Archive of ‘DIY’ category

How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets

How to paint kitchen cabinets - project complete

How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets

Just DIY It!

Hi HELLO family – well its ready –  How to paint your kitchen cabinets is happening right here tonight!  I wanted to take my time writing this post to capture all you need to know to do your DIY project.  So, how many of you did your homework?  Did you visit a paint shop and ask those questions?  Have you chosen your brand of paint?  Did you order the Cabinet Video from The Magic Brush?

Great job!  Now let’s get started on how to paint kitchen cabinets the Hello I Live Here way.

What you need:

Cordless drill or screwdriver
Krud Cutter or Trisodium phosphate (TSP)
Rubber gloves
Protective goggles
Putty knife
Spackling compound or wood filler
120- to 220-grit sandpaper
Tack cloth or rag
Painter’s tape
Drop cloth
Paintbrushes, 1.5-inch tapered and 2-inch-wide synthetic fiber brushes
Microfiber paint rollers, 2-3 inches wide
Paint tray and stir sticks


First, you really need to think about the paint you want to use.  We chose to use General Finishes Milk Paints to complete our project.

How to paint kitchen cabinets - General Finishes

We like this paint because it has a very good self-leveling agent.  This helps to level out the brush marks as the paint dries for a super smooth finish, which for us was the only choice since we were hand brushing everything. Because we are doing a cottage theme in the villa, we decided on Antique White for the tops, and Queenstown Gray for the bottoms.  We used 1 quart of each color (not bad right?)

Then, drop cloth cover all surfaces you do not want paint on, like your counters and floors, and use painters table around edges to keep paint off back-splash if you have one, and side walls.  We elected not to drop cloth the floors or the counter tops because, well, we are ripping both out.  Wood floors will be installed and new counter tops are on order along with back-splash systems.  But, you may not be doing those upgrades, so make sure you prep these areas before starting.

Next, remove those hinges and hardware.  (Note: I did not empty out my cabinets because I am a freak and clean mine every couple weeks to remove debris.) The best way to paint cabinets is to remove the doors and drawers. Don’t ever paint over the hardware – it’s an expensive mistake and keeps doors and drawers from closing correctly. Now, map out that kitchen! Map just how the doors and drawers go together in the kitchen by labeling each piece with its position.

How to Paint kitchen cabinets - label doors and frames


This helps you reassembly fast and easy. Use a cordless drill or screwdriver to remove hinges and hardware. If your cabinets have adjustable shelves, be sure to remove those — and the hardware that supports them — from the cabinets – ours set far enough back so we had no need to remove them as they do not touch the frames.

Once you are done mapping out the door return system, then you are going to scrub the cabinets like crazy!  Strap on the goggles, glove up and Get in there – remove all the junk and grease that all cabinets have on them. You can use TSP or Krud Cutter.  We used Krud Cutter an all-purpose, water-based, multi-task cleaner, degreaser, stain remover, and exterior wash. It removes even the toughest stains. Leaves no residue and requires no rinsing. It’s non-toxic, biodegradable, non-abrasive, and non-flammable.  Spray or wash on and let dry thoroughly before the next step.  You can purchase Krud Cutter at a paint supply store or your local Lowe’s or Home Depot.

How to paint kitchen cabinets -Krud Kutter

All clean and dry? Remember, if your cabinets are in great shape and free of nicks and dents, you can degloss with Krud Cutter and you not have to sand.  But if your cabinets are in bad shape and need work, now is the time to use a putty knife and the wood filler to fill any nicks or dents with spackling compound or wood filler; let dry. Sand the surface with 120- to 220-grit sandpaper to dull the surface and smooth down any imperfections. You can use a small sanding block from Home Depot to softly sand the areas and the frames and doors in all places. Use a tack cloth or damp rag to remove the dust after sanding.

Now that you are done, prepping, mapping, and cleaning the doors and frames, it’s time to do the prep work.  If you are using new hardware, make sure they are either the same size as what you are removing, or fill those holes with wood filler, and sand lightly to remove any hard surface – you want them smooth.

Prep work is important to the validly of the finished product.  Select a primer that’s recommended for the type of surface you have (wood, metal, or laminate) and have it tinted to the color of the top coat.

How to Paint kitchen cabinets  - primer the doors


This is especially important if the surface is dark or stained because the original finish can “bleed,” or be visible, through the top coat.

Again, this is where your paint stores like Reinke Decorating or Flanagan Paint & Supplies come in handy.

Consulting with the expert at your paint retailer can help you decide between a waterborne or solvent-borne primer.  We used Zinsser primer special for our type of cabinets (they were not the real wood we thought they were – so this worked great). We used a good Pro Purdy brush for primer, and worked it all in with the roller first, then stroked over with our Pro Purdy brush.  We let dry a couple hours as directed by the manufacture.

