Bathroom Cabinet Remake

We built our house in 1998, and as you can tell from the door, honey oak cabinets, doors, and trim were all the rage! Well, at this point I’m totally and completely over that rage!

I decided to tackle my cabinets first, and actually started with my kitchen cabinets – post to come about that. After that, I focused on this main floor 3/4 bath. Below is the finished product, and I LOVE that color. Not too dark, but just a nice warm medium brown.


Below is what they looked like prior to the new paint color, framing and new hardwared. I’m kinda awful at getting “before” pictures, so excuse the fact the doors are sitting on the floor. But you get the point, they were that lovely shade of honey oak that was getting more and more orange by the day.

They were also a cheap, simple builder grade cabinet with no real character at all.

We decided to frame out the ends of both the tall cabinet, and the base cabinet to give it more character, and then replaced all the hardware with a simple black pull. We also framed in the typical toe-kick you get with premade cabinets. I think it looks more like a piece of furniture without the toe-kick.

I love how this turned out. No more ’90’s era cabinet, but cost me far less than replacing them.

Painting existing cabinets that have been stained and sealed, isn’t for the faint at heart! It is a process!

  1. You have to clean the cabinets and doors with a good degreaser and all around cleaner. You can’t have any oils or grease or your paint won’t stick.
  2. I used a deglosser I got from my local home improvement store, just to be safe.
  3. I gave the cabinets and doors a good scuff sand, then filled in any spots that were damaged, or needed repair, along with the previous door pull holes with a wood putty. Allowed the wood putty to harden, applied more if needed and then finally sanded smooth.
  4. Once everything was sanded and cleaned of any sanding dust, I applied an oil-based primer to everything – including the base cabinet frames. Using an oil-based primer is critical for previously stained wood. I used a product from Zinsser called Cover Stain, which I picked up again at my local home improvement store.
  5. Once the primer had dried – which can take a couple of days to dry completely depending upon humidity and temperature, I sanded everything (including the base cabinet frames) until they were smooth.
  6. At this point you will have a lot of fine dust from the primer. I used an air compressor to blow out as much as I could, then a paint brush and micro-fiber cloth to get as much of the remainder of the dust off as possible.
  7. At this point I was ready to start applying the actual paint. I went with the Sherwin-Williams Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel in Semi Gloss in the color Tiki Hut. It took 3 coats to get good coverage over the white primer.

After doing a lot of research, and after using the Emerald Urethane on my kitchen cabinets, it was a no-brainer to go with this on these bathroom cabinets. This paint is a very durable paint, and will stand up to this high-traffic bathroom. This bathroom is also my husbands main bathroom/shower room for taking the grime off after working all day as a heavy equipment mechanic – so it takes a beating!

All in all I’m extremely happy with how this turned out! I love the color and I feel the changes fit into the room and house very well!

Good Bye Honey Oak!!

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