Kitchen Cabinet Makeover With Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan

How to Paint Wood Cabinets

So my sweet friend Krystal wanted to update her oak kitchen cabinets in a big way.  For like 10 years she wanted to update them.  A decade of cabinet dissatisfaction is enough. That is why I was super excited when the chance to use  Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan came my way.   Today I am sharing how we seized the opportunity, using the Chalk Paint® in colors Old White and Graphite, in addition to the Clear Soft Wax to create the look she was after!

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Annie Sloan Unfolded sent us the paints and wax.  This paint is simply amazing.  More about that later.  For brushes, what to use depends on the look you are trying to achieve.  We wanted texture and messiness, and we knew we would be distressing with sandpaper after painting, so we went with the cheap chip brushes you can find in the dollar bin at your local craft store.  There is a wide variety of techniques to use and looks to achieve with these products.  A fantastic place to start is with Annie Sloan’s numerous books on the use of paint in decorating.

Kitchen Before Paint

Here you can see the oak cabinets before we got at them.

Not so great, right?  

We decided to go multicolor, Old white on top, Graphite on the bottom.

How to distress cabinets

 Kitchen Makeover

We just removed the doors and started painting them and the frames.


This paint is amazing.  It looks wonderful and takes no prep.  Um, yes please.

Distress Technique

It dried super fast.  We did 2 light layers, letting dry about 20 minutes between.  For a distressed look, we lightly sanded the edges and corners randomly on the cabinet doors.  A little bit of distressing goes a long way!

After distressing, we applied the wax with a polyurethane brush.  Super easy!

The coverage  of this paint is unbelievable, really.  I use a lot of different paints in my projects, and this is tops.  Granted it is more expensive than other options, but the difference in quality is significant.

Annie Sloan Paint Project

This entire project was about 24 hours in duration!

Kitchen Cabinet Makeover

What a huge difference!  Remember the yellow above the cabinets…

Kitchen Cabinet Redo

We painted it Old White and added crown molding.  For more on how to install crown molding, see my first experience here!

I think the biggest surprise for all of us involved in the project is the countertops.  That’s right.  We were making plans to do a countertop transformation after painting the cabinets.  We were just certain the new cabinets were going to make that totally urgent.  We found the opposite!  Somehow, the pinkish/mauve looks adorable with the Graphite and Old White!  Did not see that coming at all.

Kitchen Cabinet Upgrade with Chalk Paint

If you want to transform your from outdated to rich and beautiful, this is a great option!

Find everything you need to get going here:

DIY Kitchen Cabinet Upgrade With Paint and Crown Molding

[pinit]Upgrade Cabinet Makeover with DIY crown moulding and chalky finish @DecoArt_Inc @savedbyloves[pinit]

I am thrilled to be sharing our kitchen cabinet upgrade with you today, mainly because that means it is finished!  We moved into a house with, as you can see, outdated oak kitchen cabinets.  Maybe you were here before and saw our DIY countertop transformation with Rustoleum.  To continue the kitchen renovation, we took the cabinets up to the ceiling by boxing them in and adding crown molding to close the 12 inch gap between the ceiling and the tops of the cabinets.  We tied together the new wood and cabinets by painting them with Chalky Finish Americana Decor Paint.  It would have been fairly difficult to stain wood and crown moulding to match the current cabinets perfectly.  This is a great way to add a high end look to your kitchen for cheap, especially if you are going to paint your cabinets anyway.

DIY Kitchen upgrades

Here is what the cabinets looked like to start.  This was after revamping the countertops to cover that country blue laminate.

diy kitchen cabinets

To close the gap between the cabinet tops and the ceiling, we removed the trim on the cabinet tops with a pry bar.  We measured the dimensions of the cabinet tops and built 3 sided boxes from 1×12 boards to fit.  This was perfect for the 12 inch gap.  It left about a half inch (since 1×12 lumber is actually 0.75×11.5 inches… I know).  This was no problem since we knew we would be covering the gap with crown moulding later.  We used construction adhesive to adhere the boxes to the top of the cabinets.  We planned to nail trim to cover the seam where the cabinets met the box, which we would nail into both, adding extra security.

take cabinets to ceiling with crown moulding

Here you see the trim (we used pine mullion) and the crown moulding.  This was my first time cutting crown molding.  Save yourself a ton of wasted materials and heartache by visiting Sawdust Girl’s How to Cut Crown Molding Tutorial.  My little brain thought it would be as easy as cutting trim… ha!  Not the case.  Sandra didn’t touch on how to cut angles molding for angles that aren’t 90°…

tips for installing crown moulding

We ran into that fun conundrum as you see in the above photo.  There are charts on how to do this for every angle and every position on your saw.  We finally ended up using this Bench Dog Polymer Crown-Cut Crown Molding Cutting Jig I picked up from Amazon.  It was pretty helpful.  We the 2 odd angles above the glass window containing cabinet were 135°, so we set up our molding on the saw exactly like it would siton the cabinet, which was only possible to maintain for cutting with the use of the jig.  This is a process you are just going to have to go through in order to get to the good stuff!  Sandra points out that she has to go back to her templates every time, even though she does this often.  I found that to be the case everyday during this project!

DecoArt Americana Chalkyfinish Paint

Big thanks to DecoArt for providing the paint and wax for this project!  We used Americana Decor Chalky Finish in “Everlasting” to paint everything from the bottom of the cabinets up to and including the crown molding.  The best thing about using this paint was not having to sand or prime the cabinets!

kitchen makeover DIY

We started by taping over the hinges with painter’s tape and painting the cabinets without removing the doors.  This ended up in paint on the hardware anyway, so we decided to remove the doors for the rest of the cabinets.

How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets

All in all, we used 17 8 oz jars of the paint.  If you are going to go this route, make sure you have plenty of paint for your project before you start.  Waiting on more to come while you have no cabinet doors is less than fun.  Ask me how I know.

DIY Farmhouse Kitchen

Remember when I built the DIY Dog Feeding Station from Shipping Pallets?  It fits under the window in our new house like a glove!

Painting the cabinets took 4 coats.  We applied the clear wax and that was it.  We were without cabinet doors for 2 weeks while we continued moving into the house and painting cabinets as time would allow.

What do you think?  I love the high end look we achieved with little cost!

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