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What I Learned from Painting Old Kitchen Cabinets

When we moved into our current house, the cabinets were this ugly dark burgundy…I mean these made the kitchen look so dark and dingy. I immediately knew that they had to go! However, being the conservative person I am…aka being cheap…I didn’t want to replace the cabinets completely. After watching a few TV shows that showed most people replacing these completely, I decided I was going to pain these cabinets.

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What I Learned from Painting Old Kitchen Cabinets

The Problem: What in the world is going to cover dark purple, burgundy cabinets? I wanted a light color….as most people who know me personally, know my house is full of white and light colors.

So, I decided on a nice white with a splash of gray tint to it. The key was getting the purple burgundy (I started calling this Burble) to go away…for good. I had two options:

1. Sand the cabinets of all the color

2. Try to use a paint remover to scrap this paint off

First, I tried the paint remover, after all, sounds a bit simpler than sanding all the cabinets. It worked to an extent. However, since these cabinets were so old, there was at least three coats of paint and a coat of wood stain that I was working with removing. It took a lot of elbow grease and a lot of product.

Scratch that…the smell was awful, even though I had purchased a low odor paint remover. So, I started sanding the fronts of cabinets in order to remove the paint. This worked fine, and it turned out to be faster than the paint remover. The key with this…don’t sand too hard or too deep! Otherwise, you are going to have grooves in your cabinets! Trust me…this is a lesson I learned the hard way.

Once all traces of paint were removed, the actual painting of the cabinets flew by. A few tips I have:

- Do the trim work first

- I love using a roller made specifically for cabinets…it just seems to make the process go by so much faster

- Do this during the Spring or Summer. I did this in February…it was cold to say the least. I had to use several heaters to ensure the kitchen stayed warm enough for the paint to dry.

So, what do you think? Is this something that you would want to do? A little heads up…

1. The paint remover made the cabinets take on a yellow tint later. It has been two years since I did this, and those three cabinet doors are slightly different than the others. Luckily, their location makes it look like a trick of the light.

2. This is a long process, depending upon the number of cabinets. I swear it was 2 weeks straight, 4 hours per day working on these…BE PREPARED!

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