Kitchen Cabinet Makeover {Annie Sloan Chalk Paint}

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As promised in my last post, I’m finally going to reveal my kitchen cabinets I  re-painted with Chalk Paint ยฎ.

I thought it was about time since it’s only been complete for at least 6 months now.

But so much has transpired since then…it’s been tough to get around to writing about it.

Plus, I have this fabulous, wonderful, awesome camera that I am still a bit (a LOT) clueless about using. (Canon 60D) Help me, please. ๐Ÿ˜‰
And for the life of me, I could not get good pictures of my kitchen so I just kept putting this post off.

Poor camera…it has SO much potential and is wasted on me. But I will learn.
It’s in my plan for the new year!

So, great photos or not, it is time to share.

Kitchen Before and After Annie Sloan Chalk Paint - #chalkpaint #kitchenmakeover #kitchen


And YES, that is indeed a photo of my ACTUAL kitchen (see the stove? ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) from when we moved in–> and quite literally too…please excuse the mess on the lovely gold counter tops there.

I thought I’d give a little tease of what my kitchen looked like in the real before. And I promise, these are, in fact, the very same cabinets.
I will tell you how we made them look different (better) besides just painting them in an upcoming, full on, reveal.

Just wait until you see that. You will not believe the difference.

I almost don’t and I lived it!

I had originally painted those dark brown stained cabinets with a cream colored latex (from Lowe’s called “Milk Paint”) inside and out.
I finished with a Ralph Lauren “tea stain” glaze (from Home Depot…they no longer sell it).

Kitchen Semi Before (and before chalk paint) - #chalkpaint #kitchenmakeover #kitchen


I had the whole “Tuscan” theme going on.
It looked fabulous and I got tons and tons of compliments on that makeover but after 9 years the glaze just looked “dingy” to me.
And I know they do to you too…don’t lie. ๐Ÿ˜‰


Kitchen Makeover w Chalk Paint BEFORE DOOR - #chalkpaint #kitchenmakeover #kitchen

They needed some work too….after 9 years of use. I cleaned them very well and then re-caulked the wood trim we added (yep, that’s what we did to make those flat, plain doors look better)

Kitchen Cabinet Makeover w Chalk Paint Door BEFORE - #chalkpaint #kitchenmakeover #kitchen

And then I painted them with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.
I didn’t want them stark white so I mixed up some of these 2 colors –> Old White/Pure White.

What a difference, right??

Kitchen Cabinet Makeover w Chalk Paint First Coat Door - #chalkpaint #kitchenmakeover #kitchen

Since they are in the kitchen and will be handled a lot I decided to seal them with Varathane floor sealer (Lowe’s) instead of wax. (yes, FLOOR sealer–and super tough stuff, love it)
The very same product we used when we refinished our wood floors last year.
I also used it to seal my Kitchen Island that I painted in Duck Egg Blue Chalk Paint. You can see that project –> here.

 - #chalkpaint #kitchenmakeover #kitchenVarathane for Chalk Painted Cabinets

Yep. Painted them, sealed them, hung the doors all back up and was done. Yay!
Looked at them for one week until I could stand it no longer.

They were too yellow. Story of my life.

Too much “Old White” in the mix and not enough of the “Pure White”.
I knew it would drive me crazy so I removed all the doors, etc, and repainted them in a “whiter” blend immediately.
(as you can see along the “whiter” edge in the picture below)
And that’s the great thing about Chalk Paintยฎ….no sanding, I just went right to it.
**EDITED to add— I used approximately 3/4 Pure to 1/4 white.**

Thank goodness, right?

Kitchen Cabinet Makeover w Chalk Paint OOPS Changed Mind On Color - #chalkpaint #kitchenmakeover #kitchen And in this (terrible quality) cell phone picture. You can see the two finished doors. One is yellow-ish and one is more white.

two colors of Chalk Painted Cabinets - #chalkpaint #kitchenmakeover #kitchen

I know, don’t even say it…or think it. It’s a little crazy around here.

My husband does not even flinch anymore. ๐Ÿ˜‰

But just look…….

 - #chalkpaint #kitchenmakeover #kitchenKitchen Cabinet Makeover w Chalk Paint End


So crisp and bright (and clean!) looking. Yes.

Like my little beverage (aka wine) cooler? That’s where the 1970’s trash compactor used to live.
This one was made for that exact purpose, sized to fit a compactor space.


 - #chalkpaint #kitchenmakeover #kitchenKitchen Cabinet Makeover with Chalk Paint Sink Area

But truly, what a dream it was to use the Chalk Paint. It was so easy.

TRUST me on that.

I painted them twice in less than 2 weeks, I should know.

And they have held up fantastically, I might add. (that’s no surprise to me, btw, I just wanted to let you all know that)
Note: I didn’t repaint the interiors because they were still in really good shape from the first painting.
I didn’t “glaze” them so are a fairly good match to what I have now with the new paint job. 
I used approx. 3/4 to 1 quart can since I didn’t have to paint the insides. I also used a {affiliate link} *Purdy Brush brush to do the job.
My favorite brushes of all time.

Kitchen Cabinet Makeover w Chalk Paint Corner - #chalkpaint #kitchenmakeover #kitchen

The knobs were bought 9 years ago when I painted the cabinets the first time.
I ended up not putting them on back then but decided I wanted to add knobs this go round.

I changed out the pulls on the drawers to these more “farmhouse” styled ones.
We will be installing my farmhouse sink (<– look) we got from Ikea soon….and replacing our laminate “handiwork” there with beautiful dark wood counter top.
(EDIT- Want to see what my husband recently installed for me –hint above–!? If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve already seen it! ๐Ÿ˜‰ )
You can see it installed in this post here –> Christmas Home Tour 2014

Keep an eye out for that too! Can NOT wait.

We also added a false wall to the ends of the cabinet to create the decorative edge you see there with the fluting, etc.

These cabinets are 35 years old. We did a quick little kitchen reno when we moved in 9 1/2 years ago thinking we would replace these at a later date.
I honestly do not feel the need to at this point.

Kitchen Cabinets Painted in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (Old White-Pure White Blend) Corner - #chalkpaint #kitchenmakeover #kitchen We had to do a little more handiwork to get the refrigerator to fit into the cabinets when we moved in. (removed and made that cabinet smaller where the shelves now are)

We originally kept one side open (the door for that side no longer fit) and left one door in place.
When I repainted this time I decided to remove the remaining door and create open shelves. (as seen in photo further down)

Kitchen Cabinet Cookbook shelf before - #chalkpaint

I love it this way….and love being able to showcase my blue Mason jars. :)

Kitchen Shelve Details - Blue Ball Mason Jars - Coastal Decor - #chalkpaint #kitchenmakeover #kitchen

As you can see below, I also removed the doors on the cabinet above the fridge.

Kitchen Cabinet Makeover with Chalk Paint Cabinet Turned Open Shelf - #chalkpaint #kitchenmakeover #kitchen

My husband built the pullout to match the other end of the cabinet (and to fill the gap between the fridge and dishwasher–there was a small cabinet there but had to be removed when we put the larger fridge in).

I don’t use it. Ha…but it was a good idea anyway.  And it looks nice when closed. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Kitchen Cabinet DIY pullout - #chalkpaint #kitchenmakeover #kitchen

Oh I cannot wait to share with you all the before photos of this room…from this angle.
(and show you the new oven and cook top (both from Lowe’s-details soon) that will replace that last white appliance)

Kitchen Cabinet Makeover with Chalk Paint  - #chalkpaint #kitchenmakeover #kitchen

I have officially painted just about everything in this house with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint at this point.

Kitchen Cabinets Painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Before and After - #chalkpaint #kitchenmakeover #kitchen

What do you think? Would you paint your kitchen cabinets with it?

You really like the “before” before best right?? No way. :)

Stay tuned…lots more to come!

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You might like this:
Chalk Painted Kitchen Island
Kitchen Island Duck Egg Blue Chalk Paint3

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  1. Heidi says

    Absolutely beautiful! My taste exactly, right down to the blue mason jars! After so many changes and lots of hard work, you definitely got it right this time! Props to your hubby too!

    • Nancy says

      Thank Heidi! Oh how neat…yes, I do love my Mason jars. I have a couple others (older, and one of the large ones..which is my favorite!) in another room. Can’t wait to share the rest of the before and after kitchen photos with you (and the b & a of the rest of the house) Many years in the making. :)


    • Nancy says

      Thanks so much Marlia! :) I am so happy with it! It feels totally different in there..and the whole house really, from how it was when we moved in. Long time coming but we are getting there!


