Painting Wood Cabinets – One Room Challenge – Week 3

October 19, 2016

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Time for another week of the One Room Challenge, where bloggers have six weeks to completely transform a room in their home. Let’s see where where my main bathroom is at this week.

Paint might just be the best thing ever. Amiright? It’s cheap, it’s impactful, it’s usually pretty easy to do, and even if you end up hating it — you can just use more paint to cover it up. Do you see where this post is going? Yep. I’m talking paint! I’m even painting wood cabinets in the bathroom.

Pink and black bathroom colour scheme. DIY upgrades to a main bath to a guest washroom.

My colour palette? Soft blush pink and black. Yep, black. Ever since the reno, I lost my one black wall that we had in the house, and I’ve been itching to add a little back in — and I’m so glad I did! (This post may contain affiliate links. This means, should you end up making a purchase, advertisers give me a small percentage of that sale, at absolutely NO EXTRA COST to you. Click here for full disclosures). 

MY COLOURS:

  • Wall colour, soft pink: (PPU17-07) “Vienna Lace” in Behr Ultra.
  • Wall colour, black: (PPU18-01) “Cracked Pepper” in Behr Ultra.
  • Cabinet colour, black: “Cracked Pepper” colour matched to CIL Smart 3 Melamine Paint.

5 Easy steps to painting wood cabinets perfectly! Get it done right the first time... DIY painting tips for a ultra smooth, factory finish in your bathroom and kitchen.

But first, I needed to start with painting wood cabinets. I had previously painted my bathroom cabinets a couple years ago — and, it was okay. I still loved the colour, but the wear on the paint was less than desirable. After painting my kitchen cabinets, I learned a few more things and found a product I absolutely love — CIL Smart3 Melamine Paint! (And, nope this post isn’t sponsored, I just truly love it). So let’s get to some painting!

5 Easy steps to painting wood cabinets perfectly! Get it done right the first time... DIY painting tips for a ultra smooth, factory finish in your bathroom and kitchen.

PAINTING WOOD CABINETS

STEP ONE: Remove all the doors, and hardware, and gather your supplies — they should include…

Supplies:

Optional:

5 Easy steps to painting wood cabinets perfectly! Get it done right the first time... DIY painting tips for a ultra smooth, factory finish in your bathroom and kitchen.

STEP TWO: Give everything a good sanding. You don’t need to remove the entire previous finish down to the bare wood, but make sure any shiny surface has dulled, and any loose paint is gone.

5 Easy steps to painting wood cabinets perfectly! Get it done right the first time... DIY painting tips for a ultra smooth, factory finish in your bathroom and kitchen.

STEP THREE: Wash the entire surface with a TSP product (see packaging for instructions). TSP helps to further de-gloss the surface, and give a squeaky clean surface for the paint to adhere to.

5 Easy steps to painting wood cabinets perfectly! Get it done right the first time... DIY painting tips for a ultra smooth, factory finish in your bathroom and kitchen.

STEP FOUR: Apply your paint! I like to use a paintbrush to apply paint to all the indents, grooves and edges on the cupboard door. Then I use the foam roller on the big surfaces, and to gently roll over top of any flat surface that the brush has touched. Try to finish each stroke in the same direction for best results. This gives a factory paint finish to your cabinet doors. Super smooth, no brush strokes, no blobs, and no bubbles. The foam roller is key because it’s the only roller that will give you that superior finish.

Painting is where the cardboard box comes in handy. You can use anything that will lift your cabinet door off your working surface, and provide enough stability for you to paint with. Having a raised work surface allows you to get at the edges without worrying about damaging the edges and corners of your newly painted cabinet doors. When one side of your cabinet door is sufficiently dry, you can flip your door and paint the other side. I like to do ALL of my fronts, and then ALL of my backs.

5 Easy steps to painting wood cabinets perfectly! Get it done right the first time... DIY painting tips for a ultra smooth, factory finish in your bathroom and kitchen.

STEP FIVE: Let everything dry properly between coats (keep an eye on the instructions on the can — they’ll usually keep you on track), and be gentle with your doors for the first few days. Depending on the climate you live in, you can have pretty dramatic differences in paint curing timeframes. Pop your hinges and hardware back on, and you’re done!

