Wednesday, April 10, 2013

How I Created My Kitchen Cabinet Finish

***Since doing this tutorial I have finally completed our kitchen reno!:) To see the completed kitchen with the cabinet doors back on click here and here.***
I have had many requests asking me about our kitchen cabinets from "What color are you using?" to "How are you creating the finish?". I decided I would go ahead and share step by step the process I used. Keep in mind I have NOT been to any classes. This is just the method I have come up with.
Here is what I had to work with. Dark cabinets in a small space. I wanted to lighten and brighten our kitchen up.
I decided to use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old Ochre.I used chalk paint because it requires little to no prepping. All I did was wipe down the cabinets and dry them then started painting. 
It takes me three coats to achieve full coverage since my cabinets are so dark. To help keep the brush strokes to a minimum I dip the tip of my paint brush in some water and then in the paint. It helps the paint to go on more smoothly.
After all three coats dry I get down to sanding the surface.  My preferred method of sanding is to use a Medium grade sanding block that is wet. I prefer this method because it keeps the mess at bay. I do not have to worry about chalk dust everywhere which is a major plus since I am painting the cabinets inside the house. 
The only mess is on the sanding block and my hands. Every so often I rinse the sanding block off and ring it out. You want it wet but not too wet. Sanding with a moist sanding block makes for the smoothest finish ever! 
I distress my edges by lightly sanding in a circular motion. 
After I was done sanding I pulled out my Country Grey Chalk Paint.
I used this color to highlight the inside of the panels on the front of the cabinet doors.
To speed up the painting process I use a hair dryer to dry the paint in between coats. I actually use a hair dryer to dry every coat of paint. I wait about 5 to 10 minutes on larger areas to allow time for the paint to somewhat dry on its own and then I blow dry it the rest of the way. I have found that it makes the paint harder to come off. I allow some dry time on its own so when I take the hair dryer to it the paint won't start to crack. Always be sure not to hold the hair dryer too close because cracking may appear where you do not want it to.
After the Country Grey I went back over the edges of the panels with a light brushing of Versailles. 
Once completed with highlighting the panels with contrasting paint colors I pulled out my clear wax and dark wax.
I always use Clear Wax first on my pieces. If you plan on using a dark wax this is a must otherwise the dark wax will soak into your paint and you will not be able to get it out.To apply the wax I used an old white clean t-shirt that I have cut up. You can use wax brushes or even cheese cloth to apply wax but I just prefer using an old t-shirt.
Adding the clear wax will change the color of your paint slightly. Keep this in mind when you are choosing a color.
After rubbing the clear wax in I then used a dark wax for antiquing. To get into the nook and crannies I applied the dark wax with a thin paint brush. I like using a smaller brush because it saves on wax. You do not need to cake on the wax. I found out over the past few years of perfecting my technique that the thicker you put the wax on the harder it is to work with. 
Here are all the areas covered in dark wax that I wanted to highlight/age. After the dark wax is applied all you need to do is work the dark wax back off with a small amount of clear wax on your cloth. If you rubbed too much of the dark wax off no worries you can always apply more. I used the same cloth thru the entire waxing process which enabled me to have just the right amount of dark wax on my cloth to rub lightly over the entire cabinet door.
Once I was done working the wax into the cabinet door I then used a paper towel scrunched up to buff a shine on the door. It works like a dream. Doing this does take a lot of arm power and maybe one day I will try using an actual buffer but for now this works just fine for me. 
Here is the completed finish!
I know this finish is not for everybody but I just love the rustic charm it adds to our kitchen.
I debated on wether or not to use wax in the kitchen. I originally was going to use a sealer but since I had the wax on hand already I just went with it. We have a bathroom vanity that I waxed almost a year and half ago and the finish has held up beautifully so I figured it was worth a shot in the kitchen as well. Let me add that if you do a lot of cooking then I highly recommend that you do NOT use the wax but a clear sealer on your cabinets. The wax will not protect your cabinets from any stains or oil that may splatter on them. I used the wax again because it was I had on hand and because I was only painting my top cabinets. If I had painted my bottom as well then I would have waited and used a clear sealer. Annie Sloan sells a clear sealant and I have heard the Artsian Enhancements has a clear sealant that is fabulous. I have not used either yet though but have heard nothing but good results about them.
As with any waxed piece we have to be gentle with the cabinet doors to give the wax time to cure. It can takes up to 30 days sometimes a little longer depending on the humidity in your home for wax to cure/harden. Average work time for each cabinet door is about an hour to an hour and half. The time includes taking the hardware off and putting it back. It is quite time consuming but well worth it in the end.
I still have several doors left to do and to work on the desk area but I am getting excited for a full reveal.
Treasure Hunt Thursday will be up at 6:00 p.m.!:) Hope to see you at the party.

