Kitchen Makeover-cabinets Part 1

Kitchen Makeover-cabinets Part 1

Attempt all DIY projects at your own risk. Posts should be construed as theoretical advice only.

Kitchen Makeover- cabinets

With our most recent excitement that you can read about here, I decided it might be a good idea to redo my kitchen. I wanted to do a complete renovation of my kitchen but very budget friendly. My kitchen makeover with the cabinets.  Refinishing them is a budget-friendly alternative to installing new cabinets, which can cost thousands of dollars.

I split our kitchen project into 2 posts:

Supplies:

 Let’s get to work!

Directions:

Step 1: Empty out the cabinets

  • I found it easiest to remove everything. Plus I kinda didn’t have a choice I had the fire extinguisher ash all over my whole house. It’s pretty amazing how far that travels even though I thought it was in a contained space. But I would have removed everything anyways because it’s a great time to reorganize cabinets.

Step 2: Remove hardware from cabinets

  • If you do have handles and knobs that are special per cabinet you will want to label those.
  • Tip: You can update the color of your knobs by spray painting them.
Remove hardware with a screwgun or screwdriver. It is very time consuming with a hand screwdriver. I highly recommend using a screwgun.
Remove cabinet doors and clean out cabinets

Step 3: Clean cabinets with a liquid de-greaser

  • I used tsp to wipe down all the cabinets to get rid of all that grease that accumulates on kitchen cabinets from cooking…or fires.

Step 4: Use a liquid de-glosser to remove the finish

  • Definitely wear gloves. This will be stripping the gloss of the cabinets.
  • Pour a small amount onto a rag and then wipe on all cabinets until most if not all of the finish is off.
  • Then let the de-glosser dry.

Step 5: Determine what items you will be painting

  • Decide whether you would like to paint inside the cabinet boxes. If you decide to paint inside your boxes you will need more time and paint. Ours were still nice enough I didn’t want to add any more work so I kept ours. However, I did paint both sides of the cabinet doors. I think it would have been tacky to not do so.
  • Remove all cabinet doors and shelves if you decided to paint those.
  • Label as you remove so it will be easier to put back together

Step 6: Lightly sand

  • With a fine grit 220 sandpaper, we lightly sanded our cabinet door fronts and boxes

Step 7: Tape and drop cloth your kitchen

  • I used painter’s tape to tape around everything I did not want to be painted.
  • Then covered the kitchen floor and countertops with painters cloth.

Step 8: Paint

  • The most important tip I can give you is to invest in a good quality paint brush and roller as this is a crucial step to the way your finished product will look and it makes the job go so much smoother.
  • I painted the door front and 2 of the sides and let dry. Then completed the other side and last 2 sides.
  • Painting the drawers I ended up putting them back into their spot and pulled them out 3/4 of the way and using a sponge roller and cardboard boxes on the floor I painted them right on the spot. Once they were dry I could remove them and paint the bottom box.
  • If needed I painted a second coat.

Step 9: Put it all back together

Now to stand back and admire the kitchen makeover of the cabinets…as well as try to figure out how to keep it so nice with four kids!

Painted kitchen cabinets- after
Sneak Peak of cabinets after

Now, are you ready to tackle the countertops?

Check out our inexpensive countertop remodel here. 
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Comments (39)

  • Looks great! I’m always nervous to try a big project like that.

    Reply
    • It is very nerve racking if one hasn’t done it before. We hope to start a virtual handyman soon so that someone who wants to try things but a little scared or unsure can facetime and ask questions as they work.

      kariebabbitt
      Reply
  • Many years ago, my husband, I owned a bathroom and kitchen refinishing business. We sprayed cabinets, tubs and tile with a very durable polyurethane acrylic. Basically airplane paint. There is so much you can do before tearing something out and frankly, the kitchens and tubs from 40-50 years ago are far more superior in quality over what is made today.

