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An Underwhelming Reveal

I have been MIA lately but it is not because I have been at the pool.....really. I have been so busy with projects that I have not had time to blog about them. I have one more full week of vacation before going back to work so I am trying to cram as much in as possible. So hopefully after I am back on the schedule of working that I will have more structure in order to get posts done and also tons of things to post about since I have been so busy. Sometimes I am more productive when I have less time in my day.

Anyway the first project of my summer vacation was the kitchen cabinets. Yes we just redid them last year so this was a sad project deja vu. What did we do to them? I added a coat of paint to everything and two coats of polyurethane. Sounds simple and quick but the entire process took me a week. First we had to take off all the hardware, wash all the doors, remove the doors from the hinges, tape the backs, tape along the floor, drop cloth and then move it all upstairs (which also needed to be set up). That was before I even started to paint. So here is the house in disaster state all week.

Obviously we are not ever going to be able to pull off the open shelving look.

This is definitely not going to be the most rewarding project I have ever done. A) because it forever and B) no one is even going to be able to tell the difference. Case in point- here is the dramatic before and after pics-
I bet you keep scrolling back and forth wondering if it is possible that it is the same room....

So why go through all the trouble? We learned over the past year that black cabinets are difficult to keep clean especially when there is no protective coat over them. You would think white would be more difficult but every speck of dust and fingerprint is visible with black. Were they OK? Yes, but I was worried that once we have little ones with more messes that I would be kicking myself for not adding poly when I had the time. On the other hand, I was also worried that the poly would make them too shiny but we used satin finish and they look about the same as before. But now they just look cleaner and feel even smoother.

I still love my Ace cabinet and trim paint and for anything else besides black kitchen cabinets, I am not even thinking about adding the poly step. It is just the combination that those cabinets get so much wear and the black color. The moral of this project is to not cut corners the first time so you do not have redo it again and waste a week on an boring project. Learned that one the hard way.
4 comments on "An Underwhelming Reveal"
  1. What kind of poly did you use? I was at the store looking yesterday and didn't see any that said to use over paint.

    Thanks for all your advice!

  2. I just used MinWax from Home Depot in the Satin finish. You are correct that it did not specify to use over paint but I have in the past with good results. I used the oil based version in this project. The key I found was to use very very thin coats otherwise you end up with a finish that is way too shiny. Good Luck!

  3. Hi, Jenny.
    Well, I'm glad I now read this post before starting my cabinet project--cream on upper and black on lower cabinets. I've only bought the 123 primer, a small angled quality paint brush, and foam rollers. No paint yet.
    I'm was thinking ACE cabinet paint in a cream color for upper. BUT, if you go to Sherwin Williams, they offer a cabinet paint that is truly latex and dries faster than the water-based alkyd that ACE is. SW's cabinet paint is not offered is truly dark colors, though. So I could use THAT for the upper instead. For SW Black Bean, the color you used, they offer that in an enamel product only. It would dry slowly and doesn't clean up with water.
    My question for you is: do you think if I used the SW enamel on the lower cabinets, I could avoid the problem you had and not have to put poly coats on top?

  4. Minnesota Jul-

    I actually used a color named Cannonball on the kitchen cabinets which is a true black. Black Bean was used on the bathroom vanity and staircase and is more of a dark brown.

    I am not familiar with the SW paint so am not sure about the poly. But I would think you would still want to add the step just for ease of cleaning. That was the main reason I added it and not because of it helped to quicken dry times (that was an added bonus). But again I have not used this paint so you might need to play around with it. Let me know if you have any other questions!