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.
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
PAINTING OVER THERMAFOIL?:
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 prominant 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.
KITCHEN CABINET PROJECT STEPS Using Annie Sloan Products
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. (https://shop.thepurplepaintedlady.com/Chalk-Paint-Flat-Brush-Large-by-Annie-Sloan_p_174.html) 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.
APPLYING THE SECOND COAT: I will often use my Fine Mist Spray Bottle (https://shop.thepurplepaintedlady.com/Fine-Mist-Sprayers-10-oz-Clear–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. 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? Distress edges and corners of cabinets with sandpaper …then blow dust off! I do this outside in the garage or outside if nice weather.
10. 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.
INTERESTED IN USING A SPRAYER FOR YOUR CHALK PAINT® in Liters?:
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%.
3. Having my shop and doors heated to about 70 degrees makes a difference.
4. Also playing around with the sprayers spray pattern settings was needed.
We host FREE Wax Clinics usually on a monthly basis. We do this to help our customers get the most of their purchased products. We want them know the best way to apply Clear Wax to their painted furniture.
Click HERE to view a little video snippet from one of our clinics.
Thanks to Kim from Dearly ReLoveIt and Mary who attended this one and for allowing me to video them! Note to viewers- Mary was really enjoying the waxing process and spent more time rubbing than necessary! Most importantly- listen to what they share regarding their lessons learned.
Lastly- here are some additional helpful thoughts we wanted to share from the day:
Again, The Purple Painted Lady offers the very best customer service. We host FREE clinics all the time- to share with our customers the best way to use the products that we sell. We want to help our customers get the most out of their products so they can create a beautiful finished piece the first time they use product! Hope you would consider being part of our customer base- you are not just an “order” when you purchase on line from The Purple Painted Lady. We always hand write a note to you and are here for you if you need us – once your package arrives! If interested in purchasing Clear Wax- click HERE.
Some Tips To Remember: (Feel free to add your suggestions below too!)
1. Wax in good light! (and in the correct temperature)
2. As for the temperature- as we approach winter- if you do your projects out in the garage- anything under 60 degrees creates a variable in your outcome. (I prefer 65 to 75 degrees)
3. Use your eyes to determine if you have good uniform coverage. When doing a large piece- take a few steps back periodically and look at it. The Chalk Paint® will appear a bit darker where the wax is- and lighter where the wax is not.
4. Use your hands to determine if you have good coverage or too much wax. Glide your fingers over the area you are waxing when you think you are done with the application in one spot. It will feel a little cool and there should not be any drag.
5. A light application of wax is all that is necessary when applying wax – you want it to be applied like hand moisturizer. Rub the wax in. You do not want your piece to feel greaser or feel slathered with wax. And always remove the residual wax immediately after applying it.
6. Don’t slather your wax- since you will be removing the excess. You only waste your wax that way.
7. If you feel you see differences with light and dark areas in your wax- you probably do not have enough wax on. Apply a little more per instructions and even out the area.
8. Always remove the residual wax immediately after applying it. We all felt that using Cheese Cloth to remove the wax- worked the best! HERE is a link to order the best grade Cheese Cloth for removing wax.
9. On pieces that get a lot of use- multiple layers of wax is best.
10. Always blend your wax sections if working on a large piece.
11. Have the right tools! We love to apply wax with a wax brush and remove wax using cheese cloth.
And take care of your tools. Clean them when done. HERE is a link to the Ultimate Wax Brush.
12. Hold your wax brush comfortably- you should not be gripping it tensely.
13. Have paper plates and plastic spoons available and then scoop some wax out of your tin. When waxing over Chalk Paint®, you will have a little chalky paint transfer back onto your wax brush. You do not want to contaminate all of the wax in the tin with that. (especially if working a bright colored piece)
14. In the future- you know when you may need to re-wax when you go to buff your piece, and no longer get the sheen you desire. Re-waxing is typically not something that needs to be done in a few months or even a year. A lot comes down to how much abuse your piece gets. A kitchen tabletop that gets washed daily is very different than a bedroom dresser.
15. Always clean waxed pieces with a damp cloth. If additional cleaning is necessary- use a gentle/mild soap that does NOT contain a degreaser!
16. Wax continues to cure and harden for a whole month- so please do not take your finger nail and try to scratch it as a test. (same goes for chalk paint®)
17. Alcohol and anything acidic is an enemy to wax! Do not peel a grapefruit on top of your waxed table.
18. Use place mats on a waxed table top and blotter pads on a waxed desk top.