Love where you live. Sign up for our newsletter

Decor Disputes: Can You Really Make Over Kitchen Cabinets in a Weekend?

by on Mar 13, 2012

You know all those weekend makeovers in blog land of painted kitchen cabinets? They look great after, right? I’m wondering if  they might look better from a distance than they do close up. Here’s why: They were done in a weekend. That’s two days. If you’d suggest such a timetable to a

painting professional, I’m guessing you’d get a hearty guffaw, and it wouldn’t necessarily be because they’re trying to dissuade you from attempting a DIY job. No. My guess is because they know better.

Our expert Capree explains how to paint kitchen cabinets. Here’s the Cliffs Notes version of the how-to: Clean, machine sand, hand sand, dust, wipe down, prime, sand, wipe down, apply one coat of semi-gloss paint, apply second coat of semi-gloss paint, apply coat of water-based polyurethane, sand, apply second coat of polyurethane. 

Does that sound like something that can get done in two days? How about if you include drying time? No. And speaking of drying time, although latex dries faster than oil-base enamel, it has a longer cure time. You know what that means. Those quick makeovers might not looks so hot in a week or two after use because the paint simply didn’t have enough time to cure. 

Cabinet Refinishing By Signet Painting

So, sure, these quick makeovers look great in pictures, but I’m thinking they might set others up for a disappointing outcome. In the case of painting kitchen cabs, which get a considerable amount of abuse, it might be best to follow a pro’s advice and not the weekend DIY warrior.

What has your experience been with quick cabinet paint jobs? Have they done the job of hiding unattractive cabinets or did they make an unfortunate situation worse?

(All the photos used in this post were from pro cabinet refinishers, Signet Painting.)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. I’m quietly chuckling because I’m almost done stripping and re-doing my kitchen cabinets and it’s literally taken me months! I did everything in small batches, I work full time and a weekend is simply NOT enough! Did I learn the hard way! lol, I loved the process though! Unless you have a huge team with knowledge and patience, maybe it’s possible, but not really, like you said everything needs time to properly dry, etc.