DISCLOSURE: This is just how I painted our kitchen cabinets. I am NOT an expert/professional. Paint at your own risk!;) Please take all things into consideration when you decide to paint your cabinets. Make sure you are well informed of any process you choose to do. 
Linking up to the following parties:

72 comments:

  1. Wow! That looks amazing! What a great tutorial, thanks for sharing this. Your cabinets look great!

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  2. Amazing transformation ! Thanks for all your tips :) Love your cabinets !

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  3. Love love love it!! You did a fabulous job on them Pamela!

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  4. You did a fantastic job! You arms and hands must be so tired?! But will be lookin good for sleeveless shirts coming up! Lol. The transformation is amazing! Love it! I have all white cabinets and have given thought to antiquing them. Maybe someday. :). Beautiful!

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  5. Gorgeous Pam!! I love the color choices!!

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  6. I love it!!
    You are a genius!!!
    I am a big fan of your work.

    Kisses from Argentina

    Maru

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  7. Pamela,
    Wow. WOW. Wow. Your step by step instructions were amazing, thank you! I liked your kitchen before, as I love dark colors, however, after seeing a glimpse of the new look, I like it even BETTER! You actually made me think of running out to get a can of chalk paint and wax. I will be anxiously awaiting the full reveal, can't wait! :) How exciting it is to transform the kitchen, the heart of the home. :) Thanks for sharing! xo ~Liz

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  8. Pamela
    I am obsessed with this project. Your microwave looks like mine. Do you know the length of your micro? I really want to move my cooktop off my island. My husband is fixated on "what will we do with the microwave." And, he thinks we will have to remove the surrounding cabinets and crown molding. Love following this project- laura

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    1. I am not sure the size Laura. It was just one we found at Target.

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  9. Oh my word Pamela!!! That finish is just gorgeous!!! Seriously I cannot wait to see the final results and I know it will be amazing. Makes me want to tackle my own kitchen now...or at least maybe the island. LOL!
    Vanessa

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  10. Your new kitchen is beautiful. I'll be doing my own soon. Where did you get your cabinet nobs? Love the clear glass.

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    1. Not sure if she got them there but they sell them at Hobby Lobby and they're EXPENSIVE....$7.99 EA :( I absolutely LOVE these but I can't afford to buy 27 of them for my kitchen.

      http://shop.hobbylobby.com/products/clear-glass-umbrella-knob-with-metal-base-256073/

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    2. Yes, they came from Hobby Lobby but I purchased them at 50% off so they were not that expensive.

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    3. Quality pulls are going to run $3 or higher - worth it in the long run

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  11. Love the finish Pamela! I too love a distressed finish...keeps me from worrying about nicks and dings.

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  12. Great tutorial, your cabinets look beautiful. Hugs, Marty

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  13. Love, love, love. An amazing amount of work but so worth it. Thank you for the tutorial. I'm going to try it on a small cabinet before I commit to my entire kitchen.

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  14. Great job Pam!! That's a lot of work, but gorgeous!!

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  15. Did you paint over your old finish? Or, did you have to prepare the wood, before? Simply beautiful look!

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  16. Wonderful tutorial Pamela! They look fantastic and I know it was quite a lot of work! You should be quite happy with the result though and I can't wait to see the whole kitchen! Yay for painting the cabinets!!

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  17. Great tutorial, even better finish job! I waxed my island in the kitchen 4 years ago and it is still going strong and in great condition! I'm sure you love these cabinets now!- Susan

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  18. Kitchen looks amazing, Pamela! Looking forward to see some more pics :) Autumn greetings from Australia♥ ~Pernilla

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  19. So lovely! You've done an amazing job.

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  20. Wonderful job! Worth the effort! How many cans of chalk paint did you go through??

