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  • Writer's pictureJoey Kemp

Our Kitchen Remodel Part 2

Updated: May 16

As I mentioned in my previous post, spraying the cabinet boxes in the kitchen was the easy part. It still took a lot of prep work, but it was pretty straight-forward, and the surfaces were much easier to prep and paint.

In total, I had 48 doors and drawers! So, the first part was figuring out where to put all of them and set up a sort of assembly line process to remove all the hinges, mark the doors/drawers, clean, sand, etc. The best way I found like others I watched online was to remove the hinges and with a pen or marker, write on the wood inside where the hinges were mounted (ex. "sink bottom left") and then place masking tape over the markings as well as marking each hinge and placing them in containers.

Then on to degreasing each door and scuff sanding every flat surface and groove on these doors and drawers. I'm not going to lie; this took days to do, and you have to do it before and after priming each one. Thats 48 x 2 = 96 times. Needless to say, I primed and painted them in manageable batches. When pros paint cabinets, they usually take them back to their shop and spend several days on them before bringing them back to reinstall.

I had a good bit of scratches and dings on mine, so it took some time before I was able to hang my first batch for priming. Also, like many others I watched on YouTube, I used small brass hooks and coat hangers to hang my doors. So, if it was a bottom door, I'd drill holes in the bottom of the door to screw in the hooks, and if it was a top door, I'd do hooks on the top side. This is so the holes won't be noticeable after you remove the hooks from the finished doors. I still managed to get a couple of drawers backwards.

Another thing to note, I was going back with the same cabinet pulls (handles), so I did not fill the screw holes. If you were going to change pulls, you'd have to either find ones with the exact same hole pattern or fill the holes and drill new ones.

I used a few sticks of EMT conduit I had laying around to hang them from on my squat rack in my garage. I was able to fit about 15-20 doors/drawers per batch and I spaced them out beforehand, so I knew what order to grab them and place them back without them being able to hit each other. I had my exhaust fan running as well as my mini split AC so there was a little air moving and they could potentially sway a little bit.

I prepped my garage floor and made a temporary spray booth with the Zipwall system and clear sheeting and hung a stick of EMT across 2 metal shelves I had, and this is where all the magic happened. It wasn't pretty, but it got the job done in a climate-controlled area and I didn't get overspray all over my junk. I made sure to buy a big pack of heavy-duty swivel hangers to make it easier to rotate while spraying.

My first couple doors were a disaster. I forgot to adjust the pressure regulator from where I had it last and I was also using a FFLP 310 tip which put out a wider fan (6"), thus more primer. It wasn't anything I couldn't sand out, but it was just extra work. It took me a few doors to really get it tuned in, and then I was on a roll.

I guess I didn't take any pictures of the doors after priming them, but it was pretty much the same process as the cabinet boxes once they were dry. I sanded them with 220 grit, then 400 and then I did 800 grit for the final sand. The only difference was I took them outside to my sawhorse setup to sand them and blow off all the dust with compressed air before tacking them and rubbing down with denatured alcohol. Using compressed air, I was really able to get all the dust out of every detailed groove on the doors. Otherwise, I don't think I could've gotten them clean enough with just the tack cloths. A few painful days later, I was finally ready to start spraying topcoat on them.

For the majority of the doors, they came out great! Every drawer and almost every door came out perfect. On some doors, I had some sags that had to be wet sanded, and a couple doors had to be completely sanded down to the primer. I guess I was trying too hard to make sure the paint got all the way in the grooves, which led to excess paint in other areas. After my first batch, I tried sweeping the gun faster and tried different angles of approach rather than straight on. Again, with all of the detailed routed grooves, it was extremely hard to not have runs or sags.

One trick I figured out that helped out big time was to have a headlamp on as well as my shop light aimed at an angle while spraying. Almost at a 30-degree angle so I could see any sags and quickly roll them with the ultra-fine finish roller. I tried to wait it out a couple times to see if the sags would level out and they didn't. At that point it was too late. You had to catch the sags early with the roller. I was skeptical about the roller, but I honestly couldn't tell which doors I used a roller on because they looked as good as the spray finish once they dried.

This process took me over a week, and if you think about it, you're spraying 48 doors/drawers 3x each. So that's 144 times you have to spray them, not including any that got messed up. Needless to say, I went through a ton of sandpaper and tack cloths, but this part was finally over. It was time to start putting hinges back on and reinstalling doors.

My cabinet pulls were brushed nickel, and I wanted that oil rubbed bronze look, so I went out on a limb and tried to paint them. I scuffed them up with sanding pads and tried out both Rustoleum Universal Metallic ORB and the Bear ORB Satin spray. They both looked great and were durable finishes. The only difference was that the Rustoleum had a little more gloss to it, so I chose to go with it.

I never thought I would say this, but with the new cabinet color, my wife and I actually loved our old granite countertops and the tile floor! Sherwin Williams 7012 Creamy was a perfect color because it wasn't too white, and it wasn't that eggnog color cream either. And the ORB pulls really complimented the darker colors of the tile grout lines and the countertops. They actually complimented each other now! On to the backsplash now in Part 3.

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