Thank you for being so patient with my blog post about my kitchen. Well, it’s here!!! FINALLY! Some days I thought it would never end, but I was right, “this too passed” and I JUST LOVE IT! Ok there is a lot of ground to cover here so I will try to be short and sweet with some added pics so I won’t bore you to death with all of my blabbering. Here goes…
CLOSING IN THE GAP:
First I want to show you how we closed in our gap between our ceilings and our walls. I have always hated it, feeling like it added too much clutter when I would try to decorate up there and there was not much space anyways…so bye bye gap! 👋🏻YAY! We made our trip to the closest hardware store (Home Depot) and picked out our materials. Our cabinets are super smooth so I knew I wanted a board with no texture to match our cabinet texture.
We also picked out our trim. The initial trim we choose was a little too small for the space when we got it home so we returned it and chose a thicker trim. We matched it up initially in the store and thought the initial ones we bought would work, but sometimes you just can’t tell until it’s in the space. Here is what we started with and then ended up returning it for a thicker piece for the bottom. We used 2 pieces pushed together for the bottom, to make it thicker.
Before I start talking about the whole process, I just have to say an extra big THANK YOU to my hubs. 👏🏻 He completed the whole “closing in the gap” process on his own. I think he felt bad that he wasn’t going to help me paint the cabinets so he was making up for it. HA HA, just kidding baby! 😜
He started off by marking all of the studs. VERY IMPORTANT! We ran into a little trouble in the front where the trim was going to connect to the ceiling because there wasn’t a stud close enough, so he alligned boards across the top and bottoms for support and it was very sturdy when he finished. He measured the lip of the cabinet and bought a comparable 1″ board for the supports.
He then measured with space from top to bottom so we could have exact measurement from cabinet to ceilling for cutting the board that we were buying. We don’t own a table saw so we had our large smooth sheet of wood cut down at Home Depot. Please ignore the mess to come…it just gets worse. 😱
After he had the wood cut down at Home Depot, he began nailing the wood into place. This process went quite quickly. The board did not go all the way to the end so he had to cut pieces for each end and then caulk the creases where the boards met. We just used a small hand held can of white caulk to decrease the mess. The larger cans are a little too messy for such small spaces.
YAY! The gap is gone. Now comes the tricky part. I am horrible at cutting 45 degree cuts so I’m super glad that my hubs was there for that one. We used the DIYZ app to look up a tutorial on how to cut crown molding. There was a written and video tutorial that helped so much! And yes, he measured twice and only had to cut once!! 👏🏻 The problem we ran into was that our ceilings are not perfectly even. You will notice the shabby job that these home builders do when you complete a project where you need something to be even. Well, since it wasn’t even, the corner had a little gap, but no problem that a little caulk didn’t fix. He used a little liquid nails along with the nail gun to support the trim since we were trying to keep it as flush to the ceiling as possible.
Once you get your cuts you can start going to town nailing it in with your nail gun. Sorry about the blurry pic.
There will be little creases that need filled in prior to painting. We just used white caulk and smoothed it out after. It’s nice to have sandable caulk in the places that you will need to sand. The bottom piece of trim is actually a larger piece with a smaller piece connected to the top of it to make it thicker.
And here it is, all finished! Happy Dance!! 💃🏼💃🏼 It just needs to be sanded in the spots where we caulked prior to painting.
Now on to the fun part…well, not really fun, but I’m glad it’s done and that makes the whole process seem like it might have been a little fun. Ok, it’s not, it’s not fun at all. 🙈 I’m going to just show you a little of the process using the top cabinets as a description. I first wiped down all of the cabinetry with a degreaser. There are many out there but this is what I used and the directions for use are right on the bottle. I found this one at Home Depot.
I taped everything off with green frog tape. BEST TAPE EVER! I’m not getting paid to say that, it’s just really the best tape out there in my opinion that doesn’t bleed through and leaves a nice crisp line. After everything was taped off, and by everything I mean the ceiling, floors, and any counters that you don’t want to see paint on in the end, I then took off all of the cabinet doors with my electric drill. I just used a bowl to place all of my screws in so they would not get lost in the shuffle. I left the hinges on the actual cabinets and just removed each door. I numbered all of the doors on the back with a sharpie as I was taking them off so I would not get confused as to where they needed to go after painting them. Since I used a sprayer, the numbers got covered up with paint. To help remember the numbers, I marked the cardboard where each one was sitting while being sprayed with their number and then remarked the actual cabinets inside where the hinge would sit when they were dry. Believe me, you will be glad you numbered all of them when you are finished.
