Painting kitchen cabinets | Maine Country Home

I was finally inspired to write this post after we’ve had a flood of people in the last 3 weeks coming in to redo their kitchen cabinets. I applaud them, using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® is one of the easiest, most rewarding ways to update dreary, boring, unpretty cabinets.

This story begins last September…

My sister Andrea, you may remember from this post, has been slowly renovating her home for the past 5 years. I’m sure many of you can relate to the tedious process of doing projects when time and money allows. She decided to take some vacation time to bang out a few projects, so I thought it would be a great time to go down and redo her dark kitchen. This is what it looked like before:

kitchen redo with chalk paint

Our parents found all these mis-matched cabinets at our local Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Since there were no cabinets in that corner before they didn’t need to match the existing ones, they just had to “go”.

painting kitchen cabinets

Here are some easy to follow steps when it comes to painting your kitchen cabinets in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint:

1. First things first, clean all the gunk off those cabinets! Use a mild soap, like Dawn, to avoid leaving a residue that the paint may resist. I always suggest using white vinegar to cut through the grease, and then finish with soap and lukewarm water.

2. Remove the cabinet doors and drawers. This may be the part that takes the longest, but it will make your paint job look a lot cleaner and more professional, rather than painting them in place. A good trick is to take a piece of painter’s tape, put a square on the inside of the door/drawer and on the inside of the cabinet, and number both with the same number. This way when you’re putting it all back together you know what goes where! Especially with older houses, all the doors may look the same, but brother I can almost guarantee you they’re not!

We used sticky notes instead, but go with what you have.

painting stock cabinets

3. Give yourself at least 2 days to complete this project. Andrea had a total of 12 cabinets and 5 drawers, which took us about 7 hours to get 2.5 coats of paint on. I know what you’re thinking, what does 2.5 coats mean? We painted on 2 full-strength coats, and watered down the final coat just to get those last few streaks, and to give the cabinets a smoother look. Depending on the color you choose, and what you’re painting over, you may only need to do 1.5-2 coats. Waxing should take another few hours, and I would definitely suggest doing 2 coats of wax because cabinets are a high-traffic area! Wait 24 hours between coats for wax.

Here’s what they looked like after the first coat:

what paint to use on kitchen cabinets

how to paint kitchen cabinets

Now for the fun part, choosing color and technique! We opted for Old White for Andrea’s cabinets because her kitchen was so dark. There isn’t much natural light, the floors are stained a dark brown, and her countertops are black granite. So we desperately needed to brighten the space up. Her house has an overall more modern look to it so we did a nice, smooth finish. We used this brush to get a smoother finish with fewer brush strokes. This also isn’t her “forever home” so we needed a color with a higher resale value, and you just can’t go wrong with Old White! It goes with everything and it can blend in to any style.

Really, the sky is the limit when choosing colors. We can help you recreate any color whether it’s from a paint chip, a fabric swatch, or your favorite glasses. And you don’t have to be saddled with one color choice either. Try a 2-tone distress with a bright color popping through, paint your upper and lower cabinets 2 different colors, or paint the inside of your cabinets to make a bold statement.

Are you ready for the reveal? I know I’m still floored when I walk into her kitchen and see the huge difference!

Big change here, but not done yet…

painting with annie sloan chalk paint

Here’s the completed renovation, a few months later even! They’re holding up fantastically.

painting kitchen cabinets with chalk paint painting kitchen cabinets with annie sloan chalk paint painting with annie sloan chalk paint

Broken down, here’s what painting these kitchen cabinets entailed:

– 2 days of labor (cleaning, taking off doors and drawers, painting, waxing, and reassembling)

– 1.5 quarts of Old White Chalk Paint

– 1 can of Clear Wax

Much better than doing a complete reno and installing new cabinets if you ask me.

maine country home


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