Our Kitchen Transformation- HOW I DID IT in 1 weekend!

I will have another kitchen cupboard post, with mostly just photos, once I have the final touches done. For now... these are the photos I will be using... there will still be some blue tape here and there :)

I have dreamt of painting my kitchen cupboards white since we moved in (over 2 years ago).
But the task seemed too daunting, we also weren't sure we wanted to paint over hickory wood- since some people love it (us, not so much). As we updated the rest of our house, we finally came to the conclusion that the hickory cabinets no longer fit the look of our house (not that they ever really did...). They were out of place, and to be honest, driving me crazy.
My husband finally gave me the A-ok to go for it! He was going out of town for a weekend, and taking our 1 year old son, so I would have a full weekend of uninterrupted time to try and get all of this crazy work done!! ...and somehow I managed to do it all in that amount of time! (well, a couple final touches left...but for the most part, I'm done!)

I have to be honest and warn you- this is a HUGE project!
If it wasn't for my husband and son being out of the house for the entire weekend, there was NO way I could have done this in the time frame I was able to! I started taking apart our kitchen on Friday about 1pm, and finished screwing on the last door knob at about 3:30pm on Sunday. I more or less spent every waking minute working on this project.


 I wanted to go with a high quality paint, since it will have to hold up to scrubbing, high traffic, and a 1 year old banging and clanging around my kitchen cabinets (not to mention a husband who pretty much does the same thing...).
I bought my primer, paint, and most of my supplies from Sherwin Williams. They were having a 30% off sale (bonus!!).
I highly recommend watching and waiting for their sales! They have sales often, and I have never had to buy paint from them for full price! I also have to say they have the most helpful representatives, they always seem to be quite knowledgeable about the different paints you should use, what tools...etc.
For a project like this, I opted to spend slightly more money, for the highest quality result.
The worker at the store said that using the ProClassic white paint for the cupboards, I would not need a primer if I was going to sand down the cupboards (which I was). He said all I would need is 2 coats of the paint. I opted to still go with the primer. I always use a primer, and wanted to in this case as well. He said if I wanted to use the primer, I would only need 1 coat of primer and 1 coat of paint. 

Here are the specifics of what I used

& exactly how I accomplished this mighty task.


Type/Color: ProClassic interior acrylic latex, in "Extra White" 
with a semi-gloss finish (they're stock (un-tinted) white color)
Amount: 1 gallon

*This is a self-leveling paint, which means it should dry without any brush or roller marks*
It's the type of paint they recommended for kitchen cupboards.

Multi-purpose latex primer
Amount: 1 gallon

Other Supplies
I almost always use the tinfoil trick in the roller
tray... that way you're not washing out, or using
numerous trays! Just toss out the used tinfoil!

Ultraflex sandpaper 220 grit(4 pack) -Sherwin Williams
FlockFoam Roller Pad (2 pack) and handle -Sherwin Williams
Mini-Roller Tray -Sherwin Williams
Wagner Flexio 570 Spray Painter
Electric Hand Sander
Painter's Tape
Regular Paint Brush
Tack Cloth


Well, as I said earlier... this was a huge project. I'm going to try and be as specific as possible, and yet keep this as short and to the point as possible!
I'll do my best to try and give you a timeline to all this madness- so you have an idea how long everything took, for your own planning.
So here we go...

I started by taking off the doors, and labeling all of the doors and frames with the corresponding numbers.
This is the inside of one of my cupboard doors...
I put a piece of masking tape over this number,
since I knew when I painted these, the paint would cover
the number. That way, when I was done painting, I pulled
off the piece of tape, and could see the number ;)

Labeling the frames with the corresponding door numbers just made it that much easier when we put it all back together! TAKE THE TIME TO DO THIS!!! Trust me, I promise it will help. The more organized you are in this project, the less chaotic it all is!

I also put all of the hardware and screws for
EACH cupboard door or drawer, in it's own
bag labeled with the corresponding number.
Did I say how helpful it was to do this in an organized fashion???

Once I had all of the doors off, everything labeled and tucked away, I cleaned the frames to get rid of all of the grime that somehow accumulates EVERYWHERE in a kitchen.
 Once everything was clean, I started hand sanding the frames. I used 220 grit sand paper and just sanded the surface until it was dull.
PS- this is MESSY!! You will have dust EVERYWHERE!! Since I left everything in my drawers and cupboards- I covered it all with towels, cloths...etc. When I was done sanding, I used a vacuum to clean all of the sanded surfaces, and all of the dust that accumulated ALL OVER MY KITCHEN! I also went over the sanded surfaces with a tack cloth before priming. YOU DO NOT WANT sanding dust in your new paint!

Once I had the frames sanded, and CLEANED, I used my handy dandy painters taped and taped everywhere I DID NOT want paint (counters, walls, microwave, stove...etc.)

Then I started priming! Using a brush and my flock foam roller I rolled the outside of the frames. I used the roller everywhere I possibly could- in the hard to reach areas (corners, tops of frames, sides of frames, around hinges...etc)  I used the brush.

