Posts in Before and After
Painting Kitchen Cabinets

I would like to start this post out by saying that I really did my research on this. I have so many tutorials saved on my Pinterest, that I really wasn't sure where to look first, or who to listen to. I ended up using this one from Young House Love. The tutorial itself was great and I'm happy with the results, but I definitely learned a lot along the way. Most important being that I will never do this again! Second most important being, that sometimes, it's easier to do touch ups when all of your doors are hung back up. You'll see what I mean.


  • drill (I imagine a screwdriver would work just fine, but do yourself and your hands a favor and grab a drill for this one)
  • sandpaper (80 grit, 120 grit), I used an electric one which made a process a whole heck of a lot easier
  • oil based primer, I used this one.
  • acrylic paint color of your choosing, I went with A Bit of Sugar by Behr for the uppers and Intellectual by Behr on the lowers.
  • gloves (I learned this the hard way after day one with the oil based paint)
  • drop cloths
  • painters pyramids or anything else to keep your doors above the floor, I went with some extra quarter rounds I'll be eventually putting in the bathroom
  • paint brushes (you'll want the oil based paint to have it's own brushes, cause those are going to get ruined)
  • 4" foam rollers
  • painter's tape
  • caulk, I used this one
  • wood filler, I used this one

I started by removing all of my doors while simultaneously numbering each door/cabinet combo with some painters tape. This took the guesswork out when it came to putting the doors back up. Essential, trust me! I actually left everything in the cabinets during the sanding/painting process. If you have more square footage than I do, by all means remove everything. For me, it was easier to go back through and clean up the dust than to fill the whole house up with canned goods.  I also did the uppers and lowers seperately. In part because I painted them two different colors, but mostly again, to control clutter. 

Next, I sanded down the cabinets and doors with 80 grit sandpaper. Roughing them up definitely helped the oil based primer stick to the wood. Luckily, my cabinets and doors were in pretty good shape and by using oil based primer, I avoided a lot of sanding in between coats (I really only sanded drips or obvious mistakes, I'm sure most would frown upon this, but I'm pleased with the results). 

Once you're all sanded, wipe down your doors and cabinets with a clorox wipe! It acts like a degreaser and collects all of the dust from sanding. As soon as they dry, it's time to open a window and put your gloves on. Oil based paint sucks, there's no way around it.  I painted the backs of the doors first so that the fronts would dry face up. I definitely recommend using something to lay them on, so they're up off of the floor. I used a mixture of painter's triangles and some quarter rounds I had cut for the bathroom trim. When you get to the fronts, paint in the grooves first, then use your roller to cover the rest.


It took a full day and three coats (one primer, two paint) to do the cabinets and the backs of all the doors, then another day to do the fronts of the cabinets. Again, that was just for the uppers! I can't imagine how long it would have taken if I wasn't on a week's vacation from work. I'm so, so happy with how they came out and I've ordered some hardware already. Stay tuned!

Impromptu Bathroom Renovation I

Being a homeowner is fun. Fun, being in that I can smash up hideous bathroom tile with a hammer and not be taken to court over it (I've never been taken to court for smashing up a rental, this is just an example of all my new freedoms!). "But Sara? You've only been talking about the kitchen, when did this happen?" Well, it all started when I decided I couldn't take the existing moldy, deteriorating bathroom cabinet another day and hopped right on the GODMORGON train. Upon further investigation (about 5 minutes before impulsively ripping out the cabinet), I realized that our plumbing was coming out of the floor and not from a discreet hole in the wall. Awesome sauce.

After admitting to myself that I wasn't cut out for this suddenly not so simple switch, I called upon my awesome friends! I suggest always having a few plumbing inclined/carpenter whiz buddies in the mix, they just make life interesting.

The cabinet came apart pretty easily, probably due to all of the water damage from it's loose and leaky faucet. The previous owners skipped tiling under the cabinet, which led us to our new (way sooner than anticipated) bathroom floor. Other than that, we needed to extend the pipe in the floor about 5 inches so that it would sit flush to the wall. A floor joist stopped us from being able to hide it inside the wall. It stinks, but I'm pretty sure those joist things are structural.

This is what was underneath the layers of ceramic tile, cement board, linoleum, and plywood. Hardwood floors! My heavens, if you didn't have so many gaping holes in you, I would've let you stick around. All of those layers of floor had created a two inch step up into the bathroom. Now that everything is level, I can look forward to not stubbing my toe every time I take a shower. It's definitely come a long way in here since this was taken a few short weeks ago, can't wait to share the after!