Tuesday, March 11, 2014

How to Paint Bathroom Cupboards

Do you ever get super motivated to get something done? I mean, out of no where, bam! done! 
Well, it happens to me sometimes. I always have little lists of projects (some mental, some written down) that may or may not ever get done. Just lists of things that I think would be nice to do--fun projects with the kids, holiday things, house things, yard things, etc. I like lists, what can I say?

Well, painting our bathroom cupboards has been on my mental list for a good long while now. I never actually wrote this one down because I didn't actually want to do it. Not at all. 
We painted our kitchen cupboards and while I LOVE the results and it was so worth it, it was also without a doubt the WORST most annoying project I have ever undertaken. 
Well, I wised up this time and read about how to do it better, and now I can say that it was so not fun because we did it wrong! 

I was looking for a good project to do while my husband was working nights and decided to just read a bit about it. Once I did, I was convinced that was the way to go. Loaded the kiddos up and bought the supplies, then when they were sleeping, I went to town and painted the cupboards. 
And most fun of all, it was a surprise for hubby. :) What a great surprise it was too! 
Painting the bathroom cupboards was easy and fast.Who knew it, but fellow blogger gals out there where more helpful and accurate than the workers at an un-mentioned big box store, because they certianly led me astray with the kitchen, but Kate,aka Centsational Girl did not lead me astray--what a great tutorial she posted! Seriously, you should check it out--she went all-out on her bathroom redo and it is wonderful.

Anyway, long story short, I did it right this time, and painting the bathroom cupboards was a one-evening job that was inexpensive and super worth it. 

Bathroom #1:

And bathroom #2:

So worth it! 

I love how the white cupboards make the rooms like bigger, brighter and cleaner. Not to mention not-so-outdated. I mean, they still have along ways to go to be up-to-date and "nice" but wow, the paint has greatly improved them. 

And all done in only one evening! ONE I tell you. 
Well, I should say one NIGHT, it was so late that it was early by the time I was finished, but whatever. Worth it. 

So, got any cupboards in mind you want to paint? Well, read on if you want to know how. :)

I would say the #1 thing that made a difference between the long, tedious, horrible job of painting the kitchen cupboards and the quick and easy job of painting the bathroom cupboards was the primer. 

You want oil-based primer! Water-based paint, but oil-based primer. It effectively seals out the stain on the wood. With our kitchen job, I put on a good 4-5 coats of high-quality water-based primer and the stain from the old cupboards was still leaching through. I still had to put at least that many coats of paint. Super annoying. Trying to get that many coats of paint and primer to be flat and run-free is no fun. 

Anyway, with the oil-based primer I only did 1 coat of primer and 2-3 coats of paint depending on the area. easy peasy. 

So, to do this I followed Centsational Girl's tutorial--go ahead and check it out. Here are the steps for you here though. 

Deglosser or liquid sander. Awesome, easy stuff.
Oil-based adhesion primer
Water-based enamel paint
Foam brush
Foam roller for the primer
Tray for primer
Smooth-surface roller for paint
Tray for paint
new hinges?

1. Remove the doors by removing the hinges. I bought new ones.
2. Clean the cupboards if they need it--wash off gunk, even use sandpaper a bit if necessary.
3. Use the deglosser as described on the bottle. It'll do exactly what it says and help the primer adhere.
4. Use your foam rollers and foam brushes to apply a nice even coat of the oil-based adhesion primer. Foam brushes are great (and cheap) because they you don't have to worry about cleaning them with paint thinner afterwards.
5. When it is dry, apply a thin coat of your water-based enamel paint. I used Home Depot's ultra white kitchen and bath enamel paint. Worked great. Do this step as many times as needed to make a good, solid coat. This is where doing 2 bathrooms was great--do one, while it dries, do the other, while they both finish drying, do the doors. I just picked up my portable CD player and audio book, and I went from room-to-room-to-room.
6. When it is all the way dry (I waited until the next morning for this part), put your doors back on. I had my 4-year-old help me and she thought it was great fun to watch me use the drill. :)

 Anyway, I've been very happy with the results. Thankful that I got some get-up-and-go and just got 'er done. My husband and I both are enjoying our brighter, bigger bathrooms. :)


  1. They look so fresh and bright--love it!

  2. I just painted my mom's bathroom cabinets white. It really brightens the room up and makes it look clean. Kathleen @ Fearlessly Creative Mammas


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