Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Painting Laminate Kitchen Cabinets

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(Update: see the completely finished cabinets here.) 

We are finally getting around to fixing up what needs to be fixed up in my condo, starting with the kitchen cabinets.


When I first moved into my condo a few years ago, this is what the kitchen looked like (above). Laminate cabinet doors with solid wood "handles". No knobs or pulls. I hate them, as do probably most people. 

laminate kitchen cabinets

The first thing I did when I moved in was to tear off the laminate surface, which is just a thin layer of off-white plastic. I hinted about it here. I would rather look at the particle board surface than the white laminate doors on wood cabinet bases. And I lived with that for far too long. 


painting laminate kitchen cabinets

This is what we did this weekend. We took down all the doors and started painting the cabinets, and I am kicking myself for not doing it sooner. It is so much easier than I thought. Well, Jason may not feel that way, but I do.



I dreaded the idea of sanding the cabinets, so instead, we bought some liquid deglosser from Lowe's and I just wiped it on the cabinet bases and then wiped it off with a damp cloth. So easy, and no worries about removing everything from in the cabinets and getting dust all over the place.  This product takes the shine off the surface so the paint will adhere. Jason started sanding all the doors outside. Since they had the laminate on top of them, which I had peeled off, they had a texture from the adhesive, otherwise, we would have used the deglosser on the doors as well. 


  

I waited about 30 minutes after deglossing, and then I painted my first coat of Olympic self-priming semi-gloss paint in Eiffel Tower. Jason says "it's gray" and blah, but I love it, and it was the second paint chip I looked at. I liked it, and that was that. I wasn't about to waste time looking at colors, hemming and hawing. It's nice and neutral, yet warm.


painting laminate kitchen cabinets


painting laminate kitchen cabinets

You can see from the false drawer front under the sink what the particle board fronts looked like without the plastic laminate. Jason has yet to sand this board, that's why it is not yet painted.

painting laminate kitchen cabinets

You can see the "handle" of the door to the right in the picture above. I actually bought some brushed silver knobs to add to all the doors and drawers because I so dislike those "handles".  This is not my ideal upgrade. I'd love to replace the doors completely, but we are going for the least expensive fix with the most impact, and paint it is. I have no doubt it will look 100% better than before, so I am not sweating it. (Yep, I still have a tube TV. And I have a record player and cassette player, too. What can I say? I'm a child of the 80's and I just can't part with any of them.)

painting laminate kitchen cabinets

I painted the first coat on the upper cabinets Saturday and the second coat Sunday. The bottom cabinets so far only have one coat. I think the trick is to let it dry completely overnight. I know people get antsy (as I usually do) to wait a short while and then put on the second coat the same day, but I think waiting overnight, at the very least, really helps it to adhere to the surface.  









Also, I found that using a brush on the cabinet bases worked best, while Jason used a small foam roller for the doors. We used the cheapest we could find and it worked well for us.

For the smallest spaces and to get the inside edges of the cabinet bases, I used a small flat artist brush.

painting laminate kitchen cabinets

Jason put one door back up so we could get an idea of how it will look. Not bad. I can't wait to get them all done and put the new knobs on. We are also using this color in both bathrooms, which have one coat of paint so far. Jason sanded and painted all the doors. So, just one more coat on the bottom kitchen cabinets, bathroom cabinets, and all the doors. Then, attach the knobs and on to the next project; the kitchen and hall floors.  

I must say, getting started on a project like this is the hardest part. Once you get going, the momentum just carries you along, and I found I actually enjoyed it. A lot. I found it very relaxing, and I was excited to get back the next day to continue painting.  At least that's the way I feel. Jason might have another opinion. ;)

Of course, I'll be back with more pictures when it's done. 

(Update: see the completely finished cabinets here.) 

5 comments:

  1. what a great idea to transform those cabinets. I like the color you picked out. Once you have all the doors back on and the handles I am sure Jason will like it more. can't wait to see the finished product

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    Replies
    1. Hi CatieAn. Thanks for visiting. Yes, he likes our paint job, but he still thinks the color is just "blah gray". ha.

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  2. How or what did you use to help peel the laminate off? I am so glad I ran into this page because im trying to rent my condo out and still have these awful cabinets so I was looking for a quick inexpensive fix!

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Melissa. I didn't use anything. The laminate just peeled right off. I used an exacto knife to score along the bottom of the wooden handle, which then let me grab the plastic film and just peeled. Maybe mine was dried out any easier to peel. That I don't know. Hope you can do the same thing.

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  3. Beautiful job, what shade of paint did you use ?

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