Thursday, February 28, 2013

Paint and Glaze Cabinet Tutorial

I really enjoy redoing kitchens for people even though it can be challenging at times. The challenge is getting the kitchen completed as soon as possible and at the same time having everything in order at home and being the happiest mom in the world doing my duty as a homemaker. Since redoing a kitchen means having everything in a disarray until it’s completed, I like to be as prompt as possible.
The rewarding thing about it all is just seeing what a difference paint can make and seeing the happiness a kitchen makeover can bring! I had told myself that I would stick with only furniture makeovers this winter but a few weeks ago I was asked to redo a kitchen and I felt that familiar feeling of excitement and, of course, I couldn’t say no. I was especially excited when the owner chose to go with paint and glaze style. I had never done that before and had recently, just for fun, experimented on one of my laundry room cupboard doors. It turned out pretty good and thus became my sample door to show to my customers.
Here is a before picture of the kitchen…(I think it is cherry or birch)
Everything will get a new look here, including the countertop…
The first step was to remove all the doors and drawers. I also took the recipe holder off that you can see hanging beneath the cabinets. I packed everything up to take home where I would work on it later.  I then used my electric sander and sanded the cabinet frames with a medium sandpaper.
After wiping them down with a t-shirt rag, I gave them a coat of paint, using a bristle brush. Later after it was dry, I gave them a second coat.
Now, the countertop… I was a tad nervous about this since I never tried it before. I got a Giani Granite kit at Keim Lumber in Charm. Bombay black is the color that was chosen.
This is a six step kit for refinishing any surface countertops and I absolutely love it! I would recommend it to anyone. It costs around $74.00 with tax and has very user friendly instructions included. I did add my own rules here and there, but mostly I went by the step by step instructions.
First I masked off behind the backsplash and around the sink, basically any areas that I thought might be in danger of getting hit with paint.
Now the primer…
I waited a day to proceed with the next step, but since we’re on the subject, I’ll go on.
The sponging part is next. Included in the kit was a sample piece of black paper to practice on. After experimenting, I saw right away that the sponge included in the kit did not work for me. Instead, I used a scrunched up plastic bag to dab the paint on. It made a finer design that I liked better. I don’t have pictures of these steps. ( probably because I was too intent on what I was doing to think about taking pics)
There were three different colors to use (pearl, black and bronze) but I omitted the bronze. I felt with the color of the cabinets and hardware it would look better without.
Here is a close up of the result…
It was important to have no set pattern when applying this. I did all the pearl (silver) first and waited until it was dry before applying the black. (the instructions said it doesn’t have to be dry before applying the next color but I felt more comfortable giving it drying time.)
The final two steps were applying two clear topcoats.

Back to the cabinets… When I had them at home and all laid out on tables and benches, I sanded them and wiped them clean. Since the doors got knobs with one screw instead of handles, the holes needed to be puttied.
This is the putty I used…
An old credit card works great to even out the putty. After it was dry, I sanded it.
Now the doors and drawers are ready for paint. I used my sprayer to paint them, giving them two coats of this white paint…
After two coats of paint, they are ready for glaze. This is a little tricky but fun. I soon discovered some ways of making it easier and felt the last doors turned out better than the first. One tip that worked for me was to not do the whole door at once and just work in sections. First I did the inside frame, only half of it at a time. Then taking a wet t-shirt rag, I wiped most of it off, making sure to keep any grooves filled with glaze.

I have gotten a lot of questions on the glaze I used for this kitchen. I used a glaze by Zinsser that is unfortunately discontinued. The color of the glaze was “Olympia’s Curls” which seems to have disappeared from the formula choices.

 I have since used a glaze by True Value. It’s the kind that you mix with paint to color it. You can read about a more recent paint and glaze kitchen I did here. I have more detailed updates on that post. 

Any excess glaze I made sure to blend in and not get too many streaks throughout the doors. I’m sure there are numerous and better ways to do the glazing but this being my first time I just felt my way through. I used enough glaze that the cabinets turned out off white.With wiping a lot of the glaze off you could get a white kitchen with only the grooves glazed I think. The following picture shows the different steps I took, allowing drying time in between steps. Once all that was completed I brushed some glaze onto the center of the panel and the frame and blended that in.
A few tips:
*Rinse out rag every two doors
*Work with small sections at a time
*When blending, watch so the end of your rag doesn’t drag elsewhere on the door (it will leave streaks)
*The more raises on your cabinets, the better… it takes a lot of time to apply glaze on areas where there are no grooves.
*If you mess something up, don’t stress…you can always sand, repaint & start over.