    • Nancy says

      Thanks so much! I ended using about 1/2 of a can but I didn’t have too much to paint. No upper cabinets on the right and I ended up not painting inside the cabinets because I had not glazed them so they matched pretty well. (and were still in good shape there) This of course does not take into account the extra paint I used when I decided they were too yellow and repainted them….again. ๐Ÿ˜‰


  2. Karen H. says

    Oh Nancy, Nancy, Nancy!!! Those cabinets look FABULOUS! I definitely agree with you on the whiter shade. Even though I am a huge fan of Old White, it can lean towards the yellow side sometimes.

    I can’t wait to see all the rest of your pictures! When you get that new sink, stove and counter tops, you’re going to have a picture perfect kitchen!

    Good job!

    • Nancy says

      Ha, thank you so much friend! xo :) Yes, you are so right. I do love the Old White (and have it on quite a few pieces) but it can be a bit yellowish. I was surprised that adding so much of the Pure White on the first go round didn’t take that yellow tint away more! Lesson learned!! (test better before you complete the entire project!)
      Oh you will LOVE the rest of the pictures…they are classic “before and afters”. It was all still 1978 when we moved in and very dark and dreary feeling. And oh yes, I can NOT wait to get the rest of the kitchen done. The appliances and sink wait patiently in the garage. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Soon I hope. (and by that I mean hopefully by Spring ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

      BTW, I’ll be in touch soon k!!

    • Nancy says

      Hi Christina,
      Thanks so much! I do love it so much better. :) And yes, the trim was actually my idea to dress up the doors and my husband was unsure as to how well it would hold up but did it for me anyway. I sanded the doors down somewhat to get them ready and he cut, glued & clamped the trim to the fronts. They have held up perfectly for almost 10 yrs now, not one problem on any of them. I think, to this day, he is shocked the trim pieces haven’t loosened or fallen off. ๐Ÿ˜‰


    • Nancy says

      Thank you Nicole! :) Yes, it was a dream to work with and really love how they turned out(not the renovations lol…that was not a dream…that was a nightmare at times! ha…but I’m SO glad we did it and it’s done!).


  3. Mary Ruth says

    LOVE your kitchen make over! I bought some A/S paint and I love it too… So happy they have the white now..
    How did you like the Varathane sealer on top? non yellowing, right (said crystal clear on can). I am looking for something to cover white paint on my kitchen cabinets so I was happy to see your make over. Thanks for sharing, will check to see how the new counters and farm sink go in your kitchen!

  4. Rosemary Armesto says

    Awesome transformation!! Some of my friends are so paranoid about painting their cabinets. I’ve been saving pics of all the ‘Bravehearts’ who have tackled their kitchen cabinets to show them how wonderful it can be. Paint and wood are very forgiving. You can’t kill ’em. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Nancy says

      Thank you Rosemary! Love it…yes show them those pictures!! I totally agree with you, paint and wood are definitely forgiving. But you are right, so many people are funny about painting (or changing) things. I say go for it! ๐Ÿ˜‰


  5. Shirley Smith says

    Okay Nancy …you may have just talked me into redoing my kitchen cabinets ! I have a VERY small kitchen with just one run of maple cabinets. I hate Maple color ! The granite is new so that has to stay. so now I have to figure out the color !

    • Nancy says

      Oh Shirley that would be fairly easy to tackle…and oh what a difference it will make! Oh yes, granite stays (we have granite on the island we put in recently and if we had put in granite back 9 yrs ago on the rest of the kitchen, trust me, it would be staying too! ๐Ÿ˜‰ )
      Picking color is the fun part! :)


  6. debbi in Texas says

    Perfection; if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, so keep those cabinets. They don’t make them like they used to and custom is over the top expensive. Very nice work. I am ready now to paint my drop front desk secretary I am using for a vanity in annie sloan.

    • Nancy says

      Thank you Debbi, Yes, exactly. No reason to rip out those cabinets…I have plenty of other things I still need/want to do! (and yes, it is so crazy expensive to replace them). Oh I know the secretary will be lovely…would love to see a picture of it finished! :)


  7. Nancy says

    Awesome…Annie Sloan is the only way to go. I’ve tried several other brands and tested out recipes to make your own, but nothing compares. Yes, it’s more expensive, but Ms. Annie knows something the other ones don’t know!

    • Nancy says

      Thank you Nancy! I agree! I have tried all the recipes in the past too…not the same. I have and will continue to stick with my Annie Sloan paint. :)


  8. says

    Looks gorgeous!! Your kitchen saga sounds like mine! I painted mine about 8 years ago and glazed them. They definitely were looking dingy to me. About 4 years ago, I repainted the entire kitchen. I used a mix of ASCP and Modern Masters Basic White. It was really easy to do. I used Modern masters Basic Black on the bottom cabs and my island. I have similar bin pulls on my drawers too! That is a great tip to use floor sealer on the cabs!! I HAND WAXED mine. And I have a lot of doors and drawers. I thought my shoulder was going to fall off. They have held up really well, but they definitely need to be waxed again. Ugh.
    karen recently posted…Redouxinteriors Link Party (November 21st) #131 and les Features!My Profile

    • Nancy says

      Oh Karen, how funny, so similar!! Love it!! And no way was I waxing all of that, lol. I love this sealer. I’ve since used it on multiple other things.
      Good to hear that yours have held up well with wax…that was the one thing (besides the aching shoulder!) that I was worried about with kitchen use. Good to know!!


        • Nancy says

          Hi Becca,
          Thanks so much! :) The water based (most anyway) are pretty good about not yellowing much. The oil based polys do yellow quite often though. The floor sealer I used is water based and really great. I have not noticed any yellowing at all.


      • Megan says

        Hi Nancy! Love your process and thank you for posting! We are going through this right now– Just wondering how many coats of sealing you did for your kitchen cabinets on top of the chalk paint? Thanks so much- Your cabinets look amazing.

        • Nancy says

          Hi Megan! Thanks!! :) One coat (I did paint twice though…so technically two. But as a finish coat, only one)


  9. pam says

    Lovely job! I am considering doing the same to my old wood cabinets and was wondering if you laquered over the chalk paint or just left it, and is chalk paint durable and washable? Thanks for the inspiration :)

    • Nancy says

      Thank you Pam :) I used the Varathane sealer pictured above in the post to seal them. It is tough stuff, I love it. And yes, Chalk Paint is very durable in my experience. I have many pieces that I’ve also used her wax on and they have held up beautifully. I just chose to go the poly route for the kitchen for a little bit more durability (against water, lots of use…and teenagers ๐Ÿ˜‰ )
      Both are very washable (waxed or poly’d)
      Would love to see a photo if you do decide to paint yours!


  10. nancy says

    Great job! They look gorgeous…I am about to paint my kitchen cabinets in the next day or so…using ASCP too…I am dreading the whole waxing thing…but after reading your blog I think I will try something else to seal them…did you have to redo the Varathane the second time around?
    Thanks for sharing…

    • Nancy says

      Thanks Nancy! :) I have also used Minwax Polycrylic (in the aqua blue can) to seal quite a few pieces too. I love it and still use it on colored pieces. But that one can lean a bit on the yellow side like some oil based polys (not nearly as bad though…just a touch) on the lighter colors. I have not had that problem with the Varathane that I used so far. And yes, I cleaned them, painted them in Chalk Paint, applied the Varathane….and repeated all steps again to change the color (make them whiter). Not fun to have completed the job (to the point of putting the doors back on!) and wanting to redo them again. But it is done and thank goodness for Chalk Paint because it really made that so much easier than it would have been otherwise!

  11. Ellen says

    My only problem is trying to decide what shade to paint my walls vs. which ASCP to paint the cabinets! Great information about the floor varnish on the cabinets & island; I will have to remember that when we get there. Fabulous as always!
    Positive thoughts for you and your family as you enter the holiday season without your mom.

    • Nancy says

      Hi Ellen!
      Oh yes, that is always a bit of a challenge. I just end up painting and then repainting (as you can see!) I just recently repainted my Study (very large room too) that I just REpainted last Spring. But I am in LOVE with the color I chose for in there. I will be revealing that at some point too. We are in the middle of building a built in bookcase with cabinets on the far wall right now. When it’s done…I’ll be posting about it!
      Oh yes, definitely check out the Varathane. Good stuff.

      Thank you so much..yes, it is heavy on the mind..especially so with the Holidays fast approaching. My parents 56th anniversary is on Sat as well. I appreciate your kind thoughts more than you know.

  12. says

    We had a new kitchen put in 11 years ago, solid cherry cabinets with black appliances and brown granite looking formica — and hardwood floors…………………. everything is so B R O W N ! I have been talking about painting the cabinets for a while now – everyone says, NO don’t do it – you’ll ruin the cherry. I do agree but besides hiding a multitude of wear/tear with 6 kids – I really think a white kitchen would be beautiful and very cheery – not aladrab!!

    Looks great and very inspirational.


