Sunday, November 27, 2016

Kitchen Remodel Post #2 - Painting the Cabinets

Hello!

Because I don't have enough to do (sarcasm), I am attempting to get my minor remodel of the kitchen finished while the bathroom is going through a complete gut job. It is a minor remodel because it is mainly the counter top and back splash that is getting replaced. I have really nice cabinets but they are ugly, and when I moved the refrigerator to the other side, it left an empty space on the wall. The plan is to get new cabinets built to fill that spot and paint the rest of them to freshen them up.

Here is the "before" picture if you missed it  -
The left side of the picture shows where the new cabinets will go, where that trash can and microwave cart are now.

Creating new cabinets from scratch is tough when you have custom cabinets like mine, especially if you try to match the door style. We decided to remove the doors from the cabinets on both sides of the sink and replace those with glass doors. That way, the carpenter can use the door fronts from one of the original cabinets, and the new glass doors will not need to match. (I have ordered the frames for those, but still need to find the glass)
Doors and shelves removed to get ready for painting
Since we can't match the grain or the stain, and frankly I am not loving it anyway, I am going to paint the cabinets instead. The upper cabinets will be white and the lower ones will be a soft gray because that will break it up a bit visually. Also, the quartz counter top I picked out is white with gray flecks going through it.
First off, let me get this out there... I HATE painting cabinets! I did it at my old house and it literally took me 6 months to get them finished. The process is especially difficult if you have a varnish on them that has to be removed first using a stripper, and then you have to put on 2 coats of primer, 2 coats of paint, and 2 coats of varnish. (Not to mention if you choose to sand them between paint layers like you are supposed to.)
Thankfully, technology has improved since I painted those old cabinets over 10 years ago, and now I about 5 steps less to do. I am using a new Valspar paint they designed for cabinets and a high bonding primer for surfaces that have a sheen that would make paint not stick. First you have to clean them with TSP and water, which has been around since the dawn of time. I used TSP without the phosphate so that it doesn't pollute my garden when I dump it out. Unless you have a very dirty cabinet with a lot of grease buildup, 1 wash and 1 rinse should work. You have to let them dry completely before moving on to the painting.
New wonderful technology in paint to save my sanity!
s

This is them ready to get the primer coat on them... the primer is like thick pudding when you stir it. And even though it dries in 1 hour, you have to wait 24 hours before painting over it.
Primer is on and drying
After the primer dries for 1 day you can paint with the Valspar cabinet enamel. Now, this paint it pricey so I substituted standard, high gloss white for the inside of the cabinets, and will use this for the exteriors only. I did test samples of it before I went and bought the whole gallon just to make sure it was as good as it claimed to be. After about a week of drying the test samples were as smooth as if I had sprayed them on professionally, and none of the grain showed through which is difficult for cabinets like these. (that was with a cheap primer and two coats of paint)
Shelves drying


Paint is drying
For comparison, here is the finished cabinet next to the original one...
Now - these have only 1 coat on them because once again, you have to let everything dry a really long time with this paint. It takes 24 hours before you can reapply, and then 3 days for full drying. I am going to wait to apply the second coat until I get the new glass doors, so that I can match them up better. I have to say though, that even with 1 coat they look amazing! Shiny and almost like new! 
This paint is about 2 times the cost of normal paint, but it is saving me a lot of time and effort and frankly the results are impressive so far.

(I am NOT compensated in anyway by Valspar or Lowes. I just want to let everyone know when I find a good (or bad) product to save you time.)

Next weekend, I will keep plugging along. I have to wait for the two new cabinets and paint them before the counter top can go in. It will be the same quartz in both the kitchen and bathroom. I think that it is a basic enough quartz that it will look good in both areas.

Julie