my farm table & cabinet painting prep tips

Marian ParsonsDecorating, home improvement, Miscellaneus, My House, Painting & Refinishing, Tips and Tricks, Tutorials56 Comments

I received a few comments about the farm table in my kitchen.  You could see peeks of it in my kitchen accessories post, so here is a full view.  (Ugh…excuse the floor!)

I bought it a few months ago at an antique store with every intention of selling it.  I even put a tag on it at one point.  I set it in my living room.  It was totally the wrong size and scale for the space, but I really liked it.  I stained and waxed the top and held onto it to use for the farmhouse chic wedding I styled.  Afterward, I decided to try it in my kitchen, which is not really an eat-in kitchen, but I thought it might work.
The size worked perfectly and now there’s a place in the kitchen where my family of four can sit together to eat…
…and it gives me a good excuse to keep the table.  I just couldn’t part with those wide planks.
So, in case there was any doubt …I truly am crazy.  I’ve been eyeing my maple cabinets since the day we first walked through our home.  I have threatened to paint them many times, but the quantity of them and scope of the project always made me pause.  I have 51…yes FIFTY-ONE cabinet doors and 16 drawers.  That means a crap-load of hardware and a monstrous amount of work.
Being a member of the True Value DIY Blog Squad finally gave me the push I needed.  I purchased my paint (I’ll share more about that when I get to the actual painting) and took the plunge into the prep work.  I had already decided…in my desire to do things the easy way…that I was not going to remove all fifty-one doors.  Well, when I thought about it further, I realized there was no way around that and if I was going to paint all fifty-one cabinet doors and sixteen drawers, I was going to do it properly
If you’ve ever studied up on removing cabinet doors, you know the “number the doors” trick.
I’ve always seen the doors numbered and then labled on a chart of the kitchen. I was about ready to draw a sketch of my kitchen and I decided it would be much better to just number the cooresponding cabinets.


No chart required.  I used Frog Tape for delicate surfaces and a Sharpie.
I realized as I removed some of the doors that there were two holes drilled, so I circled the one the hinge was screwed into, so I would put it back in the right spot.
I then took the opportunity to clean out each cabinet.  Again, I’m going to do this right and, after the craziness that’s been my life and business since last August, my cabinets really needed attention.  I vacuumed, scrubbed and organized each one and filled three 30 gallon trash bags.
The next step…cleaning and prepping the cabinets with Gloss-Off.
Here’s a peek at the hardware I bought through True Value.
I’m so excited to see how it all comes together…
…totally tired, but excited.
As a chosen member of the True Value DIY Blog Squad, I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program as well as my writing about the experience. I have also been compensated for the materials used in this DIY project. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.
my farm table & cabinet painting prep tips

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56 Comments on “my farm table & cabinet painting prep tips”

  1. Oh I totally want to paint my cabinets as well but keep putting it off because of fear. What is the purpose of Gloss Off, and are you sanding each door and drawer front? I read somewhere that you don't need to sand anymore because the primers are so good now. Is that true? That's another reason I keep putting it off because I don't want the mess and hassle of sanding. I totally value your expertise and any advice that you can give me.

    Kelli @

  2. The cabinets are going to look lovely! Good idea with the numbering trick. I'll have to remember that in the future!!


  3. I LOVE painted cabinets. I have now painted 3 kitchens, cabinets included. Done it a little differently each time, can't wait to see how you do yours as well as the finished project!


  4. I have yet to do this myself, and I appreciate you taking the time to give us all the help we can get.

    I just know they are going to look beautiful!

    Love the farmhouse table !

  5. Oooh, I can't wait to see! I just recently finished my kitchen cabinet makeover. It's a process but it is so worth it in the end! Good luck!
    Scissors & Spatulas

  6. LOVE the farm table! You are *not* crazy, I don't think any one of us could have passed it up, wide planks and all. It's really awesome!

    I actually really like your kitchen cabinets as they are now, but after they've been Mustard-ized, I know they are going to be AMAZING. It's a big job, but you will be glad you did it. The hardware you selected is beautiful.



  7. Oh the table is scrumptious!!

    I have a feeling my kitchen trepidations will all fade away after you reveal your transformation.

    Any hints on the color choice?

  8. annnnndddd… when youre done, you can take a "vacation" to California and come paint my cabinets 🙂 Bring the boys. the kids can entertain each other! And on the plus side- I dont have NEARLY as many cabinet and drawers as you do!

  9. I have been wanting to paint my oak kitchen cabinets for years, but haven't because of all the work that is required. So I have decided to use Chalk Paint! Do you think it will work?

  10. Marian you're superwoman!! Amazing project and I love the hardware!! I will enjoy watching the progress!

    Art by Karena

    I have an amazing Giveaway from the Artisans at Novica. You will love it!

  11. I have re-done cabinets THREE times – in two kitchens and cabinets in our family room. The biggest mistake that I have learned from is that I replaced the hinges instead of KEEPING the hinges and just spray painting them! Even when I got the EXACT same size, they never worked right again. The third time I re-did cabinets, I finally kept the same ones with the same doors and spray painted them and they looked like new hinges, worked great, and I didn't have all the rubbing problems since the doors will most definitely swell a bit when painted 🙂

    Becky B.
    Organizing Made Fun

  12. Oh dear!! I feel your pain. I have to re-do my kitchen cupboards as well and I balk at the idea of all the painting and prep work involved.
    Good luck and I can't wait to see yours!!

