The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Painting Cabinets

Guide to painting cabinets

Last week I shared with you our plans for our Master Bathroom renovation and if you remember, I mentioned that phase 1 of the plan (code name: Make it look nice with no money) was already in action. I had already painted the walls and trim in our vanity area, so the next logical step was to get rid of the 1980’s era brown cabinets.

bathroom before and afterSince the goal was to not spend any money, I decided to use the leftover paint from the foyer and french door (Glidden Seal) to paint the vanities. Not only was I feeling cheap this week, but I was also feeling lazy and really wanted to knock out this project in an hour or so.  So here’s my guide on how to be lazy and still get a great paint job!

The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Painting Cabinets

Total working time on this project was 1 hour, although I did it over 3 days to let the paint adequately dry before handling.

First up, remove all the doors and hardware from the cabinets.

easy way to paint a vanityNext, give the doors and cabinet a quick one over with a sanding block. I mean literally just graze all of the surfaces with it. This should only take a minute. Seriously, don’t obsess over this.  Then get ready for my secret weapon for being super lazy when painting cabinets: All surface Prep (also known as TSP substitute). Spray this product on all of your surfaces, wait a minute, then wipe off. Not only will this clean your surfaces, but it will also help de-glaze them thereby helping the paint stick (and voila you get to skip priming).

tspBy now you should have spent about 5 minutes prepping your surfaces and it’s finally time to paint. In order to fully maximize on being lazy I recommend you use the best paint possible (for instance paint and primer in one). I used a combination of a foam roller and high quality paint brush to get this finish.

quick painting cabinetsTotal it took two coats with about an hour dry time in between to get these cabinets looking perfect. For the doors I always paint the backs first let them dry for a day then flip them and paint the fronts. I gave the fronts a full day to dry before re-hanging them.

dark gray vanityAnd with just an hour of work time and no money spent, my bathroom vanity looks a million times better.

cabinet makeover

And here’s looking into the actual bathroom where the other vanity also got a paint job:

bathroom cabinet makeover

Key Points:

  • Prep surface with a quick sanding and TSP substitute
  • Use a high quality paint
  • Foam rollers and high quality brushes will give you the best finish. I recommend this brush.
  • Don’t rush the drying process.

What’s next?

bathroomvanity plansThis makeover is just getting started, so there is still plenty to do. We plan on framing out the mirror with some old door moldings, refinishing the counter top with a concrete product, and making a small curtain to block the view of the trashcan.  Stay tuned for those updates and more…….

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xoxo Stephanie

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    • Thanks Kristin. We are going to try out the Ardex feather finish that I’ve seen a lot of other bloggers use. I hear it makes a mess, but it looks great and it is only like $20!