DIY Cabinet Makeover

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Thanks for stopping by FIG TREE today! If you’re here reading this right now and you want to know more about my DIY Cabinet makeover, that tells me you’re probably thinking about trying it yourself soon. Am I right? Well, don’t worry, you’ll find all the details like which products I used, what color I chose, and how I did it below.

I posted my DIY Cabinet makeover Before & After pics in a Home Décor Facebook group I belong to and within a few days I had over 1400 comments and questions, so I decided to create my own Facebook group, @how2hometo share all of my project Before & After pics. I hope you’ll share your Before & After pics with us and invite all your family and friends to join and post theirs too, @how2home!

If you’ve ever done any kind of DIY, then you know firsthand what I’m about to say. The fact is, doing any kind of home DIY for the first time can be kind of scary, and let’s face it, sometimes it turns out to be a complete disaster!

Many times, the reason folks decide to try DIY is because it can save a whole lot of money, but without a little guidance, sometimes things go sideways and it ends up costing you more than you bargained for.


I created how2home as a group forum for DIY + Everyday Tips & Tricks, Recipes, Home Decor & More... a place to share anything and everything home related.

It's a place to share your DIY successes, and even the not so successful ones, ask questions, and seek a little guidance with anything home related.

The idea is that TOGETHER we can help take away a lot of the fear of DIY, help reduce the number of DIY fails, create a lot more DIY successes for folks, and help them save a buck or two in the process.

I believe that if we’re willing to share our knowledge and expertise with each other, we can build an amazing community to accomplish this and do a whole lot more!


If you haven’t already, I hope you’ll head on over to join our FIG TREE family @how2home today and share your latest projects with us there or ask a question or two or three if you need help!

And don't forget to invite everyone you know because the more folks that join our how2home family the deeper and wider our knowledge & experience base will be.

Now let’s get back to why you stopped by my blog at FIG TREE today… my DIY Cabinet makeover

So, here’s a little of the backstory. I needed to do some updates recently to a condo unit to get it ready to rent, and let’s just say the kitchen and adjoining laundry room floors were outdated and way past due for an update.

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If you’ve ever decided to do an update and you’re like me, then you completely understand what happens next, it just leads to another project and then another and another… ($$$$) LOL!!!!

Unfortunately, last fall in the condo we had an upstairs bathroom pipe burst in the middle of the night, ugh!! Early the next morning we had waterlogged carpet, soggy sheetrock from ceiling to floor, including the walls and a whole lot more!

We had a restoration company come out and repair the mess, including patching part of the ceiling and a wall in the kitchen. The previous owner had painted the kitchen turquoise and instead of trying to match the color to paint the repaired wall we decided to take the opportunity to go ahead and repaint the entire kitchen and laundry room with a more neutral color scheme (We used Agreeable Gray from Sherwin Williams, SW 7029).

As I said, one project leads to another, right?? Once we repainted the kitchen, the floors stuck out like a sore thumb. Then when we replaced the flooring (I will share my Before & After pics of the flooring soon too!), the cabinets were, well let’s be honest, in desperate need of being rescued from the '80’s!

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Time and money were definitely an issue for this DIY Cabinet makeover project for several reasons. The first issue being that the condo is not in the same state that I reside in, in fact it’s about a 9-hour road trip. And the unexpected out-of-pocket expenses for my insurance deductable + the cost to repair the pipes that burst meant the updates I had been planning to make needed to be scaled back. A LOT!

FYI: Homeowners’ insurance only pays for the repair of the damage that was caused by the pipes bursting, not to fix the pipes themsleves that actually caused the whole mess, who knew?@#$%!

So, instead of putting new cabinets in the condo, painting them became a much more affordable option. Many years ago, I had painted the cabinets in my current home, so I decided to give it a go and paint the cabinets myself.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t usually make paint color choices quickly. I like to consider all the options that are available first and then I painstakingly narrow it down to just a few before settling on the perfect hue.

There's no denying that it takes me awhile to decide on the perfect color scheme. Heck, I’ve been known to have color swatches strategically placed throughout my house for weeks, let’s be real, months at a time before nailing down a choice.

It's not easy to choose because the lighting changes throughout the day and from season to season too, not that I've ever had color swatches on the wall long enough to go from one season to another! Well, ok... maybe once or twice, LOL!

But it's true, lighting can drastically affect the way a color looks, so I always take my time and look at it from a bazillion different angels, literally, and my family can attest to this!

Ok, so I’ll admit that I may have a little OCD and for those of you familiar with the Enneagram Personality Styles, it doesn’t help that I’m a ONE, which means I tend to struggle with getting it just right.

So maybe I’ve got a little Martha Stewart down deep inside, LOL! I like things to look a certain way, what's wrong with that? And I need things to FEEL just right because I can’t rest until they do and the universe is aligned. Admittedly it’s a blessing and a curse, can anyone else relate?

This project really pushed me way past my comfort zone for many reasons and it had to get done ASAP. I had a 4-day window to travel there, paint, and then drive back home. That meant I had to make a color choice at lightening speed, something I had NEVER done before. I truly needed the force to be with me!