    Reply
    • I agree. Plus it’s fun working on redoing something and seeing the results for far cheaper than new.

      kariebabbitt
      Reply
  • This makes me really want to remodel our kitchen that I’m sure was a fantastic kitchen back in the 90s but now looks so dated! Thanks for the step-by-step instructions. So helpful!

    Reply
    • This is a great way to do a cheap upgrade.

      kariebabbitt
      Reply
  • What a difference making over cabinets can make in the whole look of a home!

    Reply
    • Plus it feels extra clean right after. 🙂

      kariebabbitt
      Reply
  • We are constantly remodeling and have repurposed and refurbished multiple sets of cabinets.

    Pauline
    Reply
    • It’s always such a reward to look at the finished project.

      kariebabbitt
      Reply
  • You did a great job! I would love to refi ah my cabinets, thank you for the instructions..I still need to get nerve up to try!

    Reply
    • Yes, it takes a while to work up the nerve the first time.

      kariebabbitt
      Reply
  • Oh, God. I need a kitchen makeover badly! Thanks for the plan. This is totally work in my case

    Reply
  • Absolutely beautiful! You would never be able to tell that your cabinets are refinished and not brand new. I love DIY. It may take a little more time and a lot more work, but in the end it’s totally worth it!

    Reply
  • I love a good DIY story!!! Well done!

    Reply
  • So much motivation and work, but so worth it! Great job it looks great!

    Reply
  • Such great info! Great post.

    Reply
  • Great job on the remodel, looks like a heck of a fire! Good thing you were equipped with a fire extinguisher. Love the fresh clean look of your cabinets!! 🙂

    Reply
  • Great job! It looks amazing – we redid our kitchen a few years ago and it makes such a big difference!

    Reply
  • Love this! I love remodels….when they are someone else’s! But a great read!

    Michele
    Reply
  • We are looking to do a kitchen remodel and this was so helpful!!! I love the white cabinets.

    Lias
    Reply
  • Great post. We have been remodeling our whole house – this is actually the 4th one we have done. There are so many cost effective ways to remodel and trust me we do what we can to do the best without shelling out thousands of dollars

    Reply
    • There are so many ways to save cost and it can actually be fun if there isn’t a time crunch.

      kariebabbitt
      Reply
  • I have a white kitchen, it’s work to keep clean, but always light and bright,

    Sandi
    Reply
    • That was one of our big worries was the cleaning but our kids are leaving so hopefully it won’t be too bad now that there are less people to spill and dirty them. 🙂

      kariebabbitt
      Reply
  • I love seeing remodeling ideas and the pictures of the before and after! These are some great ideas!

    Reply
  • Very nicely done! Your cabinets look great. I’ll be tackling a kitchen makeover this year too.

    Reply
  • Great post! We are currently renovating our RV so this is a very helpful post.

    Reply
  • This looks great! Way more cost effective than replacing everything!

    Nicki
    Reply
  • This looks so beautiful! Congratulations on taking it to such a beautiful finish!

    Reply
  • Wow! I have to admit I was skeptical when I saw the before picture, but the finished cabinets look amazing!

    Kim
    Reply
  • Wow! what a transformation!

    Reply
  • Wow, your cabinets look beautiful. I love the white…the picture looks so perfect. I don’t think I’d have the patience or the nerve to give it a try myself. I really would love to change ours to white without buying new cabinets!

    Reply
  • We are actually thinking about doing a kitchen makeover ourselves. Great advice!

    Reply
  • I LOVE a good home reno, especially before and after pics. It’s really coming together!

    Reply
  • That looks great! I have heard that cabinets are a nightmare to repaint/stain. I would love to redo mine but i am not sure I’m up for the job!

    Reply
    • I think the hardest part is getting started and the not knowing and fear of not knowing if it will turn out. 🙂

      kariebabbitt
      Reply
  • Looks really great! You have lots of cool ideas. Thanks for the post!

    Reply
  • Love this!!! We just moved into our new home, but I’m already dying to figure out a way to add in a double oven unit. Of course, I have tons of other ideas, as well, but I envy you because you actually get in there and do it! Thanks for sharing. Looks great.

    Reply

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