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January 31, 2012


Dawn @ The Feathered Nest

WONDERFUL!!!! I just love the transformation Karla!!!! And I always love the toothbrush trick....it's part of my class too :) I know Beth must love the change ~ such good buddies you guys are! xxoo, Dawn

Susan Reaney

Yes...#4. it looks wonderful and six hours. You are good workers, though!!! That is such a pretty wreath, Karla. I think I am going to pin it...with your name on it, of course!

Sharon, Morrison Mercantile

paint it the color of the cabinets so they all blend. Painting it the wall color and glazing it, will had a 3rd color to the room.
Watching this makes me want to paint my cabinets, and I have a lot of them. I hate my cabinets.


Karla, In the past I have lightly sanded the surface of my dishwasher and painted it with the primer and paint so it matched my cabinets. It really helps to eliminate an odd colored dishwasher. I like the color of my applianes to match. I never had one until my last house when I bought it myself, so I had take the color to it myself. I never had peeling or cracking. I'd paint the door the same as the cabinets. to me it would match better.


I vote #4 so the door just sort of vanishes. I'm glad you decided to paint it. It really popped out in the light room and this will be much better. By the way, I did try the Glidden Gripper, on your recommendation, and I LOVE it!

Tricia k. Johnson

Hi Karla, I'm beginning to wonder….seriously…do you sleep?
Your just too cute!!!
And on a side note…your son… be proud!!! How fortunate are the both of you ~ being he's able to live safely above your studio yet have his independence too!!!
Such Sweet Blessings!!!!
I hope you have a wonderful day,.
P.S. ~ I've started working on your/my Bird Song #2 Event goodies ~ which equals ~ fun for me!!!

Thespoena McLaughlin

Excellent tutorial! Thanks! I have the same ugly dated "light" wood cabinets and have thought of painting them, but this house ain't that great and didn't want to spend that much effort on it. Now I think I might give it a try! Thanks a bunch!


Karla I have gold cabinet tops. Can a person paint them or would it chip and peel off. You did a wonderful job on the cabinets. I painted my walnut cabinets white a couple of years ago.


These look really pretty and I'm especially happy to hear about the bonding primer. I'm not sure when I'll have time to tackle this, but one thing holding me back was having to strip or sand. Thanks!

Beth Leintz

Right now the door is #3. I like how it blends into the wall, but I might try the faux finish. Thanks again!


Looks fantastic - I have been wanting to paint a glossy vanity, thanks for the info about the primer. Oh, and I vote for #3 same color as the cabinets, it appears to be a small space so I think doing a faux treatment on the door might get a bit busy.


Love the change, but you forgot step 6. Get friends from Kansas to come paint your kitchen!
I agree with disturbing dark doors & trim when everything is light. I have a love/hate with magnets. I love to put the kids pics up on the fridge but it gets so bogged down sometimes when I open the door an avalanche of paper comes pouring down on me!


You got all that done in 6 hours? *mind boggles* Wow, you are good.

Either way she decides to finish painting the door, I suspect Beth will think of you and your whirlwind talent every time she uses the kitchen.


Wow your home is just beautiful!!!


What type of brushes did you use when painting the cabinets for a smooth finish? So glad I found your website before I sanded. I started sanding and thought I would google and see if I could paint furniture and cabinets without sanding first. Whew! You have saved me so much time and energy. Thank you.

Karla Nathan

I dont usually care about smooth surfaces, those will require sanding between coats. I prefer a timeworn look, a little rough.

Sent from my iPad


Love the tutorial. Thanks a bunch!

Are you still happy having painted over the hinges on the cabinet doors?
I have several linen closet cabinets to do, and think I can put the primer on without getting very close to the hinges. I was wondering if I "painted" on a thin coat of Vaseline with a small paint brush, and was careful not to drag that into my top coats, that it might work so I don't have to take off the doors.
What do you think? I have seen several on pinterete using Vaseline to keep the top paint off of some of the under coats for distressing.

Karla Nathan

Ive never tried Vaseline. But I like the look of painted hinges, so Im happy with mine that way. I like the hardware to blend in, not stand out, but that is a personal preference.

Karla Nathan


How long did you let the primer dry?

Karla Nathan

We started painting the first cabinet as soon as we finished priming the last. The whole job was done in a day.

Karla Nathan


I apologize if someone has already asked you this, but what if the kitchen cabinets are not real wood, pressed board covered with a fake veneer wood. Is it still okay to use the primer? Will it make the fake wood swell? Thank you for all the great advice.

Karla Nathan

No problem. You are fine with primer over fake wood, if its laminate you might want a stronger primer, maybe oil based.

