Our Painted Kitchen Cabinets–Two Years Later {& What I Learned}

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This post is sponsored by HomeRight and may contain affiliate links, you can see our disclosure policy HERE. As always, all opinions are truly my own.

Two years ago (to the day!) I wrote this post about our kitchen, proudly revealing the freshly painted cabinets. I wanted to not only show off how much prettier it was with the lighter paint, but I also hoped to encourage anyone to tackle a project like this. If I can do it, pretty much anyone can do it!

{There is a giveaway at the end of this post, so keep reading to enter to win a fabulous paint sprayer}

Now two years later I thought I would provide an update on how our cabinets are holding up, but first here is a quick reminder of the before image of our kitchen, it looked like this when we moved in:

 

 

Not bad, but dark. We have a sunroom with windows adjacent to the kitchen, but no actual windows in the kitchen, which made it dark and shadowy.

 

 

I wrote several posts throughout this process including one on How to Select a Paint Color for your Cabinets discussing the process we used to decide on the paint color (after our first choice turned out to be the wrong choice!). Then I shared a post about how to get A Factory Smooth Finish on the surface using paint, and finally the full reveal post HERE.

 

 

Since that time, I also painted another section of cabinets over by our desk area that wasn’t finished during the first go-round, and now I am thrilled that our kitchen is now complete, that post is HERE.

 

 

I get asked about my painted cabinets all the time. Most of my neighbors are facing the dilemma of whether they should update their darker stained cherry and oak cabinets to the more in-style painted look. Since replacing cabinets is costly (think the price of a new car) and hiring a professional to refinish your cabinets can run in the thousands, DIY’ing this task is a popular and economical option.

 

While this is not a quick project, it is one that will have a tremendous impact on how your home looks. Inevitably, people always ask me “but how are they holding up?”, because nobody wants to spend all the time it takes to paint cabinets only to regret having done so.

My answer is that ours are doing great! Before I answer that important question more specifically, I want to recap the process that I used to paint them since I believe doing it right has a lot to do with the painted finish staying perfectly intact.

  1. First, I removed all the doors and sanded them very well. I removed as much of the existing cherry stain as possible, making sure to at least remove all of the glossy top coat. I used a DeWalt Sander and a Ryobi Corner Cat to get in the grooves {tip: buy extra refills, you will go through plenty of sanding pads}.
  2. I started with a coat of primer on all the doors, drawers and cabinet frames. I used this primer here and sprayed it on using my HomeRight FinishMax Pro Paint Sprayer.
  3. I used Sherwin-Williams Pro Classic for Doors and Trim (in Decorator’s White) paint, the paint store recommended it and in this situation, I wanted to be sure to use the best quality paint I could find. {note: sign up for their emails they do frequently offer sales.}
  4. After priming, I used the HomeRight FinishMax to spray the paint on all the doors and drawers, giving them two coats each, with ample time to dry in between coats.
  5. I hand painted (or used a small roller) on the frames and island while the door and drawer fronts dried.
  6. I reattached everything, added hardware and corbels to the island, and did a dance of joy that it was done!

 Here are my video instructions on how to paint your cabinets using a paint sprayer:
 

So, how are our cabinets really holding up after two years?

I should state right now that we have three kids (two boys age 12 and 15, otherwise known as eating machines), an 8 year old daughter, and two large dogs. The dogs don’t impact the cabinets too much, but we run a fairly hectic schedule and certainly don’t baby our cabinets. The answer is that truly they are doing great!

 

I expected a few dings, chips and scratches but really so far, we’ve seen almost no damage. I have heard complaints from other people that have had paint wear off on the doors they use the most frequently, but we haven’t had any issues in our kitchen. This is our most used cabinet, and as you can see there is some very small wear just on the edge. A quick touch up with some paint will take care of that, and this is the worst of any of them.

