The Kitchen, Updated


Our cherry kitchen cabinets and Formica counter tops (the corner appliance garage removed)

There is a screwdriver sitting next to me right now on the dining room table.  Also, a few pieces of window trim, some screws and a traffic violation we got from one of those street camera thingies.  Wait, that isn’t home improvement related.  Scratch the speeding ticket-you just never mind about that.  Anyway, a few months ago we decided to do some kitchen updating.  This included painting our cherry kitchen cabinets, replacing our Formica counter tops and appliances, tiling our back splash and, eventually, installing hardwood floors.  It will be tough to part with our “good” grade linoleum.  Sigh.

We began, well, actually, Cory began by removing a set of cabinets next to our refrigerator.  Here is what that looked like:


This photo was taken after we removed the cabinet doors (with the help of my friend Jen) in order to clean and sand in preparation for painting.  That process was long.  We used a TSP substitute to clean them (of course, again with the help of my friend Jen) and then we sanded them, filled the hardware holes and then sanded them again.  That looked like this:


The sanding station was on our ping pong table in the basement.


Cory happily caulking (this is the face of naive excitement before we had any idea what we were up against).

We managed to get this done over about 2 weeks time with stops and starts.  Cory spent more time than I did on this portion as he was able to make minor repairs and touch ups to the cabinets as needed.  He also caulked every seam in each door and around all the trim of the cabinet boxes.  Sigh, again.  Next, we set out to paint them with an airless paint sprayer we purchased from Lowe’s.  This is it.  We also cleaned and sanded the cabinet boxes.  By this time, we had moved the kitchen island, appliances and kitchen table out of the work space.


The drywall is removed where the range would normally be because we are installing a pot filler faucet and a range hood.  You see here also that our sink is still in place-we removed that after we painted in order to make room for our newer, under mount sink.  We didn’t anticipate the amount of time the taping off and securing the work space in order to avoid over spray would take.  Painting with an airless sprayer is efficient and relatively simple however, the prep work is insurmountable.  Think, 9 hours taping, 1 hour painting.  Seriously.  We are crazy, right?  After I took the kids down to my parent’s, we set to finish up the taping off and begin the first coat of primer.  Each coat needed sanding in between and then a thorough vacuum followed by a quick wipe with a damp cloth.  Each cabinet door and drawer, front and back and each nook and cranny inside and out of the cabinet boxes required attention.  The room looked like this:


See that it is dark outside.  That is because the prep takes so long.  I just want to be clear on that point.  It is painful.  Ok, so enough of that griping-it is over for Pete’s sake!  Those handy racks were constructed by Cory in order to transport the doors and drawer fronts during the painting process.  We really had this down by the final coat of color.  He drilled screws into the 2x4s and then covered the tops of each one with a soft, felted pad.  These supported each cabinet and drawer front so that we could easily flip them between coats.  Genius!


By about 9:30pm on Friday, Cory suited up and started up the paint sprayer.  Notice in the photo above the shotty job we did of taping off the inside of our cabinet boxes.  We thought we managed to secure the paper however, we grossly underestimated the power of the paint sprayer and, after the first pass with the gun we managed to get over spray in all of the boxes.  This was a bit of a setback.  (I’ll gripe again now about taping off).  We spent the better part of Saturday re-taping the insides of the boxes.  Damn, I thought we had googled everything by that point.  Everything except the best ways to tape off the inside of the cabinet boxes.


Here are the new and improved taped off boxes AND two coats of primer.  We treated ourselves to a much-needed, yet sleepy, late dinner out with a plan to spray the first coat of paint on Sunday morning.


Here are the painted and dry doors.  We chose a Benjamin Moore color called, Sterling-a soft bluish-gray.  We did not use oil-based Impervo paint, rather we opted for a waterborne variety called Advance.  It worked beautifully and the finish was better than we ever expected.  *A note:  the reason we opted for the waterborne alkyd paint was because the odor was low and there is less risk for yellowing over time-something that makes it more difficult for future touch-ups.  We researched this pretty heavily and felt the Advance was the best choice for us.



We really lucked out on the timing for our counter installation.  We wrapped up painting on Tuesday and they were installed Wednesday.


Cory was able to plumb the new sink on Thursday and our friends Ben and Jeff helped us lug all of the appliances around, new and old.


Pictured above is our new range.  Saying that I love it would kind of be an understatement.  It is a really beautiful appliance and I can’t believe it has a home in our kitchen.


Never mind the clutter on the island, check out the fridge in the background.  We actually sacrificed about 7 cubic feet with our new refrigerator but felt it was worth it to achieve a slim, counter-depth and wall-depth look.  We hung on to our old fridge and created space for it in the basement to store any extra fridge and freezer items.


This picture shows the doors back on and hardware.  Oh, wait…


This is a better shot of the hardware we chose-half moon pulls for the drawers and a traditional hexagonal glass knob for the cabinet doors.  I like how they work together.


This picture shows off our under mount cabinet lighting that Cory just installed over the weekend.  He went into the wall so we will have a little sanding to do before we lay the tile back splash.  That’s what’s next.  Right now we are considering simple white subway tiles and a white Moroccan mosaic for the wall next to the fridge where we will also place a few stainless steel shelves.  I’ll post those changes as they happen too.


Thanks for reading!  Do you like what we did?  Would you ever consider painting your own kitchen cabinets?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s