It’s been almost exactly a year since we finished our DIY painted cabinets in our kitchen and I’ve actually had quite a few people ask me how I like them as time goes on and if I’d do anything differently in hindsight. I thought it would be the perfect time to address all of this in a blog post – so grab a cup of coffee and get ready to hear my thoughts!
How we refreshed our kitchen for under $300
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Wear and Tear
This is the thing I was most concerned about when deciding to complete our DIY painted cabinets project. I’ve never had painted cabinets before, and I assumed they would chip and scratch easily. I’m happy to say that they’ve held up well in the past year, but there are a few small spots where the paint has chipped from kids banging their toys or running into the cabinets with their Little Tikes car. I think that’s pretty par for the course with kids, but if you don’t have little ones, you probably won’t have any issues here! Also, the places where the paint has chipped are so small that we could easily just dip a small paintbrush in the leftover paint and cover it. In terms of general wear and tear, I haven’t really noticed any places where the paint has worn off from frequently opening and closing cabinets or drawers.
What I’d Do Differently: Maybe find a more durable paint (if there is such a thing!) or ban toys in the kitchen (just kidding…sort of.)
I knew there would be a certain level of cleaning required with white cabinets in the kitchen. The worst areas are right next to the sink/dishwasher and the coffee maker – there are little drips that accumulate over time. I’m really happy to report that the paint we chose is super easy to clean (key: use a shiny finish, like satin or semigloss), so I don’t sweat it when I see dirt or drips on the surface. The only thing to be mindful of is to always use a mild cleaner, like dish soap and water or a white vinegar and water solution. Use a soft cloth (nothing coarse) and drain excess water well to carefully scrub the cabinets.
What I’d Do Differently: Nothing – they clean so easily!
When we were researching which paint to use, the most recommended was Benjamin Moore Advance, so that’s what we ended up choosing (in Satin finish) for our DIY painted cabinets. Overall, the paint went on smoothly with minimal bubbling, but after a primer coat and two coats of this paint, there are still areas that could stand another coat (which we didn’t do). I also heard good things about PPG Breakthrough, but it dries super quickly so you have to be ready to move fast! As a side note, we’ve used Sherwin Williams paint on all of our walls and we love the quality, so I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it for a cabinet project!
What I’d Do Differently: Rent or buy a paint sprayer instead of using paintbrushes – it would have made the project go by more quickly and covered the cabinets better.
I have zero regrets about choosing white cabinets – our kitchen is SO much brighter and it’s no longer washed out in beige (we still need to change the backsplash to cut down the beige even more). However, in hindsight, I would have chosen a warmer off-white shade and possibly even used a glaze on top. I think the bright white almost hurts your eyes at times and I wouldn’t consider it ‘cozy’ – it looks crisp and clean. It really just depends on the look you’re going for!
What I’d Do Differently: Bring home paint chips to test in your home’s light – don’t make the decision under the store’s lighting! We thought we were choosing a warmer white, but it really is bright white in our home.
Someone asked me if the cabinets were sticking together – and my answer is, not at all! To be fully transparent though, we applied these rubber bumpers to the doors and drawers once the paint dried so the cabinets wouldn’t slam shut. Not only does it keep the cabinets from sticking, but it means they close quietly and I don’t have to worry about waking the girls when I shut cabinets after putting dishes away.
Also, the door hardware we chose (here and here) is great – it doesn’t show dirt and is super sturdy. I love the oil-rubbed bronze and it pops against the white cabinets.
What I’d Do Differently: Nothing!
All in all, I’m so happy with how our DIY painted cabinets turned out and I never go in the kitchen and regret any of the decisions we made. I will admit at times I want to change them to a warmer white, but after how long the project took us, I am not motivated to start all over 😉 Side note: if you have young kids, be prepared for this to take longer than you’d expect – we were aiming for two weeks (using weekends and evenings) and let’s just say, it took WAY longer! If you have someone who can watch your kids while you work on your DIY painted cabinets, take advantage of that! 🙂
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