Update 6/18/15: I am rewriting this tutorial to organize the vast amount of information a little bit better and add things I missed before. Since it is so long, it’s on multiple pages now (there are links at the bottom of each page). You can also sign up for my DIY Newsletter and receive my FREE EBOOK on this subject. I share a more in-depth look at our reasoning behind the products and processes we used, as well as a cost breakdown of the painting project, and free printable checklists.
When I wrote this post over a year ago, I knew from my own research that there weren’t a lot of comprehensive resources on the topic of painting oak kitchen cabinets. So I set out to create one! It wasn’t complete, and frankly I feel like it’s too much information for one single blog post. This post now provides a summary for the project, as a companion to the Free Ebook. I’ve divided it up into a few pages to make it a bit more digestible. If you are looking for reasoning, as well as an in-depth explanation at what did and didn’t work, make sure you check out the ebook. The following post will provide you will all of the materials for quick reference, as well as a summary of the steps.
I will be very frank up front- this project was not a quick, or an easy one. We do not recommend it for a first DIY project. But for an experienced DIYer, it may just be the answer to having your dream kitchen within reach (at least, it was for us!). If you choose this route, you are making a major commitment. If you choose to do it all at once, you will probably need to take a week off. If you choose weekends, it will probably take you a couple of months (all of this depends on your pace and the size of your kitchen, of course. I am referencing a leisurely pace and a similarly sized kitchen to ours). I certainly don’t mean to scare you off- if I bought a house tomorrow that had orange oak, I would do it all again! In my opinion, the result definitely validated the work!
I spent many months reading tutorial after tutorial and forum after forum. Eventually, after I tested many products and processes (half a dozen wood/grain fillers, oil based paints, latex based paints, lacquers, even spray paint!) and created a bunch of test swatches, I was happiest with the results of the process I’m about to share with you. I decided to go my own way and I came up with the process in this tutorial. I hope that all of my research will help you as much as it helped me!
If you have any question at all about this project, chances are that it is answered either in the comments of this post, in the ebook, or in my follow-up Kitchen Cabinets FAQs post. If it’s located in one of those places, you will probably find it quicker than I can get back to you! If not, feel free to comment or send me an email, and I will do my best to help you out as I am able!
Disclosure: We received the HomeRight Finish Max Pro mentioned herein for free. However, we were not paid by any of the other companies/brands in this post to use their products. Some of the links included are Amazon affiliate links, meaning we get a small percentage if you choose to purchase the items through Amazon. This helps keep the blog running and the projects coming- for which we are ever-so-grateful!! :) We chose and recommended the products we felt were best through research and trial-and-error. This was the best process for us, but that does not mean we can guarantee you will be achieve the very same results, or that you will be happy with your results. We did many test and practice runs before we attempted the main project. We are experienced at painting, although we have never done this particular project. We do not consider it a beginner’s project. If you are just starting out at DIY, we recommend that you speak to an experienced professional about painting your cabinets. As with all projects, we recommend that you always use proper safety equipment and proper ventilation for paint projects. You can read more about our policies here.