Now that I have made the decision to sell my house it is time to fix it up and make it appealing to today’s market.  One of the first things I realized and know from being a Realtor is that my kitchen needed some help.  OK, I’ll be honest, it needed a lot of help.  I hadn’t done anything to the kitchen since I bought it other than clean it up drastically and talk about how I was going to make it my dream kitchen.  In 3 years, I did nothing to it other than keep it clean and update some appliances.  It was a huge project and huge projects overwhelm me before I even start them.

From the picture you might be thinking, “Hmmm, that’s not that bad.”  Well, what you can’t see from the picture is that the previous owner did not use the same white on all of the cabinets as well as they were smokers so there was an everlasting yellow huegh that I was able to mask by hours of scrubbing and dozens of magic erasers.  But still, if you looked just right, it was still there.  Or maybe it was just me because I knew it was there.  Regardless, there was no doubt in my mind these cabinets needed to be redone.  Now my first obstacle with this was I didn’t want to stick a lot of money in to the home I was going to be getting rid of and I wanted to save as much money as I could for my RV and my new life.  So, Google again became my best friend.

After looking through dozens of forums I came across what would be the perfect solution.  I didn’t want to have to strip my cabinets and do a lot of sanding.  I needed something that would allow me to paint over the current paint and make my resurfacing easy and painless.  General Finishes Milk Paint would allow me to refinish my cabinets without spending a lot of money or having to do a lot of work.  This is what I thought when I purchased the products to get started and I still believe it to be true for someone who isn’t incredibly anal or doesn’t have cabinet faces that are covered with bad paint and runs.

Don’t forget to take before and after pictures and share them with your experiences.  I love seeing the transformations.

Easy Step By Step Instructions

Step 1

Remove Hardware & Doors

Getting Started

The first thing you will want to do is remove all of your cabinet doors and the hardware.  You will also want to remove your drawers.  Make sure you are ready for 3-5 days of your kitchen being in disarray.  Also, if you are a messy painter (like me) you will want to use painter’s tape to tape off the areas you don’t want the paint to transfer to.

Step 2

Clean All Surfaces

Get Your Arms Ready

Now you will want to scrub down all of your surfaces to get any dirt, grease and grime off of them.  I used Clorox Wipes and they worked great.

Step 3

Sander Deglosser

This Step Is Easy

Now that you have all of your surfaces clean it is time to take any shine off of them.  This part is easy, don’t worry.  All you have to do is take a clean cloth and a sander deglosser and wipe down all of the surfaces.  You don’t have to use a lot of force with this, you just want to make sure you are wiping the entire surface and that they aren’t shiny any longer.

Step 4

Time To Paint

Finally The Fun Part

Finally, it’s time to paint.  You will want to use a foam brush or roller if you are not spraying the surfaces.  I personally used a foam brush for the detailed areas and small foam rollers like these for the majority of the project.

Step 5

Watch Paint Dry

Time For A Light Sanding

After waiting 2-4 hours for the first coat to dry you will want to use a super fine sanding pad (#320-400 grit) to lightly sand down the surfaces. Now naturally after you have sanded the surfaces you will want to make sure that you completely wipe them down again before painting.

Step 6


Second Coat

Now that you have the surfaces sanded and have removed all of the dust it is time for the second coat. It is recommended that you do 2 coats. I did 3 but it will all depend on the coverage and color you are using.

Step 7

More Sanding

Lightly Sand The Surfaces

Yep, you need to lightly sand your surfaces again and don’t forget to wipe away all of the dust before the next step.

Step 8

Almost There

Now Is Time For The Gloss

Now that the color is done it is time to put on the gloss.  You have different options for your top coat depending on what kind of finish you are looking for but I used General Finishes High Performance Satin for my surfaces.  This process doesn’t change much from the other painting other than the drying time.  If you are doing this in cooler conditions you will want to wait 8-10 hours before doing your second coat.

Step 9

Lightly Sand

Yes, More Sanding

OK, your first top coat application is dry and you guessed it.  It’s time to lightly sand again.  Just like with the other steps you will want to use a fine grade sand paper and wipe away any dust after you are complete.

Step 10

Last Coat

Final Coat Unless You Want To Do More

You will want to make sure you do at least 3 applications of the top coat.  I personally used 4 coats on mine because I wanted to make sure it was going to last and the new owner would not have to worry about anything but it says you can get by with 3 coats.

Step 11

Where Does This All Go?

Time To Put The Puzzle Back

After waiting 4 hours for the final coat to dry you should do one more light sanding just to make sure the surface is smooth.  Now you can put the cabinets back together and the drawers back in.  I think for me this was the hardest part.  One, I had to figure out what drawers and cabinet doors went where and then I had to make sure everything was even as I was putting it back up because I used different hinges and then I had to put everything back where it went.  If you are using the same hinges I’m sure this step will be much easier because the already level/even holes will still be there for you.

Step 12

Enjoy & Admire

Take Pictures

Now that you are complete make sure you take that final after picture and send me your before and afters.  I love to see the transformations!  Congratulations!