Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Kitchen Cabinet Remodel!

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Hi everyone! We're McKenna Seegmiller and Neleh Nielsen from In OurSpare Time.
We're going to show you how to give your cabinet doors a facelift!

Our family (McKenna) moved to Virginia so my husband could attended dental school.
The home we purchased was built in 1985. I knew there were things I could do to create a more
modern and appealing home for my family. The home had an amazing basic structure, but was in need of a remodeling and modernizing. My challenge was to do it on a “student budget” with me doing the work!

The first project was in the kitchen. The cabinets were dated. I envisioned what they would look like after the project was finished. Then I began the work! The following are the steps I did to complete the cabinet project:

STEP #1- Remove the hardware and wipe down the cabinets using a mixture of mild dish soap and water. A degreaser can be purchased from your local hardware store if the cabinets are really greasy.

STEP #2- Remove the cabinet doors. Be sure to mark each cabinet door to the cabinet frame with a number on each piece so you will know the order to put them back on. Number each piece in an inconspicuous area. VERY IMPORTANT! Remove the hinges from the cabinets and mark each one of those also. I repeat VERY IMPORTANT!

STEP #3- Sand down each door with a #150 grit sandpaper. An orbital sander or a sanding block
may be used until the “shine” on the finish is removed. The “shine” will prevent the paint from adhering to the surface of the cabinet. Be thorough!

STEP #4- Sand the exterior cabinet while the doors are off. You may choose to leave the finish on the inside of the cupboards in its original condition. I usually do.

STEP #5- Use a “shop vac” to vacuum the surfaces clean and then wipe down all the sanded areas to remove ANY dust and debris. The paint will then apply smoothly.
This prep time is critical to a beautiful finish. Take time to do a great job!

STEP #6- Tape off and prep the area around the cabinets. Firmly press the tape to ensure no
leaking or running of the paint.

STEP #7- Time to paint! You will use a foam cabinet roller (see picture below) to apply the paint, or a spray gun may be used. Begin painting the back side of the cabinet doors, starting at the top and working your way down. Apply a thin coat. If it is applied too thick it will "gum up" on your second coat and not dry as quickly. Make sure that it looks smooth. You don't want excess paint or drips. Be sure the numbers you marked on the cabinets are still visible and NOT covered by paint. While the back of the cabinet doors are drying, you are ready to paint the cabinets. Paint from the top to the bottom as you did on the doors. Once this is completed, check the cabinet doors. When the paint is dry, flip the doors over on a clean surface and paint the front and sides.

STEP #8- Once everything is dry, apply a second coat of paint by following the same steps you did in STEP #7.

STEP #9- After the second coat of paint is completely dry (look at manufacturer's instructions on dry time), it is time to “distress” all the edges. This technique will add a “worn” look and allow the wood underneath to “peek” through. Use #200 or #220 grit sandpaper and hand sand the edges where you want the “distressed” look to appear.
STEP #10- Now it is time to “seal” everything, using Polyacrylic Semi Gloss in a spray or wipe-on poly. Apply in the same direction as you did the paint.

STEP #11- Clean the hardware and ruff it up with #150 grit sandpaper. Wipe it until clean and spray it with “Oil Rubbed Bronze” or "black" spray paint. When each piece is dry, lightly distress this hardware with #220 grit sandpaper and seal it with the polyacrylic.

STEP #12- Carefully match the numbers for your hinges and cabinet doors to cabinets. Attach the hinges back on the cabinets and attach the cabinet doors. Apply the hardware to the cabinet doors.
Pat yourself on the back for a job well done.  :-)


  1. Hi,
    Another wonderful post! I would never have thought of charcoal walls with the oak cabinetry - but it's so beautiful together! And with the white table, it totally brought that room up to date.

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