Transform Kitchen Cabinets

Taking on a kitchen remodeling project can cost big bucks.  Experts say that you should budget up to 10% of your home’s value for this project.  Ouch!  That’s not in the cards, or the paycheck.  Can you cut this cost in half?

You may be able to – replacing kitchen cabinets accounts for up to 50% of the cost for kitchen makeover.  If you’re cabinets are ready to be counted out just yet, transform them with paint and hardware.  The hardware part is simple, so how do you paint your cabinets so they look like they were born with good looks and didn’t just have major plastic surgery?

Cloths and rags

Stain or base paint
Petroleum Jelly

Take the cabinet doors off the hinges and remove hardware.  It’s much easier to work with them on solid ground rather than a ladder.

Clean Cabinets with a mix of TSP – Trisodium Phosphate – there’s a nice eco-friendly version we love called Jason’s, it’s available at Tru Value hardware stores.  You’ll need to wear gloves, but it’s basically a wipe down process, not scrubbing.

Sand lightly – not only does it help smooth the surface, but it helps the wood ‘grip’ the stain and paint.  Wipe down with damp rag and allow to dry.

Apply stain according to directions.  If your cabinets are painted, either use the painted surface as the base coat or apply a base coat on top of the current paint.   Use 2-3 coats until you like the look, allowing to dry between coats of course.

Apply petroleum jelly to the areas you want to distress – think of the areas that will get the most wear and tear such as near handles, edges and corners.

Apply your paint – we love white on kitchen cabinets – but it’s your kitchen, not ours.  Black can also work to ground the kitchen, as long as it doesn’t overwhelm.

Apply three coats of paint, allowing to dry between each coat.

Sand the surface with 220 grit sandpaper and wipe with a damp rag to remove all the dust.

Now for the distressing, use steel wool to rub the areas where you applied the petroleum jelly and work it to allow the stain or base coat to show through.  It doesn’t need to be even, just like normal wear isn’t even.

Some distressing techniques take another step and beat the cabinet doors with hammers and chains, while this may seem like a good idea at the time, kitchen cabinets cost a fortune, don’t trash them.  What if you want to sell your home or repaint your cabinetry?  I don’t recommend this, besides, it seems downright dangerous.

Don’t overdo the distressing and don’t make it perfect .

Apply an aging glaze and let dry.

Now use the clear varnish to seal the deal.

Now’s the time to choose new knobs and pulls.

Save money on your kitchen makeover, you can get this look for under $100 and a weekend’s worth of work!