Painting Kitchen Cabinet “How To” Videos

You know that saying, “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” by  Marc Anthony?  Well, it is true!   And one of the many rewarding parts about my “job” is helping customers transform their dark kitchen cabinets and then seeing the look of accomplishment and pride on their faces.  In fact, we always suggest to take some “before” photos because the power of Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan and the transformation it will create – will be night and day!    

So, ……Hi!  My name is Trish.  And yes, that is me….. in the photo below.  (does everyone dislike themselves in photos….or listening to their own voices on tape, or is that just me?)  I started The Purple Painted Lady® eight years ago, and since then, we have helped easily over 10,000 people transform their kitchen using Chalk Paint®.

We are so thankful to (585) Magazine for writing an article about using Chalk Paint® for home DIY projects and featuring us. 

Chalk Paint® is not a Latex paint, and it is not an acrylic paint.  It is a water base paint  that has no smell at all.  There are no VOC’s and it is very easy to use since there is NO sanding, stripping or priming.  Chalk Paint® is extremely dureable and easy to maintain (and no, you do not need to reseal or apply a new top coat annually, bi-annually or for that matter, years)  The cost for the materials and the right tools to transform an average kitchen are less than taking a party of six to one of the nicer restaraunts in Rochester, NY!  

Now is the time to do something about that dark, dated kitchen.  And the team at The Purple Painted Lady® is here to show you how.  We will help youso you can do this yourself right the FIRST time… or …heck, if you want…..we can paint them for you!  We offer the best product, the best support and the best service!

Below are a couple links to two (very detailed) videos we created for the person who really wants to understand from nuts to bolts, what tools they need, the steps required and then…..demos on how to transform a cabinet.  Basically, instead of charging you money to take a class with us, we brought it into your home, for free!   Take a peek or better yet, visit us at our store in Macedon and pick up a free color chart with color swatches.   Don’t be scared….we are here to help you and will make sure you don’t mess it up!  I guarantee that your friends and family will ooh and ahh!  But more importantly, you will actually want to spend more time in your kitchen. And ….. I guarantee you will love the change!  Make 2018 the year of change for you!

VIDEO #1 Kitchen Cabinet Best Tools, Prep and Paint

VIDEO #2 Kitchen Cabinet Waxing


Come visit us at 


77 West Main Street in Macedon, NY 14502

OPEN Mon – Wed 10– 4, Thurs 11–7, Fri 10 –5 & Sat 10-4.…CLOSED SUNDAY

If you live out of NY state, if you have a local stockist- go visit them and build a relationship with them.  Go to them with your questions and project issues.  BUT- if you do not have a local stockist- we invite you to try our customer service!

As for buying any of the products we mentioned earlier in this post- I hope that you select The Purple Painted Lady® to be your one stop resource!  We have two locations in western NY.  Check out our Information tab and come and meet us!  Otherwise- if you are not located near me- the following information may apply to you.  
This information is directed to those who do NOT have a local stockist.  Because if you do – go and meet them, shop from them and build a relationship with them!!!   The guidance, information and knowledge they share with you – will be invaluable.  Get inspired by their shop that they lovingly curated – just for you!   Enjoy that one on one experience!  
But for those who are in a location where there is no one selling paint products- and you must buy on-line- consider us.  With that said, visit to find a stockist near you.
We are here to help you, our customers!  We want you to be successful!  
*  We love our customers and it shows!
*  We want you to be succesful the first time you use this product, so you fall in love with Chalk Paint® and tell all your friends about it!  So, with that said, we promise to provide you with all the “know how” information you need to be a DIY Warrior!
*  Ordering online?  If you order before 3 pm EASTERN TIME any day Monday thru Friday – we will ship out your package that SAME day.   We ship orders out every since week day all over the US.  (THIS IS DIFFERENT than SAME DAY DELIVERY. We do not offer that)
*  We offer low flat rate UPS shipping cost so if you are one town away or 10 states away- the shipping cost is the same.
*  We have awesome follow up customer service, too!
*  We sell Chalk Paint® for $34.95
: )  And I will be here to help you as you progress through your future project!  And if I do say so myself- we offer the BEST customer service that you will ever experience!  Lastly- if I was helpful to you- ….please consider leaving a positive review on my Facebook business page sharing your positive experience or thoughts about The Purple Painted Lady®.  Here is a link to my Facebook page=>    This really helps me!  (wink, wink!)

