Kitchen Renovation Stage 1: Painting of cabinet doors

Here is my inspiration for what I wanted my condo kitchen to be: White and grey with green accents

Here’s what I got:


The only redeeming quality of this kitchen was the in-unit washer/dryer- a Chicago apartment gold mine.  I purchased this place knowing that eventually this kitchen would get renovated.  However, I wanted to live in it first before I made any major structural changes.  But I knew I couldn’t live with hideous yellow striped cabinets a day longer.  Bring out the paint!


  • White paint
  • Rollers and brushes
  • Screwdriver
  • New oven Range and dishwasher (optional)

Total number of hours: About 12 hours total – Weekend project

Step 1: Remove the cabinets from wall(optional)

Only do this step if you want to move the cabinets or paint the walls.  Otherwise this step is pointless.

Removing cabinets was harder than I thought it would be.  Not only were they screwed to the wall, but they were also connected together.  It took me way too long to figure that out.  After I unscrewed everything, it took another lengthy amount of time to figure out how to get the cabinets off the wall.  Actually my mom was the one that figured out that you have to tilt and push up because it rested on a small bracket.

Step 2: Remove doors from the cabinets


Unfortunately the inside of the cabinets were not much better than the outside.  They were old, dirty metal cabinets.  The previous owner try to “spruce them up” with putting contact paper on the shelves.  However, they were not placed properly, had stuck on gunk and left a really sticky residue.

I cut corners and did not remove the bottom cabinet doors.  It ended up fine…but it was a lot harder and a little sloppy.

Step 3: Clean what feels like years of cooking grease off the doors

No pictures but trust me, it was tedious and gross.

Step 4: Remove hardware from doors

Take the time to remove the door handles and hinges.  Painting over them looks sloppy and can clog up the hardware.

Step 5: Paint doors

I notice that I got the best coverage and finish I wanted when I painted with a brush and then went over with a roller.  If I would do it again, I would prime the actual cabinets.  Trying to paint over the dark brown metal took a lot coats and still ended up streaky.


Extra step: Remove all the cabinets and paint walls white

Since I was already in the painting mood and had NO desire to keep the walls yellow, I decided to to take advantage of the empty cabinets and pulled them all down.  Initially I was going to paint the walls grey but then felt it would make my place too monotone with the living room. Since I wasn’t prepare to paint the kitchen white, I ran out of paint.  I left space between the counters and cabinets because I plan to eventually cover it with a back splash.


Step 6: Put everything back together…after buying fancy new appliances

I was shocked how one gallon of paint made an exponential difference to the kitchen.  I guess the brand new range and dishwasher help little as well.  The new range was about 3 inches bigger than the old one and left an awkward gap where a base cabinet doesn’t fit anymore.  Too much to worry about right now.  For the time being, this is Stage 1 of many is completed in my Kitchen Renovation.


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