Archive of ‘Paint’ category

Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets

Paint your Kitchen cabinets-finished look

Paint your Kitchen Cabinets

Just DIY it!

Hello readers, with today’s post we start to show you how to Paint your Kitchen Cabinets!  Well, can you believe we all made it to Friday!  Hope you all have some great projects to complete today – I know I have many.  Lately, I have had clients come to Hello I Live Here for help on how to Paint your kitchen cabinets several times a week.  So, it got us thinking, how about a blog post that shows how we painted our own cabinets.  Hopefully after you read this post you will see what it takes to paint your kitchen cabinets – and say GO FOR IT!  What’s the worst thing that can happen – beautiful new kitchen cabinets for a fraction of the cost?  It makes since to me that if you just follow the prepping steps of your paint choice carefully, you should have happy cabinets for a long time.

When I decided to paint our kitchen cabinets, I had to learn just like anyone else – it’s involved and I wanted it right the first time.  Research was key, and that meant hours of skimming U-Tube videos, reading books, on-line sites proclaiming to be the best at this process, and just asking a million and one questions.   I poured through time and time again.  I got so tired of contradicting messages, do I prime, don’t I prime, do I clean – don’t I clean  – I wanted to rip my hair out.  So I stopped the insanity and did 3 things.

First, I went to a couple local paint shops (because after all those mom and pop shops sell paint – they must know something about the process – right?) It was a good thing I did – using people who know paint saved me a bunch of time. My first stop was at Flanagan’s Paints and Supplies in Ellisville where Jay Donnelly educated me on all their wonderful brands and laid out the steps. Paint your kitchen cabinets - Flanagan paints

Needing more opinions, my second stop Reinke Decorating Centers in Des Peres where Carl Reinke told me about using General Finishes paint (but being a new merchant to the GF family, his stock had not come in yet).

Paint your kitchen cabinets - Reineke decorating


Finding both of these paint supply stores was an awesome thing, and if you need a great painter for your cabinets because you are just not up to DIY, they will refer you to local pros who can make those cabinets shine! But if you are a DIY nut like me, you will save a bundle of money doing it yourself and get a great painted cabinet – We did.

Second, arming  myself with all the information, I took the time to visit places that had painted cabinets like Three French Hens (I love the look of their lovely French painted cabinets). I searched and dreamed about the type of cabinet I wanted in my home (which by the way went from a Three French Hen’s story to the simple cottage grey and white theme we have today) – Simple, comfortable, and works well for our laid back style of living.

Paint your kitchen cabinets - three french hens

Oh, you want to know the third thing?  Well, okay – one day when I talked myself out of doing my cabinets after the information paralysis,  I started looking for places to get quotes – I know!!!! I paint for a living!!! But the bidding shops I spoke to left me in fear that I would not be able to handle it.  I went to 4 different places and I was so shocked to see the quotes ranged in prices from $1,500 all the way to $8,000 for a 10 x 10 kitchen!  My reaction was what – say what!!!!  (my clients reading this understand that reaction because I take the time to save them so much on painted furniture) I am sure they could have used a spatula to get my chin off the floor.


Torn between paying a contractor and wading through all the information I learned to paint your kitchen cabinets I received a web link for a video on painting cabinets.  It was like the cabinet Gods knew! There it was lit up on my screen a lady with curly hair and a paint brush starring right out of my screen telling me it was easier than I thought!  That little Magic Paint brush taunted me to click around the blog and read all that Jennifer Allwood over at The Magic Brush had to offer me in the kitchen cabinet arena – crazy right?

Paint your kitchen cabinets - Magic Brush

After reading Jennifer’s story – I decide what the heck and down loaded her very informative and encouraging Painted cabinet’s video.  This video gave me the courage (yep even though I paint furniture for all of you; I too needed encouragement for the areas I am not comfy – and mine was cabinets).  This one video gave me the courage to stop painting furniture for a couple days and start painting my own cabinets.  So if you follow the directions carefully you just cannot beat DIY – and paint your kitchen cabinets.

At the cost of a $47 video (each) I learned to paint cabinets and you can too.  The way Jennifer teaches – Magical, just like that brush that popped onto my screen!  When you watch her videos, even though she is talking to all who buy them she has a way of making it sound like she is talking only to you.  It’s a breath of fresh air!  So, I provided a link for you to grab a video and watch before you commit to a $5,000 price tag like I almost did.