Can I just say God Bless the Sherwin Williams ColorSnap app that I stumbled upon when I was on Pinterest pinning pics of painted cabinets and their paint colors. Yes, I spent hours pinning cabinet colors. 

I was initially thinking I’d paint the cabinets white because I know I like white cabinets and it would be an easy choice, but with the new flooring, I couldn’t ignore my gut feeling that said I needed to go darker.

I started looking at light to mid-grays on the ColorSnap app, which lets you upload a pic of the room you want to paint and then you can choose the parts of the room and the color you’d like to paint and voila, it magically changes the pic to give you a feel for what it might look like. 

When I consider my old ways of trying to pick a color, this app has been a true life-changer! I know the workers at my local Sherwin Williams would cringe when they saw me coming because I would secretly swipe handfuls of those little paint swatches and then go home and tape them together to make larger swatches. I'm not gonna lie, on more than one occasion I had to visit multiple stores in the area in order to gather enough swatches when they were running low. And then my life was transformed when they started making the small sample paint containers for $5 and I could paint huge swaths of color on my walls, totally worth it in my opinion!

But holy cow, to have every paint color at my fingertips, and at the touch of a button I can change the color and “see” what it might look like is mind-blowing, and also a bit dangerous for folks like me. I could seriously spend hours trying out different colors, oh my!

Thanks to the ColorSnap app I ended up choosing Peppercorn (SW 7674), a dark gray, which I never would’ve had the courage to try otherwise. I am so glad that I went with the Peppercorn because it looks amazing with the new flooring and I am in love with the outcome! 

BTW, I also replaced the chandelier while I was there and will be posting Before & After pics of that soon @how2home!

I included info below about the products I used and the steps I took to complete my DIY Cabinet makeover. Feel free to message me with any questions you have if you didn’t find the answers you were looking for.

*FYI - I did not receive any form of incentive to share info about the products I used.



Owner of FIG TREE & creator of how2home


Products I used for my DIY Cabinet makeover:

*I did not receive any incentives for sharing the products I used.

Sherwin Williams:

Peppercorn SW 7674:

  •  4-Inch roller, 2.5-Inch angle brush, and small handle angle brush

Check out this handy Brush & Roller guide.
  • Plastic drop cloths - I usually get mine at the Dollar Tree

  • Painters tape


  • Remove hardware, clean, put in ziplock baggie & label until cabinets are dry and they can be reinstalled. I have learned that projects don't always get finished as quickly as I think they will and it's easy to forget what hardware goes where. Putting them in a baggie with a label has saved a lot of headaches over the years.
  • Clean cabinet surfaces to be painted to remove any grease & grime that would prevent paint from adhering well. I used a white vinegar solution of 1:2 ratio vinegar to water + a few drops of dishwashing liquid and a scrubbing sponge. A clean surface is extrememly important to get a good finish.
  • Let cabinets dry thoroughly.
  • Tape off the edges of the inside of cabinet doors letting the tape overlap the edges and tape any other areas where you don’t want paint to overlap onto other surfaces. I opted to only paint the exterior of the cabinets and I left the interior unpainted due to time constraints.I also left the cabinet doors attached and did not remove them.
  • Cover any countertops or appliances with a dropcloth. I used plastic dropcloths from the Dollar Tree.

  • Prime the cabinet frame. I used the 4-inch roller to apply the paint and then quickly brushed it out with the angle brush until smooth. I used the small handle angle brush in tight spaces. Let the frame dry while priming the cabinet doors.
  • Prime the cabinet doors leaving them open while painting and drying. The cabinet frame was dry by the time I was finished priming the doors.
  • Paint the cabinet frame. I again applied the paint with a 4-inch roller and quickly brushed it out with an angle brush until smooth. Let dry.
  • Paint the cabinet doors. Let dry according to directions on paint can. I let mine dry overnight.

  • Paint second coat on cabinet frame. Let dry
  • Remove painter's tape and then put the hardware back on the cabinets. I didn't have time to get new hardware, but plan to update that in the future too.
  • 3rd coat may or may not be needed to completely cover the wood grain. If time were not an issue I woud've done a 3rd coat, but I was still very happy with the coverage and how the finish turned out. You could still barely see the wood grain with only 2 coats.

I did this project entirely by myself and it took about 2.5 long days to prep, prime, and paint 2 coats on the kitchen cabinets and I also primed and painted an 80's style bathroom vanity (Peppercorn, SW 7674).


Day 1 – prep

Day 2 – prime and paint 1st coat

Day 3 - paint 2nd coat of paint
Total cost of supplies for my DIY Cabinet makeoverWith my 30% off coupon it came to about $100+ tax (I already had the drop cloths, paint brushes, and rollers).

Feel free to message me with any questions you have if you didn’t find the answers you were looking for. Good luck on your DIY Cabinet makeover and don't forget to share YOUR Before & After pics with us @how2home

*FYI - I did not receive any form of incentive to share info about the products I used.

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