Monday, September 04, 2006

Painting the Kitchen Cabinets

I launched this *enormous* project ten days ago--last Saturday. My cabinets are beautiful birch, but the finish is worn off in lots of places, and they are coated with black grime around the knobs and well-handled places. Cleaning the dirt off leaves bare wood, which isn't that great either.

Instead of refinishing I decided to paint all the cabinets white. The kitchen is kind of dark anyway and I hoped that white would brighten it up. It has! I have finished two walls of cabinetry (lower cabinets only), and it looks like I've added a light fixture: it's delightful.

I've been removing all the porcelain knobs as I go, and didn't know how I was going to clean them--I really did not want to have to scrub each of them individually. I ended up dropping them in a bucket of TSP solution overnight, and all the grime miraculously floated off, with no effort on my part. TSP (actually I am using TSP *alternative*) is a new product for me, one which I am loving. I am going to keep it in mind for all the gummy, grimy things I ever have to clean up. I am also enjoying another discovery, the tack cloth. These are pieces of cheesecloth saturated with something really sticky, similar to flypaper but a lesser order of magnitude. After sanding each cabinet, I go over it with the tack cloth and all the dust and sanding bits are perfectly wiped off, with no residue left on my wood. Then I prime. Then I paint. And paint again.

So. Ten cabinets down, twenty-nine to go. Really.


Pam said...

Post us a picture when the cabinets are finished! It sounds very rewarding!

Emily said...

I've been painting, too. It sounds like you're better at it than I am, though! I would love to see a picture of the finished job!

Cara said...

Anna, how ambitious! I'd love to see a pic of the finished cabinets, as well.
Also, what exactly is TSP and what are you using as an alternative to it?

Calla Lilly said...

I have white cabinets in my kitchen and absolutely love the clean look. It will be well worth the effort when you are finished! Please post pics. :)

Anna said...

I had not heard of tsp alternative. I'll have to check it out! Thanks. I have used tsp for cleaning my painted walls and cabinets and tile in my kitchen for years. Especially the wall next to the stove that gets the grease splatters! It works fast and does the job but wear gloves as it is harsh on the skin. Also I love it for cleaning the metal stove fan filter. I just put it in a pan with some warm water and some tsp and the greast just melts off without scrubbing! It is strong stuff...many use it for cleaning your kitchen walls before painting since it is so good on removing grim and grease. The box of tsp says to always rinse with clear water after using it. Always remember to wash any walls with any product washing the bottom parts of each wall first. If you wash the top and any cleaning product drips down onto the unwashed part it can leave a streak that is later hard to get out. Yes I too would like to see the finished cabinets. I imagine right about now you would like to see the FINISHED cabinetstoo!!

G.L.H. said...

Thanks for the tips on cleaning the knobs and cabinets.

Can't wait to see them when they're done!


RR2Box79 said...

AACKK! I'm in the midst of this but instead trying to stain the buggers. I need to get some of those cloths for after I sand. I think maybe I should have just painted them white because I am having a time trying to get the stain to look even. Can't wait to see the finished project.
Leigh Ann
P.S. What is your baby girl doing during all this? Mine would be in the middle of it all, so I am trying to do it when she naps. She needs to take really long naps:-).

Shari said...

what an undertaking! :):)
we moved here recently, and my brother (who lived here before us) had taken the finish off all the cabinets. we've been working on the yard, and haven't gotten to the kitchen at all yet. i am definitely considering painting instead of restaining.

Kitchen Cabinet Refacing said...

Kitchen cabinets are something you use every day, yet you probably never take the time to appreciate them. They seem simple enough, but there is actually more than plenty involved behind the scenes. There are many things to consider regarding kitchen cabinet refacing, cabinets materials, finishes, door designs, and even information on hardware.

Anonymous said...

Those cabinets look great. Since its wood, be sure to clean them regularly with a wood cabinet cleaner

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