  13. Hey Marian,
    Looking forward to your kitchen restyle. I'm sure it will be fabulous…that's all you do…right???

    I just painted my cabinets and I did a light sanding and used Gripper Primer by Glidden. It is formulated to adhere to slick surfaces and boy does it!

    Between the Gripper and the Behr Ultra Premium paint (primer built in) I got a great hard finish that is holding up beautifully.

    I tried using a sprayer, but hated the pebbly look. Ended up brushing the whole thing and being very happy with the look. I didn't want a 'from the factory 'finish..if you know what I mean.

    I am sure whatever products or techniques you use, the kitchen will be all you and reflect Miss Mustard Seed.

    Have fun..ok, just a little sarcasm there.

    your friend,
    Janet xox

  14. I love the old farm table ~ those wide boards!!! Awesome. I can't wait to see your kitchen all painted. What a huge job! I opted to rip out the old cabs and am in the middle of the reno now with 'some' of the new coconut white ones installed. There are delays, as with any reno, and I can't wait to get my house back in order! All the best with your makeover! I'm sure it will look fabulous! Pamela

  15. You will be blown away after the hard work…I just painted 25 year old dark oak cabinets here !! Wow, they just look like a whole new set. It is a load of work like you can't imagine, and yes removing the doors, no way around it. I lined mine up on boards set between numerous saw horses and went about it assembly line…So So worth the time, can't wait to see your finished job. will need one at the end of the day !!

  16. What color are the counters going to be? And the back splash? Can't wait to see how it turns out.You made a comment on the floor are you changing it??

  17. I have exactly the same hardware on my cream colored cabinets, except I have a fleur-de-lis backplate behind the knobs. I call it my cabinet jewelry and love the French Country feel it gives my kitchen. As they say, great minds think alike! vickie:@

  18. 51? I have no excuse anymore…lol I am going to go ahead and do it…I only have 20,21 or 22? well in the twenties for sure…and 15 doors…I plan on using AS Chalk paint to make it easier…:)

  19. girl, i would LOVE to paint my yucky kitchen cabinets, but the prep work is so daunting. would chalk paint me a good option for kitchen cabinets?

  20. Hi! I love your blog! Have you ever tried to strip a table that only has varnish on it? I have a table with a blonde pine top and it has varnish on it. I attempted to remove the varnish and I didn't get it all! So I will try again! Thanks so much!
    Ashley Spencer

  21. Very exciting to do your own kitchen make-over. I know it will be fabulous and you'll love it! I've got a question for you. Do you feel the wax is strong enough for your kitchen table? I have an antique round table I purchased recently and would like to refinish it. Our table gets lots of wear and tear and wondered if a wax was really strong enough to take the abuse. Thanks in advance!

  22. This is the most exciting project! The hardware you chose is just beautiful and will look great. Painting the cabinets will make such a dramatic change in your kitchen!!!

  23. Love the table. My mom used to make baskets and sell them at craft shows. She sold all of them to keep the business going and did not save any for herself. Sadly, she had a heart attack, heart valve replacement and stroke during/following (doctors not sure which) and cannot make the detailed antique look baskets she once could.

    Please do yourself a favor and keep your favorite things you find and re-create and enjoy them with your family.

  24. marian, i'm nutty for how you're using the farm table in the kitchen. it's such a european thing to do and i'm sure it's gonna be fabulous functionally.

    your blog is so special to me. i am thrilled for your success and love sharing this lovely journey with you.

    wish we could have lunch!


  25. I did the same thing to my kitchen in late winter…new paint and new hardware. It was a daunting task and I dreaded starting it but once I got going the job was done in a week. And I LOVE it. I also removed some cabinet doors and left some open shelving for some added character. My husband was dubious about it especially since he had a hard time removing the old cabinet hardware but he loves it too. I can't wait to see your finished kitchen and I love your table too! We are having a wedding celebration here at the farmette in September and I am borrowing your gift banner idea from your May wedding post. Thank you ~ Miles of Smiles ~ Lynn

  26. Oh my goodness, Marian! That's one huge project, girl! But if anyone can do it….you can! Looking forward to taking this creative journey with you! Keep us informed on how it's going! 🙂

    xoxo laurie

  27. I so want to do this too, we have the 80's type cabinets and I know they would look so nice and completly open up the kitchen but I keep putting it off. Actually I'm ashamed because there you are with little ones and there is only me and hubby here! I can't wait to see your done I know it will be fantastic!


  28. My dear hubby and personal part time handyman says that it takes some experience to work with a paint sprayer. He got the super-duper high volume, low pressure sprayer and the final product is as smooth as a baby's bottom…like butter. I'm sure that ther's more way than one way to get the job done, as I've seen in all the comments. Good luck and take your time!
    Transitions Home Design

  29. I love how the pear pics turned out!! I can't wait to see your kitchen re-do when it is finished too! The blue and white looks so fresh and inviting in a kitchen. I just cleaned up an old kitchen cabinet – check it out on my site… Can't wait to see what else you are working on!!
    Miss Tiques

  30. So, so lovely, as always. I can't wait to see the reveal!! While reading this post, I immediatly thought of this AMAZING table by Korrie at Red Hen House.
    And I really hope I'm not being so abnoxious and presumptious by saying this {because you are the Interior QUEEN} but I had a vision of a white/grey marble backsplash in your lovely kitchen. Just a thought. ;)I'm dying to see what your plans are for it! See marble {well, mine are concrete} backsplash here:

  31. Oooh, I love your choices so far! I'm reading backward, so I saw the paint and I L-O-V-E those knobs! Marian, you are amazing and I can't wait to see the finish.

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