Wading into a Painting Project

How-To Paint Cabinet Doors | Storypiece.net

I’m not much of a jumper.  Last month while on vacation, I noticed I like to wade into the pool, much like I wade into new things in life.

And no matter how much this cute face tells me, “Mom, the water is great… just jump”, if I’m going to jump, it’s not without testing the water first.

Jumping in the Deep End | Storypiece.net

With our big kitchen project on the horizon, I’m wanting to cautiously enter into the process of painting the cabinets.  Have I researched it thoroughly?  Can I learn more before I open that paint can?  I don’t want to dive into the job wishing I was a little more skilled at it.  Some may say I’m procrastinating… I like to think of it as being well prepared.

So when Tyson recently ordered cabinet doors to finish off his studio bookcase, I was ready to get in a little cabinet door paint practice.

Finished Built-In's | Storypiece.net

The nice thing about the doors going in this space is they will be a much darker color and won’t show every flaw.  Also, thankfully they are not in such a prominent place in the house.  If there are mistakes to be made, at least they won’t be screaming at me from the heart of our home.

Wading… I’m definitely wading in.

This little project allowed us to try out a new technique.  Several months ago, Tyson had discovered this idea of hanging the doors up to be able to paint both sides without any sticking or waiting long periods for one side to dry and cure before painting the other side. (Unfortunately, since I’m not married to a blogger, I don’t have the orginal link to share.)

The concept was simple:

Tyson hung boards in the garage for us to hang the doors from.  He then added hooks to the bottoms of the doors and screws to the boards to hang the doors off of.

Hanging Doors | Storypiece.net

I then could paint one side of the door, carefully hang it, and then paint the other side.

Doors to be Painted | Storypiece.net

Doors Ready for Paint | Storypiece.net

Tyson also added a screw for me to hold onto so that the hung door would not swing while I painted it.

Something to Hold On To | Storypiece.netI was able to easily prime, paint and seal 8 doors for the studio.

Painted Doors | Storypiece.net

The good news is I think I have a solid technique for attacking our kitchen cabinet doors.  The bad news is I have 23 doors waiting to be painted.

Painted Doors-Detail | Storypiece.net

Are you a jumper or a wader?  Do you like to practice, practice, practice or dive in and hope for the best?  Any last minute tips for painting kitchen cabinets that you want to share?  I’m all ears.

Now that the studio doors are finally finished, I’ll be showing the final studio reveal later this week. And don’t forget there is still time to enter the Sketchy Style Giveaway!  If you’re not sure what that is, you can read all the details here.  I’ll be sharing the name of the winner on Thursday.


  1. ScrapAndSalvage says:

    lookin great, danielle! and great idea adding a screw for an easier painting job.
    i am SO not a wader. to a fault. i just want to get in there and do it. i never read manuals and rarely test something out before i commit. i always want to, but lack the patience. maybe that’s why i don’t have beautiful cabinet doors to show off! 🙂
    can’t wait to see the reveal and good luck with those 23 other doors. shwew!

    • Danielle says:

      I know… 23 doors plus drawers! Really wishing I could pull a Samantha and just twinkle my nose to get the cabinets I want. How cool would that be?!

  2. Stacey says:

    How to measure intelligence? See: Hanging cabinet doors by Tyson!
    Seriously smart, guys!

    I absolutely hate waiting for one side to dry before tackling the other side. It’s such a waste of time. This however is brilliant and the doors look fabulous, Danielle. Love the little “handle” at the bottom. I was thinking that exact thing while I was reading … “They’re going to swing”… and then you prove once again that you are thinking of EVERYTHING! Love it.

    Now I’m so excited to see you get started on those kitchen cabinet doors. Oh it’s nothing for a pro like you. And as far as wading… I’m a jumper…. CANNONBALLS! NO FLOATIES!!! but then sometimes I have to be rescued from drowning… and sometimes the sharks begin to circle me and I get in BIG TROUBLE! I think your way is perfect for you. I mean, really, look at those results. GO DANIELLE!

    • Danielle says:

      Ha!! I know that swimming with the sharks feeling all too well. 🙂

      Wish we could take credit for the brilliance of this idea. Truly it was just a google search discovery… But one I’m thankful for. It made the process a thousand times easier. I seriously loose my mind when I nick a freshly painted area. If I messed up one side while I was painting the other, you’d have to commit me. Tyson’s true brilliance is heading that crazy off at the pass.

  3. Gilit says:

    That’s such a smart solution! I’m suuuch a wader sometimes and other times I know if I don’t jump right in then I’m not gonna do it. Can’t wait to see the results!

    • Danielle says:

      Truth be told, I’m exactly the same way. :). Sometimes it’s easy to psych ourselves out when we should’ve just jumped, right?

  4. Tammi@1914house says:

    I’m a wader and my husband is not. We painted our lower kitchen cabinets a couple of years ago. Our biggest problem is impatience. I really feel that if we’d waited longer (than what the paint can suggests) between coats, the final coat wouldn’t have taken as long to cure. We ended up having some sticking and peeling, ugh. Not much, but enough to be annoying. Good luck! It looks like a great system. I’m happy for you/jealous that you have the space for it 🙂

    • Danielle says:

      We’ve had some sticking with the bookcase counter and I’ve recently repainted and sealed that too. You are so right… the guy at the paint store told me that because of our Pacific Northwest humidity, we have to wait longer than the can suggests. Wished I had known that before I painted the counter, but I took that into consideration on the doors and they came out beautifully.

  5. Sarah says:

    Hanging them up is GENIUS! I’m definitely more of a wader too (unless it’s a low cost project) as in I can throw it away if I don’t like the results. But with something like cabinets? Slowly wade in with lots of research to back me up for sure! I’m hoping you can share your technique as I might be tackling a similar project in the not too distant future!

    • Danielle says:

      Ha! Okay… I’m absolutely embracing that mentality of throwing a low cost project away if it goes sideways. Isn’t that the most freeing feeling?! It does make it easier to jump in and just see what happens.

  6. Victoria • Restoring our Victorian says:

    I’m a plan to jump in… but then rethink mid-leap, and twist around and try to grab hold of the diving board.

    I do NOT envy your coming project. Even though you DO now have a great assembly line! Just keep telling yourself it’s going to be BEAUTIFUL when it’s done!!

    • Danielle says:

      Oh my goodness… that is a great visual! I can totally see you hanging off the diving board saying “excuse me… little help here”.

  7. Alex @ northstory says:

    Please don’t make me paint!! I’ve been painting all week. Doors. So many doors. I empathize. However that is a GENIUS way to do this. Can’t wait to see the after!

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