backsplash follow up part 1: cabinets

I’ve been putting this post off for a couple of weeks now.  Today seemed as good a day as any to address your questions, comments & concerns about the now-famous pallet wood backsplash & cabinet update.  Ok maybe it is only famous in my small little world but humor me, will ya?  It has certainly gotten a run around the diy blogs and pinterest.  Without further procrastination, the details…

Let’s start with the cabinet makeover…

Yes, those are laminate veneer cabinet doors that we painted.

How?  So many of you asked.  First, we primed them.  The best option for painting laminate is to start with an oil based primer.  Kate at Centsational Girl posted details about how to successfully do this.  We may or may not have used oil based primer.  Ok, we didn’t and so far so good.  The biggest complaint you’ve all had about using latex based primer or paint on laminate is that it rolls or peels off.  I suppose that could happen to our cabinets but they cured for about a month with no use which helps.  That brings me to my next point…

The hanging cabinets are actually wood.  Only the hideous cabinet doors are wood veneer.  Therefore, the doors could always be removed and upgraded without hanging new cabinets.  I’d like to think we’ll get a good couple of years out of the current paint job.  We also only painted the front and sides of the doors so the painted laminate is not “sticking” to another painted surface which would occur if the back sides of the doors were painted, if that makes sense.

In my last house, I had almost the exact same cabinets and I also painted the laminate cabinet fronts.  I used a Behr metallic paint and it held up for years.  I dug up an old pic to give you an idea of how it looked.  (I added Anthropologie hardware for a whimsical look.)  I never had an issue with the paint peeling.  Perhaps because of the metallic consistency but I believe it is because the painted laminate surface didn’t come in contact with another painted surface.  But if you want to avoid the guessing when painting laminate, use oil based primer.

That reminds me.  We could always remove the doors completely and go with the whole open shelf look.  More than a couple of readers suggested that after seeing the in progress photo.  I am a fan of the open shelf look but in moderation.  Like 2 open shelves, not a dozen so I doubt we’ll do that but I will keep it in mind.

People also asked about the painting technique…spraying vs. rolling vs. brushing.  I don’t own a paint sprayer.  I am actually kind of intimidated by them.  I can only imagine the paint all spraying back in my face or something.  I like to have more control over the application so the first coat was applied with a brush and the second coat was rolled on which left a nice texture that I think is also helping with adhesion.

The color for the cabinets is Benjamin Moore Woodmont Cream.

And finally, yes, I am considering cabinet hardware but I’m not committed to it.

I hope that answers everyone’s questions about painting laminate veneer cabinets.  Bottom line: use oil based primer.  Next installment will be about the pallet wood.  Stay tuned!

2013 update can be seen here

19 thoughts on “backsplash follow up part 1: cabinets

  1. I have these exact same laminate cabinets and am trying to figure out how to paint them as they REALLY need updating! Thanks so much for the pictures and directions, they are very helpful. I hope mine end up looking as good as yours!

  2. Hi my mum has the exact cabinets in cream and wooden Handel’s,. I want to paint them,and her tiles are brown ugly ha. So you prime them first,then a cabinet paint on top? Can I get them in Wilkinson’s,thanks Tracey

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