’s dive in shall we? If you have questions after reading, or run into a problem along the way, don’t hesitate to email me! I screwed up a lot, so I am sure I made the same mistake and can help lead you in the right direction. Allie@AnnRevereJewelry.com
Wooster 2 1/2 inch Alpha Angle brush ($15)
Craft Brushes from Michaels/Joann- for tiny corners/work ($5)
Zinsser Bulls Eye 123 Primer Gallon ($20)
Zinsser Bulls Eye Primer Spray ($24 for 6 cans)
Scotch Blue Painters Tape ($5)
Sandpaper- 150 grit/200grit & 400 grit ($15)
Benjamin Moore Advance Paint ($50) – we only needed one gallon, and have some left over, but it depends on the size of your kitchen
The Benjamin Moore Advance Paint is really key to this project, it allows for the matte look and satin feel of an oil based paint, but is a water based product. This means less fumes and headaches during painting, but you can still clean them up with soap and water. The matte look was really what drew me to the paint, the original formula for Benjamin Moore Advance is the satin finish, they have since come out with a glossy finish, so be sure and specify satin if you are hoping for a similar look. These are done in Hale Navy. It is a gorgeous blue with a gray undertone- if you are willing to try color, I absolutely recommend it! Another I am going crazy for is Newburg Green, we painted a cabinet in my office this color and let’s just say Benjamin Moore’s color game is strong. All the heart eyes.
1. Removing all doors, drawers, and their hardware (hinges, handles).
2. Please be smarter than me and NUMBER THEM, take a piece of blue painters tape and number them right to left and put the tape inside the door hinge or drawer bottom where you won’t be painting over it. The last thing you want to do after hours of painting these cabinets is put together a really frustrating puzzle.
3. When you remove the doors, be sure and remove the door from the hinge not the hinge from the base. You technically could remove the base from also, as you will have to work around them in painting, but it was one less step and I was happy to skip it.
*From here I worked in sections, splitting the kitchen into four parts and tackling one in its entirety before moving on so it wasn’t as overwhelming*
4. For sanding down the cabinets, and the base/moulding, I used 150 sandpaper. The key here is to rough up the wood so that the primer has something to grab onto. These cabinets had an extremely high gloss finish, even after quite a lot of sanding they were still very smooth. Work in circular movements and try and rough it up as much as you can.
5. Use a sponge with a little but of soap or just a wet towel to clean up the sandpaper residue or any dirt that might be on the cabinets and then it’s time to begin.
The instructions for painting are split into three sections, painting the base (anything left after you remove the doors and drawers), painting the doors, and painting the drawers.
Painting the Base:
1. Tape off the floor, around the cabinets where they hit the wall, and even the sides of your appliances if you don’t want to move them. I fit this project in during the week when I could find time, and we didn’t want the appliances out of commission for weeks, so I used my craft brushes when necessary and just worked around the appliances. As far as the base is concerned, we ended up painting the base boards as well, and even bought a paintable air vent grate at Home Depot. We love how it turned out, it really makes the cabinets all look like one unit instead of breaking up at the bottom of the cabinets.If you have cabinets that reach the ceiling, taping off the crown moulding is a pain and largely ineffective since the stucco of the ceiling is more intact than a normal wall since it hasn’t been painted over so many times–I am going to have to go back with a tiny brush and even the lines but it isn’t noticeable unless you are trying hard to see it.
2. For the base, I used the Zinsser primer and paint brush, this stuff is really thick naturally, and you don’t want to create streaks right from the start, so try and even it out as much as you can doing long, even strokes without too much paint on your brush. I did two coats of primer since our cabinets were so glossy, but one is usually sufficient. After it is all dry, if you notice some areas that the brush strokes are extremely noticeable, use your 400 grit sandpaper and smooth them out. Be sure and clean off the remaining residue before moving forward. One of the best tips I got for painting these cabinets is to be nice to your brush–I was terribly guilty of being so tired after painting to really clean my brush well and it makes your job so much harder moving forward. Wash the brush with warm water and massage it with soap until you see no paint coming off under the water.
3. I ended up doing three coats of paint on the whole base, two was probably enough, but my biggest concern painting the cabinets by hand was visible brush strokes, so I did very thin coats of the paint. The only downside to the Benjamin Moore Advance Paint is that you MUST wait one full day between coats. This is done by hand, and you absolutely can see brushstrokes with the right light, if you are searching for it, but I truly believe we are the only ones who notice them.
Painting the Drawers:
1. Sand down the drawers including the inside corners, and be sure to get all of the residue off them, it can get stuck in the crevices really easily.
2. The drawers and cabinets were both primed with the Zinsser spray paint, and only one coat is needed, it covers really well. You want to be a few inches away from the drawer when you spray so you dont get build up, if you do, wipe it off with a towel or sand it down with the 400 grit once it dries as the drips and build ups will only get worse with painting. Make sure to get the underside of the bottom of the drawer.
3. After the drawers were dry, clean up the inside bottom and tape off the inside corners. You could just paint the whole inside if you prefer, but we wanted the white bottoms to the drawers to remain.
4. For painting the drawers, I did two coats of the full drawer, and then a third coat on the face of the drawer. We took a bunch of cardboard boxes (thank you Costco and Amazon) and set them up all over the garage with drawers on them. This allowed me to knock out a coat on a bunch of them, without having to move around freshly painted pieces. I regularly muttered “slow and steady” to myself like a weirdo while painting these cabinets, it wasn’t a quick process, but thin coats, applied evenly resulted in a kitchen that was well worth the time!
Painting the Cabinets:
1. The process for getting the cabinets ready with sanding and priming was similar to the cabinets. On the priming, I would prime one side on the box, wait a few hours, flip and prime the others. One coat will do with the cabinets as well.
2. When painting the cabinets, I painted one side and then waited 6 hours before flipping it to paint the other. I did two coats on the back and three coats on the sides and front. ALWAYS start with the painting the back, then front, so that the front gets two coats at the end without being face down on the box for any time (when you press down on the box you can make some indentations in the paint, and you want these on the cabinet backs, not fronts). You want to be really careful of drips and pooling in the corners when painting the fronts. The cabinet fronts are definitely the place to go slowly and inspect it before leaving it to dry. If you come out and see any big drips before your next coat, do a light sanding with the 400 grit to remove the drips.
Wait a full day before putting the drawers and doors back on the base, and pretty pretty please tag me in pictures of your new kitchen on instagram (@annreverejewelry), I can’t wait to see them! Don’t hesitate to email me with questions as you go, Allie@AnnRevereJewelry.com. And most importantly, good luck!
Nook photos, Table and picture frames were made by Tyler and the chairs are all from World Market. I will get into on the lamp above the nook. Range, Dishwasher and Microwave are Viking, Fridge is Frigidaire Smuge Proof Stainless (which is amazing).
Shop Allie’s kitchen faucet here and the nook light here!