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Giving Your Kitchen Cabinets a Facelift

May 17, 2012

If you want to do something to spiff up your kitchen, one thing you can do is to give the cabinets a facelift by painting them. The dark, dingy wood look is so outdated it makes an otherwise nice kitchen look dreary. No modern day DIY woman wants that to happen.

As a DIY’ing woman, all you need to do is prepare your cabinets for the facelift and you can make all the difference in the world. I am here to lead you through the process.

First remove all the doors because it makes it easier to paint them and keeps you from having to worry about horizontal drips. Second, remove all the hardware – which you are going to replace with new dazzling hardware anyway – almost like a new pair of diamond earrings when you get new makeup. Now you are ready to begin the makeover.

  1. It begins with a thorough cleansing. Because cooking deposits a thin film of oil and grease you need to scrub inside and outside (shelves and cabinets) with a TSP solution and then rinse thoroughly with fresh water.
  2. Roughen up the surface that will be painted with a 220-grit sandpaper so that the finish is completely dulled. You can also use a liquid deglosser which eliminates the need for sanding but it won’t remove imperfections in the wood like sanding will.
  3. Next you need to wipe off the sanding dust with a nice clean cotton cloth. You should use some denatured alcohol so the dust sticks to the cloth and doesn’t fly up and into your eyes (past your protective eye wear). PROTECT your hands with gloves!
  4. Now you need to apply white primer before painting your new color.
  5. I know you will hate this but now you have to re-sand again – but only lightly this time. Re-sand the primed surface with the 220-grit sandpaper, and again remove the dust with a damp rag.
  6. Using a brush or a paint pad you finally get to do your magic and paint on your beautiful new color of enamel paint to the cabinets. Do this within 24 hours of the priming so no dust or dirt accumulates on your primed surface. Look at what you have done to see if imperfections show through and do a second coat if necessary.

Tip: When applying your new knobs, you want to lightly hold the knob in position against the front surface of the door or drawer while using a screwdriver to tighten the screw from the back. (DO NOT turn the knob from the front to tighten)

Now, stand back and admire your work.  Enjoy that new kitchen.

Here’s to women holding paintbrushes,

Jo Ellen Soesbee, The ToolBox TomGirl

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