About Me

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Corona, California, United States
I am 28 years old and married to my best friend, Nicholas. We have two beautiful boys together, Caleb and Noah. I am a full-time stay at home mom and these are my confessions...


{the Hubby}


{the Oldest}


{the Baby}



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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

How to Paint Your Oak Kitchen Cabinets, and Survive to Tell About it!

Were painting the cabinets white! Were painting the cabinets white!! 

What started as a great idea, ended up being a great idea and also ended up taking over my sanity for three plus weeks...what was this you ask? Why it was the painting of our builder oak kitchen cabinets! Here is literally the only photo I could find of a before for the kitchen. That is our good friend, Adam, and our son playing on the floor as we toured the house (AGAIN) before putting in our offer! Anyhow, before we even moved in I knew I would one day tackle those UGLY oak cabinets and paint them a beautiful shade of classic white!  I know to some people painting over wood cabinets is considered a sin, but I just can not justify having blairingly orangey toned cabinets screaming at me when they can oh so easily be remedied! Easy, but VERY time consuming. I would say it was a good three weeks from start to finish...and by finish I mean re hang the cabinets and install most of the new hardware. We still have yet to purchase the rest of our knobs and install them. One word, LAZY! So here is how we, as in I, did it! There are many a detailed picture that I do not have, because I was trying to accomplish this ginormous task as quickly as possible so I apologize. 

Here is what I used:
-Krud Kutter
-Electric Sander with 60 & 220 grit sand paper
-Tack Cloth
-Wood Filler
-Zinsser Primer
-Foam Rollers 
-2" Angled Purdy Paint Brush
-Drop Cloths
-1 Gallon Benjamin Moore Advanced Paint Simply White in a Satin Finish


Now our kitchen cabinets had exposed hinges and we opted to take the time and money to switch over to concealed hinges, to give the kitchen a more high end look...but that will be for another posting. We also took down a set of cabinets and installed some open shelving in its place which I will post about at a later time as well.  I'm keeping it real here, so here are photos of our kitchen and some of the top cabinet doors removed. My husband used his drill to remove all the cabinets, I would not recommend attempting to do this with a screwdriver by hand... talk about intense labor! Now at this point you can choose to remove EVERYTHING from your cabinets and store them in a location in your home that your children will not get in to and destroy... but because no such a place exists in my home I opted to be lazy and keep everything in the cabinets and hope for the best. It worked out fine except for when I sanded all the bases and then I had to clean all the dust from the cabinets out...but it was still less work than removing everything and storing it for weeks somewhere else. Moving on, I used my Krud Kutter to de-gloss and clean off the grime and grease that has been accumulating over the years off of all the cabinets, drawers, and bases. I then used my wood filler to fill all the holes that were left from the exposed hinges being removed. Concealed hinges have a completely different set up so we had to fill and sand down all the holes, one of the biggest, time consuming parts of the project. Then I used my electric sander with 60 grit sand paper to sand down all of the cabinets, drawers and bases. This wasn't as labor intensive as it seems. I knew that there was no way I would be able to sand down the cabinets enough to get rid of the oak graining, because they are solid oak, but I wanted to rough them up and get rid of all of the glossy finish in order to make sure the primer and paint sticks for life!! I do not wish to make it a habit of having to do this process again, so prep is everything for beautiful, and lasting finish! After sanding I wiped down the cabinets with tack cloth and did another pass with the Krud Kutter.

 Now we were ready for some priming action! I used a 2" angled Purdy paint brush to get in all the corners, mouldings, and nooks along with some foam rollers. I picked them both up from Home Depot. The paint brush may seem a bit pricey, around $14, but it is worth it to use the best quality you can afford. Same said for buying quality paint! After priming, pull out you caulk gun and prepare to caulk any and every crevice that is exposed in your cabinet doors and bases. Paint WILL NOT cover or fill in those spaces! If you want a professional finish please take the time to do this! It can be time consuming but it is worth it.  I probably applied 2 coats of primer on to EVERYTHING and then I gave it a light sanding with my 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out any drips or inconsistencies and get it ready to paint

I did A TON of research and blog stalking before tackling this project. I mean TONS...for the past year and a half we have been in our home I have spent googling different methods on painting oak cabinets. All in all I would say the processes are about the same, and the quality of products is SO important. Don't skimp!!!! As these cabinets and drawers will be used day in and day out! Speaking of paint, after so much research I came to the conclusion that I DID NOT want a oil based paint, for clean up reasons and future possible yellowing reasons. Regular latex didn't exactly appeal either, what to do? What to do? Then I found the holy grail of paints! Benjamin Moore Advanced paint!! Here is a shot of some of the "white" paint chips my hubby lovingly drove an hour to get for me...TRUE LOVE!! The nearest store that sold this paint in the satin finish was an hour away!! I would suggest taping up all your white options so you can see them in your kitchen with your lighting.  We ended up deciding on Snowfall White by Benjamin Moore.

Here is an expert form their website:

ADVANCE offers the application and performance of traditional oil paint in a waterborne formula that cleans up with soap and water. It is a 100% alkyd formula water-dispersible alkyd developed with proprietary new resins that keep VOCs low even after tinting. It flows and levels like a traditional alkyd with the extended open-time required to achieve high-end finishes. ADVANCE is available in unlimited colors, giving you more ways than ever to achieve the perfect look on every job.

 The painting process is what really took the longest for this project! I started with the backs of the cabinets that way when I worked on the front of the cabinets any damage that may possibly occur would happen to the backs. Read any and I used my angled brush to "cut in" the door fronts and I went over it with a foam roller. After rolling the first bit of paint on I panicked as I saw millions of tiny bubbles all over the surface of my door fronts...luckily the paint is self settling and it ended up evening itself out. I probably did 4 thin coats of paint in order to get what I saw as "perfect" even finish. I allowed the paint to cure for 5 days out on the dining room table before we, as in my hubby, started the process of drilling out holes for the new concealed hinges and installing the doors back in the kitchen. I searched every home improvement store in the area in order to find the perfect pulls for the cabinets and I finally settled on some from Home Depot by Martha Stewart. They are classic and shiny and add the perfect amount of class and bling to the kitchen! If you have any questions let me know, and I will answer them best I can!

Here are a couple shots of the finish:





  1. It looks great! And so much brighter with the white.

  2. Definitely much better than the previous look of your kitchen! Replacing the cabinet near the patio door with open shelves added space to that area. Repainting the cabinets white is a good choice, and the hanging lamp is a nice touch to the overall look of the kitchen as well. Great job!

    Darryl Margulies

  3. I love your work! Your kitchen is beautiful.CHEAP BED LONDON

  4. It turns out much better than the previous one although both are well organized and spaced. The recent remodeling shows much sophisticated as kitchen tools, cabinet, and devices are permanently placed.

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  5. This has some really good information to know how to paint your kitchen cabinets. My parents are wanting to give a newer look to the kitchen cabinets, but don't know exactly how. This has some great insights that I think could help them get an idea of what to do, and how to go about doing something like this.


  6. Nice share! Thanks a lot for such a lovely blog posting this time around as well.Discount Kitchen Cabinets Davie

  7. nice article, using great equipment to renovate a house will fasten your work, besides it will produce you with smooth result!


  8. I love your work! Your kitchen is beautiful.
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  9. the colors and design are very beautiful in above pics.. thanks for sharing this article
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  10. Thank you for sharing the inspiration for painting and decoration! It looks fantastic! Nowadays painting made easy and fun using airless spray and I’m trying to get one for my painting project. Would love to see more updates from you for inspirations! Thanks!