Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Kitchen Project - Painting the Cabinets and My Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Experience


(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!

24 comments:

  1. Thank you for all the info!! It does seem like a ton of work...not sure if the husband is going to get on board with this....

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    1. If your cabinets take the Annie Sloan paint well, then it's not TOO bad. I think the fact that we are blessed with a lot of cabinets made it get very old, very quickly. On another blog she redid her cabinets with the paint and claimed to be done in 5 hours! She had fewer cabinets and I don't think she had waxed them yet, but still...super fast. I don't know how many cabinets you have to do but if you do it all at once rather than piecemeal like I did, it might not be too bad!

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    2. If your wood bleeds - like mahogany - you need to seal it with zinnser primer first. Otherwise, Chalk Paint is a total breeze and makes the job easy. Also, I was sad you used the polycrylic after all that work. The wax is actually super easy to use and goes a loooooong way. The finish is so nice too. Still, I'm glad you like your cabinets!! They look fantastic!

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  2. Dude. Your kitchen is AMAZING!!! Seriously amazing. Beautiful job! I bet you are just loving it. Seriously considering getting a hood range thing for the stove now. Any recommendations??

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    1. Thank you Heather! And thanks for letting me come do my research :) I forgot about the hood! I don't have any recommendations to buy...that was here and in rough shape but Brian spray painted it with a stainless steel paint. It doesn't match perfectly but new ones are super expensive. I've seen faux ones built out of wood...wonder if that would work for you?

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  3. We have metal cabinets and when we decided to try to redo the kitchen, I wanted to get rid of them at first, but could not justify the cost of new cabinets. We painted them and it was miserable . . . I cursed the project. I really wanted white, but the metal cabinets would not look good white, so we went dark. I had to spray paint the doors! You can see it here:
    http://blessedwithfullhands.blogspot.com/2012/05/kitchen-redone.html

    I think if I ever re-did wood, I would go the liquid sanding route instead too . . . we have used that on the boys derby cars and I am amazed at the results!

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    1. Just went over and it looks great! Love what a difference a little paint makes! So funny...we even had almost the same title to our posts! Do you happen to remember the shade of gray you used? It looks great!

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  4. Love your cabinets ... hard work! But here's my big question ... your beautifully uniform jars inside. What are they/where do you get them, and are they cheap? :)

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    1. Ha! Those were from The Christmas Tree Shop and I think they were about $3 a piece. I just treated myself to a few more a few weeks ago for the sugar in the other cabinet :)

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  5. Your cabinets look beautiful and I'm planning to do mine soon. I was reading that no pigments are added to the Pure White chalk paint. It was recommended that the first coat should be done in Old White, then covered with Pure white for the best coverage.

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    1. Oh man...that would have been sooo nice to have known! I didn't read that anywhere when I was researching it so maybe that's something they've started telling people? Or I just missed it... Even the lady who paints with it and sells it at the fancy store didn't say anything about that and said it should cover in two coats. Seems to make sense, though! Oh well...maybe someone else will read this and take that tip!!

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  6. Thanks for sharing your photos. The cabinets turned out great! How many days did it take to prime, paint and re-install the doors?

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    1. Hmm...I only did a few doors and frames each day during nap time. I would estimate the whole project took about 3 weeks including sealing? If there weren't four little ones that also needed tending to, I assume it would be much quicker :)

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  7. Some wood just can't be covered no matter how many coats of paint you use! Use Zinsser Bullseye Shellac (either brush on or spray) as a first coat to first seal the wood. Then paint. You would have then only have needed two coats of the chalk paint. I only wish I knew how to figure this out before painting:)

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    1. Me too! I did 4 coats on a mahogany china cabinet before discovering Zinsser.

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  8. How are the 2 coats of polycrylic holding up? I just finished a 2nd coat myself, over Old White & don't want to sand agian for a 3rd coat, but I will if it is necessary! Thanks, Heidi

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    1. I would say they're holding up great. There are a few very tiny marks in a few places from where something (someone...) chipped it but I don't think another coat would've helped with that anyway. I'm probably the only one who notices them :) Good luck with yours!

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  9. Did you do any sanding on your doors before you painted? Did you use steel wool on them after each coat?

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    1. I didn't. One of the selling points of Annie Sloan is that you don't need to do any sanding at all which is a big deal! However, I think if I were to do it again, I would do what a commenter above suggested and paint the first coat with Old White and then do the next with Pure White.

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  10. Hi Mary. I loved reading your article and seeing your pictures. Your cupboards came out beautiful. As somebody said before, apparently if you paint with 'shellac' (which is white in colour), two coats would have covered :-).
    I have painted my computer table with chalk paint. I waxed the table, but then read that being a table the wax would not hold up. I bought Minwax Polycrylic - sanded the table and applied the Polycrylic. I wanted to ask you if you sanded your kitchen cupboards between coats of the Polycrylic? The sanding between coats is a pain!
    Be Blessed.
    Ermelinda Porter
    Melbourne, Australia

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  11. I don't think I did. I was so done at that point and I may have tried and not noticed much of a difference anyway but I can't remember all that well :)

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  12. Don't know if my previous comment went through.... Have your cabinets yellowed at all? Just painted some side tables with white chalk paint and have read that polycrylic can turn yellow over time.

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    1. Not overall but I do notice very slight yellowing in the seams and corners where, presumably, more of the polycrylic landed and dried. It's not something that is very noticeable BUT I haven't found that the polycrylic has protected as well as I hoped it would. There are scrapes and marks that won't come off and a few chips in the paint from getting hit or scraped too hard. I also used polycrylic on my countertops and that HAS yellowed a bit. Probably more noticeable because I used a lot more coats on the counter than the cabinets. So I guess the more coats you use, the more you may notice yellowing. Hope that helps!

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