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How to paint kitchen cabinets with Fusion Mineral Paint

Raise your hand if you when you walk into your kitchen, you have fantasies about the wrecking ball from Miley Cyrus’ video smashing it into a million pieces. Do you ever stare at the cupboards and wonder “Who willingly chose these at some point in time? Why were they popular?” Do you hate cooking in it and dream about painting your kitchen cabinets but have no idea how to paint your kitchen cabinets, because you’re terrible at painting? Then this post is for you. I am going to share, step by step, how to paint kitchen cabinets with Fusion Mineral Paint.

How to paint kitchen cabinets with Fusion Mineral Paint

We moved into our new home last Halloween. I remember when we were just looking at the house to consider if we would make an offer on it, as soon as I walked into the kitchen and saw the kitchen cabinets, I was like “Why? Why why why?!”

It looked like this.

Try and pry your eyes away from the gas range. 20 years old and burnt to a crisp.

You have to understand that we had just finished renovating our old kitchen. Which had the curved cabinets that I lived with for 5 years. You’re probably wondering why we moved if we just renovated a kitchen but that’s a whole other post to come.

That renovated kitchen looked like this.

I joke that I am cursed with kitchens that have the arched kitchen cabinet fronts. If there was a style that I would banish from the face of the planet, that would be it. I am not talking about the gorgeous cathedral gothic V shaped ones. The 80’s oak ‘why did this ever become a trend’ cabinet.

I mean WHY?

If you have them and you love them, please understand this is just a personal style issue. We are fairly contemporary in our home decor. Very Scandinavian meets modern antique. I like old nice looking pieces within a new environment. So this new home kitchen was like the anti thesis of any kitchen I would want. It was worse than our old one and I didn’t think that was possible.

And we bought the house anyway, with the intention of doing a full renovation this year.

Then real life got in the way. As in after we redid the roof, the garage doors, painted 90% of the home and replaced 90% of the windows, we were left with exactly zero dollars and zero cents to do any kitchen renovation. So this new house kitchen, is the kitchen that we are stuck with for at least the next 4-5 years. Something had to be done.

I want to make it very clear. I am grateful to have a kitchen in a wonderful home. I have running water, food in my fridge and a roof over my head. But we should also try to make the best of the space we live in. Sometimes, something as simple as paint can be the answer.

ENTER FUSION MINERAL PAINT

In which case, I reached out to my blogger friends and was like that’s it, I need to paint the entire kitchen. And blogger after blogger all said “You need to do this with Fusion Mineral Paint.” I’ll be honest I had never heard of Fusion Mineral Paint. I was all is this chalk paint? How much sanding do I have to torture myself with? and so on.

Well Fusion Mineral Paint isn’t a chalk paint at all. In fact, go and check out Lost and Found Decor’s post about the differences between Chalk Paint and Fusion Mineral Paint and all the other user friendly differences.

What if I told you I painted this entire kitchen with almost no sanding. The only part I sanded were the front painted cabinets that the previous owners had tried to paint on the kitchen island. I didn’t even sand the rest of the island. Sold right?

Oh and you don’t need a top coat. No really, no top coat. Unless you want to make them shiny and glossy and they have products for that as well.

I was put in touch with owners at Fusion Mineral and we chatted about what could work best for my kitchen. They sent me some samples to try out different colors with and to see what I thought of the paint.

I loved it upon first use. You see, I am a big white paint aficionado, meaning I’ve painted enough spaces and items with white paint to know when a white paint has good coverage and levels out and isn’t drippy. I was smitten with Casement which is the white on the bottom left corner.

So we sent the kids to my parents house during the summer and it was Project Kitchen Makeover week. And this is how it went.

ITEMS USED TO PAINT THE KITCHEN:

  • Fusion Mineral Paint in Casement
  • Krud Kutter
  • Paint Brushes – I used a variety of different brands but Purdy is a good brand and so are Fusion’s offering of Staalmeester brushes
  • Paint roller – I preferred the microfiber one

STEP 1 – How to paint your kitchen cabinets with Fusion Mineral Paint

First I started with Krud Kutter.

I wiped down all the cabinets with this to clean off years of disgusting grease and grime. This product is a MUST. This is partly the reason you do not need to sand anything. Sanding vs wiping. Which would you prefer? Clean your surfaces that you want to paint.

DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP

Do. Not. Skip. This. Step.

If you’re like “But I just want to paint!”, stop! Your paint will only adhere as good as your surface prep is, and if you leave residue or oil or wax, your paint will not adhere properly. This is with *any* brand, not just Fusion. It doesn’t mean you have to break out the sander for every project, but it does mean if you have oil on your kitchen cabinets from years of cooking that is not removed properly, in a couple of months your paint may chip, peel or start bubbling up. Then you’ll be all like, “This paint sucks!”

Nope. It’s not the paint. It’s your bad prep. So clean and prep your surface to paint.

Another thing to pay attention to is bleed through (a.k.a. oils and tannins that show up under your painted surfaces from the wood knots in your cabinet surface). They are very visible when you use a lighter paint, especially white. If you absolutely want to ensure that your kitchen has no bleed through and stains under it, you must use a Shellac Based Primer first like Zinsser BIN.

