Basement Cabinets After Wide

How to Paint Cabinets: A Step-by-Step Guide

Before & After House & Home

When I first walked into our basement, the most attractive feature in a sea of wood paneling were the built-in cabinets. They are well-constructed and a timeless style. We’re so thankful because I’m not sure we would’ve been able to make that investment – or at least it wouldn’t have been a priority!

You guys know how much I looooooove to use paint to transform a space or a piece of furniture – and now it’s cabinets! Hey-ya!!!

Base of Stair Cabinets

And you guys, this was one of the simplest projects we’ve completed for the basement so far! Sure, it took some time, but I’m convinced if I can do it, so can you! The best part? We had most of the materials already, so it only cost me $80 (primer and paint) to transform our cabinets – pretty epic!

I’ve searched high and low and Benjamin Moore Advance has had the best reviews for painting cabinets!

Basement Cabinets Benjamin Moore Advance

So, keep reading to see all the materials you’ll need as well as a step-by-step tutorial of how to paint your own cabinets! (Shhh…I might be dreaming of painting my kitchen cabinets now, since these turned out so well! 😉 )

Materials Needed:

How to Paint Cabinets:

1.Remove all hardware or pulls. Plus, remove doors if you’re planning on doing that. We left our cabinet doors up on the hinges since there are soooo many (26 y’all), but removed the handles. Since we needed 26, instead of buying new ones, we will be spray painting the chrome handles.

2. Clean yo’cabinets. We used a Liquid TSP Substitute and a microfiber cloth. We were only painting the doors and part of the inner trim (not the inside of the cabinets), so we only cleaned that area.

3. Sand surfaces & wipe ’em down. I used our electric sander on the doors and in the more narrow areas just used sand paper. (If you need to patch any holes or blemishes, do that before sanding.) After you’re done sanding, wipe down the surfaces with a damp microfiber cloth.

4. Tape off walls with painter’s tape.

5. Paint with primer. First, I start on the trim and tiny spaces with a 1″ paint brush (this brush was a game changer for our project)! If you have any bevels in your doors, paint those first. Then, go back through with a 4″ foam roller (it’s best to roll over the areas your painted with a brush to smooth out the brushstrokes).

Basement Cabinets Primed

Basement Cabinets Primed

6. Paint first coat of BM Advance. Repeat the process above, but with BM Advance. Goodness, this paint is just luxuriously wonderful and is so easy to work with.

1" Paint Brush

Basement Cabinets First Coat

7. Wait 16 hours, then lightly sand the surfaces & wipe down. BM Advance is self-leveling, but this just helps smooth everything out. I just held sand paper in my hand and slightly skimmed the surface, then used a damp microfiber cloth to wipe everything down.

8. Begin second coat of BM Advance. This paint is designed for two coats, so even if you think the first coat looks good, continue with the second coat.

Basement Cabinets Second Coat

9. Touch up where needed. Wait another 16 hours to go back through to touch up where you need.

10. Attach Handles. Wait as long as you can to put the handles back on as to give the paint enough time to “cure” – at least 16 hours from the last time it was applied.

11. *At sooome point, clean metal hardware. Since I didn’t remove our doors from the hinges, I accidentally got some paint on the metal (it was inevitable)! I’m not in a big rush, but eventually I’ll attempt to clean up the metal.

Basement Before Cabinets

Basement Cabinets After

I still can’t believe the transformation! What do you think? Seems doable, right? If you decide to go for it in your own space, I’d LOVE to see it! email me, tag me on Facebook or Instagram, and use #redeeminghamptonloves!

Wide Cabinets

Basement Cabinets After Wide

Basement Cabinets After

What’s next? Well, we have contractors installing our flooring and baseboards as I’m typing up this post! AH! I took a peek and can’t wait to show you!

Here’s where we are so far in the 1970s Basement Update checklist:

  • Get quotes for electrical, plumbing, and flooring
  • Price out materials for DIY projects
  • Remove all ceiling tiles and unwanted parts of the drop ceiling
  • Patch, sand, and clean ceiling grid
  • Paint ceiling grid & inset wood paneling
  • Electrician install can lighting, remove fluorescent lights, update outlets & switches
  • Plumber to update pipes while ceiling tiles are out
  • Install ceiling tiles (without gouging my eyes out)
  • Remove vinyl floorboards
  • Prep and paint stairwell ceiling
  • Order flooring from Home Depot for delivery by March
  • Patch, repair, and sand wood paneling
  • Prime wood paneled walls
  • Paint wood paneled walls
  • Prime trim & doors
  • Paint trim & doors
  • Remove hardware from built-in cabinets
  • Use liquid sander and then clean cabinet doors
  • Prime built-in cabinets
  • Paint built-in cabinets
  • Use spray paint to update stairwell light fixture, cabinet pulls, and door handles
  • Sell old pieces (or other things around the house) to put into our budget
  • Sand, prime, and stain banister/railing.
  • Go on vacation to Florida 🙂
  • Contractor install flooring and baseboards
  • Onto the fun part of decorating, but that’s for another list

In case you missed it, here are the other posts in this series!

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