One Room Challenge–Week 3

Hey hey!  It’s week T H R E E of theORC
and over here, things are looking UP!!  No really, they are.  I got all of the upper cabinets painted this week and, oh my, it is CRAZY how much more light bounces through what I already thought was a fairly bright kitchen!

Check this out:IMG_7417

And then take a look at the same area pre-move:IMG_6824
The Almighty said it best with “Let there be light!”  Have you ever gone white in the kitchen (or any room really) and experienced the added light?  It’s great, right? 

I’ve written a few posts on how I paint cabinets in the past and time around the paint can wasn’t much different in the way of technique but I did use a new-to-us paint than I have in the past and got a little smarter as far as set-up goes.


First I removed all of the doors + hardware and sanded everything down - the messiest and least fun part of the whole painting process.    FullSizeRender
I sanded just enough to take the shine off of everything.  On the cabinet frames, I used a fine-grit sanding block in one hand while, underneath, I held the shop vac hose in the other (and still got sawdust everywhere).  On the cabinet doors, I pulled out our hand sander + fine-grit and whizzed over them.IMG_7383Unsanded on the left, sanded and ready for primer on the right.

Then I filled in those two nail holes left behind from the header.IMG_7382
I used spackling instead of wood filler because it has a smoother finish.  Dap DryDex* is the only spackling we’ve ever used and it has never failed us.  I especially love that it goes on pink and turns white when it’s dry.  Instead of sanding once it’s dry, I always just take an old rag and wipe all of the excess off.  This saves me from the mess of sanding and still leaves me with a smooth fill.


I used an oil-based primer as my first coat and as usual, I’m always sloppy with primer.  I put a good layer on and make sure to cover every square inch but I don’t aim for even brush strokes whatsoever so post-priming, whatever I’m painting is always splotchy.Snapseed

We found a used can of Kilz Odorless primer* in the shed and so we used it.  That made our super low budget happy.  :)


I’ve heard about the super hard finish of Sherwin William’s Pro Classic paint from a couple of different places on the web and so we jumped in and bought that paint for this project.  It was quite a leap too because it’s more expensive than the paint that we usually buy.  I grabbed it during a 30% off sale that made it $42 for the gallon.IMG_7401
(Pssst, that blue pour spout is one of our most handy paint tools.  We’ve had it for several years now and it’s kept paint from seeping into the ridges at the top of the can, which can spray out when you’re hammering the lid on (not the kind of shower I like) and cause rust to form over time.  It’s a fantastic 99 cent investment.  We bought ours at Home Depot.)

So far, I’m unimpressed with the Pro Classic paint.  I couldn’t tell you for certain that it’s dried harder than any other paint I’ve used to paint cabinets and it definitely hasn’t covered as well.  I rolled two coats onto the cabinet doors and three onto the frames just to get that 100% uniform coverage.  A couple of coats is good when you’re talking cabinets, just for durability’s sake, but I would expect more (or less) from a paint that originally costs about $70 a gallon.  But, maybe it’ll prove itself over time and that hard layer won’t give way to any chips or scratches.  

I used a four-inch foam roller* to apply the paint on the cabinet frame and doors and an angled brush* (our Wooster brush is several years old and still going strong) to paint in corners and the top moulding.  Using a foam roller keeps my lines straight along the frame – no paint runs into the inside of the cabinets.IMG_7394
Look at those edges.  Mmm, mmm, mmm.Snapseed_1
As far as painting went, two things I did made this the easiest painting-kitchen-cabinets sesh ever.

One, I laid our long ladder on top of three sawhorses in our car port.  Ten of the eleven doors fit on this so I just went down the line painting.  I painted two coats onto each side of each door plus the coat of primer, waiting at least four hours in between each coat.  IMG_7396
I painted while the kids played outside and peace, ease, and harmony abounded.  Because the doors were sheltered, I just left them out all day and overnight to dry.  This is a far cry from the painting sessions I used to have cluttering up our living room (pre-kids, of course). 


Now, we’ve never had a carport and honestly, a garage has always trumped a carport on our house hunting wants.  But, in light of the past four days, we are now firm believers in the value of a carport.  It was awesome to be able to watch the kids plus paint all at once AND have the breeze that blew though the carport dry my job for me.  I know painting isn’t an every day occurrence and so car storage solutions shouldn’t hinge on that but it was one of those things we’re glad our eyes were opened to.   We can’t say we’d shun a future house for having a garage but we can say that wouldn’t overlook a house for having just a carport anymore.  What about you?  Are you team garage or team carport?  Or maybe you don’t mind either way.  :) 

Two, I stored my roller and paint brush in a ziploc bag between coats to keep them wet.IMG_7409
This saved me LOADS of time and made it so quick to just pour out paint, grab brushes, and go.

The last thing I did that I feel makes a big difference in how the painted cabinets look was spray paint the hinges.  Because the hinges on our cabinets are visible from the front, I’ve found I like it best when they blend in.  I realized this in our second home’s bathroom.  I spray painted the hinges on our newly painted-white cabinets oil-rubbed bronze and the way they stuck out always kind of bothered me.  Once I swapped out the old for new white hinges and they faded into the background, everything changed. 

Buying new hinges for this kitchen would’ve added up so I decided to spray paint them.  First though, I gave them a good bath.  Good thing too because they were so gross.  When I pulled them out of the water, all of the built-up grease and dirt had become a film that peeled off like a face mask.  Ewww…  Once dry, I laid them all out on a piece of cardboard to be painted. IMG_7400
I gave each side one coat of the Clean Metal primer* I’ve always had great luck with…IMG_7399

and one coat of a satin white.IMG_7402
Since all of the hinge screws are also visible, I painted them too.  It was easy to just poke them through a piece of cardboard so as to only paint the tops and go.


Money spent so far?  Well, I’ve used about 1/4 can of cabinet paint, a 1/3 can of wall paint, a very small amount of spray paint and primer, and purchased new pulls (these* are similar but brushed) for the cabinets that rang in around $27 for the entire kitchen’s worth (I bought 50 because it the cost was less per pull and am planning on selling what I don’t use so that number could go down depending on how much I get for them).  The primers I used for the walls and cabinets were both free so we’re right around $57 (of the $150 budget) at the moment.

I have yet to make a decision on the lower cabinet paint color (though I might just keep it from you until the final reveal…would you hate me?) but we did hang our new pot rack last night so I’ll tell you all about that next week!


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In the mood for more makeovers?  You know you are.  ;)  There are lots over at the One Room Challenge link-up!

*affiliate links are included in this post

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