The Purple Painted Lady® ~ the serial no. is 86/641,416 with the US Trademark Office


Paint Your Dark Cabinets…don’t be afraid! (how to spray Chalk Paint® too) …Watch our YOUTUBE Videos

Paint Your Dark Cabinets……..don’t be afraid because The Purple Painted Lady is here to help you!

Here is a photo from our customer Loretta McKinley who painted her dark black cabinets with Coco Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan and used dark wax.

Below are a couple of links to full length tutorial and intense information for painting your cabinets.  The videos are literally like taking a workshop with The purple Painted Lady, but …..instead they are free.

After having my shop for 8 years and have helped literally, thousands of people transform their dark cabinets to something lighter, brighter and fresh…. all of us at The Purple Painted Lady are here to help you too!

I know the feeling – it is almost like depression when you walk into a room of your home that is dark and that you do not like.  How long are you going to live like that?  There is no reason to not change it because:

  • it’s affordable!  For an average size kitchen, you can purchase your product and tools to transform it for under $300!
  • it’s okay to paint wood…especially if you do not like it!  Life is short…eat the cake!  But more importantly, painted cabinets are more appealing during resale.
  • you will be happier living in your space….and why shouldn’t you like where you live?

TIPS to think about before beginning any cabinet painting project:

• Become familiar with your painting technique. If painting cabinets is new to you, consider painting a small piece of furniture first to get used to applying both the paint and wax. It can also be helpful to have a small scrap piece of wood available in your workspace as a surface on which to test each step of your process before proceeding to the cabinets.

• If you are painting with a custom color, be sure to mix enough paint for the entire job.

• Paint in the way the cabinet doors are constructed. If the doors are typical five-piece construction, paint the center panel first and then proceed to the rails and stiles, using the brush to create a nice line where the rail joins the stile. Use even brush strokes and don’t overload the brush with paint. When painting the rails and stiles, start painting on the outer edges and work your way in towards the center panel to avoid excess paint pooling where the panel joins the other components.

• To help ensure a consistent look, complete each step of your finish across all of your cabinets before proceeding to the next.

• Chalk Paint® is a thick paint.  Load your brush, get it on and with a light touch feather it out.  It does not like to be played with for an extended time!

Now, we have a bunch of posts here on our website sharing tips and tricks and instructions on how to paint your cabinets, but this week we decided to share some real life video!  So, catch us on our YOUTUBE channel while we paint the cabinets shown below with Old White Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan.

Video ONE (this contains the nest tools to be using, how to prep properly, and first coat application)

Video TWO (this contains tips for applying a second coat and your first coat of wax) Jump to the 14 minute marker to skip some of the review if you are not a patient person.  LOL



We have a wonderful technical director at Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan headquarters.  She shared with us,

The subject of painting over Thermo-Foil or other types of foil-finished cabinets comes up often. I know some of you do it and it may look good for awhile, but I really have to discourage you from doing so. These foil finishes are very sensitive to heat and moisture which can cause the foil to peel away, taking any paint finish with it. Also, paints of any kind will not bond to these materials and can eventually chip and scratch from normal wear and tear. I spoke last month at the Surface & Panel Symposium in Milwaukee which was attended by prominent printers, foilers, and cabinet manufacturers in the US and Canada. I made a point of asking various ones if their surfaces could be painted and their answer was a resounding NO. The good news is they are working on a paintable version to address the needs of the design community. The bad news … engineered cabinets with foil finishes is the future. They are being produced in various wood patterns, colors, and texture, and they truly amaze the eye and the hand. While we have been used to seeing foil finishes in white or beige applied as a sheet over solid doors, I saw it being applied to the individual components … center panels, rails, and stiles … for the more classic 5-piece constructed doors. They are making great strides in the stability of these finishes so heat and moisture problems will be a thing of the past.  I believe it will be in our best interest to stress to customers that Chalk Paint® is a wonderful option … for wood and the occasional laminate cabinets. 

This is a high level of the order on what to do…so, make sure to still read the individual instructions for paint and wax for detailed info!

1. Remove cabinet doors and number them. (Some people will paint the doors while still hanging. I don’t…but you can if you want to)

2. Remove hardware (Have an old home? – I leave the hardware in that cabinet’s cavity in a plastic bag so to know which door it goes to- keeping screws with their original hardware and doors is helpful.) Numbering cabinets can be helpful too.