 

 

As I mentioned in the post about how we chose our colors, I selected a bright white (Benjamin Moore Decorator’s White) for the perimeter cabinets and so the white does show dirt. Every few months I give them a quick wipedown {usually with a magic eraser, but sometimes just a rag} and that pretty much takes care of it. So yes, they do get a little dirty but I think I am more comfortable knowing the dirt is there and removing it, I hate to think what built up on the darker cabinets over all those years (yuck).

 

 

So while taking on this project will take a few days to complete, it is well worth it. Our kitchen is lighter and brighter and feels much more updated. Here is my advice on making this process go as smoothly as possible:

*Work in sections and set up a dedicated ‘spray’ area. If you think you can just do this by hand with a roller, know that it will take you so much longer than with a sprayer, and you will fight roller marks. The HomeRight Super FinishMax {the newest model!} is available here for less than $100, and will make the painting part take just a few minutes for each coat. It is simple to use, no experience is necessary!

*The hardest part of this project, in my opinion, is the sanding. Again a few quality tools (the ones mentioned above) will make this go so much faster, while it isn’t hard it can be a little more time consuming than the painting part {if you are spraying}. Since this isn’t a skilled task, you might even be able to find a neighborhood teen willing to handle the sanding part for you, my older son was great at this task. Teens will do most anything for money 🙂

*I used the HomeRight Spray Shelter set up in our garage, this kept all the dust and debris off the wet cabinet paint and kept any overspray off the floor. Since this project will take several days of painting coats on and allowing dry time, you will want to set this up somewhere with good ventilation where you can leave it untouched. I also recommend these risers to keep the cabinets off the drop clothes to allow them to dry underneath, which speeds up your drying time and reduces the risk of the cabinets sticking to your drop cloths (that = “don’t ask me how I know”!).

We do have brass pulls on our cabinets, and they offer a level of protection to the paint, but for the most part, our cabinets don’t look different than they did when they were first painted, so if you are considering this project, don’t let fear of ‘ruining’ your cabinets hold you back.

Now for the FUN part–we get to give away a Super Finish Max to one lucky reader. This is the newer, improved fabulous version of the HomeRight paint sprayer I used in our kitchen and for a ton of other projects. It is such a great tool, and the new version not only sprays paints and stains but it calls for less thinning of the paint. You can read all about it HERE.  This is a must-have for this type project, so good luck to all!

 

To enter our giveaway simply follow the directions on the widget below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you are contemplating a kitchen makeover, you might also be interested in this post about The Pros and Cons of Marble Counters and Painting a Kitchen Backsplash, and see Christy’s kitchen makeover in her Tennesee house HERE.

XO,

 

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Our posts contain affiliate links.  If you make a purchase after clicking on these links, we will earn a small commission, which helps to keep our content free.  You don’t pay a cent more than you would otherwise, since that would be tacky! Please see our full disclosure policy here.

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Comments

  1. Susie Wilcox says

    I just had a workshop built for refinishing furniture. This sprayer would be a great addition. Love your blog and DIY projects.

  2. My husband and I were just talking about getting a sprayer for a few projects. 🙂

    Jen in OK

  3. Valerie Newton says

    I’d love to follow your lead and redo the cabinets in my kitchen. this sprayer would surely make the job look top-notch professional.

  4. Tamra Feito says

    Great tips! We’re moving soon and anticipate painting some cabinets. I love that you followed up your original post with this update. I’m saving it for our project.

  5. Patti Boatwright says

    Love everything about your blog! Thanks for this great giveaway
    !

  6. This winter we are finishing the basement. I don’t plan on finishing the ceiling – just painting it. I would love a paint sprayer.

  7. Sandra Langhorn says

    I would love to paint our kitchen cupboards, and this paint sprayer would certainly make my husband happy!!!

  8. LOVE this! I’ve always wanted to re-do my kitchen but was fearful of ruining the existing cabinets. One question, how did you get the remaining primer out of the sprayer when you were ready to fill it with the paint? Can’t wait to get started! Thank you!

  9. Suzanne Douglass says

    My kitchen is currently dark wooden cabinets and yellow everything. Yellow sink, appliances and walls. It definitely could use a makeover!

