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Painting Builder Grade Cabinets


Thanks to all of you for your kind words regarding my decision to drop out of the rat race.  I'm getting more and more excited about it with each passing day, and it's a really liberating feeling.

If there's any question about whether I'll have enough to do while I'm home, I'll be the first to say that there are plenty of items on the list!  I mentioned that I'm helping my friend Kelly, redo her kitchen, and have been hard at work, spraying her builder grade oak kitchen cabinets.  (I am secretly hoping to transform many builder grade, oak cabinets across southwest Ohio, one kitchen at a time.)

So far, so good.  I have been taking time to work on minimizing the grain of the cabinets by doing more than one coat of primer.  You can see here, that it definitely makes a difference!  And, since I'm spraying them, the coats are nice and thin.

We're also making changes to the original plan when it comes to the backsplash in her kitchen, and we're both smitten kittens with this gorgeous penny tile.  Amazing!

We found a carpenter who is going to build the cabinets to the ceiling and trim them out with crown molding to give her kitchen a custom look.  This penny tile is going to be like, "BLAM!" when it all comes together!  UPDATE:  Look!  You can read about the cabinet build up hereBut check out the photos below - awesomeness!

On the homefront, my husband finally got busy installed cabinets in his office in his efforts to get organized.  So, in a flurry, I started taking down the wallpaper, so I didn't have to peel it off around the cabinets.  But, for the moment, it's another war zone.

And FYI, that's what the walls looked like that underneath the wallpaper - it wasn't the result of the wallpaper being removed.  And, yes, I have plenty of spackle, thanks for asking.  We're going to trim the cabinets out with molding as well, and give this space an update with new paint, window seat cushions, window treatments and a new rug.

So yes, I'll be busy.  Can't wait!

What are you working on right now?


  1. I cannot get over the amount of wallpaper you have to deal with in your house! Very impressive, that you are taking it all down room by room! Your husband's office looks world's better without that wallpaper - ti's going to fab when you're done. How exciting about your friend's kitchen - the tile! - and the door looks great with the three coats of paint. I just bought a sprayer last fall to do my deck and cannot wait for the warmer weather so I can spray some furniture with my new toy!!

  2. Fun is definately in your future ;-)

  3. The penny tiles look beautiful! Was this a standard design or did you have it custom-made?

    The cabinet part with three coats of primer does look neater, but I kinda like the “natural” look of the grain in the one-coat cabinet. :)

    Leeanne Dyson

  4. Hi there Jenny!

    Looks like you'll have plenty to keep you busy! I just sent you a message via FB.

    -Nikki Opalek Behr

  5. I want to do this with white builder grade cabinets did you sand them first before the primer???

    1. I cleaned them with Krud Kutter sander/deglosser, but also gave them a light sanding before priming them. I am actually following my own tutorial:


  6. Oh it's going to look fab! You are such a nice friend :)

  7. Hi Jenny,
    I've been reading your tutorial and am feeling nearly ready to paint my cabinets. I plan to buy the wonderful sprayer you used, too. Did you use your paint "straight up" or did you have to thin it to use in the sprayer? Are there any last minute words of wisdom before I take on this job?

  8. It going to look outstanding..:)
    Thanks for sharing

    Android Developer

  9. That unfinished cabinet painting manifest the desire of the homeowner to improve his or her house. Good job and well done. Pantry Doors

  10. Kitchen cabinets not only enhance the attractiveness of kitchen setups, but also advance their functionality.
    Kitchen designs

  11. Thanks for sharing this. We are getting ready to paint our builder grade cabinets white. =o) What primer did you use? What a difference that 3rd coat made. Great tip!

  12. They have their own line of custom furniture which can be made to your own dimensions


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