my dirty little secrets

Marian ParsonsKitchen, Miscellaneus, My House162 Comments

Picture this…I have very important dinner guests over to my house.  I welcome them into my kitchen. They compliment my bright white cabinetry.  I’m finishing some dinner prep and chatting with everyone, gracious hostess that I am.  Are you with me?

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One of the guests asks if she can do anything to help me.  I ask her to grab a bowl out of the upper right cabinet.  She sees this…

..she passes out.  Babies cry.  Children cover their eyes.  The fathers grab their families and leave in disgust. I’m left standing alone in my kitchen…in my disgrace.

Okay, okay!  I’m guilty.  I didn’t paint the inside of my cabinets or cabinet doors.  I didn’t and I’m okay with it!  I’ll shout it from the roof tops and show it to the world on my blog!!  I DIDN’T PAINT THE INSIDE OF MY CABINETS OR DOORS!!!!

In all seriousness, I was just too impatient (in case you missed it, I have 51 cabinet doors) and I really didn’t want buy another quart of primer and paint to do it.  At first, I felt like I really needed to do it.  It’s what everyone does, right?  And it’s the right way to do it, right?  After a long conversation with myself, I decided I may be in the minority (or the silent majority) of those who just don’t care if the inside of their cabinet doors are painted, so I bucked tradition and took the road less traveled.

…and that has made all the difference.

While I’m airing my dirty secrets, I might as well share this…

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Is everyone okay?  Can you handle seeing Miss Mustard Seed so raw and exposed?  I am actually going to paint the underside of the cabinets.  I can see this when I’m sitting on my sofa and that crosses the line.  I decided that this was something I could do in sections as I have the time and it didn’t need to be a part of the push to get the kitchen finished.
So, if you’re about ready to paint your kitchen cabinets and you really don’t want to paint the inside of the doors…that’s okay.  You have my permission to just leave them alone.  I’ve got your back.
my dirty little secrets

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162 Comments on “my dirty little secrets”

  1. Ha…good for you! I didn't paint the inside of my laundry room cabinets either and there were only ten! So far the cabinet police haven't found me!

  2. Marian–After 102 comments you just may not read this, however, I want to thank you so much for your honesty. When I painted my cabinets, I, too, did not paint the inside….I was just plumb tuckered out. God bless you. I feel less guilty already and practically giddy that you 'buck the system'. Really, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

  3. Funny you should bring that up – I'm in the beginning stages of planning an update of my kitchen cabs and think I NEED to paint the inside. First, they're probably pushing 40 years old & made of a fiberboard of some kind. Second, they're currently black and will remain some darker color (I think), but the insides? White. And poorly done white at that. I think I'm going to have to paint them or it'll drive me crazy. I will not have to paint the undersides though! Yours look great!

  4. You could always do some kind of stencil in the middle. Sand it down a bit to make it look like that was the look you were after. Or just leave well enough alone 🙂


  5. it is your kitchen to do it as you like but imo
    it looks sloppy. If they were just not painted that is one thing but the drips going over onto the wood makes the job look slap dash. this is the reason we peek in cupboards and closets when we are looking for houses. poor work we can see makes us worry about what we can't see!

  6. OK, I'm back. I was thinking about the stencil. Numbering things is big now that would look pretty neat and still do the light sanding over them. I wouldn't bother with the ones way up high though.


  7. OMG -If I would have made a bet I would have lost !!!
    I thought you, being such a perfectionist- would ( contrary to me as I am lazy )definitely paint the insides !!!!!!YOU HAVE MADE ME FEEL SO MUCH BETTER !!!

  8. I love you!! Thank you for freeing me from my crazy guilt. Farewell minor issues . . . Miss Mustard Seed has proven it's no big deal!

    I missed the unpainted interior until you pointed it out so I think you'll be safe with your important dinner guest. haha

  9. You really write well Marian. If you get tired of doing what you do, I look for a best seller out of you. Maybe a new Heloise, or hey just a good juicy fiction novel. Have fun in Fla. Aunt S.

  10. O and meant to say I LOVE that you left the top of the cabinets free of decos. It looks so clean and neat and sharp.
    I have several sets of the Blue Windmill canister sets…:))

  11. It's good to know you are not "perfect"! I commented on this when you said you were going to paint your cabinets. We did paint the backs of our doors, but we started painting the insides of the cabinets, I am so glad I started with the ones we cut the door fronts out of and added glass. By the time I was done with those 2 cabinets, I was over painting the inside. Needless to say…the others did not get done and no one has ever said a thing to me about it. No worries! Have fun painting the undersides. That is NO FUN either. It is one major back ache/neck ache. That was one project I was glad to be done with and I suspect you will be too! Blessings!