    • Nancy says

      Hi Trisha!
      Oh yes, I so hear you! (our whole house was brown, and DARK brown at that. Brown trim, brown doors, brown cabinets, brown wall paneling (aka the “cave”) in the family room!)
      And yes, I do get it about painting over the cherry. It is a beautiful color/wood. BUT I understand about wanting to brighten things up. I personally would not be afraid to do it…and it would change the look and feel of your kitchen immensely! It would create such beautiful contrast…and I just adore contrasting colors. But it is a very personal choice. People really do get all up in arms when you start talking about painting over wood sometimes. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Mine were very basic, nothing special and so it was an easy choice for me. (although I did paint a cherry wood cabinet in my guest bath last year. Although I loved it that color, I LOVE the way it has brightened up the little bath. Even my husband loves it and he was one of those people who said don’t paint that beautiful wood! Like he would win that argument. ;))
      Thanks! And please forward me a photo… I would really love to see it if you decide to paint! :)

    • Nancy says

      Thanks so much! I used approx 1/2- 3/4 of one can. (not including the repaint, of course!) And yes, I do love the paint very much. :)


    • Nancy says

      Thanks so much Therese!! :)
      (sorry so late in replying!! I just found a bunch of comments (on different posts??) that I somehow missed!)
      Thanks again friend!

      • Rosemary Armesto says

        Nancy, that is an amazing job. I’ve been in the middle of deciding which way to go. Paint or re-face.

        At 64 I feel a bit too tired to take on 29 kitchen doors and 12 drawers. =: – 0 If I could do it I would have done what you did. Bravo!! Great job an saved yourself a bunch of money. The Pro-painter I talked to was going to charge 3K just for paint, add the counter tops – replaced. The cabinets just weren’t worth the cost. They were below builders grade. Yikes! ,

        • Nancy says

          Hi Rosemary,
          Thanks so much!! And yes, I totally agree with you. It is so expensive to have things done, especially so in the kitchen area. We’ve done everything in this house ourselves and have saved a ton doing it. For the repaint, I have to say, it was definitely much easier this go round than the first time I painted them after moving in. The Chalk Paint did make it easy!

          Hope you have a great Thanksgiving! :)


  13. Deb says

    Is the backsplash the DIY adhesive stickers you can get at Home Depot? I was considering this as an option and yours looks great!

    • Nancy says

      Hi Deb,

      Thanks so much!!:) The backsplash was done with a product called Bondera and regular tile grout. You can see my post about it here –>


  14. Kim Middlebrooks says

    Hey Nancy..I love all your projects, and I to am getting ready to paint bathroom and question is do I have to prime the cabinets before using chalk paint?

  15. Jackie says

    After you painted the cabinets the second time did you seal them again with the same product you did the first go round? I have been wanting to paint my cabinets in the chalk paint but wondered how well it would hold up. With 3 kids ours get a lot of use out them. How long ago did you do them and have they held up well? No chipping or scratches? Stuff like that. Thanks for a response. They look great!! Makes me want to start mine tomorrow!!

    • Nancy says

      Hi Jackie,
      Yes, I sealed them both times with the Varathane product that is pictured. I didn’t sand them except to even up spots before painting. I did clean them very well and recaulked a bit. I also did not sand at all in between the Chalk Paint applications. I’ve had them done since about March. They have held up beautifully so far. Have had no problems with them or the island that I painted in the Duck Egg Blue Chalk Paint. (chipping or scratching etc)
      thank you…and good luck with yours!!
      Happy New Year!!

  16. says

    Painting my kitchen cabinets is on my to-do list for this year and I have been meaning to come back to read this post…so glad it was in your top 10 :) Did you sand the cabinets after painting at all? I’m wondering how smooth the finish if you don’t? I painted the cabinets in my last house the old fashioned way and I’m dreading that process! This looks so much easier! Yours looks fantastic and I love the trim you added!! XO

    • Nancy says

      Hi Christy!
      I did not sand them at all. Before I painted I smoothed them out a bit with very fine grit sandpaper..only in spots, where needed (and cleaned very well). I didn’t sand at all in between the “oops too yellow” coat either. ๐Ÿ˜‰ There are some brush strokes but they are from my first paint job 10 years ago showing through. I didn’t really have much of a problem with the Chalk Paint leaving strokes. I made sure to keep it pretty thin when applying so I think that helped a lot (and a good brush, of course). You could spray it on also. (I have sprayed Chalk Paint with my paint sprayer but don’t do it much as it’s a pain to set it up and spray!lol It did work just fine with the Chalk Paint though..not sure if you’ve tried that)
      Also, I think the application of the Varathane as a finish really helped to make them look more “smooth” as well.
      Can’t wait to see yours!! I am sure they will be beautiful!
      I will tell you, this was SO much easier than the first time I sanded (and sanded and sanded) the cabinets and painted them. I suppose it must have been since I was brave enough to do it twice in 2 weeks! ๐Ÿ˜‰ (story of my life! lol)

  17. says

    Nancy I did mine too with ASCP and Poly… Mine have been done for almost a year now. They couldn’t clean up better! Even scrubbing them is fine…. Best move we ever made.

    • Nancy says

      OH that is so good to hear!! Mine are doing great too so far…they and the island I painted in Duck Egg..both holding up beautifully. Very happy with the result. :)


  18. Fortunegirl says

    Hi Nancy, I feel so blessed to have come across your page this morning.
    My kitchen cabinets are like yours were in the beginning. I have lived in my farm home for fourteen years and have changed a lot of house except for the cabinets. The picture frame trim: is it one or several joined together? I have never heard of the chalk paint that you used, BUT I can tell you I WILL be purchasing some. THANKS SO MUCH for showing us all your wonderful, beautiful projects. Fortunegirl.

    • Nancy says

      I think I will do a separate post on this. I’ve had so many people email with interest about the door facings. :) The trim is one piece (cut to fit the door fronts). It really made a huge difference in the cabinets!!
      Oh yes, Chalk Paint….I love it. (look around my blog and you’ll see that pretty quickly! ๐Ÿ˜‰ )
      All the best,

  19. Laura says

    Hello Nancy,
    Your kitchen is absolutely stunning! I’m so glad I came across this on Pintrest I’m in the process of furnishing my home office and I want the same color desk as your cabinets. I found a really great desk on Craigslist that has the same structure as the Bedford Pottery Barn desk for about 10% of the price. This will be my second “diy” project and my first time using Chalk paint. Did you do any distressing on these cabinets? Is that something that has to be done or can I skip that step?

    • Nancy says

      Hi Laura,
      Thank you so much :) The kitchen cabinets didn’t get any distressing, no. I wanted them to have a nice, crisp, clean look so didn’t do it on those (I did on the Duck Egg colored island though). You can definitely skip that step if you don’t want the distressed look.

  20. Kendall Johns says

    I recently painted the cabinets in my house with chalk paint and finished with the soft wax. I am a little nervous though about not putting a different sealer over them so that water doesn’t affect them. Everyone I’ve talked to is worried about a polyurethane yellowing. What do you think?

    • Nancy says

      Hi Kendall,
      Don’t be nervous about water bothering them. The wax makes them pretty resistant to water. You could try applying another 2 coats of wax (I probably would do that anyway for kitchen use). Just wait about a week in between coats so it has a chance to fully cure.
      You really can’t put a sealer such as poly over top now because of the wax. You would have to sand the cabinets back down to remove the wax before you applied poly. And yes, regular oil based poly does have a tendency to yellow. The sealer I used (water based) doesn’t yellow like the oil based. I have not noticed any yellowing with my cabinets or other things I’ve used it on.
      Anyway, you should be fine with just the wax! :)

      • Kendall Johns says

        Thanks!! I think I’ll do another coat or two of wax. It’s just so dang hard on the shoulder and arm! Lol. But they look great and I love them. I did equal parts of Old White and Graphite and distressed them.

  21. Jennifer Spilsbury says

    Love that your new kitchen is so unique! You can’t just go to any ol’ store and get this! I’m a huge fan of utilizing old with new, and you’ve done an amazing job doing just that. So my question.. My husband bought an old white dresser (ugly, but very solid construction with detailing) for our 7 year old daughters room. I want to paint it with chalk paint.. Can I paint over the existing semi glossy paint without sanding or primer? I wish I can put a picture up for you to see so I can get your artsy and creative advice!
    Thank you!!

