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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Our Naiveté During A Kitchen Cabinet Makeover (Part Two): The Doors & Drawers

Once we had the cabinets primed and painted, even though we couldn't use them for another couple of weeks, it was such an amazing feeling. Partially because it brightened the kitchen up as much as I was hoping, and partially because I was so tired of painting them. Even our dishes and drinkware look happier, amiright?





And now that they were done, it was time to start working on the doors and drawers. I started with the drawers because, well, they were easier, and I wanted something easier. Since no one would ever see the very backs of the drawers, I didn't paint them. And I decided to stand them up with the backs against the floor so I could paint them in their entirety without needing to let one side dry first. Those were actually pretty easy. 





Then, we had the doors. The doors were trickier because they had some moulding work and dips in the fronts that would require brush work since a small roller couldn't get into those space. I was also really worried about brush marks on the fronts of the doors since they're what would always be the most visible in the kitchen. I used the roller as much as I could, and used high-quality brushes and light strokes to decrease the chances of visible brush marks as much as possible. In the end, it worked well. It helped that our paint was self-leveling for the most part. I plan on doing a post about the importance of good brushes and tools - they seriously made all the difference, despite my skepticism at first. 

The real trick, since this project was taking way more time than I originally planned, was figuring out a way to paint both sides of the doors on the same day without waiting for one side to dry and cure before starting the other. Waiting for that would have extended the project by at least two weeks, probably more. We watched a lot of YouTube videos, and read a lot of blogs, and the system we liked the best used old wood boards with nails hammered through to create little door stands. This allowed us to balance the doors on the tips of the nails after being painted so we could do the other side immediately after. The nails tips are so small that once the the doors were dried, you couldn't even see them. This was a time investment up front to create the stands, but in the end, I wouldn't hesitate to do it this way again because once we had the stands assembled, it made the rest of the project go so much faster. Plus, we used the ugly moulding that was at the tops of our cabinets for this project, which saved us some money (not that scrap wood is expensive at Home Depot, but ya know). We were able to prime and paint all the doors in about three to four days. We finished right before we left for vacation mid-July, and just let them sit and cure while we were gone. When we got back, it was time to put the hardware on, drawers back in and the doors back on!





When we decided to paint our cabinets, I had my heart set on hidden hinges with a soft close function. Silly me, thinking that wouldn't be a problem. One trip to Home Depot later, and we realized that with our cabinets, doing hidden hinges would be a huge hassle (something to do with the size of our doors in proportion to the cabinets - I don't really know, I blanked out after hearing it would be a fiasco and a half). So, we ended up going with exposed hinges in a satin nickel finish that matched our new hardware and called it a day. We still plan to install soft close on all our drawers and doors, too, and as a test, we have one installed on a random door just to make sure it would work with our hinges. But, because it's not a necessary thing, we plan to just do a few over time here and there. In the end, the exposed hinges don't bother me nearly as much as I thought they would. I don't really even notice them most of the time.




We're still, STILL in the process of hanging all our doors because the new hinges required us to drill new holes on the doors (of course), BUT, once we hung the first door, it all started to come together just as I envisioned it in my head. It was a glorious moment, indeed. 

For hardware, we went with satin nickel, and chose cup pulls for the drawers, and mushroom knobs for the doors. The hardware we picked out was actually from Home Depot, and they're by the brand Liberty. We wanted cabinet hardware that we felt worked in a country kitchen, while not being too traditional, but also not modern. I was so happy with the ones we picked, and even after spending hours and hours on other websites, searching through every knob out there, I still liked these the best, and they were someone affordable! It was a win-win-win.




When we were able to put some of our kitchen stuff away, putting them in bright white cabinets just gave me the warm fuzzies. It was weeks of non-stop work, a period of time during which I had a general disregard for my personal appearance (I was covered in paint all.the.time) and was exhausted. But, I will say, looking back, I'd do it again in a heartbeat. I'm so proud of how they came out. They're not perfect, and I spot paint drip marks and brush strokes in some spots, but we did it ourselves. And when I think about it, while I was a grumpy cat at times, I really wasn't that miserable because I felt like I was accomplishing something beyond my skill set. And nothin' but love went into those darn cabinets. Nothin' but love. 

Next, I'll be able to share the overall before and after of the cabinets. While our kitchen isn't done, it'll be a good representation how the impact the white cabinets make. Yay!

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