  12. God Bless you Marian. Thanks for keepin it real sista! I know you may not be Catholic, like me, but let me absolve you of your "sin"!
    So many of us out here with jobs and kids and hubs and fams and are simpatico with the can't-wait-to-see-how-it-looks-so-just-plow-thru-it syndrome. We get it that painting that other stuff that no one really sees,well, CAN. WAIT.
    See cuz this same population was DYING to see how yours turned out and we thank you for it putting that toe in the water. Love it.
    Be well,
    Lynn in Downers Grove

  13. YAY, Good for you!!!! I didn't paint the inside of my cabinets either. Who cares? They look fab from the outside and that's what counts! You Rock!!! Oh by the way, I painted the underside of my cabinets because I could see them from my living room also. That did bother me. 🙂

  14. Hey, if your guest is that disgusted by looking at bare wood I'd say buh-bye. It totally makes sense that you wouldn't want to paint 51 doors on both sides. Thanks for being so honest. It makes me feel better that I'm not the only one who makes decisions based on what I want and not on what I think others would want.

  15. I was WONDERING how in the WORLD you got that whole kitchen done as fast as you did. I've been beating myself up b/c with three kids it has taken me MONTHS to get stuff done…and I'm just MAKING myself do the ceiling…at least you did the obvious!! Thanks for being REAL. I think I can breathe a little better now. 🙂

  16. ummm…confession is good for your soul? looking at your cabinets, what I'm gonna do with mine are tape the sides (on the inside) so I don't get any paint from the outside. I wouldn't paint mine on the inside either….if they get too grotty, I'll just line them I guess. Your kitchen inspires me!

  17. Ok, I read through all the comments and I am totally the ONLY odd man out here…I saw it right away and cringed! LOL There is no way, me personally, could live with that, it would really bother me. You know I am always honest and one of your biggest fans, so I hope you won't take it personally {doubt you would!} But the great thing is, I see here that you have a TON of friends who you can invite over and it not bother them at all 🙂 The kitchen looks fantastic, so fresh and airy feeling.

  18. OMG! Does that mean I can finally come out of the closet??? I mean cupboard!!!! YEAH! You Rock!

    I absolutely love your awesome sense of humor too!

  19. Hooray!!!! Cause I don't wanna paint in the insides of my BLACK cabinets when I repaint them CREAM. heehee
    You made my day! No, make that my year!!!

  20. ha! when i painted the kitchen cabinets in my last home, i started off with good intentions. i did the top cabinents first and painted the backs of the doors. by the time i got to the bottom half of the cabinets (i painted them a different color), i was OVER it. the backs of those doors aren't painted. someone bought the house anyway…even in THIS economy…couldn't have been too bad! lol

  21. I didn't paint the inside of mine either, I had my painter (brother-in-law) refinish them and I think it looks amazing. If I were you I'd just clean up the egde where it bleed over and keep it real wood. I think it says.."hey, my cabinet doors aren't particle board…they're the real deal"

  22. I've got the wires showing with the under cabinet lighting also. It doesn't seem to bother anyone but me… then again that might be because I'm 4'9 and can actually SEE them hanging there mocking me! lol After our kitchen remodel there are still alot of touch ups and trim work to do but I try to not let it bother me too bad. I just keep hinting to hubby about it!

  23. Haha. I love your white cabinets. I painted mine black last year and did the SAME thing except I used a paint sprayer and there was a mix of overspray primer and black on the back. I had primer out a few weeks ago (finally peeled off the last of the numbered tape) and painted the insides GREEN! I love the secret color splash.

    I don't have nearly as many doors as you though!

  24. I friggin LOOOOOBBBBEERRRSSS you lol You rock Miss M! (i did paint the insides of mine though lol but i did debate it )

  25. One of my WORST childhood memories is of laying on the kitchen floor with my head on the bottom shelf of a base cabinet, painting the UNDERSIDE of the top shelf! My mother was insane when it came to painting. The non-joke in our neighborhood was “if you stand still long enough Mrs. Rambo might PAINT YOU!”

