Instructables
Picture of Remodeling: Refreshing Kitchen Cabinets
This is part two of my series on projects I encountered when remodeling my kitchen. All of the Instructables can be viewed in my Kitchen Remodeling Guide. (Coming Soon!)

In this part we give the kitchen a fresh new look by painting and replacing the hardware on the cupboards and cabinets.
(There are three parts, for lack of a better word, that we will be painting: the frames, the doors, and the drawers. The steps for each of these are essentially the same and basic instructions on each step apply to all of them. Exceptions and caveats for each part will be detailed below the main instructions.)
 
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Step 1: Materials and Tools

Materials
  • Multipurpose Primer, 1 Gallon
  • Latex Paint, 1 Gallon - A more expensive but more durable option is an enamel paint which should list cabinets as an intended use. This is what we were told we were getting but they actually gave us a pretty basic paint. As far as gloss level goes I would suggest a semi-gloss at the very least. The less glossy the harder it is to clean the surface.
  • Knobs/Handles/Pulls; eBay - An easy way to change the style of your kitchen. We used straight, clean bar pulls on everything to modernize the look. eBay is a great place to find quality hardware for $1-2 less per item. That adds up over 30-40 items.
  • Hinges - You may just want to reuse the old ones, which is easy, but again you can use new hinges, especially if you need to match finishes with the the pulls. The invisible no-bore hinges we used are available from D. Lawless Hardware and are $1.44/each.
  • Small Wood Blocks - These are only necessary for installing frameless hinges on full framed cabinets. Scrap wood of the proper size (See Step 6) is fine.
  • Wood Screws - Only necessary if you switch to a different style of hinge.
  • General Purpose Adhesive - Only necessary if you want to use a through bolt drawer pull in a place where you can't bolt through (See Step 6).
Tools
  • Screwdriver & bits - Drill and driver bits.
  • Sandpaper
  • Sanding block or palm sander - You don't want to sand all of this by hand unless you have time to kill.
  • Damp cloth - To remove the dust after sanding.
  • Saw horses -  Or something else to support the pieces as you paint and prep.
  • Masking tape, stirrer, & other painting supplies
  • High density foam rollers and brushes - High density foam gives the smoothest coat.
  • Paint sprayer - Not required but it will save you a lot of time on the doors and drawers.
  • Board and nails - To build a lifter to so you can paint both sides of the doors much quicker.
  • Dust mask
  • Drop cloths - We are replacing the floors (Part 3 coming soon) so we didn't really protect the floors but you should unless yours are coming out too.
  • Center Punch
  • Hack Saw - See General Purpose Adhesive above.

I did the same thing except i used an Alkyd enamel from HD (high gloss white) I found the high gloss to be the whitest of the bunch and the alkyd enamel is so durable that you can scrub it with an SOS pad. I liked it so much that I painted all of my trim with it. Just my $.02

Sowee1 year ago
Man, i absolutely loved your house. Looking forward for the kitchen island!
bwrussell (author)  Sowee1 year ago
Thanks, I promise the other parts are actually coming soon.
manichols2 years ago
Very cool! Thank you for such detailed directions. Very helpful for a newbie like me! For the primer, would something like Kilz 2 be okay? Thank you again!
bwrussell (author)  manichols1 year ago
Thank you. I suspect it would be fine. I just used a general purpose primer and from what I briefly read about Kilz 2 I imagine it will perform as expected.
DGradin2 years ago
Really super Instructable. You've inspired me (via my wife) to get this done to our aging kitchen. I just question the use of jumper cables on your computer in the one shot ! :-) I like you flooring tips too.
bwrussell (author)  DGradin2 years ago
Thanks! I hope to bang out the last few parts in the next month or so so check back for those, if any apply to your project.
Ah, my messy garage. Where spare electronics and automotive tools go to mingle. :D
Good luck on your kitchen, although what you'll really need is patience and time, but that's just DIY.
This looks incredible! My kitchen is in dire need of a makeover and I will be doing it myself so thank you for posting this. I have one comment that has nothing to do with your work, when I try to download the PDF of this I get a 0kb pdf that won't open. Not sure if there is a busted link somewhere.
bwrussell (author)  Marcaine Art2 years ago
Thanks, you're to kind but it has made a huge difference in the feel. As for the PDF, I'm guessing that if you try again in a few days it will work. It can take a day or two for new posts to be fully accessible on the site. In the meantime try downloading an older project. If that doesn't work then either post in the forum or email the staff, the service address is at the bottom of the page.
Good luck on your project!
That's fantastic. It looks so much better. :D
bwrussell (author)  jessyratfink2 years ago
Thanks, wish I had more before pics, it was definitely a 70's kitchen with all the dark "wood". Still a little cluttered since the island isn't done yet.