  10. Your kitchen is beautiful!

  11. heidi gurley says

    I have always wanted a paint sprayer, especially now that I am wanting to repaint my cabinets!

  12. I have a few things to paint, and lack of time stops me. A sprayer would be a huge help. Thanks for the chance to win.

  13. Kathleen McAdory says

    So excited to try this on my dark cabinets!

  14. I’m trying to think of something I WOULDN’T paint if I had a paint sprayer. 😉 Your kitchen is my dream kitchen… Truly!

  15. Beautiful! I have a few projects I’d love to use a sprayer on!

  16. Your kitchen is lovely. You did a great job. Thank you for explaining the process.

  17. I’ve been trying to convince my husband that we can do this, and that the kitchen will look great. showing him that yours have held up so well may help my cause, and a sprayer would definitely provide the finishing touch

  18. Cheryl McKnight says

    Love your Blog! Now that I’m retired, can’t wait to get started on projects I’ve put off for years! Dark cabinets in a galley kitchen with no windows will be the first project I tackle!

  19. I love your blog and especially reading about your kitchen. That is exactly what I want to do to my mine.

  20. This is very encouraging….I think the only way to get a smooth finish is to use a sprayer such as the homeRight….thanks for the opportunity to win one!

  21. Wow, would I LOVE to have newly painted cabinets! Mine are dark oak from 1979, so they really need it.

  22. Wow! I Just re-painted my kitchen cabinets and I have learned some serious lessons, hopefully, i can put them in practice with my master bathroom cabinets. This paint sprayer would make my life a whole lot easier.

  23. We are trying very hard to update our kitchen so we can sell the house and downsize. This would be perfect for our kitchen.

  24. Your kitchen looks great. I would love to paint my bathroom cabinets.

  25. Beautiful white kitchen! I’m getting my house ready to sell and have been wondering if I need to paint the kitchen cabinets white. It’s painful to have to paint cabinets that I just put in 10 years ago! Thanks for the inspiration and information.

  26. Thanks for the recap-looking at this project ourselves, spraying may be the way to go!

  27. The cabinets are very pretty love the white !

  28. I am gearing up to tackle painting our kitchen cabinets – they are currently a forest green (the previous home owner’s choice) and I cannot wait to transform them with a good cleaning and fresh coat of paint!

  29. Christi Wallander says

    I would love to have a paint sprayer to paint my kitchen cabinets. Since i had a stroke ten years ago, everything has been slowed down, but I still love a pretty home and doing DIYs. I have been nervous to try the kitchen cabinets, so thanks for your words of wisdom, I like how everything in your kitchen looks bright, fresh and clean.

  30. Your cabinets do look great and I love the accent of the gold pulls

  31. I am very tempted to try this myself after reading your blog and seeing the beautiful results! Thanks for sharing.

  32. Mary Schwed says

    I Too would like to paint some cabinets.

  33. My white painted kitchen cabinets didn’t turn out very well with a paint brush. Lesson learned, need a sprayer.

  34. Thank you for the follow-up post! Did you change your countertops or are those the same you had before?

  35. Lauren Kolbrener says

    Your kitchen makeover looks fabulous! I would love to paint my cabinets! I think the sprayer is key!!

  36. I so want to paint my kitchen cabinets. You’re inspiring!

  37. Tamara Keener says

    Thank you for your great blog posts and a chance to win the sprayer !

  38. I’ve been searching high and low for a thorough article about painting cabinets — and here it is! Thanks so much for all the helpful information. My husband and I are on a very tight budget right now and I’d love to have the sprayer to help me refinish all of our garage sale furniture.

  39. Leiah Fuselier says

    I purchased a cabinet for our master bath and for the longest time have been putting off painting it because I truly didn’t want to deal with roller or brush marks. This sprayer would make my husband so happy…because I’d finally get that large cabinet out of his toy room, aka his shop. 🙂

  40. robin woods says

    I just put a paint sprayer on my wish list as we are painting all 27 doors in our house! I would love to win this! thanks for the chance.