With my new found confidence I had to find just the right paint brand to paint our kitchen cabinets.  You would think all paints do pretty much the same thing, but you would be wrong.  Every brand is just a little different.  I opted for General Finishes, especially after talking with Carl Reineke and how great General Finishes does on kitchen cabinets.

Paint your kitchen cabinets - General Finishes

The dry rate of General Finishes was awesome – it went on like butter, and leveled out so nice you cannot see one brush stroke – and yep I painted every piece by hand with a good Pro Purdy brush, which we will show you our step by steps on our finished cabinets starting on Monday’s blogs .

Paint your kitchen cabinets - Purdy Professional Brushes

Now that my cabinets are finished, I am going to blog the procedure starting Monday, but don’t look at the counter tops – the new ones are not here yet!   We will show you how to map out your kitchen so all the doors go back into place right the first time, the products that worked best for our kitchen, and hopefully make you a happy DIY homeowner with a new kitchen for a fraction of the cost.

Seriously, once you see how easy it was for us to complete our 10 x 10 kitchen in a weekend – you will want to pick up that brush and do it yourself.  Hubby and I actually had a blast working together on the project, and by the end of the second day (well the first one too) we toasted with a great bottle of wine (which we bought at Luka’s Liquor – go see Gary the owner, he’s a hoot and always has a great story to share)!

Paint your kitchen cabinets - Lukas Liquor

Now that I have you intrigued do you want to try the DIY method and paint your kitchen cabinets? Well, there is some homework.  First, visit some local paint shops in your area. Second, order the cabinet video from Jennifer Allwood’s The Magic Brush site, watch it. (We receive no monetary payments for this reference).  Finally, gain your freedom to keep your money in exchange for your own labor if you have a weekend to spare and the guts to paint your kitchen cabinets.

Well, that’s my share for tonight – Meet me back here on Monday as I show you just how easy it was to create the painted cabinets we now love.

Till Monday my friends!

Linda  🙂























Chalk Paint…Yep Another Opinion

Chalk Paint…Yep Another Opinion

Just have fun

Hi Y’all – well, here we go – Chalk Paint…Yep Another Opinion!  Lately we are reading a bunch about chalk paints by those who choose not to use them.  I want to clear the air about Chalk Paint and why we use it.  For Hello I Live Here, the perfectly imperfect decorative paint helps give otherwise old, ugly furniture a beautiful velvety, matte finish.  It’s not meant to hide an older piece of furniture, but to accentuate its aged beauty.


Annie Sloan Graphite and professional top coat
Annie Sloan Graphite and professional top coat

I use this delicious paint because it is very easy to work with, rarely requires heavy prep like other paints, and can be used indoors or outside on almost any surface you can dream up with amazing results.  The best thing, you don’t have to be a professional to use this wonderful fun paint.  To me, painting should always be a pleasure, whether for a living or as a hobby, a beautiful piece of furniture can be born with the help of Chalk paint.

DIY China Hutch Make-Over


My favorite chalk paint…Annie Sloan – I purchase mine at Wood Icing inside Chesterfield Mall from the very informative Rose and staff.  I drool thinking about the delicious color palette inspired by 18th and 20th century décor and design.  The colors are easily mixed together to dream up almost any color and your eyes will adore it, but the best thing, it’s eco-friendly has low volatile organic compounds (VOC), and has no odor.  Now, I hear you asking why this is important – for me – I paint professionally.  Living in St Louis MO it gets cold and or hot, and even though my shop is heated/cooled there are times the controlled temp just will not cut it, so with the savior of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and it’s low odor and VOC’s I can paint inside my home and feel perfectly comfortable doing so.

Annie Sloan Duck Egg Blue and Glaze
Annie Sloan Duck Egg Blue and Glaze


This remarkable paint at times gets a bad rap from others questioning it’s limitations, which trust me EVERY paint has limitations, and scientific or not, all paints will scratch, mark or discolor at some point in their life – it’s not science, it’s called LIFE.  Should waxed pieces be placed in front of windows?  Well, for me personally, I have a piece in front of a window that’s been there for 2 years – it has never melted, and has never been touched up – Hubby sits in that chair next to it every day and uses coffee mugs (with a coaster of course) and it still has minimal wear.  So my advice here, if you have a waxed piece of any kind by a window – make sure the window has a UV protective tint, for us, this is a must in our home as we hate discolored rugs or hardwood flooring, and it actually keeps the house cooler in summer and warmer in the winter.  Problem of sunlight for us using chalk paint with wax was SOLVED by adding window tint.

