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Jenna Carelli

This was definitely a project! My hubby did most (read: 99% of the work), and it turned out beautiful.

If you are considering DIY’ing your own kitchen cabinets, please read through our tips and lessons learned. Let us know if you have any questions. Enjoy! 



Tips and Lessons Learned:

  • The project is going to take a lot longer than you think it will!
  • Label each cabinet as you take them down. This will greatly help when you go to put the cabinets back up.
  • Remove all hardware and thoroughly clean the cabinets to remove dirt, grease, oil. We used Krud Kutter.
  • Take time to properly set up your work space (i.e. put down plastic on the floor to catch paint spills, use painters tape on walls / edges, etc.)
  • If replacing hardware, plan that out in the beginning. You may avoid the need to use a wood filler to fill in existing hardware holes if those same holes will be used with the new hardware.
  • We did not paint the inside of the cabinets. We only painted the trim.
  • Sanding the cabinets before painting is not necessary (at least it wasn’t for us).


Product Recommendations:

  • We used Valspar Bonding Primer/Sealer which is designed to adhere to high gloss surfaces.
    • Using a spray painter will cut down on painting time significantly. We used a brush and roller. Take the time to learn how to use a spray painter.
  • We applied:
    • 1 Primer/Sealer coat
    • 3 Paint coats
  • Use a sander to remove any globs or uneven paint. We used a Mouse Sander and block sanders (220 and 320 grit).
  • It takes 2 days to do a single cabinet coat (front and back). Paint applied to the front needs to thoroughly dry before flipping over to do the back.
    • Some people will put a nail or screw in the cabinet door and hang the cabinet door so they can paint both sides at once. This would save a ton of time.
  • If you need to drill new holes to install hardware, measure twice and drill once! Use a Hardware Drill Template to help with measuring.


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