Updating old painted cabinets


10-Jul-2017 04:23

I never understand those people on House Hunters who declare their hatred for white kitchen cabinets. I have painted my kitchen cabinets in my last three homes.

Friends walk into my kitchen and are always curious about painting their own kitchen cabinets.

If you are looking to try and eliminate the wood grain look altogether, I would suggest investing in the help of a professional.

There are wood grain filler and putty products out there that can be used for this purpose.

That said, if your cabinet frames are relatively flat and don’t have a lot of nooks and crannies to worry about, you can save yourself some time and trouble and paint the frames by hand vs. I still recommend spraying the doors and drawers, because the finished look is second to none, but there is some flexibility on the frames.

Plus, it saves you the hassle of having to tape off your kitchen to avoid overspray.

The wood grain can manifest itself in two ways: through the texture of the wood and also the grain bleeding through the paint.

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I picked one week to do the upper cabinets on the left side, the next week I did the lower cabinets on the left side etc. The dark paint really does hide those little finger prints. And the biggest change I would make is using a topcoat of Minwax water-based Polycrylic.

One product I have used that has helped with both of these issues is Zinsser’s Bull’s Eye Seal Coat sanding sealer.

This aids in minimizing the wood grain of oak cabinets to a certain degree, but primarily helps to keep the grain from bleeding through your primer and paint. With the next set of oak cabinets, I used the sanding sealer.

So every time we open them we have to put our hands on the actual door and not the knob. The cabinets directly below my sink have also seen more wear than other areas. But it takes only a few minutes to do so and I didn’t even take them off the hinges to do it.

We’ll just burn the house down when the boys move out. And they held up pretty well for the first two years. I think our biggest problem is that each of our doors and drawers still have child proof locks on them. But I do find the white cabinets get dirty around the knobs. I just sanded the area down a bit, just to get it smooth. I did have to repaint the entire front of that door or drawer front. Before I painted this kitchen the dated honey oak cabinets had water damage in a few areas.

I don’t have any personal experience with them (yet), as it appears to be a tricky and time intensive process, that may not be for the DIY faint of heart.



Did you do anything to the oak cabinets? They look so much lighter than on the before photo? Could you share the paint color you used on the walls?… continue reading »


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