  41. I just painted my kitchen/living room and now the dark cabinets and dark mantel look out of place. I want to paint the cabinets but am going to have to be sneaky and wait until my husband is out of town for a week! this sprayer would make all the difference in what I could get done around here, and actually have fun doing it. The last sprayer we bought was horrid and ruined the project we were working on!

  42. Paula Scafe says

    I would totally paint my kitchen cabinets!!! I can see two different shades of white, some weird orangy color, and – extra fun – I can see 1980’s “country blue” when the cabinet doors are open. Plus my son’s Sharpie drawings, and dinged paint from tricycles when kiddos were younger.
    Then, I’d take all the bedroom and bathroom doors off their hinges, and paint them, too!

  43. We’re doing our home makeover now so this would be perfect!

  44. Love the redo! I really wanna update my cabinets!

  45. Gwen Saxby says

    Would Love to paint my cabinets with this!

  46. Angela Hendricks says

    I need to repaint the rooms in my house so I would use it for that!

  47. Linda Warner says

    All our cabinets are dark brown. I might start with a bath instead of the kitchen as it’s a smaller job.

  48. Samantha Pulliam says

    I’d use the HomeRight Finish Max Sprayer for EVERYTHING!
    It’s been on my Wishlist since first seeing it on the 11 Magnolia Lane blog a few YEARS ago!!

  49. Love your kitchen, Now if I can do my oak kitchen cabinets,

  50. Thanks for the update. I enjoy following your blog.

  51. Love your cabinets! I would use the sprayer for a long awaited kitchen cabinet overhaul!

  52. We’ve been talking about updating and repainting our cabinets, and this would be a huge help:)

  53. Thanks for the opportunity and for sharing the update!

  54. You’re giving me courage to tackle cabinet painting. Thanks

  55. barbara t whitaker says

    My spouse owned a body shop for 35 tears and painting cars require so much prep work. It’s all about the prep. If he completes a home project it will hold up for years. He painted My cabinets in spray paint booth at shop using the best paint, (along with many more hours of prep. They look incredible 7 years later. He sold his shop and all the painting items, would love to have my own spray painter!!!

  56. Your kitchen is beautiful! Love the gold hardware.

  57. I just re-read the post, and added the risers to my Amazon list. This solves a major mental roadblock for me. Thank you! When’s the giveaway? I’m anxious!!!

  58. Brittany scanlan says

    I have been dying to paint our awful oak cabinets white ever since we moved in….. I have just been to afraid to take on the task. I would LOVE a paint sprayer to make the job more manageable, especially with my pregnant belly getting in the way 🙂

  59. Love a white kitchen!

  60. I been wanting to paint my cabinets for 3 years and I haven’t done it because of being afraid of messing the up. I’m going to try this way.

  61. Maureen Burgess says

    This is exactly what I needed to read! I’ve been debating getting a sprayer to tackle our kitchen cabinets (which look almost identical to yours) and keep being told by the local BM paint expert not to bother with a sprayer. But your post about the time it saves and the smooth finish have sold me!!
    One question – how many coats did you find were enough, including the primer? And did you only do one coat of primer?
    Thanks in advance!

  62. Jimmy Wallace says

    I have wanted my cabinets painted and had a professional out to give me an estimate. They gave me an estimate of 7,ooo. I just want them to be perfect as we are constantly thinking of downsizing. I may buy the sprayer and try my master bath cabinets first.

  63. Would enamel paint be a better option FOR A ONGER LASTING PAINT JOB? I’VE READ ITS MORE DURABLE.

  64. EaglePainting says

    Good looking Cabinets. have you tried breakthrough by ppg ..it is a waterborne paint which i had good results with .

  65. Great Looking Cabinets . Might Want to try a waterborne Paint ..it does not yellow like oil base

  66. Hi! I loved your posts. I was wondering what sand paper grit you used for the cabinets? And did you paint the inside and shelves white as well?

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