How to Paint kitchen cabinets  - primer the frames

Once we finished priming, and it dried – we moved on to adding our paint color.  We cracked open a quart of General Finishes Queenstown gray and applied the first coat to the face frames and the back of each door using the same method as when we primed the cabinets.

How to Paint kitchen cabinets - Bottom Cabinets Queenstown Grey


Rolled, then worked it all in by hand brushing – we did 2 coats letting dry 2 hours between each coat and following the manufactures directions.  Once both coats were completed and dried, we added the top coat to seal the product using General Finishes Professional Sealer with a satin finish.  Once dry we stood back in awe as we could not see one brush stroke!  AMAZING!!!

The second day we did the same process to the upper cabinets only we used the Antique White.  We again, primed, let dry, added 2 healthy coats of antique white, let dry 2 hours between each application, and then followed that with 3 coats of Professional Satin top coat by General Finishes.

How to paint kitchen cabinets - General Finishes Antique White

Once the paint finish has dried completely, it’s was time to attach drawer pulls, screw the hinges on the doors, and hang the doors on the frames, according to the map we made. We then slid the drawers back into place and stood back to enjoy the new cabinets we created.

How to Paint kitchen cabinets - Antique White top cabinets two coats

See not so bad right?  Well, do you think it’s easy?  Are you going to try to DIY it now that you see how to paint kitchen cabinets?  DIY can be rewarding if you take your time, and enjoy the process.  After saving a bucket load of money by DIYing our cabinets, we were able to afford the new counter tops and wood floors.  Yep both – you can see our wood floor story on the blog – as those are already in and took us about 4 weekends from start to finish.

Hope you learned How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets!  Please share a comment about your DIY kitchen cabinets experience!  Until our next blog post.

Paint your Kitchen cabinets-finished look

Linda 🙂



Disclaimer:  All information provided are the opinion and property of Hello I Live Here, LLC. and Hello I Live Here is not responsible for your outcomes. Sharing, copying and/or transcribing of this content in any way other than for your personal usage without written permission is prohibited. (c) Hello I Live Here, LLC. all rights reserved.

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  🙂























Our Nest

Our Nest

Our Nest

Tell me about your dream space?

Hey Hello family – we have been redesigning some rooms in our home now that we are true empty nesters and want to know – Do you Nest?  We totally feel like the carpet commercial where the kids move out and the couple is looking to build just the right room to nest – then after all is said and done it goes back to the original space!  Well, we finally took an upstairs bedroom that is off the kitchen and turned it into our nest!

Our Nest

We removed all the old stuff, sold it off and added new goodies that make very happy inside our nest! Anyway, we added to beautiful chairs that took a month to find because let’s face it – a girl has a right to change her mind!

Our Nest

Once we found the chairs – we added a lovely ottoman in simple leather for lounging with a big collection basket below it to help our nest stay clean.  Then we added a beautiful cabinet I found and painted for our nest that sits under the TV that hangs on the wall directly over this awesome piece that houses all the equipment nobody wants to see in our nest!

Our Nest

The scotch bar rounded it all off for that evening cocktail why we unwind while diner is cooking and just have that opportunity to sit, relax, and chat.  We added a few cottage décor pieces and bam – our nest was complete – See!

Our Nest

But now that we had our nest, we notice the carpet gets tracked quickly.  So we added another great feature I suggest you all get to know – the Dyson DC59 Motorhead – that’s right – plenty of cleaning power to keep our space beautiful.

Our Nest

Talk about some cleaning power –the Dyson DC59 Motorhead is the latest Dyson Digital Slim™ cordless vacuum – that’s right its time to #cutthecord. Designed for maximum performance, ease of use and versatility, it has a direct-drive motor in the cleaner head.  I can tell you all who know I paint, I used this baby in my shop and clean-up was a breeze!!  Not stopping there, hubby borrowed it from our nest and used it in the car – it’s easy to carry frame and battery operated power allows quick clean for yep – our messy car that brought home all the great pieces inside our nest.

Our Nest

The Dyson engineers developed Dyson DC59 Motorhead for versatile floor to ceiling cleaning, which means those tall drapes and blinds are no problem for the Dyson DC59 Motorhead to handle. The center of gravity is located towards the grip for easy handling up top, down low and in-between. Its lightweight aluminum wand detaches so you also have a powerful handheld for cleaning car footwells like hubby tested or stairs.

 Our Nest

So, are you ready to #cutthecord?  Go ahead – check it out – the Dyson DC59 Motorhead and see what will happen in your dream space!  Go on see why my post today is sponsored by Dyson, but my love for their Dyson DC59 Motorhead is all my own!

Our Nest

Do you have a dream space?  Tell me about it by leaving me a description in the comment box below.  Also, click the story link and see how the Dyson DC59 Motorhead can enhance your dream space like it did mine!

Happy nesting I can’t wait to read the comments about your nest!

