When we bought our first home, we had a brand new kitchen, new bathrooms, new carpets, new everything, that was the joy of moving into a new build. I loved our all glossy white kitchen with light worktops and high ceilings! Second time around three years later, we moved into our family home and although it was still relatively a 'newish' build being only nine years old at the time, it definitely showed signs of wear and all the dated choices in bathrooms and the kitchen.
I wanted to get the cupboards painted in the kitchen as soon as we moved in. The Mr wasn't keen on the idea and we had other rooms to focus on to be fair so I kept postponing it.
I continued to research though, and inspired by some of my favourite bloggers, after almost three years of living with orangey-oak cupboards, I took the plunge.
One day when he was at work, I took some of the cupboard doors down and sanded them, before sending him a photo of the door-less kitchen units and newly-sanded doors. This was it, there was no going back, I was getting the kitchen cupboards painted.
I didn't think it would have been easy, but also didn't estimate it would take me three months (*with young children, a dog, full-time jobs and a business we were painting late at night and at weekends).
Only one thing I can say though: I wish we had done it sooner!
Let me walk you through the steps and how we achieved the look...
If you follow me on Insta you've read this before - the kitchen was dark! Dark worktops on dark units on dark flooring.
How to paint your kitchen cupboards:
We had to do this DIY in many steps to ensure that the results will be long lasting with a good finish. Here is an easy step by step guide:
- Remove all the doors and number them and the inside of the units to make it easier when placing the doors back.
- Remove all hardware from the surfaces to be painted. I had ordered new brass handles for my cupboard doors so all the existing handles were removed.
- Sugar soap every surface to be painted. I used sugar soap wipes from Wilko and they did the job. I repeated it at least twice until I could see all signs of grease gone.
- If your units and doors have any imperfections, this is the time to fix them. Our doors had knots so we used a wood filler to make the surfaces flat and smooth.
- Sand the doors and units down. You don't need to remove all of the top layer of treatment, but make sure it is rough enough to allow the paint to adhere to the surface. Some people actually skip this step but we decided to do it just in case.
- Making sure that the doors are on a flat surface to prevent the paint from running down, start with the primer. Two layers of primer are recommended for a long lasting result, and although it is time consuming, it is worth taking the time to do this step. We used this Zinsser primer.
- We used three layers of Farrow & Ball estate eggshell paint - Cornforth White on the top units and Railings on the bottom units. Allow enough time for the paint to set, and lightly sand any imperfections in-between coats for a perfect finish.
- Once the units have dried for 1-2 days, put the handles in place and the doors can finally be placed back. Voila, your new kitchen is done!
The Kitchen Reveal
Here are the finished cupboards - I love the contrast the opposite colours have created and it also made the worktop and tiles look so much better. I am happy with the current tiles (for now!) so I won't be changing them just yet as they are working with the new colours.
We still want to change the flooring at some point, but for now this is a very much loved kitchen at a very low cost!
What do you think? I'd love to hear if you are planning on getting your cupboards painted anytime soon, or have already done it?
*Disclaimer: some of the links added are affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission if you purchase any of these items, and it doesn't cost you anything.
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