Friday, September 17, 2010

Living in the 70's

My new house is beyond 70's - Think green carpet bathroom and burnt umber painted kitchen cabinets. You know when you get totally obsessive over a decor problem - well mine is these cabinets - I HAVE to paint them white I can't take it!

PLEASE HELP with any tips on how to paint a cabinet. PS - An ant just crawled on my computer - AHHH the country.

The Kitchen kinda looks like this

This is what I would love it to look like:



  1. 1 empty all the cabs, remove the doors, scrub everything with TSP (from the paint department of lowes or HD). This will remove the 20 years of grease and crud.

    2 fill any holes, big dings etc with wood putty and sand smooth. Fill holes from old hardware if the new stuff is different.

    3 mask like crazy (spend time here)

    4 apply a high quality acrylic primer (look to spend 30 to 35 per gallon, this is not the place to go cheap).

    5 paint.

    6 rehang doors. put on new hardware

    I did this in my 90's kitchen which looks about the same size as yours. It took about 40 labor hours (not including dry time). Best thing was a 4 inch trim roller. It really helped speed up the process.

    Good luck.

    (BTW in your case I would paint the boxes and get new doors entirely.)

  2. Oooh...good luck with that! :) All I can say is that is going to make for one hell of an after photo! and a great story.

  3. that white....sooooo good!
    and i agree, it would make a heck of a story! do it!

  4. We are painting a 'test cabinet' right now before we commit to our whole kitchen. I think we are going to invest in a sprayer because this whole brush thing isn't working out so well!

  5. I'd find someone to take the doors away and paint them with a sprayer then they'd come in and sand and paint the frames. It is pretty cost effective. Good luck!

  6. Seems like anonymous got the directions right there for you. I sanded and painted my bathroom cabinets for our current home but didn't do that much work and it turned out fine. I just sanded and applied two coats of high gloss white, the changed all the hinges and knobs and what a difference! The only problem was after the beige counter tops looked even MORE ugly than before! May the decor force be with you on this one!

  7. I have a 70s kitchen and we had our cabs painted. It was worth every penny. Two coats oil base primer, sand in between, then four coats of paint sanded in between each coat. They look amazing. I chose a vintage look so they are a depression 1940's green. I also took two doors off and replaced with glass and I mirrored the back of the cupboard wall to reflect more light and we put strip lighting along the side for a soft light, not the halogen glaring lights, I like soft ambiant lighting. It is more than doable and I highly reccomend it. If you have a recessed flourescent light take a look at how we treated the light box.
    Good Luck!!

  8. Hi Suze,
    I feel your pain with that 70's kitchen - our house is a 70's/80's mish mash of wood, dark brick and more wood! A little while ago (while my hubby was away on business!) I decided I'd had enough and painted all of my timber cabinets. My tips - sand all surfaces, use only Zinsser primer (I've used others but always come back to this, it's the best) and use an airless spray gun to make fast work of the painting. Best decision ever. I also replaced all the handles with new, cast iron numbers. It makes a huge difference to the room, and I've since also painted the timber cathedral ceiling. If you're interested, take a look here:

    and for the how-to:

    Hope that helps, and seriously, just do it! You won't regret it for a second. If you need any more info, by all means drop me a line - I'd be only too happy to help. Have a great day, and btw - love your blog! K xx

  9. OH I love those lights! New ones not the old.. ha ha! That will be quite the transformation! But those are the best ones right?


  10. Suze,
    Just got Thomas O'Brien's book and there are amazing views of that kitchen. I fell in love when it was in Domino but had no idea I could I love it more. You're absolutely right cabs gotta be white!

  11. I LOVE LOVE LOVE all of your comments and sooooooo appreciate your taking the time to give me detailed info on how to get it done. I promise to take a before and after shot! Suze

  12. Hi Suze, Here is a kitchen renovation I bookmarked. The before photos look similar to your dark kitchen. Nicole

  13. Suze it looks like you have plenty of tips so I will just will love the white!!!

    Come and see...I have a New Giveaway from the French Basketeer!!

    Art by Karena

  14. Suze, NEVER get a white kitchen floor! we had one put in and had it taken out a year later. Remember, my three sons...

  15. I painted my knotty pine cabinets white and LOVE it! be sure to start with a TSP cleaning and then use a primer like Kilz that will adhere to anything and hide any knots or stains. I used a couple of coats of latex paint with a small sponge roller and it turned out great. Some people put on a clear coat afterwords for durability but I didn't bother and they've held up well. The worst part is all the doors taken off and lying flat everywhere while you paint them and they dry. Good luck! Can't wait to see yours all done! :)

  16. here is a good how to

  17. WOW - Not only do I appreciate all of you going to bat for me but that all of you are reading this blows me away!