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DIY White Kitchen

Apr 29, 2020

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Hiiiii! This is possibly my most requested blog post EVER. I have had so many of you reach out asking for tips and just how to get started and paint your cabinets/furniture, and so many of you are already on the journey to a DIY refresh! You already know I have an obsession with hunting down old furniture and giving it new life, as seen here, and honestly I'm not sure why I was so scared of the idea of doing it to our cabinets. It's permanent I guess?? haha. Anywayyyy, I'm so happy with the results and honestly I love love how the pendants really completed the entire space. I looked at lighting and barstools for over two weeks before making the decision, and I'm very pleased with how they pulled the room together.  ((I've also put a lot of thought into this post and I've tried to cover all the details, but if I left anything out reach out to me and let me know what other questions you have.)) 






Paint 

First step, choose the paint! I use Annie Sloan chalk paint on all of my projects. I purchase all of my paint and brushes from a local store, The Vintage Cottage- locals be warned there are a ton of cute things in this shop! Back to the paint. I love the consistency, the colors, everything about it. It has a matte finish and shows slight brush strokes, it adds character to projects which is why I love it. It is also incredible to work with if you are wanting to make your piece look a bit distressed or destroyed. It is a two step process- paint and wax. There are many many colors of each, so choose what you like best and google the combinations, you will see lots of photos and ideas (example: 'Annie Sloan Original Paint with Dark Wax'). I like paint in 'Original' which to me is the perfect white, and for wax I use clear for most projects and dark for the more rugged pieces. For all of my cabinets I used clear wax. I'll explain more about the wax and what it's purpose is toward the end of the post. 

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Brushes

Brushes or rollers? For this paint, brushes all the way! Even if we had used a paint that rollers would have worked with, our cabinets have raised panel centers and so many edges and corners that rollers just wouldn't have worked. I mainly use three brushes, all Annie Sloan brand, and then a few tiny brushes for the panel corners.

The brushes I used, in order of most used to least, are: 

1. Oval Bristle, small
2. Flat, n. 30
3. Oval Bristle, medium
4. Flat, n. 60
5. the tiny brushes (pictured below, not sure of the brand)

**All of the brushes served their own purpose and I definitely could have completed the project with just the small Oval Bristle, Flat n. 30, and the random tiny brushes. I have accumulated these over the course of my projects so I just laid them all out to use. I will say, bigger isn't always better. The Oval Bristle medium sized brush can get HEAVY when loaded with paint and you are painting above your head...so keep that in mind haha. 

(The cabinet peeking in behind the brushes here is another chalk paint project. I found it at an estate sale and knew I wanted it to be 'chippy' and white. I love love how the distressing turned out!)

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Priming and sanding...or lack thereof 

Below is the 'before' photo. You can see the cabinets were very dark stained wood (they are solid wood). What I love about this paint is that you do not need to prime...or sand usually. Chalk paint adheres to furniture and wooden cabinets so well that there is just no need. Have you ever spray painted something and the paint didn't stick? That would be a scenario when you would need primer. With this paint (and I have even painted mirrored lamps and candlesticks) I have yet to come across anything that needed primer. Of course, if your cabinets have paint literally peeling off and chipping everywhere, you would obviously need to sand them. But if they have a smooth surface, just give them a good dusting and start painting!

*I did paint the dark medallion tiles shown in this photo. I used the white paint with a dark wax rubbed lightly on top to blend them in with the actual tiles. They look very similar to the current tiles!

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Removing the doors & taping up the things

Tape everything. Absolutely everything. Just go ahead and get it over with and tape it all at once. The floor, the molding, the walls, tape it all. You'll appreciate it once you get your 'groove' going! Haha my husband would joke with me once I got going (because I'd paint for hours without stopping) and tell me to take a break from my 'groove', so I would be like ok I'm about to get in my paintin groove. Ok that sounds lame now lolol. Anyway. On the two bathroom cabinets (vanities) that I painted before I gave the kitchen a go, I did not remove the doors. The vanities only had two or three doors each and two drawers, so I was able to work around the drawers and hinges to get the cabinet face frame (the flat part of the cabinet that the hinges are connected to) painted really well. With the kitchen, we took the doors off after we did two coats on everything. This step is ultimately up to you and just depends on if you want to work around the hinges or if you would rather  have a flat face frame to work with. We preferred the removal so we could have a clean edge on the face frame and cabinet door/drawer sides. We did not paint the backs of our doors, as the backs match the wood of the inside of the cupboards. After we painted the face frame and made sure the edges of the doors and drawers were all clean and painted well, we put them back on. After this step we did one more coat on everything and touched up what we needed to. 

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Wax

A lot of people think of this as actual 'wax' that you would buff off like on a car, but it is basically just a top coat for INDOOR furniture. A little goes a long way, and I use a brush to rub it on the surface, then I take cut up strips of old white t shirts to rub the wax in really well. Lint free material like microfiber works great as well for this step. The wax adds a satiny finish and really transforms the paint and look of the surface. It also makes it possible to wipe any dirt or other messes off of the surface, the chalk paint by itself is very rough and matte, this adds the sheen. Think of matte walls vs semi gloss and how much easier it is to wipe a glossy wall off. 

Below is information take from the actual Annie Sloan site:
To achieve Annie's signature look, apply a thin coat of wax over your painted surface with a small Chalk Paint® Wax Brush. Work in small areas at a time, wiping off any excess with a clean cloth. For a distressed look, sand back to reveal a little of the wood or paint underneath before applying a second coat of wax.


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I am so happy with how it turned out. I hate I waited so long to paint all of our cabinets. It makes the spaces feel so much more open and they are far brighter and more airy. The photographer in me is obsessed with how the light bounces off of the white, making each room feel bigger. I'm also super pleased with how the granite looks less yellow next to the white and how much less orange the hardwood floors look with all the extra light around. So many tiny factors together made such a big difference!

Just remember to take your time and don't stress. It won't take forever but it will take a little time and effort. If you need a break, take it! Don't stress out, you will finish and you will love the results 💗



 

**Below are the knobs I chose. We didn't get them on the cabinets until after I took the above photo. I use crystal knobs on a lot of my antique/vintage furniture pieces and I love the charm and shabby chicness they add!



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