How to Remodel your Kitchen Cabinets - DIY Home Project

Annie Sloan Chalk pant

Remodeling your kitchen cabinets is easier than you think and I am going to show you how I have done it well under $500 dollars including all the hardware for the cabinet drawers and doors.

kitchen before

My kitchen cabinets were a honey colored oak wood finish that were stained and looked really pretty against the dark green tuba tuba granite countertop when were first moved in. However over time the cabinets started to show their age, the stain was discolored in some areas and had peeled off were water damage had done its job on some of the cabinets.

old cabinet finish

Furthermore I was just tired of the look and had been craving something fresh and very different. The objective was to keep the cost low, make it a DIY project that I could do without any help and leave enough money for decorative elements to give my kitchen a French Country look. 

cabinet paint colors

To start off, I painted a wooden board in Annie Sloan Chalk paint Original White and Versailles Green. I wanted a green tone, but because of the layout of the kitchen had to make sure that the green would not darken the space. The white was too white and although I loved the green it was too dark. So I decided to mix the colors and went for 1 can Original white with 1/4 can Versailles green. This time I actually painted the cabinet doors and watched how the color changed during the day and night. This is an important step, because depending on the amount of light that filters through the window the color can change dramatically by several values. I highly recommend you do this step to make sure that you will be happy with the way your color looks.

hand with sponge

Ones I was happy with my color choice it was time to wipe down all cabinets with a few drops of dishwashing liquid in warm water. I wipe down my cabinets frequently so I did not have much grease build up, but it is still a good idea to get into the grooves and remove any dust or splatter that you might have not seen. 

applying chalk paint

I like using Annie Sloan Chalk paint, because it can be applied straight to the cabinets without any pretreatment, or removal of the cabinet doors. When you first apply the paint it looks pretty dense, however as the 1st layer dries it will seep into the wood and will look like the image below. 

First chalk paint layer

For the most part this 1st layer will act as the primer. In hindsight, now that I have painted the entire kitchen I would have applied a regular primer first. As mentioned before it is not necessary, but there were some spots on the cabinets that kept seeping through and really required additional paint overs. I also feel that an initial primer might have saved me more paint. For the most part 2 coats did the job, but some areas did require 3 coats and stubborn spots 4-5 brush overs. 


To finish the cabinets I applied Annie Sloan Wax. I used a rag and just wiped it on all the cabinets and then removed any excess wax by gently wiping it off again.

This brought out more of the green tones as well. I am still debating about the wax versus the protective stain. The wax gives a more aged look where the stain adds more sheen. I might follow up with the protective stain at a later time. 

In the end I ended up with a beautiful color for my cabinets. Depending on the amount of light in the kitchen it goes from a very soft milky white with a hint of green to this shade of green.  This redo took about 2 weeks working full time for the inside and outside of all cabinets and for the paint alone, I used up 4 cans of Original white and one can of Versailles green. With the wax and 5 cans of paint I spend around $200-$250 which leaves a nice budget to splurge on hardware and decorative items for the kitchen. 


cabinet door hardware

Hardware can get pricy real fast, so I recommend visiting places like Etsy or Hobby Lobby. I actually found these brass pulls and knobs at Hobby Lobby. They are made in India of solid brass and since I got them at 50% off during a sale, rather affordable. The amount of detail is actually very surprising. Of course there are lots of other designs available as well. I will do a follow up post with the kitchen hardware installed at a later time. 

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