I did not prime because I learned about all of this after the fact and was lucky my kitchen was fine.  So please pay attention to the type of wood your cabinets are made from as some species of wood are more prone to bleed through than others.

STEP 2

Then the cabinets came off. Ugh.

I laid them all out in our dining room and put little wood craft blocks under all 4 corners of each cabinet to raise them a bit, so that when I painted the edges, the paint would reach the entire side of the cabinet and they wouldn’t get dried to the tarp under them.

You can buy little yellow cones/triangles to put under them…

…but the wood blocks do the same thing. I also did not take off the hinges because of the way they are on my cabinets, you can’t see them.

NOTE: For all the laminate parts and already painted parts of the kitchen (the previous owners painted the kitchen island), I used Fusion Mineral’s Ultra Grip for my base. It basically is like a when in doubt and you don’t know if your paint will stick type of primer, you put this on first. For all those hard to paint surfaces. You put on one thin coat, let it dry for 12 hours as per the instructions and then apply your paint.

It’s that easy.

STEP 3

Then it was full on paint, paint and paint.

In terms of brushes, may I highly suggest using a microfiber roller like the one on the left and NOT a foam roller. I personally found that the paint adhered far better using the fluffy one. I started off the foam roller but then switched half way to the fluffy one and the application was way easier.

A SIDE NOTE ABOUT SANDING: This right here in the image below, is the only part I sanded. It was pre-painted by the previous owners of our home and in terrible shape. So just to be safe I got out the gritty sandpaper and went to town.

So.

Are you ready for the Almost After? I say almost because we are not done yet. We still have to do the following:

  • Change the counter top to butcher block as it’s rotting and falling apart
  • Get a new sink and faucet as the faucet is rotting and sinking into the counter top
  • Needs a new ceiling light – that was a temporary fix to get rid of the track lighting that was there. Ugh. Track lighting marks on the ceiling.
  • A back splash behind the gas range / counter top area.
  • Do not pay attention to the fridge. It’s not there – or at least I would like it to be not there, dents and all. Understood?
  • We did get a new gas range and range hood so yay! Progress.

THE BEFORE

THE ALMOST AFTER

I wound up using 3 coats of paint on each cabinet, which was approx 3 and a half containers of Fusion Mineral paint.

The cabinets themselves took me about 3 days to finish. The island took another day. Then we painted the rest of the kitchen white using a standard wall paint. Disclaimer – I did not paint the insides of the cabinets. So if you want to do that, add another couple of days work to your agenda.

I stare at it and I seriously cannot believe the difference.

And because I really like to see paint up close as photos online can be deceiving, here are some really tight shots of how the paint looks on the cabinets.

My husband, who is not easily impressed by anything, hung the cabinets back up and he couldn’t stop raving about the paint and how clean and crisp the lines were. There was no paint build up anywhere. No drips. You can see all the details and it looked better than some of our spray paint jobs of the past. He called it a “respectable looking kitchen” as in, we no longer have to be embarrassed about people coming over and seeing it.

Eventually once the counter tops are changed along with the other cosmetic items, the butcher block will help to warm up the space a create a cozier environment. I usually have more stuff on the counters but I wanted this post to be about the paint to show the impact it made.

So the answer to the question “Should I paint my old kitchen cabinets to update them?” is always ALWAYS yes.

Always.

I really want to thank Fusion Mineral Paint for working with us on this project. If you have any questions about the paint or the process, feel free to ask then in Comments or email me and I’ll happily help where I can.

PS – the hardest part of the kitchen painting was not painting the cabinets. You know all those little pesky lines at the side of the inside cabinets under the exterior cabinet fronts. Those had to be painted too. Yes that is a Hans Solo mug. And even he agrees, painting those, is not fun. I know.

UPDATE:

Since I wrote this post, we have actually renovated our kitchen. Actually we are still renovating it because we can’t decided on upper cabinets but that’s another story. I had this painted kitchen for over a year before our dishwasher flooded and ruined everything. Here’s what I can tell you about the paint.

We had no chipping, no staining, no bleed through, no fading. I scrubbed tomato sauce splatter off of the surface of these cabinets and the paint did not budge. It was easy to clean, even with harsh cleaners.

One thing that I actually wish I had taken photos of was when we tore apart the kitchen, we wound up throwing and dragging the cabinets over the asphalt driveway to the collection bin. THE PAINT DID NOT BUDGE. Honestly, I remember saying, “This would make a really good scratch test ad for Fusion.”

I have since painted our kitchen table using Fusion in Coal Black and it’s done just as well. I have kids who attack it with everything from paint to fork jabs and glitter glue (because you know, slime) and I regularly scrub it with a brillo pad. It’s still perfect.

I did NOT use a top coat for either the kitchen cabinets or the kitchen table as Fusion has a built in top coat. So you do not need to add extra protection to your surface.

As always, if you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments. I just wish I had painted ours sooner.

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