While painting the two desks for my project studio during the last couple of weeks, I had lots of time to think. What did I think about? Well, I thought a lot about…mostly painting. Surprised? Haha!
Someone told me a while back that they plan to paint their kitchen cabinets with chalk paint.
You could’ve knocked me over with a feather! “Why?” I asked her.
Said person‘s reply was no answer at all. “Well, it’s wonderful!” (Really? How does she know?)
Said person has never painted a thing with chalk paint. She hasn’t experimented. Ever.
As I painted, I thought to write this post so you will consider a few key points in kitchen cabinetry before making such a drastic decision. By now, you clearly know how I love to paint furniture with Annie Sloan™ Chalk Paint (and my favorite substitute, Valspar™ Super Flat Paint and Primer). Love it or not, we must realize kitchen cabinetry is altogether different from furniture pieces!
KEY POINTS TO CONSIDER:
- Paint something else first. Yes. Do it now. Do not pass GO. You need a point of reference on a product before deciding to repaint your kitchen cabinets. If you’ve never painted anything with chalk paint, paint at least one piece – preferably several. Said person has no idea what the end result feels like, looks like, wears like, etc. You should know, too.
- Do you plan to wax the cabinets? Use different waxes on trial pieces, clear wax, then dark wax, and then no wax. Annie Sloan recommends no wax for pieces placed on a porch. With no wax, notice how the paint comes off every time you wipe it clean. If you want to skip the step of waxing inside your cabinets, think again. Every time you wipe them out, you’ll take some paint off. That means repainting more often than anyone wants to do it!
- Consider cleaning. Have you noticed a certain build-up of dust/grease/grime in certain areas of your kitchen – especially near the stove?
Chalk paint isn’t smooth like regular paint, so I question whether it’s scrub-able. After the wax of your trial piece has hardened and “set up” well, handle it, wipe it, put a cleaner on it, like I did on this step-stool I painted two years ago.
What do the chemicals do? What happens to the feel of the wax? I have to say my chemicals didn’t change the feel of my finish with one application of cleanser, but I don’t know what would happen over time, after many cleanings. A hard surface would be my top choice for a kitchen.
- High traffic, high heat, and wet areas. Think of the heat sources around your cabinets. Near the stove/oven, will the wax melt or get gummy over time? That’s a chance I personally don’t want to take. In the video below, you’ll see what happens in wet areas. While chalk paint is obviously the look this woman loves in her kitchen, it’s totally not a color or shabby style I personally would choose – nor said person, I believe. Said person currently has and likes her very sleek white cabinets. I personally would want water and heat to be impenetrable through my cabinet’s finish. Regardless of color and shabby-ness, this video is pretty telling of how chalk painted cabinets held up after a year of wear. (And, I apologize to this woman if I’ve hurt her feelings at all. If she loves her cabinets, I’m happy for her. Truly.)
I guess you can tell I have a slanted opinion against using chalk paint for kitchen cabinetry. But, that’s just my opinion. Our island had a nice, sleek painted finish that was done before we moved in over ten years ago, and it still looks the same.
Our cabinets survived a family of four until our kids went away to college a few years ago. The main cabinets are stained and coated with a hard finish that’s very durable and scrub-able. I am blessed.
I may eat my words in the future, but for now I’m convinced that I’d be unhappy with chalk paint in the long run.
For your kitchen, the choice is yours! What are your thoughts so far?