Before I dive into the dirty (and yes, I mean DIRTY) details of how I tackled these cabinets… allow me to highlight a few points of interest:
- This project was Time consuming! (with a capital T and !)
- I completed this DIY 100% on my own.
- In honor of full disclosure, I do have to admit that I did consult stalk the gentlemen at some local hardware stores for information/supply questions/general advice on what the heck to do. #lovethem
- I also called my dad several times throughout the process for some “pointers” or some necessary moral support. (…. thanks Dad! Every word of encouragement helped)
- The before & after shots look fabulous, but don’t be fooled & think that I snapped my fingers and the place was white, clean, and amazing. Sometimes I wish DIY’s worked like that…
- But not even close. The process was frustrating, challenging, tedious, messy, yet fun, and very fulfilling all at the same time.
- I did most of the work at night after I came home from my day job – lesson learned.
- I want to be REAL about this process and really highlight the fact that I was not skipping around, painting the cabinets while whistling my favorite tune. Not.at.all. This was one tough DIY, especially as a one-man team, but I survived… and even lived to tell the tale.
- Although the process was not all sunshines & smiles, I DO think this is my proudest DIY accomplishment to date. Partly because I love the outcome, but mostly because I did it independently and LEARNED so much along the way.
- If I did this, so can you! Just don’t be afraid to get a little dirty, lose a little sleep, and come out feeling like one accomplished rookie DIY-er!
So here’s where I started. With a screw driver, I removed the cabinet doors from the cabinet’s base. Oddly enough, the cabinets were already white on the inside… which was a HUGE bonus!
I decided to tackle the base before I addressed the doors. My first step in doing this involved a palm sander and heavy-duty sand paper to sand down the wood.
Rookie Tip: As seen on the bottom of this picture, take all of the hardware from your project and store it in a sealed bag throughout the project. This will guarantee all of the nails/hardware stick together and will save them from getting any paint smears on them. I bought new hardware, but it was helpful to bring this bag to the hardware store in order to pick new hardware that was the same size.
Back to the sanding. Below, you’ll see the bottom of the cabinets, which are already sanded vs. the top of the cabinets, which haven’t been touched just yet. I sanded all the way down to the wood, just to make sure I got off all the old varnish and the new paint would adhere to the new surface.
Rookie Tip: Cover EVERYTHING with drop cloths, dress in your crappiest clothes, and close any and all doors that you can to help minimize the amount of dust that will cover your house. Sanding is DUSTY! Any and all precautions you can take to help keep a handle on where this dust travels (or doesn’t travel for that matter) will be to your advantage in the long run.
Here’s a look at the cabinets completely stripped and ready for some paint. After I was completely done sanding these suckers, I made sure to wipe them down very thoroughly so they would accept the primer + paint that was on its way. Because sanding gets so dusty, I would recommend wiping/drying at least two different times.
While those dried, I moved onto the cabinets.
Notice that I took all of the hardware off of the cabinet doors before I even started sanding them. I did this for two reasons:
- I knew I was eventually going to replace both the pulls and the hinges, so it just made sense.
- I didn’t want to waste time taping and risk missing a spot on the cabinet because the hardware was still connected.
I laid the doors out and got ready for a serious arm workout and some more quality time with the palm sander.
Now, the new “frame” on the front side of the cabinet doors. This was a part I was completely clueless on how to do. I did a little research on the blogosphere, made a list of measurements and headed to HomeDepot for some cheap wood and the opportunity for one of the fabulous workers to cut my purchased wood… free of charge. I bought quarter inch thick poplar pieces and had them cut into the appropriate sizes.
With some wood glue and wood clamps (no power tools required… woohoo!), I was able to glue 4 pieces of wood onto the front of each cabinet door, creating a frame-like look. I wish I could give you some tips or tricks, but honestly… I had not clue what I was doing. I was lucky that the free wood cuts were pretty much SPOT ON and fit exactly how I imagined they would, which isn’t often the case.
In other news, I also decided to paint the laundry room half way through the cabinet makeover. What was I thinking?! Like working full time and refacing the cabinets wasn’t enough in one week?
I used the small paint brush and mini roller on the doors as well.
Because the laundry room reveal isn’t until MONDAY, I’ll leave you with a little teaser of the finished product!