Get Your Groove On…Or Not.

Our new kitchen boasts lots of cabinet space, about twice the cabinet space than our last kitchen. The problem is, the brown on brown on brown color scheme is just not working for us. Nor is that groove on the face of the cabinet doors. It really dates the kitchen, which stinks, because the cabinets are in really great shape. The hubby and I talked about getting new cabinets, just getting new cabinet doors, or changing the face of the cabinets ourselves. We decided it wouldn’t hurt to experiment and try changing the look of the cabinets ourselves. If we fail miserably, we can then spend the money to get new doors or new cabinets.

photo 3We thought about adding trim pieces to change the look of the doors like this post I saw on Pinterest. The problem with our cabinets though, is that they don’t all match as you can see in the photo below. The cabinets in the corner and to the right were added later, as well as the cabinets all the way at the end to the left which you can’t see in these photos. We were afraid that even after they were all refaced, they just wouldn’t quite match. So ultimately we decided to try to fill that pesky groove in with wood filler and give them all a smooth surface and fresh paint job.

photo 4 (1)We thought maybe we could get away with leaving the doors on while we filled the grooves in, but alas, gravity was not our friend. So we numbered all the doors and removed them. We went ahead and removed all the hardware too since we knew we would have to do so to paint the doors and the cabinet frame.

photo 2Once we got every door removed, we hauled them down to the machine shed (one perk of living on a farm) to set up a little workshop so we could make a mess and spread out without making a huge mess in the already messy house. Brian spent a few days filling grooves in his spare time while I focused on getting the frame for the cabinets sanded and painted while we had all the doors and hardware off. Once he had all of the doors filled and the wood filler had time to dry and set, we set up a little assembly line to get them sanded and cleaned up.

photo 2-012Our assembly line consisted of me sanding the edges of the doors with a sanding block, they have a mitered edge that we couldn’t get to with the hand sander very well. Then Brian would use the electric hand sander on the front and backs until they were nice and smooth.

photo 1 (1)After he finished, I would take them to the air compressor and blow off all the dust and then wipe them down with a tack cloth to get them really clean. To save time, we went ahead and sanded all of the doors, even the ones without the grooves.

photo 3-003 photo 2-004It went really fast once we got into the groove…get it?…get it? Sanding is a messy job, so it was really nice not having to do it inside the house. It only took us about an hour to get through all the doors and when we were finished we had flat, smooth cabinet doors as you can see below. Now the painting begins!

photo 5-003

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8 thoughts on “Get Your Groove On…Or Not.

  1. Wow! Very impressive! Good work! Love that you have all that energy too šŸ™‚
    Can’t wait to see the finished product!

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  2. So happy to find your post. We have the exact same cabinets and I want to paint, but would like to first fill grooves so they don’t look so dated. I have two questions. First, what wood filler did you use? I’ve been reading up on wood fillers, and want one that will adhere well, not shrink and hold up over time. Second, What kind of paint did you use to paint the cabinets and did you apply a sealer over the paint? Thanks so much for taking time to respond.

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    • Hi Monica!
      We used the Elmer’s Wood Filler and had no problems with it. We applied the wood filler to the groove, let it dry completely, sanded it all down and then went back in and filled in any spots that needed it. After those spots were dry, we went and sanded it all again and then used a paint and primer in one. I used Valspar’s Signature paint + primer in an interior semi-gloss. I like how it covers and how easily the semi-gloss finish is to clean and wipe up stains. We did not use any kind of sealer. We finished our cabinets over three years ago and we haven’t had any issues with the filler shrinking or cracking. The paint has also held up really nicely, I’ve only had to retouch a few spots that got a lot of wear and tear before we attached our hardware to the cabinets and drawers. I hope this helps! Good luck to you with your project!

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