Before and After: The Secret to Successfully Painting Old Kitchen Cabinets

If you’re not sick of the paint-it-white trend, and are in fact thinking of painting your very own cabinetry white, this is the project for you. And if you’re appalled that these wood cabinets were painted white, know that every expert this homeowner consulted recommended throwing them out, so perhaps painting them was the perfect compromise?

Here’s a bonus full-length shot that includes the builder-standard boob light, as well as an eyeful of that enviable wood floor—love those skinny boards! But there’s something that the photos don’t reveal, thank goodness:

The previous owner was an older woman who could not see very well, which was pretty apparent based on the amount of grease on the cabinets. I’ve never seen anything like it before in my life.

As if painting weren’t a big enough job, it sounds like Steffy of Steffy’s Pros & Cons was in for some major degreasing—certainly an unenviable task.

Let’s work our way down from the top: the new sweet little globe fixture is an improvement over the old light. It’s understated yet attractive, and probably provides much better lighting. The cabinets are now nice and fresh, and I love the decision to use the original hardware. It means that some of the original charm has been maintained—the best of both worlds!—and coordinates perfectly with the black grout. Finally, the gorgeous floor has a chance to be the star, since it’s no longer competing with the wood cabinetry, and the rug makes up for any sense of warmth lost thanks to the paint job.

If you’d like to give something similar a try in your own kitchen (or any room with cabinetry), Steffy’s Pros & Cons has step-by-step instructions that will help you get the job done right.

Here we can see two less-than-ideal factors in the old kitchen: the backsplash is a bit murky and drab, and the black-and-white stove and microwave clash with the rest of the kitchen.

Now the appliances are perfectly integrated into the space, thanks to the paint job, hardware, tile backsplash, and marbled counter. The hues of the mixer and kettles have smartly been echoed in the rug, while the drying rack coordinates with the floor. These two subtle design moves link the two horizontal surfaces in the kitchen, unifying the room.

Thank you, Steffy’s Pros & Cons!

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