Old Cabinets Made New: Part I

Our house was built in the 1950s and still has the original kitchen. Although it looks like the original cabinets were a dark wood, they have since been painted white… and are in desperate need of a pick-me-up.

Our kitchen is tricky. We have 4 walls and are dealing with 2 doorways, one built-in pantry, one radiator and one over-sized (read below-counter-height) window, in addition to our existing cabinetry and appliances. Changing the layout would have been complicated (not to mention $$$!) so we decided to update what we have. As well as a large built-in sideboard with upper cabinetry in the dining room that also needed a paint update.

A lot of people might have old dressers or furniture they would like to re-do. This painting-process will work on painting any non-painted object (except for metal maybe).

I started by removing all the hardware. This ended up being a HUGE project. It took me a few hours to eventually get all the knobs, handles and hinges off because they had been painted over. *Cue scary music* Unfortunately, They had been painted over more than once and left quite the indentations.

After I wiped down all the cabinets with a damp cloth, I started by priming the inside of the cabinets with Zinsser stain-blocking primer. Normally I would have gone for the oil-based option, but I saw this water-based primer and thought I would try it. (Oil-based paint will work great, but not only smells terrible, but eats your paintbrushes so you can never use them again.)

This is a shot of my pantry with one side primed and one side un-primed to give you an idea of how dark the interior wood cabinets were.

I applied two coats of primer, letting it dry fully between coats. The end result was this:

What? Isn’t the distressed look in? ; )

Then I proceeded to paint the interior with our trim paint color (Valspar Swiss Coffee).

I used only a short-handled brush (I think it’s easier to hold) for the primer, and then added a small roller in for the final coat. I put an old towel down where I am painting instead of drop cloths and always have a wet paper towel by my side in case anything drops.

Isn’t it amazing what just a fresh paint job can do? #Beholdthepowerofpaint

This is the dining room. Look at the different the whiter color makes!

Here was the end result in the kitchen:

It’s not exactly worth a round of applause, but it’s a step in the right direction!

As for now, we will be living with the open shelving for quite some time. The cabinet doors are all in the basement waiting to be refinished.

That might not happen for a while. πŸ˜€

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