I love a good DIY project, but this one almost broke me. Painting the kitchen cabinets was a massive undertaking and one of the most frustrating projects I've done in the condo so far. There is a reason the web is full of pages that will give you tips and instructions for painting your cabinets. It's hard! It takes a ton of prep, a lot of persistence, and patience.
Hiring a professional wasn't an option. Buying or renting a paint sprayer (which renders a great finish without too, too much effort) wasn't an option. I have a very limited space in which to work...no backyard, no garage, and no basement. So, this was a solo effort in my kitchen.
I read many different threads and sites about painting cabinets and arrived at my steps by blending a few of them together. I did not use TSP, which some sites recommend to clean the cabinets. I washed them, sanded them, used a tack cloth to clean them off, then primed, and painted. How funny that I fit that all into one sentence when these steps took three weeks (I worked at night and on the weekends).
The paint I used was Sherwin Williams' ProClassic Enamel (Waterborne) in either a gloss or high gloss finish. It's excellent paint, but you have to put very, very thin layers down and let them dry completely before moving forward. This takes quite some time. Part of me wishes I painted everything with Benjamin Moore's Aura and then added a top coat of polyurethane. Oh well.
I think the result is good, considering the cheapy cabinets with which I started:
I would love to change the counters, flooring, microwave, and range at some point. For now, I'm happy with how things are progressing.
By the way, I painted the walls light blue, but hated how it looked and went back to white. Any thoughts on that? Does the white look okay or too sterile? When I get around to changing the counters, I'll also install some subway as a backsplash on both sides of the room.