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You guys should probably be sick of continuous shots of the same places in the kitchen by now. Each freaking coat. One after the other. But his weekend, I kept my promise to myself.

painting kitchen cabinets gray

The final coat on the base cabinets is now finished – woo hoo! The doors are another story (two coats on front & back, so a third to go on both sides), but I am so relieved to feel like one significant part of this kitchen is now finished forever. It’s all about the tiny milestones.

It will still probably take me the rest of the week to get the other coats on the doors. And then maybe next week, after they get a little time to cure, I can hang them back up. Along with my new hinges. And then I get to paint the upper cabinets. And then, and then, and then.

Short post today; after all of the weekend’s activities, I’m simply too tired to write more, and my brain feels like mush. But sometimes all you need is a little visual progress to really feel like you’re getting somewhere.

What did you accomplish this weekend?

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  1. It’s looking good! I just finished painting my cabinets as well and still have a loooong way to go before my kitchen is done ( counter tops, new flooring, etc) One thing I’m miffed about though (other people get miffed too right? Miffed is just slightly less than pissed) Although the new hinges I bought look EXACTLY the same, my doors are not hanging exactly the same and are like an eighth of inch from closing normally. Argggh. I hope your hinges behave and are not jerks like mine have become. Sigh.

    1. Oh no! I guess I’ll have to cross my fingers (I only bought one set of hinges just in case they aren’t perfect). Hoping to try things out in just a couple of weeks.

  2. Congratulations! Hope you managed to fit in a beer and a power nap afterwards! Really exciting to see it developing :) I had more of a sewing weekend – fixed a few things that had holes, and finally got around to making us a table cloth.

  3. You may have already answered this question, but is there a reason why you started with the bottom cabinets, not the tops ones?

    1. It was mostly the timeline. Even though my goal was to get both done, I knew that if push came to shove, I’d want to have the lowers done so my uncle (who is coming down to GA early next month) could help me install the new counters, sink, and faucet. So if the uppers went unfinished, I wouldn’t feel nearly as strained. If that weren’t a factor, I probably would have gone with the uppers first (though who knows; I always do projects backwards and assume that as long as it’s just paint, I’ll find a way to make it work)!

    1. I seem to only get paint on myself, so I’m not too concerned about drips. I guess it’s the ONE thing I can actually say I’m careful about (but even so, I still think I’ll cover them over if I can).

  4. It’s looking great! You have more self control than I do. I would hang them and leave them open to cure. All that chaos would have me itching for ANY sense of getting it back together.

    1. I am trying my best to at least allow them a week to harden before I start handling them again. Some say it will take a full 30 days to fully cure, and since I live in the southeast, I’m sure the humidity will mean a little longer than that. But I feel ya on the impatience! I can’t wait to hang these bad boys up with the new hardware too.

  5. They are really looking nice, the cabinets that is. Can’t wait to see it all done. I don’t know how you have the time for all this but keep up the hard work.

  6. I have a HUGE kitchen painting project ahead of me and I you are making me nervous! lol. I will probably do my lower cabinets first, too, because there is less of them to paint and I’d rather get my rhythm down with them rather than trying to figure it out on the uppers. I’m caulking and filling holes this week to be ready for next week when I start to crank this project into high gear.

  7. Ohhhhh looks nice!! How are you painting them? I mean, I’m going to get totally caught up on the blog and will probably answer my own question. …since I have the attention span of a 2 year old, which I know something about.

    We’re talking about painting ours too but I’m considering building or getting new cabinets from Ikea…so I don’t want to commit to that project!

    1. Having just built a single ikea cabinet (on a project that wasn’t for this house, hint hint), they don’t seem to be all that difficult to assemble, but they have that typical loose-lock system on them like normal ikea furniture. For the price, it’s still good… but meh? I dunno if I can trust their durability based on the construction. I think if I were wanting them for my kitchen, I might even try to build them myself. But with a little one running around, I’m not sure if I could ever manage that kind of multitasking!

      1. Stumbled across your site and am also updating an 80’s ugly ducking. I took my cabinet doors off and had a cabinet guy I know bore holes for European hinges–I got lucky and my doors were flat across the back. ( I have also ordered unfinished shaker doors for a bath cabinet online for fairly cheap. I measured so that the new doors closed to cover the stile in the middle of the opening, which is the mark of an 80’s cabinet. Newer cabinets don’t have a stile in the middle. ) I am going to strip and stain my cabinets. Theyre ash. It should be absolutely horrible. But I have used citrus strip on cabinet boxes in the past and overnight it removed everything so I could just lift it off with a putty knife. I love gray cabinets. But I’m not brave enough and am paint color disabled.

        1. Lots of luck! I have doors that use a hinge with a stile too. Luckily, the hardware store carries several versions, so I could find the one that matched the old hinges (same basics, new finish). Not perfect, but prevents me the added hassle of touching up, drilling, and hanging new doors with a new hinge. If it helps, I absolutely love the color on mine – color is called Seal by Martha Stewart.

  8. Thanks so much for all of your posts, they are super helpful! Now that’s it’s been a few years, how has the finish on the cabinets held up? I don’t see any other posts about the cabinets after this, but I could have just missed them. Did you do any kind of a top coat? Would you still recommend all of the same products if you were going to do it again? Thanks in advance for any additional info!

    1. Hi Alina!
      After about 7+ years or so, the cabinets started to show a little wear and tear. Mainly the lower ones were the only thing noticeable — just a few scratches in areas where they got a lot of use (such as a spoon or knife scraping in front of the silverware drawer, etc. I actually think I wouldn’t have noticed at ALL if I had tinted the primer to match the base cabinet colors (something I do now whenever I use a primer before going dark with a paint color). That would probably be the only thing I would do differently based on performance of the products. And since these were only minor scratches here and there, I just recently retouched a few spots and they look good as new (new pictures coming to my house tour pages in the next month or so). Hope that helps!