Sharing our updated kitchen cabinets! We painted them using Benjamin Moore Advance in Swiss Coffee (satin finish).
You guyyyyyyys. We finally did it! These cabinets have been bothering me for almost two years now. There was absolutely nothing wrong with them, but our kitchen always felt kinda dark and gloomy. I knew a coat of paint would brighten things up, but we kept putting it off, especially with the Pilot’s travel schedule. (I *could* have done it solo while watching the girls but it would have taken me twice as long and, let’s be real, it probably wouldn’t be very enjoyable.) We decided there was no time like the present and decided to finally go for it!
Here’s the final product!!
Before and after:
So much brighter and happier!
I thought that with the paint color I’d want to replace the granite, too, but I actually love the way it looks with our tiles and the tan paint. (If we went light marble for the countertops, I feel like we’d have to replace our floors to match and we’re not sure how long we’ll be in this house.)
Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee Kitchen cabinets
(Please ignore our kitchen rug. It got so dirty and paint-covered in the painting process. This one is on the way from Target.)
How to paint cabinets without sanding
– Liquid deglosser is key! I did a ton of YouTube research and liquid deglosser (or liquid sander) can be safer and less time-consuming than sanding. Sanding is one of the things that originally discouraged us from tackling the cabinets. It’s such a messy pain, so we were pumped when we found out you didn’t have to do it! The Pilot did most of the liquid sanding – he didn’t like my method lol – and you have to rub it onto the cabinets using a cloth, in a circular motion. You can wipe the cabinets afterwards or leave as is. Since it’s a chemical, you should definitely wear gloves when you do this step.
What paint to use for cabinets
– I heard awesome things about Benjamin Moore Advance paint and was really impressed with the quality. It went on so smoothly and dried beautifully. We could have gotten away with one coat, but two coats was even better. We ended up choosing the satin finish, which adds the slightest amount of shine but they’re not overly glossy.
– Before painting the cabinets, we also did two coats of Valspar primer. (We had some leftover from when we had the red wall painted, so I decided to use the rest of that. We ended up needing another gallon and used about half.)
Tools we used to paint our cabinets
We set everything up in the garage and did most of the painting in there. We left the door open to the house for air circulation and we also opened the garage when it wasn’t windy. This made it super convenient because everything was in one spot (save for the actual cabinet frames in the kitchen) and we could work in batches without worrying about the girls touching anything or little dog pawprints leaving their mark.
Here’s everything we used:
– Liquid deglosser
– Lots of cloths for the deglosser
– Disposable paint trays
– a drop cloth
– Paintbrushes – we had a quite a few rollers, angled brushes, and 1/2-inch brushes for the tiny inner corners. A tip: paint as much as you can with a roller in long, vertical strokes, because it will help to make the paint more even and uniform.
Getting under the cabinets was the worrrsssstttttt.
How to organize everything:
The Pilot had an incredible organization system so that we could work in batches and also keep track of what we’d already done. He labeled the inside of each cabinet with a number and letter (he wrote its “name” in the circle where the hardware goes with a permanent marker). We also had a map of the kitchen with the location of each cabinet (so we could tell where 1A was located, etc) and taped the hardware in the corresponding spot on the map.
The Pilot also had a tracking sheet which included each cabinet’s number and its current status: deglossed, primer x 2, and paint x 2.
I’m not going to lie; it took a LONG time. We started the project on Friday afternoon and finished up Tuesday night before he headed off on a work trip. It was a photo finish for sure! By the end of the project, we definitely had a groove going. I would prime as soon as he was done deglossing, and when all of the deglossing was finished, one person was priming or taping while the other was painting. The deglossing took the longest time.
Even though it took quite a few days, the results were so worth it and we saved a ton of money! It would have been at least $1500-2000 to have everything painted by the pros, but we spent less than $300 for everything.
There we have it! Next up: replacing the carpet upstairs (you know, when this whole “never leave your house” thing is over).
So here’s what I’m trying to figure out: should we add hardware? I kind of like the simplicity and brightness without it. If we were to add some, I’m thinking we’d go for stainless steel to match the appliances. I’d love to hear what you think!
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