    • Nancy says

      Thanks Jennifer!
      Yes, you can paint right over that paint with Chalk Paint. If it’s really slick and you are worried you can run a piece of very fine grit sandpaper over it beforehand. Just be sure to clean well before painting and it should be fine. :)
      You can send me a picture through email if you like! (contact form w/address – link is at the top of the page)
      All the best

  22. Dorothy B says

    Wow, I love this and all the more so because it’s not one of those situations where the homeowner spent a zillion dollars and just put in all new everything; I mean, where’s the challenge in that, right? :) We have a 1978 house and redid the kitchen years ago but I loathe the wood cabinets still. I’ve painted several pieces of furniture with the ASCP and couldn’t love it more! I was worried about durability on kitchen cabinets, which si what’s held me back. Knowing you finished yours with Varathane and how well it works and looks has convinced me to give it a shot too.
    I know the Old White can be yellowy and am wondering what proportion of it you ended up using in your mix? That would help a great deal. Again, bravo to you on your work-it looks great! (P.S. I think your existing countertops look fine too!)

    • Nancy says

      Hi Dorothy,
      Exactly!! I agree. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But if I were rich…… ๐Ÿ˜‰
      On the proportions, I don’t have exact measurements, sorry! What I can tell you is this…I added about 1/2 and 1/2 of Old White/Pure White last time and it was too yellow for me. When I turned around and repainted them I probably used 3/4 Pure to 1/4 Old White. Somewhere in that range.
      Thank you so much! Yes, lol, the existing counter tops are not bad but we put those in before we even tore that half wall out (10 years ago). When we did end up taking that wall out my husband made the backsplash and raised bar to match the laminate tops we had. But I think I am ready for something different….and I think it will be a large plank walnut stained wood. We’ll see! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Nancy says

      Thank you Deborah! No, I used water based Poly and it doesn’t yellow as bad as the oil based. (I have not noticed any yellowing at all yet!)


  23. Debbie says

    Did you use the sealer over the last painting? Before painting again did you just paint over the sealer? How much paint did you use ? Did you do two coats over the brown? They look fantastic!

    • Nancy says

      Hi Debbie,
      No I just finished them with the glaze. (over the latex) When I painted them with CP, I just painted right over that previous finish. I don’t remember exactly how much paint I used because I mixed 2 together plus I painted them twice (with the CP..because the first go was too yellow!) But it really didn’t take too much! The latex over the brown was done about 10 years ago…but I am pretty sure I did 2 coats, yes.
      Hope that helps!


  24. Lynette says

    You did a beautiful job, how inspiring! I just watched the video you were on. We have white kitchen cupboards but they are awful laminate that is dried out on the edges. If you are careful you hit an edge with something; it chips. Have you had any experience painting laminate? Do you know what you would use to fix chipped laminate? We also have white tile on the wall. How do you like the look of painted tile?

    • Nancy says

      Thanks Lynette! :)
      I have painted a few laminate pieces (they are not my favorite to paint..but the Chalk Paint did do well on them). Fixing chipped laminate…well, you could try wood putty but if the laminate is not adhered well past the chip that may not work so well. Sorry! Painted tile can be really cool…depends on what you do! I wouldn’t hesitate to paint it (especially with Chalk Paint and a poly or even wax coating to seal it) But try a small piece first to make sure you like it!
      Hope that helps some!!

  25. Thea says

    I love your work I’m just getting ready to do my dinning room furniture and kitchen cabinets. Do you think I can use chalk paint on my China cabinets. And how would I add moulding to the cabinet doors.

    • Nancy says

      Thanks Thea! (sorry for the late reply! I missed some comments somehow)
      You can use the Chalk Paint on any of that wood…should be fine!
      And the molding, I am planning to do a post on that soon. But, I just cut, glued (wood glue) and clamped them well. 10 years and still going strong.

  26. Tammy says

    Hi Nancy,
    I was going to do my kitchen cabinets in old ochre. But I also do not want it to be to yellowish. I was wondering if you
    suggest just using Old White paint? I know you redid your cabinets after mixing old white and pure white. Your opinion
    would be very helpful. Thank you, Tammy

    • Nancy says

      Hi Tammy,
      Old Ochre is a great color. I wouldn’t really consider that one “yellow-y” BUT it does have color. If you don’t want yellow I would stick with Old Ochre. It is more on the “tan” side whereas Old White is more towards “yellow” toned. But keep in mind the Old Ochre is a little darker. I mixed a very small amount of Old White into the Pure White so it would give it a tad bit of warmth without yellowing it up too much. Worked well! (the second go round, anyway! ๐Ÿ˜‰ )
      Good luck on whichever you choose! :)

      • Tammy Allen says

        I was planning to do my upper cabinets with a blend of Old White 2 cans and Pure White 1 can. I’m so glad I read your post, in which you suggest the reverse in order to avoid the “yellowish” look. Saved me a lot of disappointment and work. Cheers.

        • Nancy says

          Hi Tammy,
          So happy it was of help! I think you will be much happier with that blend than with the 2 cans of Old White! :)
          Good luck and have fun!

  27. Ella says

    Hi Nancy, I came across your blog while doing my prep research before painting my cabinets with ASCP. Love your post, it’s very helpful!

    Can you tell me how many coats of Varathane you applied? The can says minimum of 3 coats and 2 hours of drying time between recoating. That will take forever! I’ve noticed that it dries fairly quickly, within an hour so I’ve been recoating without sanding after an hour or so. Do you think it would totally mess up my cabinets and make them chip in the long run? Did you wait 2hrs between coating and sanded as well? TIA!

    • Nancy says

      Hi Ella,
      Thanks so much! :)
      I only applied one coat of Varathane on the cabinets (I applied 6 coats to my floors when I refinished them! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) Well, technically I did 2…since I finished them completely and then decided they were too yellow and painted them again, and resealed again. BUT one finish coat is all I did. You can do additional coats if you like though. I would follow the instructions fairly closely on the can as far as that goes. (time between application) I did with my floors.
      Hope that helps!! :)

  28. says

    Just remember that those gold countertops were fashionable when they were installed!

    I just moved out of an old building where some of the apartments had the original kitchens from the 60s. THAT was funny to look at. How can somebody (really, lots of somebodies) not change the kitchen in 50 years….not even the appliances. I promise.
    Kim recently posted…Low-Cost Cabinet MakeoversMy Profile

    • Nancy says

      Oh yes, Kim!! I know they were!! ๐Ÿ˜‰
      And I know, isn’t it crazy how that can be sometimes?! That’s what I thought when we moved in here (house built in 1978). What were the odds that no one who lived here before ever really changed a thing in almost 30 years? But we sure did! :)


  29. Mary Ann says

    Can you tell me your source for the pulls and knobs? They look very solid, almost like pewter. Exactly what I’m looking for.
    Love your cabinets. We are in process of painting ours white as well. We did a mixture of pure white and a teeny bit of French linen to give it a very subtle gray undertone

    • Nancy says

      Hi Mary Ann,

      The pulls came from Home Depot (Martha Stewart). The knobs I purchased 10 years ago when I first painted and made over the kitchen cabinets. I ended up never putting them on back then but decided to add them now. I ordered those online. (I don’t remember where…it’s been 10 years! ๐Ÿ˜‰ )
      Oh and the white with the French Linen sounds great!! :)


  30. Laura G says

    Thanks so much for sharing this! You did an amazing job! I have used ASCP on small pieces of furniture and LOVE it, so I am thrilled to know that it works so well on kitchen cabinets. About 10 years ago, I painted my light oak cabinets with a creamy tone oil enamel (ugh, wish I’d known about ASCP then). They’ve held up surprisingly well after all this time, but there is definitely some chipping (down to mostly bare wood). Will the chalk paint cover the chipped areas?

    • Nancy says

      Hi Laura,
      Thanks so much! :) Yes, I love how well it’s done in the kitchen, on the island and the rest. For the chipped areas, I would just sand it down well so that it is smooth and paint! Should be fine!

  31. Terri says

    I love that people are still commenting after all this time! All your before picture needed was Alice standing at the stove making her famous meatloaf and Carol Brady unloading the groceries. The after picture however, will still look current for many, many years to come. You did such a great job! I’m glad you went with the floor varnish – makes life in the kitchen so much easier and no yearly maintenance.
    ASCP rocks! I just did two small, antique telephone tables in Old White with Johnson’s paste wax (it made it a bit darker but I didn’t mind). Planning on doing the double sink bathroom vanity next, followed by everything else that’s not nailed down. It’s an obsession – in a good way.

    • Nancy says

      Hi Terri,
      LOL, yes, you got it!! Straight out of the Brady Bunch! ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Oh and yes, the Varathane is great stuff! Very happy with it. It is most definitely an obsession…but a totally fun one!


  32. Mitzi says

    Great job! This is a project I need to tackle one day, as my oak kitchen cabinets need a revival! Question for you–did you seal again with the sealer after painting them the second time? You said you did AS paint then Varathane sealer then they were not white enough so you repainted a whiter shade, so after the whiter shade did you reseal? Trying to take notes…thanks!

