Priming the Kitchen Cabinets

If you've been following along our kitchen cabinets project, you'll know that we started this process back in November. A few weeks ago, we started stripping some of the gross interiors, and this past weekend, we finally painted them with primer.

With the help of Alex's brother Ryan and his fiancé Shelley, we started by vacuuming the debris from the shelves. Then we wiped them down with water and bleach to get them as clean as possible. Afterwards, Alex sanded them all (there are nearly 24 cabinets total), we vacuumed and wiped again, and then I taped down all the nooks and corners that we wanted to keep as is.

This meant getting down on my heads and knees and sticking my head into the cabinets to reach the very far back. I realize that this isn't the most conventional way to re-paint cabinets, but we were working around what we had. These cabinets were most likely from the 1970s, and the backs were painted once upon a time. Although no one will ever see that far into the cabinets, I wanted to give it a fresh coat to cover up the gross dirt and blemishes that have accumulated over the years.

I kept the wood exposed on the sides of the drawers to ensure that they slide easily. Eventually, we will likely finish the sides with Minwax Paste Finishing Wax and/or change the old roller tracks on the bottoms of the drawers.

Ok, now the fun part! After everything was taped and cleaned, we could finally start priming! Like the cabinets, we found that using a paintbrush to go over all the corners and seams was the best way to start. Then we used a foam roller to fill in all the flat surfaces.

Since this is just the primer phrase, we aren't too concerned about being perfect. There was even some loose drywall in the back of the pantry that fell apart.

Alex even bought a heat gun to strip the paint on the outside of the pantry where we once had cabinets demolished. In the future, we will add our own floating shelves here, but we wanted to get it cleaned up now before the countertops go in.

Next, we'll sand down this first coat of primer and apply a second coat. Then after that, we'll add two coats of Behr Ultra Pure White and finally the gold hardware.

In addition to saving a lot of money, we've learned SO much from this DIY project — stripping, sanding, painting, and finishing. Please comment with any questions!