Thrift Store Side Table Upcycle


Another thing people who do not use chalk paint say … “chalk paint is expensive.”  Well, anything good is worth paying for in my opinion!  One quart covers roughly around 140 square feet, and you will pay $44.00 with Tax, that’s about .31 cents a square foot.  When you can use 1 can on several projects and cost it out does that seem expensive to you?  I have bought other brands for less or around the same price that will not cover as much Square foot, but if I like the brand it does not stop me from using the product.  Trust me when I say you can put a price on beauty that’s affordable 😉 With the help of chalk paints, Hello I Live Here, is able to give our clients quality pieces at a price we can both afford, and my clients know quality and price is MY bottom line!

step 7


I have read many debates on using this wonderful paint on kitchen cabinets.  Well, if the manufacture says it can be done, to me it can.  I personally would not use a wax, but that’s just me – I prefer a good lacquer or professional top coat on a cabinet, I am a clean freak, and for me this just works – but if it’s your cabinets and you want to give it a try – please watch the videos provided so you are making sure you are sealing the products properly.  Enough said!

Thrift Store Furniture Makeover


Let’s talk table tops – can you uses it on high traffic pieces?  According to the cans – yes you can.  I would recommend again watching the video for sealing it properly, or using 3-5 coats of a strong professional top coat – the table below looks pretty happy to me ;-).  Many chalk paints play well with professional top coats and I have personally used Modern Masters, General Finishes, Lacquer, Minwax and even AquaZar top coats on my favorite brand, Annie Sloan with great results.  All have held up to my family’s abuse.  The one thing I tell my clients, if you have small children wax may not fit your family’s needs for cleaning and it may need a wax touch up as time goes on, if this is a bother to you and lower matinee is preferred  – go with a top coat.  So far, my clients have been happy with this information and have not shied away from asking for chalk paints.  Personally, the more information you provide the easier it is to know what can and cannot happen, not with only chalk paint, but with other paints as well.

Table completed with Annie Sloan French Linen and Professional Top Coat
Table completed with Annie Sloan French Linen and Professional Top Coat


Others talk about paint bleed from older pieces with chalk paints.  Well, I have to say, this problem happens less with my chalk paints than any other brands I use.  The way to get around bleeds – PREP.  Yep…this is where the prep is necessary. If is a bleeding antique,  Clean the piece with a professional cleaner like TSP to package directions.  Once clean, seal and prime the piece.  If using a lighter chalk paint color prime twice, let dry completely and start your paint process according to the company’s instruction.  I do it just like this and bleed is not a problem – after the second coat and a good dry overnight, my problem is SOLVED. – Just look at that vanity shine – She was Mahogany the worst bleeding wood of all!

Antique vanity completed with Old Ochre by Annie Sloan
Antique vanity completed with Old Ochre by Annie Sloan


Really, any paint of any type will have limitations.  The thing about paint of any brand, you need to learn how to work within that brands limitations to make it the best painted project it can be.  Paint is truly a personal preference –in the end it’s totally up to you.  I say try more than one brand and use what you like, as you all know, I blog many brands of paint sent to me weekly.  Some are good others not so much, but the one thing I can say, I can manipulate them all to work for me because I look to see how I can work within the paints limitations.  We as painters are here to give our opinion, but at the end of the day, I want my clients to choose what’s best for them. (That’s General Finishes in Lamp Black below – again another happy piece).

Our NestSo, now that you hear the side of chalk paint from a painter who uses it daily you will feel great about trying new things, even chalk paints.   I hope the opinions and techniques I have shared that are my very own, and work for me help you see chalk paints are not as scary as portrayed by others if you use the products to the manufactures instructions.  After all, if we were all looking for the science in things we would never use any products on the market – am I right?

DIY Dresser with Country Chic Paints


Happy Painting everyone and remember have fun with YOUR project no matter the brand you choose – because at the end of the day your project should be as low stress as you want it to be. 🙂


Highest regards,