    • Nancy says

      Hi Mitzi,
      Thanks so much! :) Yep, I sure did! Both times. Ten years ago I sanded them down, added wood trim fronts and painted with latex paint and added a glaze. Fast forward to this past year. I washed them well (no prep other than that), painted them with Chalk Paint, finished them with Varathane. They were too yellow. So I turned right around and repainted (no prep) with more Chalk Paint and finished again with the Varathane.
      Hope that helps!

  33. Kari says

    Hi. Love this site and glad I found it!
    I have very dark 1970’s cupboards and wanting to go with the AS pure white. I came into a little trouble with the old stuff bleeding through. Fast forward a little I ended up using primer paint after 2 coats of AS pure white. because of the bleed thru. then after 1 coat of CP over that its what i was trying to acheive. now for sealing do i use clear wax? or ur recomended poly floor finish? i dont want them yellowing. I have a younger child and a dog to worry about scratches. how do you suggest applying the wax OR poly? and do you have to sand the poly off first if you want to repaint? Thanks for all your ideas and help!

    • Nancy says

      Hi Kari :)
      You can try Shellac next time you have bleed through! It works great to stop it. I have had trouble with certain woods doing that…and even primer sometimes doesn’t stop it. Just for future reference! :)
      You can use Clear Wax, lots of people do. I use it on most of the ASCP pieces I do but for the kitchen I chose not to. I think scratches are possible with both end products, as with anything. BUT so far the Varathane as been super durable. I am so glad I went with it for the kitchen. I do love a nice wax finish though on other pieces.
      I applied the poly (one coat) with a good brush. Thin coat, not too thick, just enough to cover well. You’ll have to play around with that to get a feel for how much you need. No, you don’t have to sand off the poly to repaint. (you will have to sand some if you choose to paint latex over top, etc so the paint will adhere..but you won’t have to sand down past the wax, as you would if you choose to do the wax) If you paint over again with chalk paint, either over poly or wax, you don’t have to sand.
      Hope that helps!

  34. says

    I used floor varnish on my cabinets but it turned them yellow… any suggestions? I covered them again in paint, but I don’t think I can use the varnish again. Will it be okay without the varnish?

    • Nancy says

      Hi Michelle,
      Did you use an oil based varnish? If so, those do tend to yellow. If not, if it is water based, it too can take on a bit of a yellowish cast if applied too thickly. But typically does not yellow. No, if you use Chalk Paint they will need to be sealed with something to protect the paint, either wax or poly of some sort.
      Hope that helps some! :)

      • says

        Oh thank you for the reply! It is water-based. Basically, I used an older water based varnish and it yellowed. So then I bought a new can and it only partially yellowed. But, maybe I put it on too thick. I’ll watch it for the next time. It is so hard b/c I felt like I didn’t put it on that thick at all! The trial and error continues. Thanks again!!

        • Nancy says

          You are welcome, good luck! Oh, I just saw an ad today for a brand new Minwax product….it says no yellowing. I don’t know a thing about it but it might be worth a look! (although, I think it may be oil based)

  35. Shelli says

    When you put the Varathane over the white cabinets, did it change the color at all, yellow it any? And what is the best way to put that on? What kind of brush did you use for the chalk paint on the cabinets? Thanks!!

    • Nancy says

      Hi Shelli,
      No it didn’t but I’d caution to use thin, even coats. I used a Purdy paint brush to apply. Those are my favorites. You could also roll it on but I personally don’t use rollers to apply paint or poly. I used a similar brush for the Chalk Paint, however they have specific brushes for CP but I’ve not used them yet! :)
      Hope that helps!

      • Saige says

        So I loved your kitchen so much that after reading through it, I went straight to work and have now painted my cabinets. They look amazing, but now that I’m ready to use the varathane I am a little concerned. Im worried about yellowing and also wondering how many coats you ended up doing? Thank you!!!

        • Nancy says

          Hi !
          Aw that’s great!
          About the Varathane, I have had no yellowing with that product (apply thin even coat). I only used one finish coat and it’s held up great.
          Hope that helps!

  36. Joy says

    I was wondering how your chalk paint cabinets are holding up? I am considering doing it but I’m wimpy! :)

    • Nancy says

      They are great! The island and the cabinets are both holding up very well. No issues what so ever. And I have a teenage boy still at home! ๐Ÿ˜‰


      • Joy says

        Thanks for your quick reply! I have 2 young boys at home and a VERY clumsy husband. He’s a bull in a china shop! So know the chalk paint has held up is great. I have a very 80’s kitchen in light oak that I’ve lived with for 15 years because I was going to school and then having babies… Now I have a little (LITTLE) spare time and want to start tackling that ugly room. But I didn’t want it to take weeks and weeks. I am so excited to start this project and I’ll be using your blog as my guide! Thanks so much for sharing! I’ll let you know how it goes!

  37. says

    okay totally off the topic but I’d love to know what hardware you went with?
    do you like your cup pulls or do they drive you crazy???

    • Nancy says

      Hi Julie,
      The knobs were purchased online about 10 years ago (when I did the first makeover on the kitchen) but I only recently used them. The pulls came from Home Depot and they are Martha Stewart brand. I LOVE them!! :)

  38. Mary-Lou says

    Nancy, you make this project sound so do-able. I’ve wanted new kitchen cabinets since mine are looking dated & yellow. They are maple with a light stain and, over the past 20 years, have gotten alot of exposure to Arizona sun thus causing the yellowing. Do you think that Varathane is still the way to go when finishing the cabinets? Also, what is the brand & color of your granite-looking laminate and has it been durable? My husband is trying to talk me into replacing our old laminate kitchen countertops with a faux granite laminate but won’t budge on getting new cabinets.

    • Nancy says

      Hi Tanya,
      I don’t recall exactly since I painted it twice within one week! ๐Ÿ˜‰ But I can tell you it was not a lot. It was somewhere around 3/4 to 1 can. But remember, I had previously painted the insides years ago and didn’t feel it was necessary to repaint those so it took less paint.
      Hope that helps!

  39. bee says

    I am doing some quick research on chalk paint and so glad I stumbled across your page! I was dreading using wax for my kitchen cabinets, but I am definitely going to try the Varathane! This is my first time painting with chalk paint (actually, my first time painting ANYTHING!) and would really appreciate some painting 101 tips.
    -Which paint brushes should I use for my oak kitchen cabinets? Do I get two brushes-one for the CP and another for the Varathane?
    -Do I dip the brush directly into the CP/Varathane containers?
    -How long do you normally wait between coats of CP and prior to applying Varathane?

    Thank you!

  40. Sandra says

    My kitchen it painted with oil based paint and is entirely too white and shiny and it is chipping off. I’d love to do chalk paint like you have done. Your kitchen is gorgeous!!!!

    Can you paint over oil based paint with chalk paint? I know you can’t paint latex over oil without priming.

  41. bee says

    Thanks for the tips!

    I am looking for the Varathane and the Floor Finish formula only comes in one gallon (I dont need this much). Do you think I would get the same results if I use regular Varathane Polyurethane Water-Based Heavy Use Formula? Do you recommend Satin, Semi Gloss, or Gloss finish for kitchen cabinets?

    Thanks again!

  42. chris aka monkey says

    nancy i don’t know how i overlooked this post but so glad i found it… we painted kitchen cabinets when we bought this house ha exactly one year ago today,my daughter didn’t listen and was afraid and also did not understand chalk paint at the time well long story short they look like crap now… i am going to repaint with chalk paint but i knew i would have to use a strong sealer and you came up with the answer floor sealer lol who woulda thunk it xx

    • Nancy says

      Gosh Chris!! You missed my post and I missed your comment! Sorry! I only came across this looking up something in the comments of this blog post. (if you could see the backend where I respond to these comments and the way they display, you would so understand! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) Anyway, yes, the floor sealer as been “the bomb”!! I am still thrilled with it a year and a half later. And we are not easy on our cabinets! If your cabinets are in bad shape under, I’d be sure to give a bit sanding to smooth them out, etc though! But I think you will love the Varathane finish. :)

  43. Loren says

    Great finished look, Nancy! Did you have a problem with wood grain showing through? I am wanting to paint our honey oak cabinets with chalk paint to avoid the sanding part, but heard that primer is what really helps with the wood grain. Any suggestions?

    • Nancy says

      Hi Loren,
      Thanks so much! I didn’t because this was a second round with paint on these cabinets. (first time was 10 yrs ago with latex) Oak does have a strong wood grain so I am guessing you will be able to see a little bit of the grain. You could try sanding lightly after painting to remove any brush strokes and smoothing it out a bit in general. Another layer underneath (such as the primer) would probably be a great help with evening it out a bit too. :)

  44. says

    I am considering doing EXACTLY what you did. How many quarts did you need of the Annie Sloan paint to cover your kitchen? Thanks in advance for your advice….we are considering this job for our contractor next week on a new home purchase! So excited to have seen your post! Thank you.

