painting dark cabinets french country cream w glaze helppppppp

blondie2007August 7, 2012

Hello my wonderful home decorators. Please help me select a French country cream color for my island and or surrounding cabs. I've seen so many different white selections but really want a non yellow beautiful french cream and glaze suggestion if anyone has used. Different post suggest oil based others water,some say benj moore others sherwin head is spinning. My cabinets are only 5 years old a dark cherry with chocolate glaze but are simply driving me nuts how cave like and dark and I'm going to at least paint my island and see how it goes. Thank you so much for any suggestions to achieve my look. Appreciate your time and responses back. What a great helpful forum.

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Sophie Wheeler

I'm not among the crowd that thinks painting wood is a sin, but painting 5 year old cherry cabinets comes very very close to it. Dark cabinets do not have to equal cave if there is proper lighting in the room. That is the FIRST thing to address before painting. If the lighting isn't right, even white cabinets can look gloomy. You need a mix of cans, semi flush fixtures, under cabinet lighting, and pendants.

To do a job that will look as good and wear as well as the factory finish that is currently on the cabinets will be a lot of work. You need to clean them thoroughly with TSP, then scuff sand everything really well. You've got to break the gloss of the factory finish and give it some tooth to grab the paint.

Make sure to wipe all of the dust very very well. Then paint two coats with BIN or another shellac based primer. It's stinky stuff, so ventilation is important, as are the proper tools of a high quality paint brush. Almost any quality paint can provide you with a decent top coat, but my favorite for the look you describe is Behr Heavy Cream in the Ultra paint and primer line. Semi gloss finish is best if you want to glaze on top of it and it's a good finish for a final coat as well. Add in some Floetrol to help the paint self level better. Let the two coats cure for several days before glazing.

Glazing isn't that hard, but it IS trial and error, so you need to practice on a throw away piece before tackling something so prominent and permanant. Buy your glaze and buy several color samples of various browns to experiment with. Browns that are too red based tend to pink out the underlying cream when you glaze. Ones that are too green based tend to look sickly. Yellow based browns tend to work the best. Practice wiping it off uniformly, as that is the most difficult portion of glazing. Once you have your technique down and complete your doors, let them cure and then apply a clear semi gloss acrylic topcoat to them and let them cure again.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 2:40PM
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You might want to post this on the painting forum. They're constantly talking about Cabinet Coat for cabinets. I don't know too much about it, but have read it's self-leveling, so you won't see brushstrokes~here's a few reviews that might help make your decision.

Several years ago in my former home I painted the cabs, and used the primer/paint method, and it was such a pain. Had I known there was an easier product, I definitely would have gone that route. ;o)

Here is a link that might be useful: paint

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 3:27PM
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Thank you for your responses.hollysprings. we have designed this kitchen with much thought. Its not a question if I should paint, its my only option to lighten the mood by at least starting with a happy fresh cream island. We have nine overhead can lights in place, the pendant lights hanging over the bar top and under cabinet and over cabinet lighting around the entire kitchen. Problem is although my hand scraped wood flooring is beautiful its a dead on match for my cabs. Despite placing carpet runners around it still needs a light happy mood to me. I live in this kitchen daily and somethings gotta change. Wish I could post photos for review and probably will get more responses. Thank you for your step by step instructions. Just what I need before I tackle this nervous project.
Pattycakes-i was looking at the home depot cabinet coat product as well. Wishing someone could show a pic of cream paint and how it turned island is small and I don't know if the $75 kit is overspending but after reading the many steps/products above I suppose I'll easily hit that price point.thanks again

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 8:18AM
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Here is my two cents on the subject of paint.

On a project like this, in which you are essentially replacing your kitchen cabinets with something else, you cannot overspend on the paint.

Buy the best paint you can possibly find, and the best brushes, and the recommend products for prepping.

If you spend $250 or $500 on supplies, you've saved $15,000, or $25,000, or something of that magnitude, for new cabinetry.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 11:17AM
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Sophie Wheeler

Here is my variation on an old saying.

The regret of poor quality prep and paint lingers long after the thrill of the "cheap transformation" is gone.

There is no secret to getting a good paint job. It's all about the proper prep, which takes 9 times longer than actually painting. Any product which promises great results by skipping any of those steps is highly suspect. Or it's for someone who won't be around in a year or two to live with the results.

Paint IS a cheap way to transform anything. But, like a lot of things, the actual $50 a gallon paint itself is the least expensive/onerous part of the equation as a whole. You've got hours of prep labor that go into that final smooth as silk application of color. And that's why pro painters who do a good job are always pricier than the competition who will just slap a new coat over the old. You're paying for a lot of extra labor to get the right job done.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 12:47PM
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Trust me I agree 100%. With five small kids under 8 years old I plan on doing this right in an effort to make the finish hard as nails. They give cabinets a beating with a casual bump here or there with their latest sword fight going on. I'm prepared to spen d countless hours as my fall project. Just wish someone would post who actually tackled this project and had outstanding results with a non yellowing hard as nails finish and happy they painted over the beginning product. I know with such a thick gloss on the cabs I'll have to spend some time sanding and priming so i don't get yellow undertones and paint will adhere nicely. If it turns out fabulous it will all be so very orth it.if not my husband will lock me out:)

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 7:56AM
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If you're going to use Cabinet Coat, do some research on this site and the web on how to apply it. From what I've read you HAVE to keep a wet edge as you apply it and you have to be sure not to overwork the paint. IOW's don't go back and try to touch up.
Unless you have experience painting, I would not recommend you tackle this project as a DIY, especially with 5 young kids. Also, be aware that no paint is hard as nails. If the surface is hit hard enough to dent the wood, then the paint will dent also.

I do agree that painting the island is a good place to start in adding some 'light' to your kitchen. I like the mix of painted and stained cabinets.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 2:12PM
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Hello,Blondie. I used the Rustoleum cabinet transformation kit. I believe it was around $75 at local home improvement store. You can get a light or dark kit. I used the light over medium cabinets. Its a four part kit. My husband tried to "help" me on the last leg of the painting and spilled the can. Called Rustoleum to see if I could purchase another can of the paint. They won't sell it out of the kit so I picked up the Rust. furniture paint. Proceeded with the other steps and you couldn't even tell. Really surprised and impressed with the outcome. I went with "pure white" in the light kit. Once the glaze went over it, the color was cream. Might be worth checking it out. Good luck.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 5:02PM
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Seeded, oh pleaseee pleaseeee pleasseeee can I have a pic of your new cream masterpiece. Did it turn out looking like the professional french country w glaze cabinetry you see in displays or in stores?my island is essentially one cabinet with three wide drawers so not very big. I'm thinking of popping trim off and since three sides are ugly vaneer possibly putting beadboard over top..then painting and glazing. I'm wondering how glaze will turn out in those beadboard ridges. Wow I'd love to see a picture.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 11:21PM
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I've not painted my cabinets yet, but just moved into a house with honey stained hickory and matching laminate flooring and it is too much. In researching cabinet paint and techniques I found Caromal Colours on the web. I too am considering the same look that you are. With this line it appears that you can make it appear more distressed and primitive if you like, but I just want a little glazing to bring out the details. Good luck your project. If already complete, I'd love to see pics and learn product details.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 12:07PM
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