  26. Love it! I did the same thing with my built-ins in my living room and there are only 4 doors. Well, I did paint the inside of the folding doors but that’s only because it’s visible — otherwise I’m all about the short cut!! Thanks for sharing that your secret — so refreshing! 🙂

  27. YOU ARE HUMAN after all! Sometimes reading the blogs I read, I feel so inadequate.Glad to see the real story. Love your blog and I have stolen so many of your ideas.
    I wish I had your kitchen. Mine is half the size of yours. I took the plunge this summer and painted my cabinets and I painted the inside of the doors. It was a big job with 21 doors! I have 3 bathrooms that need to be done. Now maybe I can finish that job in half the time!

  28. Everything is perfect just like that. For those who are not happy with it just have to close their eyes. 😉

  29. I’ll have to take a picture of my Mom’s cabinets for you. She has a whole bevy of cabinets (no, not jealous … a little) and she did her whole kitchen in white. It turned out gorgeous! So we go over for dinner, almost same scenario, and open the cabinet doors and every one of them , inside and door, is painted a bright (really bright) different color. The grandkids thought she was the coolest Grandma ever!

  30. This is one of those situations where I tell myself” rule your brain or it will rule you.” Normally when I do cabinets like this my brain feels overwhelmed but I just tell my self it will look better if I paint the inside and I just take it little by little working on them in my bits of time and when I am done I feel so happy its done the right way and I do not feel overwhelmed with all the painting.

  31. I didn’t paint mine either! And ok with it! Seemed like a big expense, of money and time, that could be better spent elsewhere.

  32. I have brand new cabinets from Lowes…but they are custom…guess what the underneath and one side that isn’t added onto is not painted. WOW! Don’t feel bad. Yours look lovely. I know what you mean about being impatient and not wanting to do them. You could use chalk paint for the inside and at least have them white and it goes on so quickly. Probably even the milk paint. At any rate…they look fine.

  33. You, my dear, are a breath of fresh air. I purchased you book the other day and have spent my weekend, slowly savoring each word. My husband even asked me if I went back to my Yoga class (Which I haven’t been to in months), because I have been so at peace…. You put into words, what all us woman have jumbled in our head. Thank you.for keeping it real, and for saving us mucho $ on therapists!!!!

  34. I plan on painting my kitchen cabinets soon, but I won’t be painting the inside or the underside either. Feel much better about that decision now, lol!

  35. While we are confessing I painted my giant wardrobe almost a year ago and I still have not painted the inside.

  36. Haha! I actually prefer them unpainted because you don’t have to worry about dishes going in and out, scratching up the painted shelving. That would irritate me far more than unpainted wood. My cab interiors are unpainted, except for the one with the door removed. Heck, I’m still trying to decide on an exterior color, let alone the inside! So far they’ve been white and the lower cabs have been teal, completely stripped and sanded and repainted teal…then I tried your Grain Sack…and now your Dried Lavender is on the way! I do love the Grain Sack, but I just have the tickle to try the lavender before committing. Isn’t insanity doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results? 😉 I will find the PERFECT color for my little kitchen that could. Anyhow, keep on keepin’ on…ya rebel. 🙂

  37. haha, this made me laugh. I must’ve missed this post …

    But I REALLY love that you are okay with imperfection. Really.

  38. Love the cabinet post….l deviated a little farther…I tore my cabinets down..found some very very cheap on sale at Lowes decorative shelve brackets and replaced my upper cabinets with white shelving….yep the untility white garage shelves…already water proof..easy to clean and the porject including paint was just 200.00 bucks..You rock and are always an inspiration…Sheryl

  39. Very funny! I can top that, painted over hinges, but painted inside, far from perfection let me say! I am here 20 years and have been freshening up that paint almost every year…that’s a drag but I get upset in my sunny kitchen if I see it turning at all. My husband is always dripping something that stains too. Think about doing a color to avoid this nonsense, but like the white. Oh well… 🙂

  40. When we bought and remodeled our first house, I was ignorant enough to NOT stain or varnish the outside edges of the window casings (and they were walnut) because I didn’t think anyone would care. After all, they’d be covered by the curtains, wouldn’t they? And I didn’t finish off the bottoms of the kitchen cabinets, either. I wonder what the buyers thought when we sold the place.

  41. I’m DYING over here in AZ! I have done the exact same thing. I even have those hockey puck lights rigged like you do!! ha-ha, I LOVE it! Thanks for the laugh!

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