    • Nancy says

      Hi Veronica!
      I used somewhere between 3/4 to 1 can. But remember, I didn’t have to paint the insides of the cabinets. They were painted with latex 10 years ago so I skipped repainting because they match ok and were in good shape.
      It’s always good to have a little extra on hand though! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Plus, keep in mind the amount of cabinets I have in comparison to what you have (you can see all of mine in the photos)
      Hope that helps some! :)
      Have a great weekend!!

    • Nancy says

      HI there!
      Yes, I’ve used it on my wood floor refinish and my kitchen cabinets and island. It’s held up like a rock! BUT I’ve never used it over latex paint, only Chalk Paint and bare wood. I only applied one coat on both the island and the rest of the cabinetry. (2 different posts, painted at 2 different times) I used 6 coats on my floors though!


      • Tammy says

        Hi Nancy~

        Just ran across your wonderful site! Kitchen looks awesome!

        I do many furniture makeovers in chalk paint but have never used on kitchen cabinets. My concern, like yours, is the durability in the kitchen. I see that you used a coat of Varathane to seal the cabinets. I have never been good a applying polyurethane of any kind! Is this stuff easy to apply?? Is is self-leveling or will I have brush marks, bubbles?? Does it have a shine? I do not want it to shine! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Wish I could just wax like I do with my furniture but I know how grimy kitchen cabinets can become over time…and don’t think that the waxed, chalk finish would be too durable to scrubbing.

        Thanks so much!


        • Nancy says

          Hi Tammy,
          Thank you!
          I didn’t have any trouble with brush strokes or bubbling. I didn’t’ apply it too thickly though. It does have a slight sheen since it is “semi-gloss”. I typically like less sheen (satin-ish) but I don’t mind it on the kitchen cabinets. I am with you on the wax in the kitchen…and grubby, grimy! ๐Ÿ˜‰


  45. Sara says

    We’ve just bought an old house (built in the ’70s) and the kitchen hasn’t had a thing done to it since! Including all the lovely appliances ๐Ÿ˜‰ We don’t have money in the budget right now for a kitchen reno, but the room needs something! You’ve totally inspired me to go the chalk paint route- but I have a couple questions.
    ~what did you use to clean the cabinets before you painted them?
    ~LOVE the trim you added to the cabinets to give them “something”- is it just like chair rail molding?
    ~do you just use a regular paint brush to apply, or does that show brush strokes?
    Hope you can answer some of these questions even though this is an old post! You have seriously turned my frown upside down seeing that I don’t have to be stuck in a nasty kitchen until we save the $20K to remodel it properly!

    • Nancy says

      Hi Sara!
      Oh no, you are exactly where we were when we moved in! ๐Ÿ˜‰ We did a “quick fix” makeover and through the years have continued it. (removing walls, building an island, adding board and batten, new flooring, etc. BUT we never ended up replacing the cabinets like we had planned! Probably won’t.
      I just cleaned them well with Windex and a grease cutter. The trim is just regular can find at Lowe’s or Home Depot. Pick any style that suits you! :)
      I plan to put a post out on exactly how we did the doors but haven’t gotten to it yet!
      I used a Purdy brush (my favorite) but you can use a roller with Chalk Paint if you are worried about brush strokes. I am a brush girl! ๐Ÿ˜‰
      So happy you have a smile now! Go paint and make that kitchen pretty!! :)

  46. Madeline says

    I have re-done many pieces for customers and myself using ASCP. I have never attempted to do kitchen cabinets though and this week I was asked to do so. I was nervous because I was advised by others to not use chalk paint, but I don’t feel like I can get the look that she is wanting unless I use it. I think I will go with my gut (and your experience) and use ASCP with a floor finish. Thank you for the post, it has made me more comfortable with this decision. Now I just have to figure out what to charge her…

    • Nancy says

      Hi Madeline!
      Oh no, don’t be nervous. You can use a roller or a brush. (you can lightly sand over after to smooth out a bit before applying whatever sealer you choose) Things you probably already know since you work with ASCP already but thought I’d mention just in case. The Varathane floor finish has been great. So happy with it. It’s pretty tough stuff. I’ve used it on a few other pieces too…as well as my kitchen island that is also Chalk Painted in Duck Egg. It’s been about 1-1/2 years now and all is good with both.
      Good luck!! :)

        • Nancy says

          Hi Karen,

          Nope, I did not wax these at all. I used the Varathane in place of the wax as a sealer. As a matter of fact, the Varathane (or any other product like that) will not adhere to the wax so be sure not to try that! ๐Ÿ˜‰ You would just do either/or.
          Hope that helps!

          • Karen Havins says

            Thank you for a quick reply! I’m in the middle of choosing a high dollar cabinet painter vs doing it myself and this looks very very doable. Mine are already painted a decent creme color and will keep them neutral, maybe a tad darker. I’m SO HAPPY that I won’t have to do the wax step (since I hear it takes alot of elbow grease and time). Thanks again, love the blog!!

  47. carissa says

    Hi! So, you only used half a can of paint for the first go around on your cabinets? I have to order online and I was going to order 4 can but I have just about as many, if not less, cabinets as you, so I would then be over doing it! Thanks!!!

    • Nancy says

      OH yes, 4 cans is too many if you have the same amount of cabinets as I do. BUT remember, I didn’t paint the insides. Only the outside frame and both sides of the doors…so there wasn’t a whole lot to paint in general. (and the undercoat was already an off white/light color so it didn’t take as much to cover, darker finishes make take more coats…all things to keep in mind)
      I think you could order 2 to be safe (in case you want to paint the insides etc) But one is probably all you’ll need…always better to have an extra though! :)

  48. Angie says

    Hi, i absolutly love your kitchen, i just painted mine with ASCP white yesterday, and its time time for finish, when i started wax i run trough a problem, to me its hard to wax, i think its dificult to make it even its, do u think i can do same product (floor finish) on top of wax or i should remove wax complitly? Thank you!

    • Nancy says

      Thanks Angie!
      Oh yes, the wax can be hard to work with at first. As far as now using poly, you would have to remove the wax completely before applying it (it won’t adhere to the wax and you’d have a big mess). How much have you done? You can sand it off, repaint and then use the poly. Mine have held up great with the Varathane as a sealer. Couldn’t be more happy with it!
      Good luck!

  49. Leah says

    Hi Nancy! I’m in a similar predicament! The blend of old/pure white is toooooooooo yellow! What did you do to get them brighter white.. Pure white? Or a variation on the blend?


  50. dd07 says

    Hello, I just painted a bookcase with white chalk paint and I plan on doing my kitchen cabinets next. I have try to decide what i should use to seal it. My question is.. has the floor sealer you used on your cabinets caused any yellowing or cracking??? TIA

    • Nancy says

      No, not at all. If you use it, just be sure to not apply to thickly. That’s when you can get some cracking with sealers. :)


  51. Sarah Blake says

    what type of painting utincils did you have to use for these cabinets? did you use a brush or roller? anything special? I am test painting one of my cabinets and its turning out a little weird looking when I use the roller and when I use the brush I get a lot of stroke marks? any tips?
    Thanks!! :)

    • Nancy says

      Hi Sarah!
      I used Purdy brushes. No rollers but you can use a roller if you like. That’s what I used the first time with the latex ten years ago. The roller tends to give it a slight bumpy appearance (in my experience) and brushing can give you brush strokes. Two things you can try….watering down the paint a bit makes it a little more “workable” and creates less strokes — light sanding after painting (after it is dry) to soften and remove any strokes.
      Hope that helps!

  52. pat says

    Really off topic here, but who makes the mini frig (AKA wine frig!) and do you still like it? We have a trash compactor that needs to GO! Great idea! And, your kitchen is beautiful. Thanks for all of the helpful tips!

  53. Janel says

    I was wondering if you have had any problems with the paint peeling? I’m debating whether to paint my cabinets or stain them. They are currently honey color oak cathedral style (upper and lower) cabinets that are in desperate need of an upgrade!

    • Nancy says

      Hi Janel,

      No, I sure have not. If you are concerned and/or have a slick finish on the cabinets, you can do a very light sand (by hand) beforehand for extra adhesion.
      I didn’t and have had no problems though! (do be sure to clean them very well before though)
      Hope that helps!

  54. Stacy says

    hi Nancy- I have been reading about your remodel in your kitchen and I love what you”ve done!! I am currently refinishing a canopy bed and want a more aged look, to achieve a French-country effect. I too am using a pure white/old white blend, but this far I have waxed because I want deeper detail with the Annie Sloan dark wax in the more textured areas. How would I go about achieving th hat effect of I wanted to seal with the varathene?

    • Nancy says

      Hi Stacy,
      I would seal with Varathane first, and then go back with a glaze and apply to the areas that you want the detail and wipe away excess. You would have to do the Varathane first to “seal” the Chalk Paint.
      Just be sure you don’t put Varathane (or any poly) over top of wax. It won’t adhere.
      Hope that helps!