3. CLEAN! Lightly Sand ONLY if you already have product or “stuff” on your cabinet that causes bumps or serious imperfections that you do not like. Spray Krud Kutter on a rag and wipe down doors –- THEN=> Using a fresh rag that is moisten with fresh water….wipe the doors thoroughly down again! <= THAT IS AN IMPORTANT STEP …allow dry time -maybe 30 minutes? Use a Scotch Brite pad if excessively dirty OR have loose paint. Denatured Alcohol or TSP can also be used, but thoroughly rinse with clean water afterward (always rinse with fresh water no matter your cleaner.)

4. IF changing the hole orientation with new hardware – Fill holes from old hardware with wood filler and sand once it is dry.

5. Drill new hole locations.

6. If you need to use shellac…use new Zinsser Bullseye Clears Shellac (spray or brush/rub on) on and allow dry time- 2 thin, uniform coats are best. If you used wood filler you will probably HAVE TO shellac the doors. Lightly sand with 200 grit. Do not break through shellac. NOTE! Most times you do NOT need to use shellac! => So, do a test by applying Chalk Paint® without shellac on one door that is seen the least,….if you have no bleeding of tannin- skip this “sealing” step. If you get bleeding after 1st coat of chalk paint®- apply shellac over paint once dry. NEVER apply shellac over wax! I like to apply shellac with a rag- NOT a brush.

7. NOW the fun part…..PAINT!:   We love to use the Annie Sloan 2” Flat Brush. (this is our favorite brush to paint cabinet doors with)  ( If painting the backs of the door- which I always do even with just one coat- paint backs first, and finish them all the way to completion using your top coat. Always “practice painting” and apply wax on the back of the doors before starting the fronts- which are the most important side of the doors, right? Want a smoother finish- thin your paint with a little water. Maybe 20%? (Paint most likely 2 coats…could be three depending on color and technique) Apply first coat and wait 24 hours…..if possible.  In general, the paint dries within 30 to 45 minutes, and then you can apply additional coats, but after the first coat only- if you can wait 24 hours, do it.  : )  Annie Sloan herself has always stated, never do more than three applications in a 24 hour period.  that could be two coats of paint and one coat of wax, or one coat of paint and two coats of wax.  It just starts to get too thick and you want each individual to set enough.

APPLYING THE SECOND COAT:  I will often use my Fine Mist Spray Bottle (–Great-To-Use-When-Applying-a-Wash_p_883.html)  filled with water.  I lightly mist the dried paint and then immediately apply my second coat.  This light mist of water acts like a slip coat and makes painting the second coat easier and smoother.  Always allow ample dry time. Always end painting a section with a clean finishing stroke from end to end.

8. Number of Coats of Paint: Again…the number of coats is dependent on desired look – LIGHT sanding the surface after 2nd coat with 220 or higher grit sandpaper will create a smoother finish -ONLY IF DESIRED…but this is not required. Stay away from the edges if you do not want to break thru the paint to show base cabinet.

9. WANT A WORN DISTRESSED LOOK? Just because you use Chalk Paint® does NOT mean you have to distress to get a rustic or shabby chic look, but… if you do like that…this paint is perfect for it!   So, distress edges and corners of cabinets with Annie’s sanding sponges …then blow dust off! I do this outside in the garage or outside if nice weather.

10. Seal and Protect Your Cabinets:  Top coat the cabinets using Clear Wax (2 coats is optimal – (follow our wax instructions!!!) Make sure you can glide your hand on the wax surface after removing excess wax. If using Dark Wax or making a glaze – apply after 1st or 2nd coat of clear wax. Try using Annie’s FINE Sanding Pad on the wax surface after it has cured to get a shinier finish- use with GENTLE pressure. Dark Wax is the last step of your whole project. Unless you are using Metallic Gilding Wax to embellish details- then the gilding goes on last.


If using a Fuji Q4 Platinum sprayer – here are a few things learned be a fellow stockist:

1. They used a 1.3 mm tip and have changed to a 1.8 mm tip since they found it works much better. Because the paint is a lot thicker you will definitely need different tips than you were using with the paint that was packaged in quarts”
2. Warming the paint helps and thinning with warm water also works. Thinning about 10% to 20%.  (start with the lesser, but you can add more paint if you add too much water)
3. Having the shop and doors heated to about 70 degrees makes a difference. So, work in a reasonably warm space.  And this is not while you are in it.  The space should be kept at this temperature consistently prior and for the entire cure time!
4. Also playing around with the sprayers spray pattern settings was needed. 