It took me about 1 hour to do all of the frames. By the time I finished, the area I had first started in was dry enough for a second coat of primer- which I opted to do, even though the guy at Sherwin Williams said I would only need 1 coat of primer...

The flock foam roller is a MUST in my opinion. The picture below is after the 2 coats of primer. I couldn't get over how awesome it looked! It looked like it had been professionally sprayed on!! See for yourself!
Like, WOW!!!
Once I was done with the 2nd coat of primer- it was time to get to work on the cupboard doors!

I cleaned my doors using Honest Company's multi surface cleaner. I opted to use this because this stuff works AMAZING at cleaning off gunk! The toughest, goopiest crap comes off so easy with this cleaner! I really just used this because it's what I had on hand, and I knew it worked good! A few sprays per door, scrub with some paper towel... that's all it took.
And please, don't skip this step! If you leave any gunk on your cabinet doors... it is BOUND to seep through your paint when all is said and done. Take the time to clean them!

Then comes the dreaded sanding.
I say this because it TOOK FOREVER! Basically, I had to sand my cupboard doors down until they were dull. Which resulted in one very sore right arm, and very dirty, dusty clothes. Wear a mask and eye protection...I did this out in the garage. I used my hand sander, which helped, but man was my arm sore!!! I always underestimate how much work sanding is!
(Reminder- I started this whole project Friday at about 1pm. Once I was done sanding the cupboard doors it was about 9:30pm Friday night...I only took about a 1-1/2 hour break for dinner...so plan accordingly. The prep work always takes longer than you expect it to)

Saturday morning about 9:00am, I got back to work.
I vacuumed all of the cupboard doors, and wiped them with a tack cloth.
Then it was time to set up the garage for painting!! (FINALLY!!)
I used a large blue tarp to protect the floor, a couple pieces of old insulation/styrofoam more or less just for added paint protection. Then I set all of the doors/drawers on 1x2s.

With a sprayer- there is ALWAYS some amount of overspray. Make sure everything you don't want paint on, is either OUT OF THE ROOM, or covered. Again- prep always takes the longest, and seems to be the most work!

Then I used my sprayer, and painted the first coat of primer on the BACKS of the cupboard doors.
I let them dry for about 1-2 hours, and they were dry enough for me to flip and start on the other side.
I did the same- 1 sprayed coat of primer on the FRONTS of the cupboard doors.
1 coat of primer on the BACKS of the doors first. Notice my few
practice sprays on the cardboard box BEFORE spraying
on my doors! That's where I make sure all of my settings
are how I want them.

While the fronts dried, I went back to work on the kitchen cupboard FRAMES.
I did the 1 coat of white paint, using the exact same techniques for painting as I did with the primer.

Now it was about 5pm on Saturday. DINNER TIME! 

After a longer dinner break over at my sister's house (which was so amazing, because I never get to slowly enjoy dinners with family anymore, thanks to my 1 year old son...) I got back to work about 8:00pm. My frames were donezo!!! 2 coats of primer, and 1 coat of paint was all it took!

So I got to work on the cupboard doors/drawers. Both sides were now primed, and ready for paint! Using the white paint, I sprayed the FRONTS of the cupboard doors, and let them dry all night.

8:00am Sunday morning
I flipped the doors/drawers over and sprayed the BACKS of the doors with the white paint.

According to the can, it takes 1 hour to dry to the touch, and 4 hours to dry between coats.

After doing the 1 coat of white paint on both sides- I checked them over to see if they needed a 2nd coat of white- and they DID NOT! They were perfect! (Mr. Sherwin Williams man was right!)

I let them dry & cure for about 5 hours before bringing them inside. I was prepared to let them sit for a few days to really harden and cure - but the more I checked them, I really thought they were good enough to be brought back in!

So, with my dad's help (because it's a 2 person job...) we put all of the doors and drawers back on!

I also bought new cupboard and drawer hardware! I bought knobs for the doors, and cup pulls for the drawers, both in oil rubbed bronze off of Amazon.
If you're interested in the hardware I used, click the links below to see exactly what I bought for both:
Cup Pulls
PS - these were FAR cheaper on Amazon than I could find them in any other store.

Once we had all of the doors/drawers and new hardware on... we were DONE!!!
This was about 3:30pm on Sunday.
So it was A LOT of work in a short amount of time.

Check out the BEFORE and AFTER pictures:

I literally COULD NOT be happier with how the cupboards all turned out! Everything that was rolled looks amazing and has a professional, factory finish! The sprayed doors and drawers also look flawless! See for yourself below!

ONE LAST little thing I did, since I put the cupboards up without giving them days to cure, I put vaseline on all of the rubber stops that were on all of the insides of my doors and drawers. This prevents the paint from sticking and peeling off at all!!! We also have slow-close plungers on all of our cupboard doors, and some of our drawers, these also got the vaseline trick! 
Just enough vaseline to cover them, to prevent any sticking!


As I said before...
In my final Kitchen Remodel post I will have more, truly FINISHED photos!
(minus the blue tape!)

Hopefully this helps some of you who are interested in painting your own cupboards!!
 It's a big project- but it's the cheapest way to TOTALLY TRANSFORM your kitchen!

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