Kitchen Overhaul Day 2: Priming

On to the second day of our week-long kitchen transformation! (If you missed my rehash of the first day’s work, check that out here)

We dedicated this day (i.e. last Sunday) solely to the priming phase of the project. Since John had so nicely taken care of the sanding the day before, the primer was the last step to readying our wooden cabinets for the dark brown topcoats.

I mentioned in a quick sidenote in the last post that we removed one of the drawer fronts to take with us to Lowe’s – My intention in doing this was to give their experts in the paint department something to look at and feel in order to give us the best possible recommendations for primer and paint type (and also to see if our stained wood cabinets really needed to be sanded and primed first – They did). I would definitely suggest doing this since it’s a good way to guarantee you buy the right products the first time and don’t need to redo anything.

We ended up with two gallons of Kilz 2 Latex primer/sealer/stainblocker. I L-O-V-E that it’s water-based too since it made for a much easier cleanup (oil-based would have necessitated the purchase of turpentine – Yuck). Word of advice so you can learn from our mistake though – Unless you have a MASSIVE kitchen, you probably won’t need two gallons of primer. It helps that you only need to paint on one coat of the stuff, but we barely put a dent in even one gallon. So if you are tackling a medium-sized kitchen like ours, I’d say just grab one can.

We also bought a few disposable paint trays and one brand new four-inch roller. You’ll also need an angled paint brush in order to get into all the tight spots and grooves, but we had a few at home so we didn’t get a new one while at the store. Although, another word of advice, if you decide to do this project you’re going to use that angled brush A LOT. I wish I had bought a new one while we were at Lowe’s because the one we had at home is now looking pretty worn out and we still have two topcoats to go on the frame and the front of the cabinet doors.

To get back to Sunday’s process, this was the state of the kitchen when we began that morning:

While John got a much-deserved break with a beverage and a couple of guy friends the day before, I took care of putting the kitchen back together. If you remember from Monday’s post, we took everything out of the cabinets to avoid things getting dusted with sanding debris. That few hours between moving everything out, sanding and moving everything back was really the only time our kitchen wasn’t in working order. While nothing is hidden behind doors and LOOKS like a chaotic mess (see photo above again for reference), everything was in place and in working order. So don’t worry about having to eat out of pizza boxes throughout your cabinet-painting project (unless you want to).

Oh and I mentioned getting the chance to put nice cabinet liner paper on the shelves since we had cleared them all off. Glad to have something waterproof, pretty and green to set things on now instead of a bare wooden shelf:

Anyway, at this point we were ready for primer. John decided to head out to meet his dad for coffee (good idea since I was starting to feel a little crabby and overwhelmed at this point), so I quietly got to work alone. It ended up going fairly quickly though. Working by myself, I was able to finish priming the frame in an hour and a half.

Here’s a quick look at the difference the primer made:

I’m sure you can see this, but the drawer on the right has been primed, whereas the one on the left has not. It really just evened out the tone of the wood now exposed by the work of John and his sander. Here’s a closeup of the difference:

And now here they are again, both primed (and wet, as seen on the far left in that glare):

I also took a couple of progress shots while I was working on the last phase of the framing – The island (the primer begins to the left):

After I finished priming the surfaces in the kitchen (and after John got home to help me), we started working on the kitchen cabinet doors. As I mentioned in Monday’s post, after unscrewing them from the frame we took them down to the basement where we have been working on them all week. I will give you all the detail you need on that process come Monday morning when I rehash days 3 through 7.

Here are the doors with the right row primed:

And now BOTH rows have been primed:

At this point, we both called it a day and took some much-needed relax time. Since then, John and I have spent no more than an hour (our agreed-upon schedule so that we didn’t run ourselves into the ground) putting a coat of primer on the other side of the doors and finishing the two final topcoats on both sides of the doors. It’s been an adventure, I’ll tell you that much. We manage to have fun with it though by listening to cheesy country music on John’s stereo in the garage while we work (um, hello. Has anyone heard that God-awful “Red Solo Cup” song? John unfortunately loves it).

Oh and here’s the schedule John so nicely put together to keep us on track – As you can see, we’ve already gone a little out of order and we’ve also knocked off a few extra lines since I took this photo, but we are still on par to finish by Sunday!

We’ll give you the full run-down on that with photos on Monday. And then HOPEFULLY we’ll be able to share the final reveal of the cabinets with you on Wednesday and Friday of next week. I know you guys are anxious to see the reveal and so are we!!

Have a great weekend!! Do something fun and think about us while we break our backs (figuratively) trying to knock this project out once and for all…

Psstttt…Check out this sneak peek of the final color of the cabinets! I finished the island during the week and snapped a photo this morning. It’s a little darker in person, but thought you might like to glimpse what the finished product will look like!

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