Thursday, May 26, 2011

kitchen cabinets.

last week, i took on a big cabinet refinishing/painting job. these laminate cabinets had seen way better days, as they were cracking and peeling - something that seems to be very common with 10-year-old laminate. as you can see, there were lots of problem areas:

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this was probably the worst, where it had peeled completely off in some areas, and my clients glued it back on. it took quite a bit of ripping, slicing, scraping and sanding to get it off!
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thankfully, it peeled off pretty easily, and we got most of the fronts off within about 2 hours. as you can imagine, the surface underneath was perfect for applying paint - rough and fairly porous.

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here is heather, who helped me out last week. so cute and sweet. check out that cabinet behind her...

i used a combination of paint stripper and elbow grease to get the goo off of the weird drawer that had been previously glued together...
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here is what they looked like after we got ALL of the laminate off.

i think i've preached on my blog before about how much i love the "aura" brand by benjamin moore. it is self-priming (TRULY self-priming, unlike some brands out there), and the coverage is amazing. not to mention, it dries like an enamel, is not bad for the environment, has an "evening" agent that helps paint to spread evenly on its surface. i couldn't be more of a fan!

anyway, here is an example of the great coverage of this paint:

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on the right side, the cabinets have one coat of paint (yes! only one...doesn't it cover well?), and on the left side, 2. i did end up doing 3 coats, but i thought this was a great example of the coverage.


here are all the drawer fronts and doors laid out on the floor!
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and, here are a few shots of the final coat:
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notice the long door and drawer - scratches gone! laminate, stay away!

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annnnd.....ta-da! here is that pesky damaged drawer...all fixed!
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this island was really, really dinged up, so a fresh coat of paint really worked wonders on it:
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43 comments:

  1. The cabinets look amazing. I bet most people would have thought a replacement door was a necessity. Great job!

    Now if only I could convince my in-laws to do the same to their wood-on-wood kitchen. haha

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  2. You made that look so easy! I'm currently painting my kitchen cabinets and it is taking forever. I'll be so glad when it is all done. You did such a great job!

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  3. Wow! That looks like a professionally sprayed finish. Good job!

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  4. Wow, this is an awesome post! We have the same pesky peeling laminate cabinets. Did you take them off just to prime and then put them back on to paint?

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  5. I can't believe that laminate cabinets peel like that! At least you didn't have too hard a time removing the paint.

    For the paint, I know you used BM's Aura, but what finish did you use? Their kitchen looks amazing! Great job!

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  6. Holy Cow!! I have got the same cabinets with the exact same problem!! May I ask if you used a brush or roller and what kind?? Any top coats and did you paint the insides?? I know that's alot of questions, but I am totally going to do this!! Yippee!!

    Deanna

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  7. Fabulous! Thanks for the Benjamen Moore advice too!
    Connie

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  8. Wow Kristen - you are one hard working gal, these turned out just gorgeous. I have to say just reading about this project gives me anxiety because of the amount of work...I envy your patience and fabulous end results!

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  9. ok love that... wondering what color you used for the BM paint. I love the finished look!!! brush or spray?

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  10. dude. i didn't know that could happen to laminate (ours are four years old ...). i would have replaced the whole thing, too, but now i know i can peel 'em and paint if need be. great job, cute girls!

    another deAnna :)

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  11. Those look amazing!! My husband and I are going to tackle refinishing our cabinets and are going back and forth between dark cabinets w/ white granite or white cabinets w/ really any granite.

    What's your experience with white? We have a baby on the way so we're worried about how tough it'll be to keep them clean looking.

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  12. i take them off to paint, then put them back on when they're done!

    deanna - i use a brush and a roller. i use a purdy cub brush, and a furniture roller. i dont like spraying, because i can get more control with a brush/roller. my goal is for it to look like a sprayed finish though, with very few (if none) brushmarks! i didn't do a topcoat, because polyurethane yellows over time, and this paint is amazing in the way that it hardens. didn't paint the insides!

    tasha...thank you!!!! :) it was a lot of work, but i enjoy the variation in the different projects i take on! i love a good challenge too ;)

    meghan - i can't remember the color name, i will try and look it up! i did brush/roller, but i'm glad that you asked, because i strive for a sprayed look.

    jami - i love white. all cabinets are going to get dirty, so pick whichever finish you like most. you will find yourself scrubbing food off of whatever kitchen cabs you have, because, hey it's a kitchen!! :)

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  13. Wow! What a difference! I can't believe how lucky you are to get it off that "easily"!

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  14. Dude, amazing! Looks like they were bought like that! How long did it take?!?

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  15. Wow Kristen, I didn't even know that you could take the laminate off! What a great job you did!

    Lori
    www.lorimayinteriors.com.blog

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  16. I just found your blog & love this project. We actually just got done refinishing our cabinets and also went with a self-leveling paint (we did SW instead of BM). I saw a previous commenter mentioned adding a topcoat and you said poly yellows over time. What do you think of using something like Acrylaq? Or is it better to just leave it as it is? I guess I'm just worried about scuffs showing since we also went with white.

