My friend Ellen, who runs the blog Black and White and Loved All Over, is back with another guest post--this time about painting her kitchen cabinets in East Nashville. Let's talk about value increase!
Painting my kitchen cabinets is something I’ve wanted to do
for years but was very daunted by, especially when I learned that I would need
to use oil paint if I wanted the paint job to last and be easy to wipe down. In
case you didn’t know, oil paint is really tough to work with. It is stinky and sticky and
you have to use either paint thinner or vegetable oil (yes, this works!) to get
it off your hands. Worst of all, it takes 24 hours between each coat to dry,
and it doesn’t respond to sanding as well as latex, so you’re more likely to
have to live with your mistakes.
Here's what the cabinets looked like before I started:
Because I was painting my kitchen, which we obviously use
often, I completed the project in fits and starts over a period of three weeks,
usually working on the weekends. I always imagined I’d paint my cabinets white
or cream, but then I found this gray that I fell in love with—Martha Stewart’s
“Bedford Gray,” which I thought would look super pretty against my mint walls (Benjamin Moore’s “Cool Mint”) and perhaps not show dirt quite as easily. I
found this color on another woman’s blog, where she wrote about painting her own cabinets this color. I believe Martha
Stewart herself has this color in one of
In addition to painting the cabinets, I took down another
one of the cabinets beside my kitchen sink and added open shelving with corbels
and lumber from Home Depot. We moved the cabinet we took down into our laundry
room so we didn’t actually lose any storage. And now we have a great place to
display some of our favorite dishes, including the beginning of my cake stand
Part of the reason I want to share this project here, besides
that I love the way it turned out, is that I learned so much during the
process. I hope I can save others some time and frustration before they get
going with oil paint on their own cabinets. So, in no particular order, here’s
what I learned about painting kitchen cabinets with oil paint:
Don’t worry about painting the inside of your
cabinets. No one will notice, and it will save you a ton of time if you don’t
worry about this part. I do plan on one day going back and painting the insides
with something easy—like chalk paint. But not any time soon.
To minimize the appearance of brush strokes,
which are basically inevitable, in both your primer and paint use a paint
additive called Flood Penetrol, which extends the already excruciatingly long
drying time but really does make your paint less gloppy.
Spend a little extra on a paintbrush designed
specifically for oil-based paints. I began with a cheapie paintbrush but
switched halfway through the project to a natural bristle brush that cost $15.
This made ALL THE DANG DIFFERENCE in how smoothly the paint went on. The
expensive brush also shed far less so I wasn’t constantly picking stray
bristles off the wet cabinets. 4.
In spite of my paintbrush recommendation, try to
use your paintbrush as little as possible. I got a far better finish when I
rolled the paint on, and it also took me much less time. Also spend a little
extra to buy a mini-roller that’s guaranteed to be lint free. I found mine at
the Sherwin Williams store and loved it because it smoothed the finish out
enough that I didn’t have to sand between coats of paint. Still, the final
finish isn’t completely smooth; it’s just so slightly mottled because of the
texture of the rolling brush. I suppose if you want a mirror-smooth finish, you
need to pay someone a few thousand bucks to spray your cabinets. I spent about
$75 on paint and supplies. 5.
Don’t paint in the dark. Oh, does this sound
obvious? Well, since I have two small children, I like to do a lot of my
projects after they go to sleep at night. This wasn’t a good one to do. I glopped
on a coat of primer in low light one night and woke up the next morning to find
a horrifying number of hardened drips. It took me at least an hour the next day
to sand off all my mistakes. After that I did all my painting in the daylight. 6.
Ventilate. It was cold when I took on this
project so I didn’t open a window, and I didn’t think to wear a mask. This was
dumb, dumb, dumb. I’ve had several migraines in the weeks since and now wonder
if this might have something to do with all the paint fumes I huffed for hours
on end. 7.
I also learned: All the hard work was worth it.
My kitchen makes me smile so hard now. The cabinets were the one thing that was
holding me back from full-on loving my kitchen. Maybe one day we can put in
some white quartz countertops to finish the picture—and I’m looking for the
perfect pair of barstools—but in the meantime I am so happy with this space
now. It seems like a lot of people are dying to paint over their
dated cabinets. I say: Do it! You won’t regret it.
Author:TJ Anderson Phone: 615-364-1530 Dated: March 14th 2014 Views: 2,354 About TJ: TJ Anderson is a Nashville Realtor with Benchmark Realty who's helped countless clients both buy a h...
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