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  21. Gorgeous Pamela!!! Love your beautiful painted cabinets and your technique! Isn't it wonderful adding that light into your kitchen! I could not be happier with mine :-)
    xx
    Anne

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  22. Love what you did!!! You have truly transformed your kitchen to an absolutely beautiful place... I saw that same clock the other day at Home Goods & loved it!

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  23. Love what you did!!! You have truly transformed your kitchen to an absolutely beautiful place... I saw that same clock the other day at Home Goods & loved it!

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  24. Gorgeous, Pamela! Your hard work paid off; your cabinets are stunning! Thanks for sharing the great tutorial! I always love seeing how finishes were achieved! Love it!

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  25. I love it all! That's how I sand too, the finish is so much smoother :) Love the tile too!
    Debbie

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  26. The cabinets are beautiful! I love them!...Christine

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  27. Oh my gosh Pamela! I love your cabinets! You are a master of painting with chalk paint and get incredible results. Thanks for your tip about sanding with a wet block. I have not tried that before, but I will now.

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  28. Hi, Your cabinets look beautiful! Really amazing job! I also did my kitchen cabinets very close to what you did. I love how it lightens and brightens everything in the kitchen. If you search back through my archives you can see how mine turned out.

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  29. Great color and the distressing is really cool. How exciting!

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  30. I LOVE this finish, Pamela! Thanks for showing us how it's done.

    Jeanette

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  31. You are doing an amazing job, look's gorgeous.

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  32. It's me again with a question on your cabinets. Are you using an electric buffer or just buffing it all out by hand. I think I stalled at one coat of wax because the buffing was so hard. Is hand buffing giving you an even looking finish? Thank you so much for taking the time to read and answer. Blessings to you, Patti

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  33. We bought a house with very dark cabinets and I have been trying to decide to paint or not and after seeing yours I really want to brighten and lighten ours too! Thanks for the tutorial!
    ~Pendra

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  34. It looks fabulous, Pamela! Looking forward to the big reveal!!~~Angela

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  35. BEAUTIFUL!!!!! I love it...so nice! I have similar cabinets in the kitchen that I did myself...but, I need cute knobs now!

    Julie

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  36. Amazing transformation. I cant wait to see the final product. Great job!
    Sarah

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  37. just fabulous. thanks so much for sharing your technique!

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  38. Everything is looking so lovely and thanks for sharing how you achieved this looks. Love it!

    Cynthia

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  39. So aweswomely beautiful! I wish my cabinets had the same detailing as yours. They're dreamy. Great job!
    Kelly

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  40. WOW WOW WOW..those cabinets look incredible Pamela. What an awesome job you did!

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  41. It's gorgeous! We also used ASCP to redo our kitchen cabinets last fall and they have held up beautifully. I also distressed them but didn't use the dark wax as I wanted to keep it a bit lighter and used Old White instead of Old Ochre. I'm really happy with the results and how they have stood up with their clear wax finish (2 coats).

    Love how yours are so warm and creamy looking.
    Found you through Hometalk.

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  42. Your kitchen cabinets look a-mazing! I actually hired a painter to do the exact same thing to mine. He achieved the same look that you did on your own. I will remember the wet sanding technique. Fabulous job and what a difference! ~Delores

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  43. Your kitchen is gorgeous and just my style! Hubby and I are also beginning our own kitchen DIY and French Country is my style. I've been ogling Annie Sloan paint for awhile and with your reveal, I think you've convinced me that it is worth the cost. Beautiful!

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  44. Gorgeous; and you know how much these would cost to have built custom and installed? Answer: an arm and a leg. So, a few hours invested is well worth it. Men are so hard to convince on these things....

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  45. Wow, wow, wow! What a transform ! You did a fabulous job and your kitchen looks awesome.

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  46. BEA.UTI.FUL!!! I love this. My kitchen cabinets are like this from the manufacturer, so it's nice to see that I can recreate that look should we move to a house with dark wood. Great job.

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  47. Wonderful tutorial. Old Ochre is my favorite Annie Sloan color. I didn't know about getting the sanding block wet to cut down on the chalk dust. I'll have to try this. Your kitchen looks amazing.

