Painting your kitchen cabinets is one of the most terrifying projects you can take on as a new homeowner
However, Painting Your Kitchen Cabinets With Chalk Paint Is Also Super Easy, Exciting, and Affordable
In the case of my husband and I, he was terrified and I could not have been more excited! My husband was in love with our original kitchen. He is night dweller, born on Halloween, and prefers all things dark. The dark cherry wood cabinets and black granite counters that came with our house originally suited him just fine.
However; those dark kitchen cabinets could not have done less for me. As the local chef, I needed a happy kitchen! A place full of light that felt airy and welcoming! Not just a room, but a place where I could create memories and love. Nothing short of a happy, comfortable, and weloming culinary space. I needed a kitchen renovation! Fast!
Our Kitchen “Before” Painting the cabinets
A World of Options and Advice
Pinterest had me dreaming of kitchens draped in white. The crisp and clean look, the brightness, the appearance of being bigger. How could someone not want to paint their kitchen white? So the pleading with my husband began. When he caved his only stipulation was that he wanted me to not dive in until I had done my research and was sure I could do a professional job. No problem! Back to Pinterest I went!
There were so many different articles! Some women swore by oil based paint. Others by latex based. Some women claimed nothing did the job like a roller. Meanwhile, some would only use a brush.
How was I to know which way was best? More importantly, which way was easiest to paint kitchen cabinets? Being as hard-headed as they come, so I decided to make my own way!
The Easiest Way To Paint Kitchen Cabinets Finally Revealed
As much as a didn’t like that dark, little kitchen, I didn’t care for hours of meticulous steps any more. Thankfully I discovered the easiest way you can paint your kitchen cabinets! Plus, this method of painting kitchen cabinets makes the job simpler, easier, and cheaper than most expect! Not to mention, in an average sized kitchen, this project can be completed for less than $100!
So, “what is this magic cabinet painting method?” you ask. CHALK PAINT! You can change the entire look of your kitchen with little effort and money using chalk paint to bring new life to old kitchen cabinets!
Why Paint Kitchen Cabinets With Chalk Paint
Chalk paint is just as durable as any oil based paint. However; when you go with chalk paint you do not have to deal with the smell and dry times of oil based paint. The idea of spending hours priming and sanding all my cabinets also didn’t make me jump for joy. Luckily, with chalk paint, you do not have to sand your cabinets in preparation of being painted.
Chalk paint is a very easy cleanup paint made from chalk! Therefore, it is a much more customizable paint to use than traditional latex or oil. You can coat your chalk paint with wax or polycrylic. You can leave your coat solid or distress it for a worn, rustic look.
Choosing The Right Chalk Paint for Your Kitchen Cabinets
The most popular chalk paint is made by Annie Sloan. If the internet agrees on one thing it is it’s love for Annie Sloan. However; this brand is quite pricey as it is considered the “designer name” in chalk paint. Since this was my first time working with this no prime, no sand, paint I decided not to splurge on the premium prices.
Instead I happened across Rust-oleum Chalked for about a quarter of the cost. This paint is available on Amazon Prime for about $17 per can! Rust-oleum Chalked comes in many colors that there is something sure to work for all projects in your home!
For our kitcen cabinets we went with a great white color. This crisp but warm “Linen White” was exactly what I was looking for! This just slightly warm white made our kitchen light and breezy while still being welcoming and inviting! I couldn’t wait to get started painting our kicthen cabinets with chalk paint!
What Will You Need to Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets
Note: The following are based on my fairly average sized cabinets. I have fourteen total cabinets. I painted both sides of my doors and all exteriors. The interiors of the cabinets were left their original color.
- (2) Cans of Rust-oleum Chalked Paint- ONLY $17/CAN ON AMAZON!
- (2) High Qualiyu 2″ Paint Brush – THIS WOOSTER BRUSH IS LESS THAN $4!
- (1) Painter’s Tape – THIS OPTION IS LESS THAN $7!
- (1) Screwdriver
- (1) Drop Cloth
- (1) Bottle of Degreaser (I used Dawn Dish detergent mixed with water!)
- (1) Pack Fine Sand Paper – GRAB A FIVE PACK FOR LESS THAN $6
- (1) Can of Polycrylic – ONLY $16/CAN ON AMAZON!