  55. Jamie says

    Hi Nancy, Love your kitchen! I’m curious if you painted the inside of the cabinets as well or if they are the original finish (I’m guessing dark brown?). Any chance you can include a picture?

    • Nancy says

      Hi Jamie,
      I painted the insides the first time (10 years ago) with latex and it was a light cream color so didn’t feel the need to repaint this go round. :) They are holding up great and I really just wanted to brighten the fronts and doors, etc. They are actually very close in color because I did not “glaze” the insides the first time, just the outside areas.
      Hope that helps!! :)

  56. Stacy says

    Hi Nancy,
    I took your advise and sealed my bed with Varathene( in satin finish), before using a stain to get an aged effect. But when I checked back on my project 2 hours after applying the first coat of Varathene, it was all crackled! I mean, it’s a nice affect, but not what I was going for. What happened? Did your cabinets do this too?
    I’m working indoors on this project, so I know it’s not a climate thing…help! I really want to refinish cabinets in my house as well, but I don’t want to have to wax them every year! Please tell me what I did wrong so I can stop listening to my husband complain about the $50 the varathene cost!
    Thanks, Stacy

    • Nancy says

      Hi Stacy,
      Hmm, could be a few things. Did you make sure your Chalk Paint was completely dry before applying the Varathane? If not, it will crackle like that…or if it’s applied too thickly, it can crackle like that. Best scenario is, apply thin even coats, letting them dry completely in between. (it can feel dry to the touch but still be “damp”…it needs to be all the way dry before applying a sealer coat)
      Another way that can happen besides those scenarios is if you try to dry it quickly (with a fan or hair dryer, for example)
      I am guessing maybe the CP was applied thickly or wasn’t 100% dry before you applied the top coat.
      Tell your husband the Varathane is awesome crackled or not! ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Hope that helps!

  57. Jen says

    I am trying to decide what to do with my cabinets. I tried applying a water based poly by rustomleum over chalk paint this weekend on a sample door and the surface came out looking quite uneven finish wise. I applied a second coat and it was a little better. I was using a brush. Just wondering did you noticed any streakiness to the sheen on the cabinets? Also, did you use long brush strokes or apply to a small area at a time? Thanks!

    • Nancy says

      Hi Jen,
      You can get brush strokes but I would apply and then go back very lightly, in long strokes, to even it out. You can also try a small sponge (for cabinets) roller to apply if you can’t get rid of the strokes.
      Hope that helps!

  58. nicole says

    Wow your kitchen looks great! I’m doing some dressers in Annie Sloan now then would love to tackle my kitchen. Just curious how did you get such a smooth finish? Did you add water to the paint, and what did you use to apply foam roller or brush?

    • Nancy says

      Hi Nicole,
      Thanks so much! Adding water to the paint does help quite a bit. You could use a foam roller if you are worried about brush strokes. I used a Purdy brush. I don’t use rollers much anymore.
      If you use a brush, you can lightly sand in between coats or at the final coat to smooth out the finish a bit before applying your finish/sealer.
      Hope that helps!!

    • Nancy says

      Hi Lauren,

      I used somewhere between 3/4 – 1 can (I had already painted the insides 10 years ago and they were “unglazed” and in good shape so I didn’t repaint those)

      Hope that helps!

  59. Jessica says

    Okay, you have inspired me to tackle the late ’70s-era honey oak cabinets in my kitchen. If you could do it twice in two weeks, surely I can do it once! I know you said you used one can of ASCP – was that a gallon can? Also, you mentioned a few times through the comments that if the paint is thinner it goes on with fewer brush strokes – did you add the water? Did you add it to the whole can or to a bit at a time? Any tips you could give a first-time cabinet painter would be appreciated! Thanks! :)

    • Nancy says

      Oh yay! That is exciting to hear Jessica. :)
      No that is a quart can. But I didn’t repaint the insides.
      Yep, just add a bit of water (not a lot!) You can pour some into another container if you like.
      Light even strokes (with a light hand). Plus to get a smoother finish you can apply one coat, let dry, then sand lightly with a very fine sandpaper. Then put on your second coat, and repeat. Then seal.
      Remember that with oak you will most likely see the grain underneath through the paint. :)
      Hope that helps!

  60. Tracey says

    We need to redo our cabinets again. We’ve tried 2 different things and failed at both. We would like a Pure White, though. Did the floor varnish yellow the pure white? If so, do you know of a product that won’t yellow it?

    • Nancy says

      Hi Tracey,
      I didn’t have any trouble with that. I think as long as you don’t apply too thickly you should be okay. But all can have a tendency to yellow over time. There are some out that say that don’t though I have not tried them. I do love the General Finishes Gel Topcoat also (on newer projects) but don’t really know about the yellowing properties of it. (it doesn’t seem to have that problem but can’t say longevity wise)
      Hope that helps! :)

  61. sheila says

    Love the cabinets, but I have a question. After using the sealer can you go back over the cabinets with a dark wax (as) around the edges?

    • Nancy says

      Hi Sheila!

      Thanks! Yep, you sure can. I’ve used wax over poly several times for different reasons. BUT in the kitchen…I still probably wouldn’t. You could try a glaze instead. (mix some brown acrylic paint into the poly and apply, then wipe away so it stays in the corners/crevices) You can also use premixed glaze too.
      Hope that helps!

  62. says

    Hello Nancy, my apologies if this has already been answered. You stated that there was too much old white which gave off a yellow color. When you redid them was it just the pure white or did you mix any at all of the old white back in? My apologies I just want to clarify. I am taking on this project and want to be exact on my paint. Thank you so much! Your kitchen is lovely. You have inspired me!! :0)

    • Nancy says

      Hi Nicki,

      Thanks so much! :) Yes, I did still add a bit of Old White in to the mix. Pure White by itself was a bit too stark white for me.
      I think it ended up around 3/4 Pure to 1/4 Old. Make a tiny batch (using your measurements) and test. Then just make it the same ratio, just larger.
      Hope this helps!

      • says

        Thanx Nancy! I am fixing up my craft room and redoing my kitchen. I LOVE yours and really wanted to make sure I followed your “recipe” as I would not like them to be too yellow and or too white. Your kitchen is lovely. Thank you again! I love your webpage. Now I need to go find you on Instagram! Happy crafting. :0)

  63. julie says

    I am thinking about doing the same thing in my kitchen that you did but was wondering about the sealant you used as opposed to the annie sloan wax. I have done a lot of research and have yet to find anyone that has used a different sealant with the chalk paint. It seems like it would make the process MUCH less time consuming than having to “wax on, wax off”. Please let me know how its holding up and if you would recommend the sealant you used or the wax. Thanks you and it turned out beautiful!

    • Nancy says

      Hi Julie,

      I personally would never put wax in a kitchen. I think it might make me crazy trying to keep up with it and the constant buffing etc. I have a bread box that is waxed in the kitchen and I’ve already had to rewax it twice. It shows smears and gets dull but a quick buff fixes that but who has time for that?
      I am very happy with the sealant I used. :) It’s really just a personal preference though. Annie Sloan has a lacquer that she sells that can go over her paints too if you want to go that route. It’s a similar product and process as the sealant I used.
      Hope that helps!

  64. Marie says

    Hi Nancy,
    Great job with your kitchen! The cabinets look great, and I love your tutorial on your kitchen backsplash. I’m thinking of painting my kitchen cabinets with ASCP in some kind of white, and I love your step of skipping the wax and using the floor sealant instead. My only concern is yellowing over time. I’ve heard that polyurethane can make white paint look yellow. Do you know anything about this? Have you noticed any yellowing on your cabinets? Thanks in advance for your help! :)

    • Nancy says

      Hi Marie!
      Thanks much! Yellowing over time is always a problem with the polys. I will say though, that I’ve had minimal yellowing with this particular product. (some are better/worse than others) With that, I think you will always get a tinge of yellow over time. The water based are much better for staying true though. Oil based will yellow quite a bit. One way to help counteract that is to maybe paint them a bit more “white” in the beginning. :) Hope this helps!
      Happy weekend to you!

  65. Maura says

    Hi love what I saw, I have a question. We have cabinets that have a recess cut out. What did your starting cabinets look like? Where/ How did you fill in your recess? Kitchen Cabinet Makeover {Annie Sloan Chalk Paint}


    • Nancy says

      Hi Maura,
      Thanks! I am actually planning to show exactly how I did that in a post upcoming (which means I have to pull apart one of the old doors I am no long using). But my doors didn’t have the recess. They were completely flat with a curved edge on all sides. Very boring! But perfect for adding trim to the door fronts. :)

      • Maura says

        Thanks Nancy!
        If you have any ideas how I can fix up my doors with a recess I would love to hear it. I am trying to do my 1/2 bath over and I am having no luck finding a vanity I like, figured the easiest way would to DIY mine. Thanks again!


