Easy Kitchen Cabinet Makeover

Easy Kitchen Cabinet Makeover

Posted by DecoArt on May 24th 2016

We want to introduce to you today, our guest blogger, Gisele Pope. We are so excited to share the kitchen cabinet makeover she did for her son and daughter-in-law while they went out of town. We sure wish Gisele would head to our house to be our cabinet-painting fairy! She used our new Satin Enamels that are available at JoAnn stores to complete the transformation.

My son and his wife have been working on redoing their kitchen. They replaced the countertops with beautiful grey granite and added a coordinating backsplash. The original cabinets were still in good shape but the golden oak stain on them clashed now and the cost of installing brand new cabinets would push them over their budget. Painting was definitely the way to go!

I decided to tackle painting their cabinets while they were out of town for a few days and before they left, we selected Satin Enamels in Smoke Grey to bring out the colors in the granite.


  • Americana Décor Satin Enamels Smoke Grey
  • Americana 1” Angle Brush
  • Americana 2” Flat Brush
  • Americana 4” Flat Brush
  • Painters Tape
  • Pen
  • Sander and Sandpaper
  • Adhesive Remover
  • TSP (Tri-sodium phosphate)

I started out by testing on one of the drawer panels to see if I would need to wash, strip, and sand the doors before painting. I was surprised by how easily the finish came off so I went ahead and did the whole drawer panel. I then tested to see how many coats I would have to do. It went on so smoothly and leveled out perfectly and I only needed to apply two coats.

When I arrived at my son’s kitchen, I took all of the drawer fronts and cabinet doors off. 

I made a sketch of the kitchen, assigning numbers to each item I removed and marked the back of the corresponding piece to make it easier to put everything back on later. I placed the hinges and knobs into baggies that I also labeled.

I taped off the ceiling, floors, and walls and the edges of the front sides of the shelves and I then wiped down both sides of the doors and drawers with a mixture of warm water and TSP. This removed any grease particles from the surfaces.

I took all the pieces to the garage and lightly sanded them with a palm sander and 100 grit sandpaper to remove the varnish coat. If your varnish coat is thicker, you might consider using a 220 grit.

To quickly and easily remove all the dust, use a vacuum with the dust brush attachment on the cabinet pieces and then thoroughly blow out the garage with a leaf blower. This keeps sanding dust from settling on your wet paint later.

Now, I was ready to paint. Before painting, I wet the brush and dry it off on a paper towel. It makes for easy clean up later and the paint glides on better. I mostly used a wide, flat brush, smoothing the paint out in long strokes as I went along.

After applying the first coat to the drawers and doors on one side, I let those dry and went inside to paint the cabinets. I cut in from the edges first and then used long strokes to apply the rest of the coat. Once the cabinets had a first coat, it was back outside to flip the drawers and doors to add the first coat on that side.

Once everything had a solid first coat, I allowed it to dry to the touch. I checked all of the surfaces for any drips or imperfections in case I needed to sand again but did not find any. The brush strokes leveled out perfectly saving me tons of time sanding!

As I applied the second coats to the cabinets, I began to tear off the painters tape while it was still wet. It keeps the edges and lines clean.

After the second coat had dried on everything, I put the hinges back on to the doors and attached them to the cabinets. I was anticipating this project to take me a lot longer than it did but overall, it was less than 2 days.

I only used 3 ½ jars of paint on the whole project. The coverage is great and super durable. I didn’t have to do any touch-up to scratches after installing the doors and drawers.

The kids were thrilled with the results when they returned and have already asked me to redo their bathroom cabinet next!