DIY: Painting Our Kitchen Cabinets!



I’m delighted with how our kitchen turned out! However, I’d like to seize this as the perfect opportunity to share that I don’t want to sugarcoat the level of difficulty of this project. It was physically draining and it’s not for anyone who doesn’t have patience for time consuming, and tediously, detailed projects. It completely tied-up our kitchen, but then again, a full-blown renovation would have as well. This type of project isn’t the perfect solution for everyone, so if you’re not big on tackling projects that require vast chunks of time to complete, I wouldn’t recommend it. That said, even though it was challenging, it worked out for us – so it is doable. That is, as long as you’re willing to put in the time and the effort. If you don’t end up opting to do the project, no judgement from me! I completely understand! 😁 Thanks for visiting my page and for reading!

Supplies we used:

  • Degreaser kitchen cleaning product
  • Several rolls of paper towels
  • Fine Grit Sandpaper
  • Static Cling disposable dusting cloths (mine were from a dollar store).
  • Duck brand Clean Release Painter’s Tape
  • An array of different sized black foam paint brushes
  • A synthetic bristle 2″ angle, edging brush
  • A 4″-5″ mini foam roller. (I had several, spare high quality, foam roller refills on hand)
  • Plastic painter’s drop cloths (better to have more than not enough).
  • XIM UMA Bonding Primer
  • Glidden Diamond Paint
  • Duct Tape
  • Mini cabinet door triangles “easels” (they’re plastic trianglular objects that you can rest cabinet doors on, in a makeshift workstation, while you paint one side of the door at a time).
The Bonding Primer and Paint we used to paint our painted cabinets
^ The Bonding Primer and the Paint that we used to paint our kitchen cabinets.

“How to” Steps:

  1. You may want to refer to my “Tips for making a big DIY project easier on your household.” Because this project is going to tie-up your kitchen for at the very least two days, if not longer.
  2. I took every item that was on the counters and anything else in the room that I was concerned about getting dust/debris on (from sanding) completely out of the kitchen. I was glad I did this because it ended up being a bit of a messy project.
  3. My husband and I removed all of the cabinet doors and hardware and systematically laid them out on a makeshift work station in our basement.
Makeshift workstation
^ This was our makeshift workstation where we painted our oak kitchen cabinet doors and draw fronts.
  • We cleaned all of the cabinet boxes and cabinet door/draw front surfaces with a kitchen degreaser cleaning product and paper towels. We did this twice, to ensure we were really getting any and all grime up, off and out of our way! (This is crucial, because it gives the Primer and paint a clean surface to bond to.)
  • Time for painter’s tape! I masked off the entire outline area of where the cabinets met the walls, backsplash, microwave, etc. as a means of protecting those surfaces. I also taped a plastic dropcloth onto where the counter meets the backsplash and I let it drape over the edge of the counter so that it would be protected from any paint spillage or splattering, too. I also did this over my stove and refrigerator, as well. It seriously looked like a scene from the television series, Dexter, with all of the plastic, but I was taking precautions, to help prevent extra clean cleanup – should I spill some paint.
  • I began sanding all of the exteriors of the oak, cabinet boxes with a fine sandpaper. (I didn’t sand the interiors because we made the decision not to paint the interiors of our cabinets). I repeated this sanding step with all of the doors/draw fronts.
  • Now, I wiped down all of the sanded surfaces with static cling dust cloths, to try and remove all of the dust and debris that sanding had left behind.
  • Next, my husband and I primed all of the cabinet box exteriors and the doors. We used a combination of foam brushes, angled edger brushes and mini 4-5″ rollers. Once we got a first coat on, the rollers seemed to work best and were more forgiving on the larger surfaces. The doors were a bit cumbersome since we could only paint one side at a time and had to wait for the Primer to dry before moving onto the next side. Ultimately, we applied 2 coats of the bonding Primer. We were allowing ample drying time inbetween coats, I believe our Primer can said to wait a minimum of 4 hours in non-humid weather (drying time instructions are definitely worth double checking on your can of paint or primer).
  • Now it was paint time. We ended up painting two coats of paint (we had waited a long time between those coats of paint – if I recall correctly,  we would paint a coat and let it dry overnight. One of us edged while the other used a mini 4″-5″ foam roller brush that with packaging that specifically referenced being for “high quality finishes.” Of all the brushes we used, this one gave the most satisfactory finish.
  • (Tip: We made sure to not overwork any one area with the brush/mini roller, we kept moving along so that the paint wouldn’t get globby on the surface. Also, we were sure to keep an eye on the lookout for any surface drips or running of the paint – those we wanted to catch and correct immediately before they got tacky and started to dry.)

  • The paint coverage looked good at this point, so it was time for touchups. If the paint had looked thin in a lot of areas, we would have applied a 3rd coat of paint.
  • Lastly…enjoy!
  • Tips for making all the hard work last:

    • In my research, some people proceeded to apply a protective sealer product, after all of the painting was complete, but I really can’t speak to that. My husband and I didn’t bother, since we used a Bonding Primer that’s suppose to add to the adhesion/durability of of the paint. Our cabinets have been painted for 6 months and get a lot of use and there are only two minor chips in high traffic areas, that luckily aren’t visible. They will fortunately only require a quick touch-up.
    • Don’t clean the cabinet surfaces for atleast two weeks after painting them.
    • I also only use very mild cleaners on them, such as a vinegar and water solution.
    • I left the newly painted doors off of the cabinets for atleast two weeks, before reattaching them to the newly painted, cabinet boxes again. This ensured they were truly dry and avoided me causing unnecessary dings and scratches that would have warranted further touch-ups.


    These are links to sites that I used for inspiration before attempting my DIY project:

    Published by ourfauxrenohome

    I'm a mommy/wife living an artsy life! When I have a little spare time on my hands, I'm either creating art designs that I sell on products in my online shop or I'm "Faux Renovating" our home by mainly using painting techniques. I also handmake most of the decor in my home by upcycling things I have laying around into new Farmhouse Style Decor! It's frugal and so fun! What more could a girl ask for?! ****Disclaimer: If you attempt any of the projects, techniques, and or use products I mention, do so at your own risk. For the more labor intensive projects, just as with exercise, consult with your doctor/physician to see if you should attempt such a project. Also, I’m not endorsing any products or promising any results, I’m just sharing project ideas and naming the products I’ve used to complete them and that it has personally worked out in the end for me. Treat this blog as though you’re reading my journal entries. I’m just sharing my story. Everyone has different abilities and, naturally, project results may vary. I’m not liable for any injury, harm, damage or cost that may result should someone attempt a project, use a technique, and or use any product(s) seen on my blog. Thank you!

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