Yikes. Let's start by addressing the elephant on the blog: we haven't shared a post in over two months. We're sorry! We've been diving head first into home projects and work, and our calendars have never been so full during any previous winter. Thankfully, being so active has given us some great content to share with you. The first is something we're very excited about - a kitchen update without renovation. We wanted something a little more fresh and contemporary. This was pretty easy to accomplish with some new paint, swapping out hardware, and soon, changing the backsplash. We promise to share plenty of before and afters, and update you along the way.
Luckily, we have some gorgeous before photos thanks to M Lindsay Photography and the blog, Neighborhooding. We were lucky enough to be featured on the blog last July (you can see the post here). This was so exciting for us because as first-time home owners, we had put in a lot of work from February to June, when the photos were taken, and we were so excited to show it to our family and friends! Fast forward 8 more months and we have done even more projects, like the one detailed in this post! We've learned that there is always something to be improved, so our home is a constant work in progress.
As you can probably see, there was absolutely nothing wrong with our cabinets before. I dreamed of a white and gray kitchen, and really wanted to change the granite to white quartz. We decided that it was completely unnecessary and would be quite expensive, considering our counter tops were beautiful already. So how else could we make the kitchen our own? The first thing we wanted to change was the black backsplash. It's too dark, and you can see the lines between each sheet of tiles. The plan we came up with is to do white subway tile. So once we decided that we'd keep the granite and add white subway tile, we came to a decision to paint the cabinets gray.
I started doing research on how to do this, and I stumbled across this post on Pinterest: How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets without Sanding or Priming! I was certainly intrigued. After reading this post and subsequently doing a lot more research, this post became my DIY bible. We bought the exact same paint, top coat & deglosser she recommended. The verdict? It worked great!
For our kitchen, we needed:
- 2 quarts General Finishes Milk paint, in Driftwood (we found it on Amazon)
- 1 quart General Finishes high performance top coat, in flat (we found it on Amazon)
- 1 quart Zinsser Deglosser (we found it on Amazon)
- 1 4 inch roller made for super smooth surfaces (we found at Home Depot)
- 1 6 inch roller made for super smooth surfaces (we found at Home Depot)
- A paint brush to get into grooves & corners
We followed the blog post's process exactly, which was, in short:
- Take off cabinet doors & drawers
- Clean all surfaces thoroughly
- Use deglosser on surfaces with a rag (it's important to only do a few at a time, because you must paint within an hour of using the deglosser)
- Use 2 coats of Milk Paint - this stuff dries within an hour to two hours max
- Use 3 coats of Top Coat - this also dried quickly, but we gave it little more time in between coats
Then we re-hung the doors and drawers, and replaced the hardware. All in all, the process was very simple. With that said, here is the ugly truth:
- Our kitchen and surrounding areas were a disaster for 2.5 weeks
- We couldn't cook due to lack of clean/empty surfaces
- We were meticulous at the beginning, and got lazy by the end
- We got on each other's nerves immensely
- We can see brush strokes on our cabinets, despite the post's saying she couldn't - we think this is due to her cabinets being grainy wood and ours being extremely smooth
- They aren't perfect! If you look closely, you can tell they were not professionally painted
With all of that said, we are extremely happy with the results. The gray looks really nice with our granite, and the hardware ties it all together with the other warm colors (lots of wood, for example) throughout the condo. We know that the kitchen will look even better once our new backsplash is in!
So what do you think? Would you paint your own kitchen cabinets? As frustrating as is was at times, we're so excited with how it turned out, and will probably repeat this process in our bathrooms down the road. It is so much less expensive that ripping and replacing cabinets, but really updated the look!