Are you ready for the step-by-step breakdown of how I painted my new foyer cabinet? Click here for more before/after pictures of this makeover. This post might get a little long, but I’m so happy with how it turned out that I don’t want to skip anything!
The first step was to ditch those crazy grills on the front.
I was really lucky because they came off without damaging the doors or drawers. If it had been embedded in the finish, it would have been a much bigger project to get them smooth for painting.
Then I needed to fill in the extra holes that the old hardware left behind.
The trick to filling in hardware holds with wood filler is to take your time. Put a little in the hole, then let it dry before putting in another layer. The wood filler shrinks a little as it dries, so take your time and keep filling the hole. Sand the top when you’re done to make sure it’s smooth.
The existing finish was really slick, so I decided to give the cabinet a good sanding. First with 220 grit sandpaper and my power hand sander. Then with a sanding sponge to get all of the rounded trim.
If you can find a cute little boy to help clean the cabinet, you’re golden.
I don’t usually dis-assemble a piece of furniture when I paint it, but I did this time. I took off all the hinges and removed the doors to make the painting process easier. Here’s a hint: Keep all the hardware and screws together in plastic baggies and label each one with it’s location. You think you’ll remember what goes where. You won’t. Trust me.
From there it was time to prime, which left me with a dilemma. I knew that an oil-based primer would give me the most durable finish, but it also required a lot of drying time which I didn’t have. I needed to get this baby out of the garage ASAP so that humans could park there again. I also didn’t want to deal with the clean-up hassle of oil-based paints.
So I compromised and used Zinsser Bullseye 1-2-3 primer. It’s a water-based primer so it dries quickly, but it’s made for glossy surfaces so it still sticks and creates a durable finish.
I also used Floetrol for the first time. I will never paint furniture without it again. It’s a paint conditioner that minimizes your brush strokes and makes for a MUCH smoother finish. You mix it with your paint and your primer and paint like normal. It kind of loosens up your paint without diluting it. LOVE!
Floetrol Lesson from Kimba’s School of Hard Knocks: If you’re trying out this (or any) new product, read the directions. If they say “shake well”, then shake it well! Otherwise your first coat of primer will be so full of bubbles that you’ll have to resand. You will curse me or anyone else who dares to say “Floetrol” in your presence. Then you’ll read the directions and realize that you need to be cursing yourself. End of lesson.
I used a good brush (Purdy XL Cub) and a foam roller to do all of my priming and painting. First I did all of the trim, edges and corners with the brush and went over the flat surfaces with the roller.
I used a fine (220 grit) sandpaper after every coat of primer and paint. I didn’t go over the whole piece with tremendous detail, I just used the sandpaper to smooth out any brush marks or imperfections in the finish. Then I cleaned off all the dust with a tack cloth.
I wanted a white (but not too white) color, so I chose Hushed White in Behr Premium Plus Satin. It gave me the perfect slightly soft white color I was looking for. It took 2 coats of primer and 2 coats of paint to get good coverage.
After I finished the body of the cabinet, I turned my attention to those interior drawers. I could have left them alone, because I’m the only one who will see them. But I wanted something a little fun inside.
I primed the drawer fronts only and painted them with a couple of coats of aqua paint that I found in the Oops section of Lowes. It’s similar to the aqua in my laundry room…just a little more gray.
I wanted a semi-subtle gray pattern on the drawers, so I used a craft store stencil and some grey craft paint mixed with pearlescent medium.
You mix 1 part paint to about 10 parts pearlescent medium to get a translucent, pearly paint. Love it!
I’m no stencil expert, so I just kept repositioning my stencil on the drawer fronts until I had them completely covered with the pattern. There was a little too much texture to the finish when I was done, I so I went over it with my 220 grit sandpaper to smooth it out a bit.
After all the paint was completely dry, I gave the entire cabinet a coat of spray polycrylic to protect the finish and, hopefully, prevent chips and scratches.
This beautiful cabinet is now sitting in my foyer and I’m already filling it up with all sorts of things that we need to grab as we’re walking out the door. The storage is tremendous!
Did anyone read this whole thing? I talk too much.