Okay. I’m ready to give you what you’ve been patiently waiting for. First I will tell you this. My cabinets look amazing. But they did not come easily or quickly. They DID come VERY affordable. So if you are reading this debating about if you can/should do this in your own home, here is my two cents. If you think the following statements apply to you, run out to the local Home Depot/Lowes/Menards and BUY THIS PRODUCT.
- I want an affordable way to change the look of my kitchen
- I don’t have thousands of dollars to invest in my kitchen
- I am adventurous
- I know my way around a paint brush
- I have patience
- I have time
- I don’t mind my kitchen being in shambles for at least two weeks
The last one if the one I think will stop many people. It is SUPER affordable; $70 for the kit and then you need a nice paint brush (I use Wooster Pro) and a screwdriver (to remove the hinges).
You have to be a little adventurous because let’s face it… cabinets aren’t cheap. And we are talking about removing the protective finish on your existing cabinets and PAINTING them. There is no going back. But don’t be scared! DIVE IN!
The most basic painting skills are a must here: know how much paint to apply to the brush, brush along the grain not against it… that’s about it.
It takes a lot of time. We are NOT talking about a weekend project here. If you took a week off work and did nothing but this you could probably get this done in one week… but who has nothing better to do with a week of vacation time?
Realistically, working on the weekend and a few hours after work each night I estimate you could do this in two full weekends and one-two weeks after work. That being said, that means you do not have doors or drawer fronts on your cabinets for 2 weeks. Have kids? Pets? Think about what is in those cabinets that you do not want them getting into. I’m glad I got mine done before we moved in.
We have (had) the same light brown, builder grade cabinets in the kitchen, hallway, laundry room, and both bedrooms… and I plan on re-finishing them all. However so far all I’ve got to are the kitchen and hallway. I have a few other projects to do before I move on to the other rooms. I have to make, stain and install the transitions from each room into the hallway and I have to make my guest bathroom shower usable first. (More on that later).
I also plan on painting the rest of my bookshelves that I got from Borders to make them prettier until we can afford nice ones. I already did one!
Anyway … back on track.. cabinets…
Here I am hard at work… painting the final coat on the front of the doors
Leon and Mom relaxing.. watching me… LOL!
Then I did the decorative glaze. I’ve mentioned before that this part is optional but I think it is what makes the cabinets look nice versus “painted.” On this picture you can see the difference the one with the glaze in on the left… no glaze on the right.
Here is a better picture of the glaze…
You can see how it got into the grooves to create a textured look.
The glaze is fun and easy … glop it on in the direction of the grain and remove it in whatever method you desire. There are literally hundreds of different glazing techniques you can use. I just applied the glaze (java brown is what comes in the kit) and lightly removed it with cheesecloth.
The REAL pain in the behind was the protective clear coat. Honestly I was most nervous about that part because the only bad reviews I’ve read about this product revolve around the top coat. Many people had issues with a white-ish film on the cabinets, caused from the protective coating being applied too thick and/or goop-ing up in the corners and crevices. The trick is to move FAST. I mean … lightening speed.
I still got a few spots of the creamy white color mostly along the sides of the doors. I used a light sand paper to tame it down a bit. If I was super picky I could sand that part all the way down and start the whole process over on that edge but I don’t think it’s hugely obvious. Unless you are looking for the mistakes you can’t really see any!
That being said, here I am applying the top coat to the side of the cabinets.
And the back of the door… see how it has a whitish tint? I was freaking out about it but when it dried that went away.
You have to let the clear top coat dry for at least 12-24 hours before using your cabinets… after it cures you can replace the hinges and add the hardware if you are putting hardware on. I HIGHLY recommend it. I think it REALLY makes a huge difference.
And the final product…
YAY!! They are DONE!
I had to replace a few broken hinges which was a pain because they don’t make the same hinges that the builder used so I had to re-drill holes which made the wood split… ugh.
Sooo….. what do you think?