The first step is removing all doors and hinges. I was lucky that my hinges are on the inside and are not seen. I numbered the doors starting from right to left and then from bottom left to bottom right and I wrote a number in the space where the hinges go. I used ziploc bags to put all the hardware in and numbered them. Trust me, you WANT to do this, otherwise you will go insane trying to figure out which hinge go in which door.
After that I removed everything from the cabinets and stored them in boxes. I could not believe how much junk I had, I threw away a lot of stuff that was unnecessary or that we barely used. WARNING: your house will be a MESS! Make sure you eat take out and have a lot of cereal on hand! haha!
Yes, my daughter decided to bring her toys upstairs too, see the play washing machine?
Cover everything! There will be a lot of spills and dust!
Clean them really good. You will find gross stuff! We used TSP diluted in water. Sorry if this makes you barf...ewwwwwwwwww
This is the worst step of all: sanding! I know there are other tutorials out there that say they did not sand them and just used a really good primer like BIN or one of the Zinsser ones. I decided to do this even though it was going to take us longer. This enhances primer adhesion even more so why not? You will be covered in dust. After you sand, vacuum and clean them really well. We used an orbital sander and 120 grit sandpaper first, then 320 for in between coats. Yes, if you thought you were done sanding on the first step...nope! But I promise the results are great!
This is what the sanding will do to the cabinets, that glossy finish is gone! And the surface becomes more porous.
For the doors, make sure you take them outside to the garage and create sort of a painting station in which they do not touch the floor, like this:
This one is optional, but since it is the KITCHEN we decided to do it and believe me, it was a key factor in the success of this project. We used wood filler to fill the oak grain. Just plain ol' Elmers. I applied a THIN coat, let it dry and then sanded it with 320 grit sandpaper. We vacuumed and cleaned again! My arms were numb...
The painting starts-FINALLY-!
We painted a couple of coats with a GOOD primer. We used one from Valspar that adheres to anything. It is formulated for cabinetry. Let dry for at least 8 hours. 24 hrs is better but if you are as impatient as me you can try the 8...
PAINT! Make sure you use a REALLY GOOD quality paint, I recommend Benjamin Moore products. I used the INSUL-X paint from BM in White Dove, they can tint it to any of the BM products. This paint is especially formulated for cabinets, is self leveling, it dries fast and the finish is awesome. It hardens like enamel. It is pricey bit it is still a LOT cheaper than replacing your cabinets! I used a good quality brush for the corners (get the PURDY brand) and a small roller for super smooth surfaces. If you can, you can get a spray painter for an even better job. I gave three coats and it took me two days on this part.
These are the steps. I am not going to lie, it is a tedious process, but the results are awesome. The kitchen looks now bigger and modern. We also painted the walls in BM Moonshine. The final reveal will come soon, for now you can get a peak...
The 36th Avenue A Bowl Full of Lemons