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