Raise your hand if you’re in love with a clean, white kitchen? My hand isn’t just up, it’s waving around and really excited. I get made fun of sometimes because my favorite color is white. I love neutrals and soft colors too, but a white kitchen cannot be beat in my book.
Unfortunately, my kitchen was not white when we moved in, but I knew a simple change to the cabinets would make all the difference. After painting the walls, I learned how much a coat of paint can change a space, so I knew this would be a great first step in updating the kitchen. The old cabinets also did not have hardware, which was a blessing because then I could choose whatever I wanted without having to worry about filling holes.
Below are a few simple steps I would recommend when taking on a project like painting kitchen cabinets.
I did A LOT of research to find out what paint I should use. I had previously used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint for dressers and nightstands, which turned out great. However, with that project I learned that if you’re going for a crisp, clean look versus distressed, maybe Annie Sloan, or chalk paint in general, is not the way to go.
I knew I wanted crisp and clean and lucky for me, I eventually came across Benjamin Moore Advance. This paint is specifically made for kitchen cabinets and has been tested to make sure it can withstand slamming cabinet doors and splashes of food and water. Everywhere article I found on it said nothing but positive things.
Once I knew what kind of paint I wanted, I called up my local Benjamin Moore retailer. He knew exactly what I needed because people come in all the time wanting this paint for projects just like mine. He recommended Zinsser as a primer, which I had also heard to be the primer that will stick to absolutely anything, i.e. eliminating A LOT of sanding. Zinsser came in spray cans, which I had never seen before, but I highly recommend it. If you can every paint anything using spray, do it. I had my cabinets primed in about thirty minutes! While at the Benjamin Moore store, I also got a four inch roller, paint trays and a sanding block.
These products were all very reasonably priced, too. The Zinsser spray paint cans of primer were only five dollars each and the gallon of Benjamin Moore Advance was about forty two.
Once the cabinets were taken down, I made the decision to do the painting indoors. It was too windy outside and I didn’t want to risk dirt and debris getting into the wet paint. So, I laid old sheets all over the living room and got to work. Like I mentioned before, thanks to the spray can primer, I had all the cabinets primed in about thirty minutes. Next, I used the sand block to quickly go over the Zinsser primer. And when I say quick, I mean quick. This basically is a no-sand technique and I think we all know that’s the most important detail when painting.
After my super quick sand, I poured some of the Benjamin Moore Advance into a small paint tray and went to work with my four inch roller. Everything was going pretty smooth and even after one coat the cabinets were looking great.
After that fabulous day of progress, unfortunately the project got ignored for a little bit. We set the cabinets aside to overhaul our front yard landscaping. After getting behind schedule (I had to have the cabinets done in time for my sister’s bridal shower), I decided it would be a great idea to rent a paint sprayer from The Home Depot. I was convinced I would be able to whiz right through everything and the cabinets would be back up by the end of the day.
I was very wrong.
I’m not sure if it was me or the sprayer, but things did not go well. Even Trevor struggled to get the sprayer to work. It probably did not help that neither of us had ever used a paint sprayer before and the one we rented, although it was the smallest one, might have been too heavy duty for what we were trying to accomplish. After trying to convince myself for a little over an hour that the sprayer would work, I threw in the towel. This meant Trevor would have to help me paint if I had any hope of getting the cabinets done on time.
The next day, Trevor and I both painted from about 10:30 am to 4:30 pm and then spent another hour or so putting on the hardware and hanging the doors.
The Finished Product
The cabinets really did turn out fantastic. Although the process wasn’t the smoothest (mostly at my own fault), it was totally worth it for how the kitchen looks now. Our efforts updated it from 2000 drab to 2016 chic. Benjamin Moore Advance really did live up to the hype and so did the super affordable hardware I found on Amazon. Now all I need is a new floor, some concrete countertops and a subway tile backsplash! Piece of cake.