"Paint your own cabinets" they said. "You'll save money" they said.

Taryn's Wreckreation Guide: Remodel Update

October 19, 2017

One of the things I learned early on in our remodel was that cabinets are EXPENSIVE, and brand new ones were frankly out of our budget. 


Since the cabinets and bathroom vanities in the home were in pretty bad shape to begin with, they were part of the total demolition of one half of our home! 

I got to take the first scoop!!!!

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We've since rebuilt that half of the house, and ended up finding BRAND NEW cabinets on Craigslist for under a thousand dollars. The gentleman selling them had just bought a house to flip and didn't like the cabinets that were in the home. Lucky for us, those cabinets had never even been used (the manufacturer's paperwork was still inside the drawers!) and were PERFECT for our place.


Our first step was to pull out the drawers, take off the doors and remove any hardware from those pieces. 


From there, it was time to sand the cabinets down with 120 grit sandpaper to remove the finish and create a rough edge. At one point, we had THREE sanders going at the same time. We were lucky to have some help from friends - it made things go much faster. Some of the areas required some sanding by hand to get into the little nooks and crannies of the doors and drawers.

Today's project: sanding cabinets! Thank you @kgmersereau for lending me your husband for the day!

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After the sanding was complete, we dusted off the pieces and taped off any areas we needed to protect. Then we used an oil-based primer to prime the drawers, doors, cabinets, vanities and shelves. When it came to priming the doors, you can only do one side at a time, then allow that side to dry completely before hitting the other side with a coat. We toyed with doing one or two coats of primer, but ended up sticking with one. 


After the primer had dried, we took up the sanders again and sanded down the layer of primer with 220 grit sandpaper, smoothing out any imperfections and getting the surfaces ready for paint. But first, another good dusting!


The paint we chose was Sherwin-Williams ProClassic in Snowbound, which is a BEAUTIFUL white and very easy to work with. We used Purdy 2.5" angled brushes for the perfect brush strokes going in the direction of the wood grain, and with a steady hand and two coats of paint, I'm happy to announce we FINALLY finished the project this morning!


If all goes well, we should be installing cabinets within a couple weeks - the mudding/taping wraps up in the next day or two, then we'll do our interior painting and install some floors!


When it comes to painting cabinets, this is NOT a weekend project. Start to finish, painting before and after work, on weekends and even with the help of a few awesome friends, this took several weeks to complete. If you're thinking of tackling this kind of DIY project, be patient, do your research, take your time and don't get frustrated! Although the project fully tested my sanity, I am well aware of the fact that we saved THOUSANDS of dollars going this route. YAY! 


I won't claim to be an expert in this arena, but if you are going to do something like this and have any questions about my experience, please send me an email! I'd be happy to share our lessons learned!


Happy Adventuring,


Taryn Daly