Karla Nathan

Donna Boyer

What color of acrylic craft paint did you use? I would like my cabinets to turn out just like yours.


Seeing this makes me wish I had DIYer friends. :) And I am so sorry I paid so much to have my cabinets painted. I like this finish much better than I like mine. Lighter but richer. Good Job!!!!

Karla Nathan

Thanks, Clearissa, it was fun to do with my DIYer friends!


What color acrylic craft paint did you use?

Karla Nathan

The craft paint was kind do a coffee color.

Darlene Sand

Dear Karla:

I just felt compelled to thank you most sincerely for your generosity of spirit and deed in sharing - right down to the last detail - so much information re your kitchen cabinet do-over. I found it most interesting, and due to your casual approach - vis a vis your explanations, I do believe that I will be able to tackle the dreadful cabinets that I have been living with for far too many years.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Darlene

Karla Nathan

Im so glad this was helpful for you, Darlene!


Love the cabinet color combo.

Karen Ely

Just buying a 19 year old house in JAX, FL that will be killer when redone on my tight budget. Wood cabinets will be recycled using your suggestion of Glidden Int/Ext Gripper primer then 2 coats of light gray paint in satin finish. I normally use Behr Ultra Premium paint/primer but should I use some other paint/finish to achieve a smooth lasting finish ? You have been so much help already ! Thanks !! Karen

Karla Nathan

I love all Behr paints except the newest, Marquee, I think is the name. Horrid results, watery and drippy.

You can always top coat with a clear water based polycrylic like Minwax if you want more durability than just paint.


love these cabinets! does the primer work on cabinets that are already painted?Really want to do this with mine but looking for the easiest way to re-do them. Really don't want to have to sand them down. Thanks!

Karla Nathan

Yes, a good, bonding primer will adhere over oil or latex paint. No sanding.

Eula Walters

Please tell us what brand and color paint you used for the cabinets. I have found that certain paints do not do well on painted cabinets, and I don't want to make this mistake again. Thank you

Karla Nathan

I try to always use Behr paint and like the paint and primer together. But NEVER the new one, Marquee, with primer in it. I had a terrible time with that one. Im not sure of the color, this was done a few years ago, and is at a friends house, not mine, Eula.


What did you use for the top coat later to finish?

Karla Nathan

Im fond of using Minwax Polycrylic, it is water based, doesnt yellow.


To make sure I got this right, the primer will adhere to cabinets that have been painted and the covered in a high gloss sealer?

Karla Nathan

If you use a bonding primer that says it will adhere to glossy surfaces. Ive painted laminate with it. If you have an extremely glossy surface, Id use an oil based bonding primer instead of water based, that is always stronger, Deb.

Allison Bates

The cabinets look great! Wish you could paint the fridge the same.


I want to do this but am afraid. Does the paint ever stick & pull up paint when it comes in contact with other wood, etc.?

Karla Nathan

If you use a bonding primer, your paint will adhere, Carla. If you try to paint latex over oil or flat over gloss without bonding primer then yes it will pull up.

Karla Nathan

PS- make sure you give the paint and primer time to cure

Chris acocella

hi just wondering what the cabinets look like now

Karla Nathan

I visited her a couple of weeks ago, Chris, and they look great. The paint is holding up perfectly.


I am also a refrigerator magnet hater!!!! I'm def gonna use this when I get the courage to paint my cabinets...... Black I think!!!


One of the best primers for base coating stretched canvas for painting.


If I want to paint my cabinets white, do I need to use regular paint over the bonding primer or can I just use the white primer and be done with it?

Karla Nathan

You cant leave bonding primer as is, it has to be sealed. Your best bet is another coat of paint.


In your photo of the paint can, it's says "primer/sealer" so I thought it sealed itself.

Karla Nathan

I think that means it seals stains so you can paint over them, Erin.


What about a knotty pine , will it cover ?

Karla Nathan

Id use an oil based primer to seal knotty pine,Cathy.


Why not just buy the special cabinet paint they sell just for cabinets? I dont think theyll need a sealer then. Or do they?

Karla Nathan

Ive not tried that, Dee. I can only talk about what has worked for me.


This is a valuable and clear tutorial. Thank you, Karla

Ann Marie

Cabinets look great but I have one question. Why was the dark wood trim around the window not painted as well? That bothers me just as much is the door, LOL. Great job in such a short amount of time!

Karla Nathan

AnnMarie, if I’d gotten a photo of the whole space and connecting, open dining and living room, it would make more sense for you.

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About Karla Nathan

Creating Art Journals

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