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  48. Wow! I cannot wait to see the whole kitchen now. All I can say is your are quite talented and patient. I have painted cabinets before and know how extremely tedious it is. To do the finish you have done is a lot of hard work but certainly well worth it. Your cabinets are gorgeous!

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  49. Wow!!! These came out absolutely beautiful. You must be thrilled....can't wait for the full reveal!

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  50. Holy ba-Geezes!!!! Those look FAN-FREAKIN-TASTIC! That's it. I'm soo comin ova! ;)

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  51. I have the cheap, cheap laminate cabinets. Would love to replace but not in this day and time. Does anyone know if I can paint them with Annie Sloan Chalk paint? I know all about cleaning them first, etc. but just don't know if I could use this paint.

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  52. I absolutely love this!!!...Have bought my Annie Sloan paint and waxes, now to get started!

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  53. I love your kitchen! I have been looking for the perfect backsplash to go with my Old Ochre cabinets, and you have nailed it! Do you know what color your travertine and grout is?

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    1. Thanx Krystal! Off the top of my head I do not remember. The next time we go to Floor & Decor I will look to see what the tile is called. The grout we purchased at Lowes. It is premade. I will have to look for the color.

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  54. i would like to know if after all this time..do they still look nice? are you happy with your decision to just use the wax?

    your cabinets look fabulous!! i only hope mine come out this good!

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    1. Chris thanx for stopping by! They look just as good as they did from day one! I have waxed chalk painted cabinets in our guest bath as well and that was three years ago and they too still look fabulous. I have not reapplied any wax to them. I suggest if you have any worries though that you use a different top coat from wax. You have to know how to properly apply the wax or it will not hold up. There is a lot of rubbing and buffing involved. Wax hardens over time and if you put it on too thick it will take a lot longer for it to harden. Normal cure time is 30 days.

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  55. Amazing and beautiful!! Thank you so much for the great tutorial!!
    Did I understand correctly that you only used the Country Grey on the tiny border on the inside little trim of the front door and then the Versailles over that or was the Versailles on the very edge of the doors?? Thanks!

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    1. Lori, yes Country Grey and then Versailles lightly over it.

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  56. Your cabinets look fabulous!! LOVE the French Country look. How is the Annie Sloan chalk paint holding up in the kitchen? I thought about painting my daughter's bathroom cabinets with ASCP but i didn't know how it would hold up in a high moisture area. I also want to paint my dark kitchen cabinets as well and i love the fact that the only prep is to wipe down the cabinets.

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    1. Hi Wendy. I think I sent you an email but not sure and I wanted to make sure to answer your question. Three years ago I painted our guest bath vanity with AS and have had zero issues with it. Still looks good as day one and I have not even waxed it again. The kitchen cabinets were done a little over a year ago and I still love them! If you tend to splatter and are a avid chef I would look into a different top coat other than wax. I believe Annie carries one. I just did not have a chance to get it at the time. Again though my cabinets have held up wonderfully.

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  57. I ABSOLULUTLY love how your cabinets turned out. I am IN LOVE with chalk paint. Your kitchen is similar in size to mine and I plan to reno SOON. Just curious, how much chalk paint did it take? I cannot find it locally, and I have made my own for small projects, however for my kitchen I will buy ASCP just trying to get an idea on how much to purchase :-)

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    1. Hi Tammie! I purchased two cans of Old Ochre and had probably a half a can left if I remember correctly.

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  61. Your kitchen cabinets look beautiful. I did the same to mine about a year ago. And I can tell you that this ANNIE SLOAN CHALK PAINT does not hold up in the kitchen. EPIC FAIL. The wax will not act as a sealant which is needed in a kitchen where there is actual cooking going on. I did the same to my kitchen and they did turn out very nice, but after all of the money I spent and time and energy in doing this project, it was not worth it. The upper cabinets are fine, its the lower ones, where like water, greese, food etc..., could end up. I reported this to AS too, but no use, they don't care. I would not recommend using the paint at all. PERIOD!

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    1. Beverly, I agree that I would not use wax on the cabinets in a kitchen. It is just what I had on hand and since I was only painting the upper cabinets I went with it. There is no reason that somebody can not use AS paint to paint their cabinets. If their kitchen is a high traffic kitchen and gets a lot of use then I recommend using a clear sealer instead of a wax. Clear sealant will protect your cabinets from any stain or oils that may get on them.

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