(You can see the first post of our kitchen project here.)
There's a reason people dread painting their cabinets. It is tedious. There's a lot of steps, it's nit picky, it takes forever and oh, the mess. But it is a relatively inexpensive way to make a huge impact on your kitchen. When I learned that Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is supposed to cover anything in two coats without the use of a primer or the need for sanding and then Heather let me come see her beautiful cabinets, I definitely wanted to try this miracle product.
I knew I wanted white and debated between their Old White and Pure White. I ended up choosing the Pure White as the rest of the trim and wainscot in the kitchen is already a bright white and felt it fit better with the rest of the house.
After one coat
Unfortunately, I think there are some types of stained wood that, no matter what miracle product you use, are going to require a whole lot of coats of paint before the previous color stops bleeding through. Our cabinets were like that. I think perhaps factory grade cabinets that have that nice smooth finish would work much better. I was so excited at the thought of only doing two coats but each cabinet ended up needing FOUR coats plus a quick going over at the end with another coat of thinned paint to get complete coverage. I put on the initial coat and was happy with how well that first coat covered but subsequent coats just did not have the same strength no matter how long I waited in between coats. Stains were still bleeding through and you could still see the bluish tint of the wood after three full coats. It was long and by the end was very very tedious.
I admit, I am a perfectionist when it comes to painting but even the woman at the special design store where I had to buy the paint said that two coats should give complete and solid coverage like I was expecting. Her advice was to thin the paint a bit with water which did help make it go a little farther but didn't help with the coverage issue. I'm no amateur when it comes to painting so I'm pretty sure it must just be my cabinets or Annie Sloan is exaggerating a wee bit that it can cover anything in two coats.
Because of the extra coats needed, we used FIVE quarts of as opposed to the two that I was planning. And the stuff ain't cheap. Still, I liked how they turned out after painting and the soft finish that the chalk paint gives is beautiful.
After one coat and a curious one year old
I painted the cabinets in chunks. This was my "extra" project over the winter done during free time so I wanted to be able to do just a bit at a time without having the whole kitchen off limits for several weeks. Every few days I would tackle another two to three cabinets and over the course of two days get them painted and rehang them. I brushed all the trim and used a foam roller for the panels and edges. I also painted the back of each door, which is also why it took more paint than I expected. I suppose when you're looking at paint estimates for the ASCP or any paint, it's assuming you're just doing the outside of the furniture or cabinets. But I knew if I didn't do the back of each cabinet, it would bother me every time I opened one of the doors and the dark would probably show through a bit around the edges of the door. I only did three coats on the interior and you can tell a difference but I'm okay with it. It took patience, which is not my strong suit. Once I had them all painted with aaallll the coats of paint, the transformation was huge.
I wish I could've used the Annie Sloan clear wax to finish them but after spending so many hours on those cabinets the last thing I wanted to do in a year was have to rewax them all again because the wax wears away. Ain't nobody got time for that. I wanted something stronger that would last and really protect the paint because our kitchen cabinets get a lot of use. Besides, that stuff costs almost $40 a can and I probably would've needed two cans to complete all the cabinets. Not gonna happen.
I ended up using two coats of Minwax Clear Polycrylic in a matte finish to seal the cabinets. I tried polyurethane on my first few and it yellowed and looked awful. So sad. I had to repaint those ones again. Polycrylic seems to be the only widely available sealer that is truly clear which is important, especially when going over white. The problem with sealing them with anything other than the wax, however, is that they now look exactly like I had used any other latex or enamel paint on them. The beautiful chalk paint finish was covered by the sheen of the Polycrylic. Argh. So while, I think I would LOVE to use ASCP on furniture or smaller projects and while I'm very happy with how the cabinets turned out, I wouldn't use it again if I ever lose my mind and decide to paint kitchen cabinets again. I would probably use liquid sander and then an enamel paint and save myself a whole lot of dough.
Of other note to whoever may be interested: I used a brushed nickel spray paint to spray all of the hinges to match the other hardware in the room. That was fun because in a few quick sprays they looked brand new. The pulls and knobs we replaced over a year ago. The drawer pulls came from Rockler. Rockler's brushed nickel pulls were of nicer quality and were way cheaper than either Lowe's or Home Depot or any other site I looked at AND if you get on their mailing list, they send you 20% off coupons so each pull was only about $2.40 plus tax! Compare that to Lowe's or Home Depot that had them for $5-14 a piece. For some reason, Rockler's knobs are not as cheap so if I remember right, I bought those from Bargain Outlet at about $1 a piece. The faucet we also replaced over a year ago with this one from Home Depot which, if you're looking for a bridge faucet, is a great deal.
You can see more pictures of the whole kitchen as well as before and afters at the original kitchen post. Please feel free to ask any questions in the combox because I'd love to help. I'll be back with more details on the countertop and floor transformation soon!