Additional IMPORTANT Sprayer Information for Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan:

Experiment to get the right results when spraying with your particular model. The most important thing to know is that there is no ‘magic’ ratio of paint to water and you will need to tweak it every time you spray, as site specific conditions mean that results can vary.  With that said, Annie Sloan Interiors recommends that you add 10% to 20% water as a starting point. 


You can also add a paint extender to the Chalk Paint® to help get a smooth finish.  We reached out to Annie Sloan Interiors and they shared that they have used XIM Latex Extender with good results in the past.  Don’t let the name fool you- there is no Latex in Chalk Paint®.  This product is meant to be used with any water based paints and Chalk Paint® is water based.   The one in the picture below is the one Annie Sloan Interiors referred us to use, but others are available. Their spray consultant guys tell them that the main ingredient of these extenders is propylene glycol and that you can effectively make your own extender using this ingredient.  Personally, I would just suggest purchasing the product pre-packaged and ready to go.  

Even though you have added water as stated in the previous step – you still dilute with water AND add the extender – if you find it’s too thin to spray you can always add more paint. Don’t get too hung up on the amounts – the spray guys we work with just eyeball it!   

Using an airless sprayer is not recommended – the high solids content in Chalk Paint® will damage the nozzle. 
You will want to warm your Chalk Paint® because it will spray and settle better.  Place your container of paint in a bain marie of very hot water for 15 minutes.  Bain Marie is a container holding hot water into which a pan is placed for slow warming. After 15 minutes, When we have taught this in workshops in the past, we used a large crockpot as a bain marie. It doesn’t really matter how much water is in there just make sure it is not too high that when you set your containers in- that the water overflows into your paint!

Effects of Dry Winter Air on Painted Cabinets (& Humid Summers)

Winter is here and so are the days of static electricity and dryness. This not only causes us to get a shock when we slide our feet across a carpet, but we get that dry tight skin feeling…and also……. “I’ve painted my kitchen cabinets and now the paint has cracked around the center panel.” Here is a post to understand why this happens and how to help prevent it!

Hop on over to HERE to read my post about the effects of winter and humid summers on painted cabinets,.



Painted Kitchen Cabinets- Effects of Dry Winter Air (and then humidity over summer)

Here is a topic you may not really think about – Kitchen Cabinets-(or wood panels) and the effects of dry winter air and also – the reverse- humidity over summer has on them. It is not a widespread issue, and in fact- most people will not have this problem~ but I want to address it and talk about how to avoid it.

Most importantly- keep in mind- that this issue that may happen during the winter months- will not be an issue once the warmer and more humid air returns. 

Ok- on with my post:

First- when buying a classic 5 piece constructed cabinet door- if you can inquire if the wood used has been kiln dried- that should be your preference. The center panel of a classic 5 piece constructed cabinet door is designed to float and is not glued to the stiles or rails. This is to allow for normal shrinkage and expansion of the woods, and it also prevents the center panel from cracking. The amount of humidity in your home will influence shrinkage and expansion. So, let me just preface that depending on where you live in the world and the type of weather you experience ~ humidifiers and dehumidifiers in your home are important.

You may have seen a cabinet door where the paint may have cracked slightly.

Depending on where you live in the United States, during the winter months- the lack of aa-the-purple-painted-lady-crack-cabinet-seamhumidity – causing dry air is an issue. Hot, humid summers can be just as much of an issue too. (although I am fantasizing about warm weather at the moment since it is cold here in NY.)

The winter weather – causes the dry winter air to leech moisture out of anything leaving your skin as dry and cracked as a salt flat and your sinuses as parched as the Sahara in summer.

The dry air also contributes to that jarring static shock that practically propels you across the room every time you pet the cat.

Having significant differences in humidity levels in your home through the four seasons, over time- will effect everything. In my old 1880’s home, when we bought the house back in 2003, it had one of those very old oil furnaces. The furnace looked like an octopus and was very inefficient. It also, did not have a humidifier. After we had it removed and installed a gas, high efficiency furnace that had a built in humidifier – my husband set the humidifier to 50%. This caused many things to improve. Our skin was not nearly as dry, I would no longer get shocked when I pet my dog. But the evidence of the years of dry air through winter, and sticky humid summers remained. One example of this is left visible in some of the wood doors. The closet door in my kitchen entrance in fact has a crack down the center of one panel where it bowed slightly due to humidity making it swell.

The Purple Painted Lady Cracked door humidity 2

Some of the doors on the second level of the house- have these cracks too. The wood panels would expand and contract depending due to the level of humidity, and sometimes- that causes cracks over time. Think about it, in NY during the winter- humidity could be as low as 20%. In the summer, there are unbearable times we experience humidity that is 90% or higher. That expansion and contraction effects wood, and the paint on top of it.

