It’s week 2 of the $100 Room Challenge, and this week I’m excited to share with you how to paint oak cabinets without sanding! The oak cabinets above our washer and dryer provide lots of great storage, but I wanted to give them a budget-friendly makeover.
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This month I am joining in on the $100 room challenge with Erin over at Lemons, Lavender and Laundry. We just moved into a new house and I am so excited to make it feel like our home! Our laundry room is getting a makeover with some budget friendly updates to keep it under my $100 budget.
We have oak cabinets above our washer and dryer that I wanted to update. The most budget friendly way to update cabinets is with paint! I painted our kitchen cabinets at our last house and while it took quite a while, it was definitely worth it in the end!
I had some leftover paint from a living room project, and some leftover supplies from when I painted the cabinets at our fixer upper. So this cabinet upgrade cost me nothing! Painting cabinets can be such a great way to use up leftover paint that you may have laying around.
- – Krud Kutter
- – Towel / Rag
- – Paint brush
- – Primer
- – Small paint roller & foam rollers
- – Paint (I used the color Coney Island by Behr)
- – Drill or Screwdriver
How To Paint Oak Cabinets Without Sanding
- First you will need to clean your cabinets. I use Krud Kutter to both clean them and de-gloss the surface. This creates an ideal surface for the paint to adhere to so that it will stay on the surface well. I did NOT sand first, as the Krud Kutter does a great job of de-glossing and preparing the surface for paint. To apply follow the directions on the bottle, and use a damp rag/towel to apply. After they were clean I removed the hinges with a drill. It is way easier to paint the cabinets when all the hinges are removed!
- Next you will start by adding 2 coats of primer, letting it dry completely between coats. For a smooth finish I use an angled paintbrush for the hard to reach areas of the cabinet bases, and for the detailed inset parts of the cabinet doors. Then I go over the cabinet doors and easy to reach places on the cabinet base with a foam roller to apply the rest of the primer. You’ll want to make sure that you have a good amount of paint on the roller, but you don’t want it dripping off. Too much paint can drip onto un-wanted surfaces and make the finish uneven on the cabinets. If you feel you have too much paint on your roller, roll it out on the paint tray a few more times until you have your desired amount. Before you let your primer dry, make sure too check for any drips or pooling. It’s easiest to catch them quickly so you can simply go over them with the paint brush or roller to flatten them out. If you don’t catch them before the paint dries, you’ll have to sand down the areas after it has dried to re-apply. To save money I used a water-based primer that I already had on hand. Some oak cabinets can have a very deep grain that needs a great seal that a oil-based primer can provide. If you are on the fence about what primer to use, I’d go with an oil-based primer like this one to make sure that you are covering up the grain completely so it won’t show through later.
- Time to paint! I usually apply 2-3 coats of paint on cabinets to ensure good coverage. I used some leftover Behr paint from Home Depot in the color Coney Island. The color is a smokey teal and I’m loving it right now! I used the same process as the primer, using an angled paint brush and a foam roller to apply. Always make sure to read your paint can to see how long it takes for the paint to fully cure. This will help you to not mess up that beautiful paint job that you took the time to do! Because this paint has a sheen to it (eggshell) I didn’t add a topcoat. The sheen acts like a built-in topcoat. If you are concerned about chipping, you could add a water-based polycrylic sealer that will not change the color of the paint at all. I like to use the matte finish on my projects (like this play kitchen makeover that I recently completed!)
Almost Done With Your DIY Oak Cabinet Makeover!
After your cabinets and cabinet doors are dry, you can attach the hinges back onto the doors and onto the cabinet base. My cabinets did not have any hardware on them, so I’ll be drilling holes for new handles. I had some extra silver drawer pulls from our last kitchen renovation that I spray painted to modernize them! I’ll be adding those on in the next couple weeks.
I LOVE how the cabinets look now! It took me a few hours to get everything painted, but it was definitely worth it! The new color completely changes the look of the oak cabinets. This oak cabinet makeover has such a big impact!
Oak Cabinet Painting Questions Answered
Should I use a paint sprayer on my oak cabinets?
You don’t have to use a paint sprayer on oak cabinets. I used my angled paint brush and foam roller method to successfully paint oak cabinets with a beautiful finish.
What is the best color to paint oak cabinets?
I think cabinets can look beautiful in an array of colors! I think white cabinets are the most popular choice, and can look absolutely beautiful! Painting oak cabinets in an accent color like I did can totally change the look of a room.
Do you have to sand your oak cabinets before painting them?
No! The Krud Kutter de-glosses the surface and helps the primer and paint stick to the surface. If you are worried about paint adhesion you can opt to sand them (like I did in our kitchen makeover), but it is not always necessary.
Make sure to follow along each week this month as we transform our spaces for $100! I’m really excited to start my next project for our laundry room, a hand painted accent wall!