  (Link for Linda)

DIY Towel Holders Curated for Hometalk

DIY Towel Racks

DIY Towel Holders

Curated board for Hometalk

Happy Sunday HELLO readers!  We are excited to share that Hometalk has invited Hello I Live Here to share a curated board about DIY Towel Holders.  Why DIY towel Holders?  Well, not only do we love them as you can see by our projects, but is a big honor to be asked to show DIY Towel Holders Curated for Hometalk and share our choices with our readers.

DIY Towel Holders Curated for Hometalk
DIY Towel Holders Curated for Hometalk

What does it mean to curate?  Well, Hometalk took note when you guys and many other readers shared our DIY Shutter Towel Rack  Readers of Hometalk pined our Towel rack to Pinterest over 2.9K times, shared on Facebook, 253 times, left me over 100 awesome comments on Hometalk, liked and shared with others on Hometalk 306 times, and clipped and shared on their Hometalk boards over 157 times!  🙂  How excited where we when we found out you loved this project so much that Hometalk invited us to curate a board of other great DIY towel holders shared on Hometalk.

DIY Towel Holders Curated for Hometalk
DIY shutter Towel Rack by Hello I Live Here – DIY Towel Holders Curated for Hometalk

So after searching wonderful DIY Towel Holders on Hometalk, we are sharing these amazing projects on our blog, and our social media so you can have awesome ideas to fill those bathrooms with unique towel holders to keep those towels up off the floors!

DIY Towel Holders Curated for Hometalk
DIY Towel Holders Curated for Hometalk

It all started when I took two old shutters found at a garage sale, some on-clearance plant hooks from Lowe’s, a can of spray paint by Rust-Oleum, a few bolts from, a piece of wood, and pulled together this lovely DIY Shutter Towel Rack to share with you all.

DIY Towel Holders Curated for Hometalk
DIY Shutter Towel Rack – Shutters from Garage Sale DIY Towel Holders Curated for Hometalk
DIY Towel Holders Curated for Hometalk
DIY Shutter Towel Rack – Spray Paint from Lowe’s – DIY Towel Holders Curated for Hometalk
DIY Towel Holders Curated for Hometalk
DIY Shutter Towel Rack – Plant Hooks added – DIY Towel Holders Curated for Hometalk

Knowing there are other great ideas out there, Hometalk had HELLO I LIVE HERE choose some great projects that were our favorites made by others.

DIY Towel Holders Curated for Hometalk
DIY Shutter Towel Rack Boards Curated by Hello I Live Here on Hometalk

So stop by our Hometalk boards and see our curated picks. We have also added our boards to Pinterest, Google + Facebook and shared with Bob Vila Nation.  We hope you like DIY towel Holders we curated today!   A great big thank you to Hometalk for inviting HELLO I LIVE HERE to team up with them to find these great DIY Towel Holder options.  We are humbled to have been asked, and even more so because you, the readers loved our DIY Shutter Towel Rack.

Thank yo again Hometalk for inviting us to share in this curated experience!

Enjoy the boards readers!


Bungalow No Prep Paint

Bungalow No Prep Paint

Bungalow No Prep Paint

Put some color into your life!

Happy Sunday – tonight let’s talk paint – Bungalow No Prep Paint that is ;-).  You watched last week as I showed you on a couple pieces of furniture just how delicious Bungalow No Prep Paint was as it helped us complete a couple pieces.

Bungalow No Prep Paints


The company was founded by furniture guru Sarah Howse.  She loved painting furniture but hated the cost of the paint.  Sarah wanting to keep turning old things into fabulous pieces of art, so she decide to develop her own paint, hence Bungalow No Prep Paint – No Prep, because no body has time for that! 😉

Bungalow No Prep Paint
Beautiful Color Selection

Bungalow No Prep Paint comes in 33 custom colors and is currently available in 3 states, but they can ship if you state is not one of the lucky ones to have a retailer.  These beautiful jars of vibrant color help furniture tell a story through it’s owners own vibrant choices.  Just look at the fab creations we put together!

Bungalow No Prep Paint
Fun Color Chart

The Savannah color on this lovely piece went on lush, did not leave streaks and covered in one coat right over bright yellow!

Bungalow No Prep Paint

The Key Lime mixed great with a bright silver strip bringing this little beauty straight back from the pile I pulled it from.  Can you ask for more?  Look at it gleam!!

Bungalow No Prep Paint
Key Lime Green

Want to choose a color that fits your personality?  Check out the color page and pick away – you will want to try them all – I know I do 🙂 .  Want to talk to Sarah about being a retailer in your state?

Bungalow No Prep Paint
Color choices

You can contact Sarah by click here – You will want to get in on the ground floor of this awesome paint.  Trust me when I tell you – the coverage is fab so if you are a retail store – don’t miss out – this company will grow fast!

Bungalow No Prep Paints

Order some today – you will fall in love just like we did at Hello I Live Here.  Happy Sunday everyone!!! – See you next week as we bring you a great Black & Decker Give away!!!






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