After the glaze was dry, I used polycrylic for the final coat…
Again, I used my trusty sprayer to apply. This can be rolled or brushed but it’s pretty fast drying so you really have to work fast and not do any rebrushing or rolling if it at all has started to dry.
Finally, after applying some glaze and polycrylic to the frame it was ready to hang the doors and fasten the hardware. ( I love the pulls and knobs that were chosen for this you will soon see!)
Again, here is the before…
Now the after…

This was one of my most fun kitchens ever… I had nice people to work with and it gave me the chance to explore something new, which I love! If any of you want to attempt this with your own kitchen, don’t hesitate…it’s really not that hard. Feel free to ask any questions you may have...I’ll do my best to answer!
I have to add the trash can that I also painted for this kitchen. For some reason I didn’t get a before picture but to give you an idea…it was one of those older styles – oak with colorful fruit painted on the lid. I used basically the same method as the cabinets and added the text using carbon paper to transfer…
Happy Friday, everyone!


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. WOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      Fantastic job here. Thank you.

  2. Hi, my sister-in-law sent me to your blog! =) Would you have any recommendations on painting cabinets that were previously painted without proper prep (other than a little sanding)? They are chipping badly & I'd like to get them looking good again.

  3. This is amazing. I have been wanting to paint my kitchen cupboards but they are the pressed wood kind and did not know how it would turn out as its not real wood.I also did the counter top paint and you have to recoat the clear coat every year as it kinda wears off. but I love it.

  4. Looks great! I have a few questions, would you do this for anyone? If so what is the cost, time frame etc? If you have an email I can email you too.

  5. Once again great job!Still Love ours to :)we get lots of compliments~Naomi

  6. Wow. What a difference! I have similar cupboards with that arch. They were in style when we built our house but not so much anymore. I've been thinking about getting them painted but wasn't sure. Now I definitely think it would be a big improvement. This gives me an idea what it would look like. Thanks for sharing.

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  10. Mary, what a beautiful transformation. I did quite a few kitchens back in my faux finish days & I know all the work involved. Especially when glaze is involved. I have seen that counter top paint in the hardware store & always wondered how it would look, now I know & I love it. Thank you so much for sharing. You really do amazing work. Dee from My Painted Stuff

  11. Wow,you are a talented lady! It looks amazing! I showed it to my hubby & he said "now don't get any ideas"! lol My house is completely oak & i'd love white! I found your blog thru your sister who's a good friend of mine from church! I love your blog!~~~Elsie

  12. Thanks everyone for the kind words..I feel anyone can do the things I do. Janelle, for me, I'd probably sand the cabinets (not to take the finish off,just to get it dull)& apply a good paint and, most importantly a clear topcoat. That topcoat is what really helps, I think.(even two coats of it if the surface is very smooth) For the question on pricing for a job like this, feel free to email me at

  13. What kind of glaze did u use

  14. Those cupboards look incredible! I can't believe those are the same ones! The counter looks so awesome with the new cupboards!

  15. These cabinets look amazing! Do you mind telling what brand color glaze you used?

    1. Sorry it took me so long to get back to you..Thanks for the compliment! The glaze is "do it best" brand and the color is "olympia's curls" Hope this helps!

  16. Can you please tell me what you mean by glaze? I went to my local "do it best" center, and they told me there is no such thing as glaze. They said "olympia's curls is a paint color.

  17. Can you tell us what kind of glaze you used? We cannot find a brand called "Do it Best", or Olympia's Curls. Can you please let us know?

    1. Unfortunately the glaze I used for this kitchen is discontinued but I have since used another brand that I like just as well. It's by True Value. You can read about it here:

    2. Hi,
      Thank you for all the info. I have just started remodeling my kitchen. Cleaned, sanded ,two coats of primer ,oil based but latex can be applied over this dried very chalky. I was wondering if a latex paint (two coats) and then my glaze (does glaze come im water base?)
      If so ,apply glaze and then a wipe on clear poly will be ok? I know this is alot of questions but im about ready for the painting process...thank you for any info u can give me.

  18. DO you travel and do kitchen cabinets for others? Please call me 317 590 three four nine 9

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  20. What steps do I need to do to my ten year old cream colored cabinets before glazing? Also if I forgo the last step what will happen.

  21. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  25. I love this. I don't think I could do this you are very talented.

  26. Very pretty!! I'm about to glaze my kitchen cabinets. Could you tell me how you were able to get the glaze to adhere so nicely to the outer edges? Did you sand the edges? Thank you. Tanya

    1. I am wondering the same thing. These are beautiful!!!

    2. Thanks for visiting my blog! I did not sand the edges. Glaze seems to adhere nicely for me, plus with the topcoat of polycrylic, it should stay put.

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  28. Absolutely Beautiful! I can’t wait to try this. Thanks for the great tutorial!

  29. WOW.. these are the most well done cabinets I have seen! Great job!!!

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  36. Dutch Boy makes a glaze and I have used brown and black and they work great. no mixing. I am going to do my cabinets this spring in this color. tired of the honey oak wood. not expensive cabinets so nothing to lose. If I don't like them I will repaint. thanks for all your tips

  37. Please tell me what you do with the inside of doors and cabinet?

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