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What Paint Can Do!

Updated: Feb 23, 2021

I love paint! There is no better and easier way to transform a room or a piece of furniture than with paint. This kitchen redesign was with a very limited budget and look how completely different it looks and all with just paint. Ideally, I would have loved to remove the peninsula, add a large picture window to get views of the lake off the back, add an island and remove the tile backsplash......and I could go on.......but that was not in the cards for this remodel. The kitchen is very small, so in order to create some openess without removing the peninsula, white was the only way to go! I still wanted to create some depth and painting the outside of the peninsula white would have been too much of a contrast with the granite, so black was a great way to add some pop! To further create some interest we added stenciling to some of the tiles in the same color as the peninsula to tie it all in. Here is a step by step guide to follow for painting kitchen cabinets. If you'd like to know how I painted and stenciled the tile check out my Stenciling Tile Blog.


  • Valspar Cabinet Enamel - we used Sherwin Williams Color Basalt Powder with a satin finish - easier for maintenance and cleaning down the road. We bought two gallons but for such a small kitchen and we really only needed two coats, one gallon was plenty - so that will depend on the size of your project.

  • Spray Polyurethane with Matt Finish

  • One 8' x 4' Beadboard

  • Valspar Cabinet Enamel or you can use Furniture Paint - Sherwin Williams Black Magic for the Beadboard

  • Valspar Cabinet Enamel - I used the cabinet paint and added a touch of leftover grey paint to darken it just a shade.

  • 4 x 4" Pack of Stencils on Amazon - there are a ton to choose from.


Step One:

  1. Remove all of the hardware and the cabinet doors off the hinges (If you plan to paint and sand at the same time, it is imperative that you set up a separate area to sand that is away from your painting area). As you are removing the doors and drawer fronts it is not a bad idea to number each one if you can find a place where it will not be painted over - makes reassembling soooo much easier!

  2. Sand all of the cabinet doors and boxes with a 120 grit sandpaper, just enough to remove the outer sheen on the cabinet.

  3. Take a damp rag and wipe down each cabinet and if you have air compressor that helps to get all of the fine dust off of the cabinets before you wipe them down.

  4. Clean all boxes and cabinets with a cleaner or degreaser, I recommend Krud Cutter it works really well and gets all the gunky stuff off.

  5. Once dry, you can put your first coat of paint on. The first coat can be painted on with a brush or you can use a roller for both coats.

  6. Paint your second coat using a sponge roller. Make sure to not put too much paint on the roller. Start with a small amount, working the paint in. Crevices will have to be painted with a brush.

  7. Let the cabinets dry over night and sand with a 220 grit sandpaper again, very lightly.

  8. Evenly spray 1-2 coats of polyurethane (the directions on the can say that this is not necessary, but I think it can't hurt to have an extra layer, especially in the kitchen). Be sure to hold the can at least 8-10" away and spray in a quick sweeping motion so as not to have any puddles that will cause drips.

  9. Let the poly dry 6-8 hours and then lightly sand with steel wool. We actually sanded the cabinets again with 120 grit to give a distressed look and really wanted the cabinets to be smooth. But that is totally personal preference.

To find out how I did the tile backsplash get out my Stenciling Tile Blog! Happy Painting!

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