TIP: If you have a lot of doors, like in a kitchen project, it pays to use some wire shelving (like a baker’s rack) lined with something soft like an old towel, to allow for extra square footage for drying your cabinet doors. You can apply paint to all of your door fronts and edges (while on a raised surface), then transfer them to your rack to leave them to dry. Next, (once they’re dry) flip them over, and then apply paint to the backside of your cabinet doors while they stay put resting on the wire racks. It can be challenging to try to “lean” a large quantity of doors against walls and sitting atop newspaper — it has a tendency to damage the paint as it drys and sticks to any surface it’s touching.

And voilá! I went from a midnight blue cabinet to a black one in about a day. What I love about the CIL Melamine paint, is the wipeable surface it creates. There is no paint transfer or dulling and chipping when I wipe my cabinets clean — making it the perfect paint for a bathroom situation.

5 Easy steps to painting wood cabinets perfectly! Get it done right the first time... DIY painting tips for a ultra smooth, factory finish in your bathroom and kitchen.

Now, it’s time to move onto the walls. There is something about cracking a fresh can of paint in a deep colour (like black!) and getting that first coat on the walls! It’s so good! Can you spot my new soft pink on the adjacent wall? It was looking so good against the first coat of black edging paint…

5 Easy steps to painting wood cabinets perfectly! Get it done right the first time... DIY painting tips for a ultra smooth, factory finish in your bathroom and kitchen.

Excuse the awkward picture, but I had to share! The husband was super thrilled about moving our brand new toilet … again ( — it had only been in place for a couple months at this point). Yep, he was “happy” to do it, so I could get behind there and apply my glorious black paint! Ok, “happy” might be pushing it.

5 Easy steps to painting wood cabinets perfectly! Get it done right the first time... DIY painting tips for a ultra smooth, factory finish in your bathroom and kitchen.

But look! How exciting is it to have a little black wall action, returned to the house!? The walls are done. And, I’ve got a couple more projects up my sleeve, but this room is really coming together! And bonus for next week — that darn toilet will be out of my way (instead of sitting in the middle of the room), and I can take full-scope pictures while standing in the bathtub like a normal person. No, just me?

It’s getting real now! Join me next week so you can catch my one-of-a-kind, DIY, artwork piece! It turned out so good you guys — and so EASY! See you then!

5 Easy steps to painting wood cabinets perfectly! Get it done right the first time... DIY painting tips for a ultra smooth, factory finish in your bathroom and kitchen.

Missed a week? Catch up here…

Week 1 / Week 2 / Week 3 / Week 4


24 thoughts on “Painting Wood Cabinets – One Room Challenge – Week 3

  1. Dallas

    I’m about to paint my bathroom cabinets and appreciate your step by step explanation. What grit sandpaper did you use? I want to make sure I take off enough of the outer color, but not more than I need to.

    Reply
  2. Sandra L.

    Love your black wall and cabinet. Fantastic. My favorite color is black.If I didn’t live in an apartment I would paint one wall in my living room black.Maybe if I beg the landlord…the cabinets were installed in the late ’70’s so they have seen their better day. Thanks for sharing your project.

    Reply
  3. Michelle Weymouth

    Hi Jen, where did you buy the melamine paint( Lowes, Home Depot,etc..) Any help would be appreciated, Thank you, Michelle

    Reply
  4. Pingback: DIY Coral Artwork - One Room Challenge - Week 4 - Fresh Crush

    1. freshcrush Post author

      Thanks Jaclyn! Nope, no top coat. The melamine paint, when cured, gives it almost a plastic finish topcoat. It’s great for wiping clean. I painted my kitchen with the same product and it lived through a huge home renovation and came out unscathed. This product is a little thinner than other paints and generally requires an extra coat though. But it’s so worth it. :)

      Reply
  5. Robin

    Your husband sounds like mine! Love your colors! Your room really looks like it’s turning out great, and I can’t wait to see how it turns out!

    Reply
    1. freshcrush Post author

      Thanks Robin! I guess it’s never good news when you have to move something like the toilet. But what can I say? Gotta do whatcha gotta do! ;) Thanks so much!

      Reply

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