Last week I posted a blog full of ideas for my bathroom. While I wasn't sure what I wanted the final outcome of the bathroom to be, I knew that I wanted my cabinets fixed. So this weekend I decided to try my hand at repairing them.
This is going to be a long post...I am just warning you :)
You will need the following items:
- Paint (color of choice)
- Stain (color of choice)
- Paint Brushes
- Sand Paper
- Wood filler (if you have repairs to make)
- Putty Knife
The hinges that were on our cabinet were hard to find, so I could not replace broken ones. I believe that since we had real wood cabinets (original to the house) we had these funky hinges. I am no carpenter so I don't know the fancy name for them...but just know that if you have these and they break you will have a super hard time finding a replacement!
After removing the cabinet doors/drawers and hardware you will need to fill the holes. Most of you will only have two small screw holes, but remember...we had funky hinges. Ours actually went through the doors and the vanity itself. I would have normally used bondo to fill this in, but I had wood filler handy.
Use the putty knife to fill in the holes...make sure you pack it in and it doesn't bubble out. It doesn't really have to be smooth and perfect because you are going to sand it off anyway. This particular type of wood filler goes on purple and dries white. When it is white...you are safe to start sanding.
My cabinets had a few thousand layers of white paint on them...so I used 80 grit to sand with at first. YES, you can use a sander here...I needed some DIY therapy so I just sanded by hand. It actually didn't take too terribly long.
I actually liked the look of the distressed white and momentarily pondered the idea of leaving them like this...but decided I really wanted some color in my life!
My cabinets did not have to be sanded perfectly, I knew I was going for a more distressed look. If you are going to stain yours or paint them more formal you will want to make sure that your sanding is done carefully and any flaws are worked out. Prep work is the worst part of any paint job, but it is what makes the results look the best.
Once the cabinets were sanded and cleaned off (you do not want any extra dust on them) I started painting them. I chose to use chalk paint, I had a cup of this left from The Junque Yard a while back. I purchased it to paint my coffee table (which I did not like blue) and a window that I turned into a picture frame. The Junque Yard has TONS of pretty colors...and I was VERY tempted to go by and snag that lovely coral color that I wanted on the cabinets. I am not so sure that Danny would have let that slide...
I left the drawer fronts on while I painted. You can remove them...it was just as easy for me to paint with them on. Every cabinet and area will be different so chose what works best for you.
Notice that I tried to paint the counter, the paint would not stick. It peeled right off...I sanded and followed all of the tutorials...it just wasn't meant to be. Which was ok...I realized that I didn't like the white counters anyway. We will soon be replacing the counter and getting an under mount sink!!!!
The blue was looking a little freaky right here....all I needed was a pink toilet and blue tub.
Here is the really messy/slightly annoying part. I have stained a lot of things, but I have YET to find a way to do this and not get it all over me. I'm sure the professionals are all laughing at me...
Anyway, once the paint is dry (again chalk paint works best for this method) you apply the stain. I chose dark walnut. I knew that I wanted it to kill down the bright blue and not have an orange look. You can pick any color combination. I would google a color chart before you combine stain and paint and make sure that you don't put cherry stain on top of yellow paint...you will get carrot cabinets.
I have worked with paint my entire life, I can typically just visualize the outcome in my head. Sometimes, I have an epic fail...but thank God the cabinets weren't one of them.
Once you apply the stain you let it sit and wipe it off. The longer it sits the more it stains and dries. I wiped mine off almost immediately, leaving it heavier in the creases. I knew the brown would kill the blue and make it look more green....but here is a picture of the three stages...blue paint, covered in stain, and stain removed.
This step is optional, mandatory for me...but optional for you. I know that our bathroom will be heavily used. I know that the cabinets will take a beating, so I needed to seal them so they will last longer. You can use wax and seal it...to me this takes WAY too long and doesn't protect them as much. You can also just leave the paint and stain like they are...but again it is not as durable.
For my house full of boys, and a dog I wanted to use polycrylic. It seals it and NOTHING can destroy it! It smells like coconut too...so it makes you think you are at the beach! Ok...not so much but at least it isn't as strong as the stain is! The only real thing to do with the polycrylic is paint it on, sometimes you will get air bubbles in it. Just work those out with the brush and watch for runs.
Give the polycrylic time to dry, it is pretty fast....I left mine alone for an hour or two. For safe measure over night is always good! Then you just reassemble the cabinets. For me this was easy...I could see where the wood filler was on the back of the doors, so I knew exactly where to put the hinges back.
You can see in this picture I did not smooth out the wood filler perfectly, I probably should have...but who is going to know. I used that as a marker to line the doors back up straight. Unless you are changing out hardware you should still have your original holes and this won't be an issue.
As you can see I snatched the white paint off of the counter. We will be replacing the counter soon. I will also be framing the mirror out and adding our baseboards back. We have already purchased new flooring, it is just a matter of snatching up this tile with horrible white grout (NEVER USE WHITE GROUT) and relaying the new tile.
So the bathroom has a LONG way to go before it is done, but just having the cabinets repaired is a wonderful thing! After our house flooded the bottom part was ruined (that's why is is missing) I will be adding new molding soon, but it also needs to be done after our new tile is down.
Before and after, you can't really tell but I painted the walls a lighter more tan/gray color. I will be hunting/making a new shower curtain soon.
So there you have it...how to make over you cabinets. I am thrilled with the results of mine, and thrilled that I get to keep an original part of our house. I love the neat features/woodwork in our home...they just don't make houses like that anymore!