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Painting Your Kitchen Cabinets with Chalk Paint? Read This First!


Find out what you should know about chalk painting your kitchen cabinets before you take the plunge.

After posting about the kitchen makeover, a couple of my readers had asked if I was happy with chalk paint on my cupboards, so I thought I would make this post.  If you’ve been on Pinterest any length of time, you’ve probably run across posts about the magic of chalk paint. This is (and is not) one of those posts. Here’s what you should know before you take the plunge.

I used Country Chic Paint in Simplicity and Lazy Linen and topped it off with the Tough Coat. You can purchase online or if you’re near Humboldt SK at Free Spirit Market.

I’ve painted kitchen cabinets 3 different times in my life, but this was my first time using chalk paint. Of the three times, I am the happiest with the chalk paint. You may hear through the internet that chalk paint is practically magic. It has a wonderful flat finish, but you will still need to sand or fill any serious nicks in your cabinets.

There are many lovely tutorials with step-by-step instructions on Pinterest. I used this one at Provident Home Design. The Country Chic website also has a couple of must-watch tutorials.

Make sure you buy the proper brush suggested. If you are using the tough coat, I found sponge brushed worked the best for me. However, buy a lot of them as they will loose bits of foam after awhile. It is much easier to use a new brush than be cheap and try and pick bits of foam out of your clear coat!!! Not that I would have any personal experience with that, or anything.

I loved the flat finish and the coverage of this paint. It made small blemishes practically disappear and wasn’t streaky at all. Side note: You may find your first coat a bit streaky, especially if you are stingy with paint. Things will even out on your second coat. However, it can not solve serious sanding issues like this:

ugly cabinets

The tough coat really lives up to its name. I whacked one cupboard by accident really hard with a frying pan and it barely made a dent. Yes, this was truly an accident. I was surprised while I was doing dishes and was holding said frying pan. Anyway, the dent it did make was easily fixable. There was also some chipping on the top of one cabinet, but again, it was easily fixed.

Applying the tough coat was a bit tricky. It dries fast, so you can’t go back to paint any spots you missed until the coat is completely dry. You have to walk a very fine line between too much and too little. Too much and you will be fixing drips, which is bad because it dries fast. Too little and you will have a lot of streaks. It would probably be easier to paint if you take the doors off of the cabinets, but I painted in the middle of winter in Saskatchewan. Not an option.

Tough coat takes about a week to fully cure. Be very careful in your kitchen until the week is up!

I think the results are worth the effort, don’t you?

Have you used chalk paint on your cupboards? How was your experience? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Kristen Raney

Kristen Raney

Kristen is a former farm kid turned urban gardener who owns the popular gardening website, Shifting Roots.  She is obsessed with growing flowers and pushing the limits of what can be grown in her zone 3b garden.  She also loves to grow tomatoes, but oddly enough, dislikes eating them raw.

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Hi, I'm Kristen and I help new gardeners learn to grow their own vegetables and beautify their yards. I also share recipes that use all that delicious garden produce. Grab a coffee (and your gardening gloves) and join me for gardening tips, simple recipes, and the occasional DIY, all from the lovely city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

P.S. First time gardener? You'll want to download the quick start gardening guide below!