  66. Michelle says

    Love the cabinets! I’ve been researching wax/poly and probably will go with poly like you did to finish them after the chalk paint. Did the Varathane Floor Finish Polyurethane (from Lowe’s) have a strong smell??? (I know it says “no odor” but sometimes it still smells, and poly usually has strong odors).

    • Nancy says

      Hi Michelle,

      No it doesn’t have too much of a smell. BUT keep in mind, like you mentioned, it still has an odor. I am very sensitive to strong chemical types of odor and this one does not bother me much.
      Hope that helps…and thank you! :)

  67. Steve Richardson says

    Hi Nancy

    I love what you have done to your kitchen
    I would like to know about the paint u used.
    I am in the present time referbing my daughters bedroom.
    The wardrobes she has have been spray painted when they where fitted
    But I would like to paint them that white colour you have used ( what colour did u use please ) and I am a bit worried about the brush lines can u reassure me please.

    Steve …

    • Nancy says

      Hi Steve,
      Thank you!
      I used Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan. I used a mix of Pure White(about 3/4) and Old White(about 1/4). You can get brush lines but can always do a light sand before applying your sealer. OR you can also apply this Chalk Paint with a cabinet roller so you won’t have to worry about the brush strokes. :)
      Hope this helps!

  68. says

    oh my gosh I love what you have done! And it’s so timely for me, as we are renovating our kitchen now too! So glad to know about the chalk paint on the kitchen cabinets because I am going to paint mine white also! Did you put the Varathane over the last coat of paint you did? Take a look at mine if you get a minute :)
    Kelli Fox recently posted…Kitchen Renovation: Part TwoMy Profile

    • Nancy says

      Thanks Kelli!
      Yep, I sure did! Twice!! lol I am actually getting ready to try GF Milk Paint on my laundry cabinets. I love that paint too…we’ll see how it does!
      With that said, I am very happy with the CP in my kitchen. It’s been a couple years now and holding up great.
      I’ll come by and check out yours!


  69. Karen H says

    Your cabinets look fabulous, Nancy! And I agree with the whiter color… it looks so wonderful! Hubby seems to be as talented as you are! :)

    I would definitely paint my kitchen cabinets with chalk paint. I had originally thought I would use Old White, but after your experience, I think I would do just what you did. More Pure White, less Old White.

    Thanks for sharing… I can’t wait to see your new sink installed! xo

    • Lisa says

      Hi Nancy,, just found your site. Just wondering on kitchen cabinets, what did you clean with first before painting? Thanks!

      • Nancy says

        Hi Lisa,
        I use ammonia mostly. Don’t use dish detergent because it can leave a residue behind.
        Hope that helps!

  70. Martha says

    Hi Nancy, what a great site! It is such source of inspiration! I’m about to do my kitchen cabinets and I have two questions for you. My cabinets were professionally painted brick red about 10 years ago and now I’m thinking painting them Old Ochre–is that crazy? Do you think Annie Sloan in Old Ochre will cover it? Its a very dark red. Also, when you used the Poly Floor Finish, did you have to sand in between coats? I’ve read some people do.

    Again, great site and hope to continue getting more ideas from you!



    • Nancy says

      Hi Martha,
      Thanks so much! :)
      It will cover it but it may take a few coats to cover fully.
      I only applied one coat of sealer. (as a finish coat…I had applied one coat and then repainted a different color, then applied ONE more coat as a finish)
      If you are going to apply more than one coat, yes, I would very lightly sand in between. (cleaning the dust well before applying the second coat)
      Hope that helps…and again, thanks so much for the kind words! Much appreciated! :)

  71. Emily says

    Hi, love your projects! I am agonizing over what to use to seal my light maple kitchen cabinets that I am going to paint with white chalk paint. You have no yellowing on your white cabinets after using the varthane floor finish?? I want to pull the trigger so badly but I’m so afraid of yellowing. Thanks!

    • Nancy says

      Hi Emily!
      Thanks so much! :)
      Ok, it’s been several years now and it’s really hard for me to notice a change. BUT I would say they have yellowed a teeny, tiny bit. Not very noticeable to the eye. I only know because I painted something else with the same paint mix recently that I used on the cabinets and could see just a slight hint of change. I think it’s done pretty well actually!
      One way to combat that is to go all white. I mixed a bit of Old White in mine so they had a touch of warmth to begin with.
      To tell the truth, I’d still take that very slight bit of change over wax cabinets in the kitchen any day! Plus they will be easier to paint over in the future if not waxed.
      But it is a matter of personal preference. :)
      (you can see some of my most recent kitchen photos in my Christmas Home Tour under “our home” in the menu if you are curious to see what they look like now)
      Good luck with whichever you choose! :)

      • Courtney Frasca says

        Hi! I”m about to paint my kitchen and bathroom cabinets and just wanted to confrim the steps,,,

        1. clean
        2. do I need to shallac??
        3. paint (2 coats?)
        4. poly like you used(do you apply and need to wipe off like the wax or just apply like a thin coat of paint?
        5. glaze? what is that for? I thought the poly would have a slight shine??

        I’m new at this and really don’t want to screw this up. Yikes!! Thanks for the help

        • Nancy says

          Hi Courtney,

          If your cabinets are a dark wood you may need shellac. (bleed through) But shouldn’t need it otherwise.
          Yep, 2 coats should be fine.
          Poly, like the one I used, is applied like paint. Just brush it on slowly to avoid bubbles.
          (there are wipe on polys but I don’t recommnend that for this project)
          I didn’t glaze mine. The original cabinet makeover, I used latex paint and glazed afterwards. This time I used Chalk Paint and applied poly.
          That’s it.
          I would suggest trying out the whole process on a scrap piece of wood (or even a thrifted piece of furniture –cheap!) to get a feel for it and to see how it will be once done.
          You can use a cabinet roller for application of both if you are worried about brush marks.
          Good luck! :)

  72. Susan Pamela says

    Love your kitchen! I am painting my kitchen table with your recommended combination of pure and old white. Would you recommend the Varathane on the tabletop for better durability vs. wax? Your help is amazing- thanks!!

    • Nancy says

      Thank you Susan!
      For the table top, I would recommend a light sand first, then paint, then something such as Varathane.
      Normally I wouldn’t worry about sanding first but for durability of a table top, I would.
      Hope this helps…and good luck! :)

  73. Goga K says

    What an inspiring project. I’m trying to tackle my bathroom cabinets and kitchen cabinets and chalk paint is giving me a headache. I’ve light oak painted the bathroom cabinets black and now I’m putting on the poly that you suggested in semi gloss. It’s still a little chalky to the touch and when I touch it even a bit it leaves marks. That’s after one coat of poly. I tried lightly sanding before I put a 2nd coat of poly. I hoped for a smoother finish that doesn’t scruff easily.

    Also my kitchen cabinets are the same oak, and I’m painting those white, Now I’m on my second coat and it still shows through. Not happy :( I was hoping 2 coat will suffice. I’m using Valspar chalk paint though, maybe that’s why the coverage is not good. Black covered way faster. Now, I want to achieve a little more smooth texture, the chalky texture is a bit scary, how am I ever gonna be able to wipe those cabinets down. Now I’m scared!! Help! Should I have sanded between chalk paint coats? What if I used black latex over chalk paint, have you ever tried that?

    • Nancy says

      Thank you! Hmm, oak can be funny. Sadly, though, I have not used the Valspar Chalk Paint so can’t speak about it. I don’t know the properties of it. I don’t think it’s like the Annie Sloan that I use quite often.
      It does seem odd that they are still “chalky” even after the poly though. That has me baffled because it shouldn’t feel that way.
      You can get a very fine sandpaper and lightly rub over the paint to smooth it before you apply any more coats of poly. Try using a roller (made for cabinet painting) to apply the poly.
      You could probably use latex over that paint but again, I can’t say for sure since I haven’t used it before.
      I’m sorry, I’m probably not very much help!

      • Goga K says

        Hi Nancy,

        I had to go try the latex over chalk paint and boy am I happy with the results. Chalk paint (white) was just not covering fast enough, I would probably need 3 cans or more, so I decided to use it as a primer, so it’s still worth it to me, since I didn’t have to sand. I’m doing two coats of latex over chalk. I did varathane in the bathroom over black chalk paint and that looks great, too.

        I might try DIY chalk paint next time to save even more and use it as a primer.

        Thanks for the inspiration though, you gave me the idea to start painting, I didn’t want to do it before because it required sanding which I hate.

        • Nancy says

          So happy the latex worked for you! Very good plan. :)
          And so glad you did it yourself! I am with you, sanding it not fun!
          Nancy online furniture


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