Chalk Painted Kitchen Cabinets

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Chalk Painted Kitchen Cabinets

I’m sorry if that wasn’t clear! I’ve painted the cabinets since I wrote this post (for a change of color, not because the paint wasn’t holding up.) The first time, I used Annie Sloan Duck Egg Blue on the base cabinets and AS Old White on the top. A year later (which I mention in this post,) I repainted the top cabinets in a homemade chalk paint mixed with Sherwin Williams’ Pure White. It’s a much brighter white whereas the Old White is creamy, almost ivory. Let me say this: If I were starting from scratch, I wouldn’t go the homemade-chalk paint route. It was okay to paint over existing paint but I don’t think it would have stuck as well if I had put it on bare cabinets. That’s just my opinion. I have since painted the base cabinets in Valspar’s chalk paint (available at Lowe’s) colored to match Sherwin Williams’ Peppercorn. The Valspar chalk paint is a little cheaper and gives you more options in terms of color choices. I wasn’t loving the Duck Egg Blue once I changed the floors. The paint was still in great shape though! It really was just a style change. As far as chalk paint that doesn’t need to be waxed, I’ve never heard of anything like that. Maybe it’s something with a matte finish?

Chalk Painted Kitchen Cabinets

2.  Clean your cabinets.  Clean your cabinets well.  Use any household cleaner to degrease them.  My cabinets had a LOT of buildup in some areas.  I don’t think they had ever been cleaned over the years.  When we moved in last year, I wiped them down but did not give them a good scrubbing.  A small amount of dawn dish soap, a wet rag, and also a couple of Clorox wipes worked for me.  Apparently there were two doors that I didn’t clean as thoroughly, so after I painted there were hidden little brown grease spots that showed through the white paint.  They didn’t show up until the paint dried.  It is very difficult to sand them down and re-clean them so this is a VERY important step.  Make sure they are dry with no residue before continuing.  In the close up picture below, you can see that my cabinets were really in need of some tender love and care. 3.  Everything I read said that it is a waste of time to sand before painting with chalk paint.  Chalk paint can be used on virtually any clean surface.  Could it really be that easy? (Take note: The first time I ever used chalk paint was on an entire kitchen.  That means you can do it too!) For my first section, I went ahead and sanded the surface (Shhhh!) and then sanded in between coats.  Because you know, I didn’t think it could really be that easy.  It took a long time and more paint, created a mess of chalk dust, and did not change the result.  For the rest of the cabinets, I ONLY sanded down “problem areas” before painting and I did NOT sand in between coats of paint.  **BUT if you currently have hardware on your cabinets and will be changing the hardware, you will need to fill the holes before painting. 4.  Paint your first and second coat.

Chalk Painted Kitchen Cabinets

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What an inspiring project. I’m trying to tackle my bathroom cabinets and kitchen cabinets and chalk paint is giving me a headache. I’ve light oak painted the bathroom cabinets black and now I’m putting on the poly that you suggested in semi gloss. It’s still a little chalky to the touch and when I touch it even a bit it leaves marks. That’s after one coat of poly. I tried lightly sanding before I put a 2nd coat of poly. I hoped for a smoother finish that doesn’t scruff easily. Also my kitchen cabinets are the same oak, and I’m painting those white, Now I’m on my second coat and it still shows through. Not happy 🙁 I was hoping 2 coat will suffice. I’m using Valspar chalk paint though, maybe that’s why the coverage is not good. Black covered way faster. Now, I want to achieve a little more smooth texture, the chalky texture is a bit scary, how am I ever gonna be able to wipe those cabinets down. Now I’m scared!! Help! Should I have sanded between chalk paint coats? What if I used black latex over chalk paint, have you ever tried that? Thanks, Goga

Chalk Painted Kitchen Cabinets

-My most honest opinion on the topic of chalk painted kitchen cabinets: I think it is a fantastic solution if you are limited on time or money. Yes, having a pro come in and spray the cabinets would likely give you a factory-finish but even that would age over time. All things do. I am not claiming here that you’re going to have perfect, straight-out of the factory cabinets here. I am telling you, from my own personal experience, that chalk paint has been a great solution FOR ME. As a busy mom with two little kids, I can use chalk paint quickly (during a naptime) to transform my home into something I love. Is it perfect? No, but I am cool with that. Did it take elbow grease and a little maintenance? Yes, but I’d rather walk into a kitchen I love and clean than walk into a kitchen I hate and clean. Chalk paint certainly isn’t for everyone. My father-in-law, a pro-painter, would HATE it because it isn’t perfect. I like character. If you want factory-finish, it isn’t the right product for you. If you like farmhouse or coastal styles, then it might be a great option.

Chalk Painted Kitchen Cabinets

Hi Danise! If you do, I’d use two colors of chalk paint rather than latex. I’m telling you this from experience. I recently sanded the wax off the base cabinets and used a latex paint over the existing chalk paint thinking the chalk paint would act as a primer. I wanted to go from the Duck Egg Blue picture above to a darker gray. Anyway…disaster. I have been fighting the cabinets since DECEMBER. Here’s my advice: Do one layer of chalk paint. Top with another layer of chalk paint in a different color. Distress as you like to reveal the first coat. Instead of waxing, I’ve been using Rustoleum’s clear matte finish for their line of chalked paint. I love this product. It’s easier and faster than wax, which is helpful when you’re doing a big job like cabinets. Good luck!

Chalk Painted Kitchen Cabinets

I am in the process of painting my dark oak stained kitchen cabinets white, with Annie Sloan chalk paint. I would not recommend using chalk paint on dark cabinets. First of all, you must seal the wood, even if you don’t sand it. Otherwise the tannin from the wood will bleed up through the chalk paint and ruin your hard work. Chalk paint application is most often used for creating a distressed look. As a result it is super easy to sand…right off! Must be super tender with any sanding. If I had it to do over, just give me primer and plain ole latex. I was sold on chalk paint because of the no sanding, two coat promise. Just depends on what you’re painting. It did not deliver for me.

Chalk Painted Kitchen Cabinets

Hi Nancy, I had to go try the latex over chalk paint and boy am I happy with the results. Chalk paint (white) was just not covering fast enough, I would probably need 3 cans or more, so I decided to use it as a primer, so it’s still worth it to me, since I didn’t have to sand. I’m doing two coats of latex over chalk. I did varathane in the bathroom over black chalk paint and that looks great, too. I might try DIY chalk paint next time to save even more and use it as a primer. Thanks for the inspiration though, you gave me the idea to start painting, I didn’t want to do it before because it required sanding which I hate.

I had my cabinets professionally painted in December – from orange oak to deep gray lowers and white uppers. Love the look but hate the paint – Benjamin Moore Advance – that stuff is total crap and is chipping like crazy, already. 10 years ago I painted the birch cabinets in my old house with Behr (high gloss) and that held up well. I did sand though – the pros just used a deglosser. If your cabinets are flat enough that you can sand, I’d bite the bullet and do that before painting. I do do chalk painting, and I started out not priming except over mahogany. Now I just do one thin coat of primer over everything, it’s really quite easy to hit it with the 1-2-3 from Zinsser, and then your light colored chalk paints will cover well with one coat. If your kitchen is small enough that you could do it yourself, and you don’t want a shiny finish, I’d go with chalk paint and polycrylic.

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