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Paint Kitchen Oak Cabinets White

My kitchen is a huge project. I suppose I've made it into a huge project because I am careful not to do just anything. I know everyone is too - but I am even slower because I like exploring all alternatives before making my final decision. We have so many cabinets, it is really scary to go from oak to all white, or to any one color. At some point, I was ready to paint all my cabinets, so I bought Swiss Coffee paint. But since then, we are 70% sure that we are going to replace our cabinets, and not paint after we saw some examples of other people's painted cabinets.


Long story short, SO persuaded me to try the paint first. I did this buffet area- that we were sure that we are ripping out. Yes, the ironic thing is, if you know you're going to get rid of it, why spend all that time on it? Believe me, painting cabinets took a long time to do. It isn't as easy as it looks by any means. There is plenty of sanding, plenty of cleaning, and plenty of waiting. On the other hand, if we were going to get rid of this buffet area anyways, it is the section to experiment. Because if it turned into some awful mess, we would be glad to let it go.

My conclusion is that it is not worth spending the time to paint the all my cabinets. My buffet looks better painted white and I would like all my cabinet the same color, but between life, it would take me a couple of years of frustrations to finish every single cabinet in my kitchen, seriously. I don't have that kind of time. Although this was a very satisfying project mentally.

 

 

How I Painted Custom Built Kitchen Oak Cabinets White
1) Use an (tip1) electric screwdriver, you will be glad you did. It is much faster and made the process a lot more pleasant. (tip2) Keep the doors and the screws together, if you can help it, and (tip3) label each door where it belongs. This is a necessary step, it takes longer, but it is worth the time. I will tell you why, our cabinets were custom built so they were very specific to fit each opening. What a pain. Removing the screws weren't easy because they had a lot of sealer / wax stuck to all the cracks, which had glued them to the wood and the metal plates. MattLove and I practically fell to the floor every time we tried to remove a screw. It was so stuck.
2) Clean all the cabinet doors, and the cabinet face with TSP - this is great stuff. It cleans everything, and anything, especially stuck on grease, glue, wax. But if you don't have time to stand there and scrub, (tip 4) you can soak them, like I did. Dilute the mix of TSP with a little more water. I soaked the screws, and the metal plates to remove the sealers and the wax off them. TSP made the bronze come to life and looked a lot newer and cleaner.
3) Once you're ready to paint, if you're going to use a brush  (tip 5) dilute the paint with some water, so that the lines won't show. I should have diluted the paint from the start but didn't at first, not until the last few coats, when I realized that the paint job left more than I wanted. Diluting the paint made a huge difference on how it came out.
4) After the paint dried, (good eight hours) sand the rough areas. There are going to be some, because we can't always paint evenly. Then paint the second coat, and sanded again. I didn't like how the Swiss Coffee turned out, so I used darker white on them. Repeat until you are happy with the color and the paint job.
5) Once you are happy with the color and the paint job, get ready to apply Johnson Wax. Use a light first coat to rub in the cracks, let the wax sit for an hour then wipe it off. Come back a second time, use more generous portions and coat it well. Let the wax sit for a couple of hours, then wipe it off. The wax made a huge difference - the surface feels nice and smooth. It looks a lot softer. It is so much easier to clean off marks






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20 comments :

  1. I love the white so much better. It looks cleaner and somehow - the space looks bigger. If you've ever seen my DIY blog (where I show all the makeovers we did to our old house) I created this same effect with our fireplace. It was huge - but grey. It's amazing what a bit of white paint will do, isn't it?

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    Replies
    1. It is better than I thought it could be. I love that it is so calming the one shade versus the grainy look.

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  2. They look so good now! I hope you won't getting rid of them now..Beautiful new table too!

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    Replies
    1. The table is not new. It is a redone. I will be posting it soon. Thanks sis.

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    2. beautiful job! I'd love to see the tutorial for the table :)

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  3. Thank you so much for following ModaMama! Love your site! It's so great!!! Following back!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you and welcome to Self Sagacity. Glad you were able to make it.

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  4. wow! that is a huge difference. I love the white, it makes it look so updated and clean



    I'm your newest follower from the GFC blog hop
    followme@ www.studentswife.com

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    Replies
    1. The white does bring the kitchen more updated. I am a lot more pleased than I thought I would be.

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  5. These look amazing! I want to paint my kitchen cabinets so bad!! Stopping by from the GFC hop...new follower!

    Leslie
    http://sincerely-leslie.blogspot.com

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    1. I now just have so many more cabinets to paint, I am not sure If I can do them all. But I have to agree that it looks so much better!

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  6. wow, you did a very good job and not an easy task. hope you will keep them for a while since you work hard on it and actually, it looks good.

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    1. It's true, I did work so hard on it, it's a shame to tear it out. Oh, don't worry about them getting their use. SO and I are so slow at making decisions that we will have plenty of time to enjoy them before they go. Thanks for the nice compliment.

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  7. It looks great! Not an easy job but it came out terrific. I love the color, really brightens up a kitchen!

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    Replies
    1. Yes. It made my friends come by and ask: What is different with your kitchen? It looks bigger. haha

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  8. However you do it, you must be happy with the finished product. I love it, was too lazy to do the same with a few picture frames so hats off to you!

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  9. I think I do prefer the white too :)
    Looks like plenty hard work.

    I'd love to change mine to glass see through. Only the ones on top though, not the ones below.

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  10. It does look so nice but cheers to you for keeping it real and being honest about how these projects aren't for everyone. They ARE a lot of work. I know. I did this about fifteen years ago. Never again. The beauty of getting older is I can afford to replace or hire some of the work done now. It all boils down to priorities. Thanks for sharing your story.
    p

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  11. I love the white color you used on the dresser - that led me here. Do you mind sharing the brand/color? It's fab!
    I'm visiting you today from Romantic Home. I hope you get a chance to stop by my blog and leave a comment, too!
    ~ Megin of VMG206
    Tile Photo Coasters ~ Gift Idea

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    Replies
    1. Sorry it took so long to get back to you VMG206. I used the Kelly Moore (Frost) I love the color, and if the paint last on doors and other wood furnishings, then it should last on my cabinet, smiles. A big plus is that it is much cheaper than other designer brands.

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