Cabinet Painting Again!

The moment I saw photos of our new kitchen, I knew exactly what I wanted to do to brighten it up! The footprint wasn’t so bad, but the brown on brown on yellow color combination really had me scratching my head.


I had to wait a few months before the cabinet painting could begin, but I was itching to get started!

First priority, get rid of that yellow!!

I started small, with the former wine rack that I’d made a bookshelf.


Instead of using a Rustoleum cabinet kit, I opted to use a chemical deglosser and Valspar cabinet paint. I never used more than the deglosser from my original Rustoleum kit, so after some Amazon research I decided that Krud Cutter Gloss-Off was the way to go.


Working within my usual naptime time restriction, I decided to start really small. I knew  the Krud Kutter only needed a short amount of time to dry, and I REALLY wanted to  preview the Sherwin Williams Aesthetic White I’d chosen for the cabinets.

My naptime mission was to tape, de-gloss, and paint 1 to 2 coats of Valspar cabinet paint on this tiny section of yellow cabinets.


Seems within the realm of possibility right??

Lo and behold, here is the former wine rack, now bookshelf at the end of nap time!!

It might not look like much to you, but this hint of white cabinets in the kitchen gave me so much inspiration and motivation to KEEP GOING! I wasn’t going to stop until all the yellow was gone!

For the next few days, I painted late into the nights and prepped and planned for painting up until the moment each nap time began. It was exhausting, but thrilling to see such a dramatic change! As each bit of yellow left the kitchen, a freshness and calm began to take over.

This rainy day photo doesn’t show the yellow island in its true glory, but a good “before” picture for the blog was NOT going to stop me from de-yellowing the island!


Even on a rainy day the countertops looked less yellow after pairing them with Aesthetic White!


Check out the difference in the sunshine!!! Glorious!! (You can go ahead an imagine me singing that in an operatic voice. I was shamelessly delighted with this update).


I ran out of paint on my roller just as naptime was ending, but I could see the impact this cabinet would have when it was white! It was going to make the whole kitchen feel so much brighter!


The next day…


Need I say more?

I must have gotten a bit lazy with the de-glosser as I hastily scrubbed the giant yellow dish cupboard. I attempted to paint a back corner where the counter meets the backsplash and the cabinet, and the paint would NOT stick. As frustrated as I was with myself, I was pretty impressed with Krud Kutter’s product!


After the paint was dry I reapplied my de-glosser and repainted with no problem at all.

Now that all the cabinet boxes were white, it was time to focus on the doors and drawers.


Last time I was cabinet painting, I used my entire apartment as a workshop. This time I had a curious, often clingy, and very “helpful” toddler.  Needless to say, my work area needed to be a bit more private. The laundry room didn’t have the best lighting, but the pocket door was a life saver when attempting to paint while my little helper was awake.


For some reason, getting the doors done right felt really daunting to me this time around. I wanted them to be perfect – and I really questioned my ability to do it myself.

I remembered hiring out a painting project that intimidated me in NYC. I watched the painters carelessly slap white paint on our window frames, and when they were done, there were bubbles, drips and lines all over the place. I tried to sand them out and eventually I stopped noticing them. Ultimately, I learned a valuable lesson; $500 was not worth someone else’s time for a skill I’m capable of, but afraid to attempt.

I know that I’m my own worst critic and I suspected that I could do a better job than a painter who doesn’t see the tiny imperfections I see every time I open my cabinets. I also knew I could attempt to fix them if I painted them myself.

Armed with my new de-glosser and my favorite painting tools: a small foam brush, a short rubber handled paint brush, and a small foam roller; I was ready to begin.

  • STEP 1:
    • Use a small foam brush to get in the deepest nooks and crannies of your cabinet door.
  • STEP 2:
    • Use a foam brush to extend the painted area, covering all recesses of your door.
  • STEP 3:
    • Use a small foam roller to coat all flat areas of your cabinet door.
  • STEP 4:
    • Let dry. (I’m not good at the patience required in this step – but it’s important!)


REPEAT the above steps (1-3 more times) until your cabinet doors have no streaks and look good in a variety of lighting sources.

Many times I think I’m done until I take the door into another room and see where I need a few more strokes with the paintbrush.


Now it’s time to repeat those steps on the back of the cabinets.


Note: As my cabinet painting continued I learned that it was important to paint the back of the doors first. That way when placing them upside the down to paint the opposite side, I only risked slightly marring the back side of the door and not the front! 

While the doors dried, I began to work on the drawer fronts. Usually I take the drawer fronts off the drawer to paint them, but these weren’t coming loose very easily. I decided to go with the flow, taped all around the edges, and went to town!

The next morning the drawers were dry and ready for their new hardware!! (I probably should have waited for them to “cure” longer – but I’m telling my truth here, and I couldn’t wait to get the island put back together!! FYI: The drawers and doors have not suffered any ill effects from lack of curing).



Only a few days later, and I had completed transforming all the yellow doors to white!



The white made such a huge difference in the overall feel and glow of the kitchen! I had plans for the rest of the cabinets too…and with this kind of motivation, my cabinet painting wasn’t ending any time soon!