So, the wood kitchen cabinets that are painted may show the signs of this situation. The paint is not the problem, but rather evidence that there is this issue.


Again- it is not totally the way you heat your home, but rather the lack of a humidifier- which puts moisture back into the dry winter air – which most of the newest gas furnaces do have.

This same issue can be the result of not having a dehumidifier over the hot, moist summer months.

I would recommend that you proactively manage this as best as possible. Consider getting a Relative Humidity Monitor and measure the level of humidity in your home. I think you can pick one up for $11 at any of the big box stores. There are more expensive ones, but our is just a basic elementary dial indicator and it works fine. It is important that you understand humidity levels should be kept at a reasonable rate (between 40 or 60%.)

This Old House, the television show and magazine has a great post where Norm explains why this happens….again the focus is that no moisture because of heat and winter weather is the culprit. Click HERE to read it.
The Old House logo The Purple Painted Lady

Rose Wilde, another Annie Sloan stockist here in the United States advised, “One way to prevent this from happening is to score the paint and glaze along that line before and after the paint drys. This way you have the separation that will not be as much of an issue down the road.”

I read on-line from Thomas Richard at “TRS Designs” Pro;

“Your kitchen designer should be advising you of this fact, but he/she should not be discouraging you.
What they are describing is, in fact, quite normal and will occur on all cabinet lines from the least to the most expensive. Real wood, like most materials, will expand and contract with changes in humidity levels. Since cabinetry doors are comprised of multiple pieces of wood, with the grain running in different directions, these boards expand and contract at different rates. This movement is called humidification and can be quite extreme, depending on several factors, the major ones being your local climate and the actual HVAC system in your home. When you paint a real wood door, the paint hardens and then when the wood moves, the paint can develop visible lines or cracks at the seams of the cabinet doors. These ‘cracks’ may be more noticeable on “stile and rail’ type doors. Miter doorstyles will experience this too, but because the miter joint is usually more noticeable anyway, it tends to be easier to accept visually.
These ‘cracks’ are actually present on all cabinetry, but with stained cabinets, and their visible woodgrain, you just can’t see them as readily, but they are there. Just drag your fingernail across some cabinetry joints and you will find some.
If you really like the look of paint, but would like to virtually eliminate the ‘cracking’ you can either try to control the humidity levels in your house all year round, OR you could consider a cabinet door made from painted MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard). I personally prefer the strength and solidness of real wood, and I also accept that it is a living material, so the little cracks don’t bother me… In fact, they are proof that you have real wood cabinetry! Sorry if I ran on a little bit, but I wanted to try and be thorough.”

Another person recommended, “if you already have the cabinets your best solution is to sand the joints bare again and apply a very thin bead of painters caulk w/ silicone. It will shrink a little as it drys and should be barely noticeable once painted while still allowing for some minor expansion and contraction. It’s not an ideal situation, but it should be better then the cracked paint.”

The answer I received from Brandy Budzaj Siemens who is another stockist here in the USA and who owns Vintage Style and Designs was, “I was a kitchen designer prior to this. I always had a disclaimer in my contracts of solid wood painted cabinets, that is is LIKELY to happen. It’s the wood and Mother Nature. Solid wood moves. The paint (any) will crack. It should be less noticeable when the humidity comes back.”

Our Technical Director from our US Distributor wrote us, ”

It’s that time of year again in the colder regions of North America … “I’ve painted my kitchen cabinets and now the paint has cracked around the center panel.” It’s not the paint failing … it’s the wood moving. This is unavoidable in any solid wood cabinet … wood is a living, breathing thing designed to expand and contract at different rates with changes in humidty. A painted finish, no matter how good or how carefully applied, just can’t keep up. To minimize this effect and prevent any damage to the actual cabinet door, keep the following in mind:

– The center panel is designed to “float” within the rails and stiles … never seal this expansion joint with caulk as this can cause serious damage.

– Maintain a clean expansion joint while painting … paint the center panel first, and then start painting on the outer edges and work your way in to avoid any heavy buildup of paint … and clean out any excess paint with your brush.

So, there is a suggestion in itself- to leave it alone since if the cabinet has expanded- – we will soon be in a season where in is going to contract.”

I feel the most important part of this post I want to share with you is that dry air and then the opposite- being humidity take their toll on wood. Managing humidity levels in your home is important. Then this issue is no longer a problem.