    Thanks :)

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  19. I still can't figure out how you took off the laminate?? I have the same kind of cabinets but they aren't peeling like these cabinets, they are in much better shape but ugly nonetheless.

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  20. Just wondering how you got the laminate off the doors that weren't already peeling? I have about 30 drawers and doors in my kitchen and have gotten all of the laminate off that was already peeling, but can't figure out how to get underneath where it hasn't.
    Thanks SO much for this blog, btw. You have saved the lives of many of us who have these horrible cabinets.

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    Replies
    1. Heat it up with a blow dryer. The glue will loosen and the laminate will lift off.

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  21. I have had the laminate peeled off of mine for a month or two now, and have been debating painting or just getting new cabinets.... I'm so happy you posted this, I love getting to see the finished product! I will be painting mine asap! Thank you for the brand of paint tip!

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  22. I have taken laminate off my cabinets too. My son had put a portable heater by one cabinet when our furnance went out and it had made the laminate bubble, so that is when I tried taking it off. It came off so easily I did it to others that were peeling around the edges. I guess if it was hard to get off in some places you could apply heat to it and it would loosen the laminate.

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  23. I was getting prepared to fork for a whole new kitchen. NO MORE! My peeling is even worse, i can hear the cracking sometimes when the house is quiet. Getting the laminate off will be a cinch - Could someone post how much all the paint cost?

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  24. Your kitchen looks beautiful! What paint did you use? Did you brush or spray? I'm about to start painting my kitchen cabinets and trying to do as much research before I start. Thanks

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  25. Kristen,

    Did you just paint the cabinet doors or did you paint the surround (outer portion) as well? How did you get the colors to match?

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  26. You said you used a brush and furniture roller. What is a furniture roller? Also, what color and sheen of paint did you use?

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  27. I am wondering what these cabinets would be like using a wood stain instead of a paint? Anyone know? I would like to take the laminate finish off our master bath vanity (white) and stain the doors with a dark finish.

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  28. Girl you need a spray gun and a shop to do those kitchen doors in.
    Look great though and Aura is a great product!

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  29. Did you just paint the cabinet doors or did you paint the surround (outer portion) as well? How did you get the colors to match?

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  30. I know this is an old post, but I just stumbled upon this. I'm going through the same issue with my kitchen. I have the same question as the person above... did you paint the cabinet boxes or just the doors?

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  31. I have the same question also. I just took all the laminate off all of our cabinets today. It's been eight years of peeling and I couldn't stand it anymore!!! lol I'm thinking of painting it all black. Can you paint the cabinet boxes with the same paint as the doors? Also, I have heard you can't stain particle board, do you know if this is true? I like the idea of a cherry stain too. Thanks!!!

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  32. I would love to know what color paint you used? It is just what I want for my kitchen. Thanks!!

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  33. Nice job. I don't mean to nit pick but I'm pretty sure those are Thermofoil doors not laminate. It's basically a thin sheet of plastic that gets softened by heat and applied to the MDF doors. I'm not sure if they even use any type of glue. Because they deform easily with heat a heat gun can help get off any tough bits that didn't peel away easily. The trim pieces such as the crown molding are likely Thermofoiled too.

    The sides of the cabinet boxes are likely laminated with melamine. Not the decorative end panels that look like doors (those are Thermofoil) but the flat sides, top bottom, back, etc.

    Anyway, just wanted to point that out. It came out really nice.

    I tried BM aura for the first time recently too. Really liked it. Mind if I ask what the wall color is? I've been having a problem with neutral offwites in a room with little natural light. It always has some sort of tone when I put it on the wall.

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  34. Hey! Just wondering if you put anything on the laminate before peeling it off, or used something to help it peel off? Or did it just peel off? I didn't think you could just peel off laminate.

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  35. did you paont the inside frame while the doors were off as well?

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  36. So thankful that I saw this post! I have split places on almost every door at the top and the door nest to the dishwasher would be easy to remove because the laminate has actually shrunk and pulled loose. I was afraid that painting them wouldn't cover well enough but yours look beautiful. I'm going to tackle them one door at a time and see how it goes! Thanks for sharing this!

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  37. These cabinets look like they are real wood under the laminate. What if you have particle board underneath? Can you remove the laminate from particle board and get the same result? Has anyone done this?

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  38. I am very excited about getting started. One problem.... the cabinet boxes are laminate. It is actual laminate and is down VERY good. Any ideas on what to use on it? I plan on changing the color of the cabinets.

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  39. SO GLAD I found this post via "google search"! I was planning on replacing my doors when my neighbor told me how easy it was to remove the old laminate (15 years old) and prime then paint them. I have been wondering about what paint to use - and you answered all my questions! Oh way, except one. Did you wash/wipe the doors down before painting to get any of the old glue that may be left off of them? I have noticed around the edge of the doors that there seems to be a bit of glue there.

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  40. I found your article very useful thanks for sharing it online, even I recently gone through this Melamine cover, you may like it.

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  41. Very lovely, they glow!

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