Prepping Your Kitchen Cabinets To Be Painted
I have to confess, I am as lazy as they come when I DIY! If there is a way to take a project and make it easier, I will find it! The results won’t reveal your secret of only doing half the work, so why do it any other way? Ultimately, this is what lead me to decide to paint my kitchen cabinets using chalk paint. With chalk paint there is no need to prime or sand your project down to bare wood! This was a lifesaver considering the thick cherry wood stain on my cabinets!
All our kitchen cabinets needed before being painted was a good cleaning with a degreaser. Degreaser can be made at home by mixing Dawn dish detergent and water in a spray bottle. Remove your old cabinet pulls before going to work. Work on wiping down your kitchen cabinets as thoroughly as possible. After a good degreasing, I allowed the kitchen cabinets to dry overnight. When I woke up the next morning I taped the cabinets off from the walls and counters.
Removing Your Kitchen Cabinet Doors (or Not)
Although most bloggers recommend you take the doors off you cabinets I did not. Our kitchen cabinets were built with hidden hardware that attaches to the back of the door. I was not worried about painting around them as I knew any small mistakes wouldn’t show. If you have door hardware that shows, I highly recommend you remove your doors before you begin painting.
However, to play it safe not sorry, we will recommend removing all the doors off of your kitchen cabinets before you begin painting them. This helpful image for the DIY Network shows a great way to position the kitchen cabinet doors for painting!
Starting to Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets with Chalk Paint
While painting your kitchen cabinets with chalk paint, be sure to use a high quality brush with good bristles and a nice handle. Your brush will make a world of difference in how your paint job turns out! Do not skimp on your brush of you will be sure to regret it!
Our kitchen cabinets have details built into the wood. I used my brush to paint long strokes through the details first. Then I used the brush to make long steady strokes from top to bottom on the flat sections of the doors. Once the doors were finished I used similar long strokes, from top to bottom, to paint the cabinet frames. Once I made one full loop around my kitchen the paint was dry enough for a second coat.
Sanding Your Chalk Painted Kitchen Cabinets
After the second coat dried I used extra fine sandpaper on all surfaces of the kitchen cabinets. Many people choose to distress their cabinets in this step. However; I chose to go for a solid look and only lightly sanded the top layer of my paint. Next, I took a cheesecloth and wiped the cabinets to clean them of any chalk dust.
If you over sand your paint, don’t fear! Chalk paint makes it easy to spot touch-up your kitchen cabinet paint! Just add another layer to the area, allow it to dry, and re-sand!
Painting Your Kitchen Cabinets With a Durable Top Coat
Once your cabinets are sanded to your desired smoothness, you are ready for your Polycrylic topcoat! Polycrylic is to your kitchen cabinets as your top coat is to your nails. It is the tough clear coat that protects your paint from messes and cleanings.
Apply a thin coat of your Polycrylic in the same way you painted on your chalk paint. Allow your first coat to dry about an hour. Once dry, apply a second thin coat. After another hour of drying you may choose to do another round with your sandpaper. My cabinets were still smooth enough that I didn’t see the need.
Give Your Kitchen Cabinets Some Time
Do not reassemble your kitchen cabinets yet! Allow at least one full day for your cabinets to cure. This will make your paint and Polycrylic combination much stronger. Once your paint is fully dry you can reassemble your cabinet hardware.
I decided to junk the old brass knobs that came with our house. Instead, I upgraded to antique silver pulls and coordinating knobs to add to our farmhouse feel.
Our Kitchen After Painting Our Cabinets With Chalk Paint
Viola! You have now painted your kitchen cabinets with chalk paint!
Expert Tips For Painting Your Kitchen Cabinets With Chalk Paint
- To stretch my paint, I added a little water to my chalk paint before applying my second layer. Slightly thinning the paint allowed my second coat to go on easier and faster! The added water prevented brush marks as well!
- I opted for Polycrylic in a Satin finish so that I would have a surface that was both cleanable and fairly matte. Remember that the more matte you go, the harder your cabinets will be to clean. The glossier you go, the more light your cabinets will reflect which could cause a glare!
- The viscosity, or thickness, of the chalk paint was thick enough that I was able to enjoy the ease of painting directly out of the can! You can wipe your brush on the edges of the can without having to worry about a mess!
We hope you enjoy your new kitchen! Be well and be happy!