I started off by painting all of the trim (as you can see) around the cabinet doors. I used kilz interior oil based primer with a small foam roller and used a cheap brush when needed in smaller spaces. I hate cleaning up oil based paint so I would just through alway my roller and brush at the end of each day. It was worth the small extra cost to not have to clean them out with mineral spirits. Using kilz oil base primer should keep the cabinets from yellowing and limit the paint chipping after the whole process because it’s sealing in all of the dark color and oil base paint is more durable than latex. Make sure you have a good mask because this stuff is strong smelling!
I did not sand my trim before painting but did lightly sand each cabinet door before priming. I used the same kilz primer for the doors but bought spray cans of it so I would not have to clean it out of my sprayer. That would be a nightmare. The primer in the cans is not cheap when having to buy so many, but once again TOTALLY worth the extra cost to me! After the trim and doors were all primed 2x with the oil base kilz primer, I began using my chalk paint. I make my own chalk paint and the recipe will be at the end of the post. Some people ask if you can use chalk paint in a sprayer…yes you can, and making your own makes it all the more affordable to paint a kitchen.
I painted 3 coats of chalk paint on my trim with a high quality painting brush (to keep from streaking) and sprayed 2-3 coats on each door with my sprayer. I used Dove White Benjamin Moore paint color matched to Behr paint (because Behr paint is more budget friendly). It’s more of a creamy white than stark white. It’s my go to white. I use it alot on my walls too. When painting the doors, just make sure you have them propped up on something on the edge for drying purposes. I used old paint cans. If you just lie the doors flat, they will stick to your cardboard.
After I painted each door and all of the trim with primer, chalk paint, and touched up spaces that got missed, it was time to seal the cabinets. This is the part that makes me nervous. I had never used poly in my sprayer before but I have to say it went fairly smooth. I used a high quality brush meant for poly on my inside trim. Don’t skimp on the brush for this or you will see lots of streaking. I sealed all of the trim 2-3x inside and the cabinet doors 2-3x. I used poly acrylic water based poly which makes furniture and messes way more wipeable. Make sure you use water based poly with light colors or your paint will yellow.
In Arizona, drying time is a lot quicker than other states because of our dry heat. I let each coat of polyacrylic dry about an hour -1.5 hours and each coat of paint dry about 45 minutes. It’s like “waiting for paint to dry”. 🙄 I put all of the doors back on by myself minus the uppers where my husband assisted me with that…ok, he put all of the uppers on by himself. I didn’t help at all. 😂
I highly recommend a paint sprayer because it makes the doors look so much more like they were professionally painted. I use a graco sprayer from Home Depot but there are many great sprayers on the market. Mine is electric and I do love that fact because I don’t have to get out the air compressor every time that I want to use it. Painting cabinets is very time consuming and labor intensive but not super hard. If you have the patience and the will, then you will do great.
So here is the before:
And the after:
CHALK PAINT RECIPE:
Here is my chalk paint recipe that I’ve been using for years. Enjoy!
12TB Calcium Carbonate ( I get mine at my local ceramics shop) to every quart of flat based paint. Calcium carbonate can be difficult to find at your local store so I’m adding an Amazon affiliate link for some great calcium carbonate powder here for you to order your own if you would like.
Mix the calcium carbonate with warm water. I mix it with enough water where it is goopy not runny. Stir in water slowly so you don’t get too much
Then mix the calcium carbonate into your flat based paint and stir well
Note: Some of the cc may settle to the bottom after left sitting for weeks so next time you want to use it just make sure to stir it well and get it off the bottom of your can.
Make sure you are using a flat based paint.
There you have it, it’s that easy. 🎉 You don’t have to sand your items before painting with chalk paint either, that is what is so nice about it.
I did sand my cabinet doors just to assist the primer in sticking better.
I hope my little tutorials were helpful to you for your future projects! Happy Painting my friends and thank you for stopping by!!!