Yes, you read that correctly! One single day from start to finish to complete a bathroom cabinet makeover! Not, 24 hours either, literally waking hours, day. Granted, my bathroom vanity isn’t large, but it is because of science that I was able to not only prep my cabinets, but to paint, and put everything back into place. This is all thanks to Wise Owl Paint’s new revolutionary product One Hour Enamel. They like to say this paint is “Tougher than Trigonometry,” and boy they do not joke.
So a little bit about the paint, and then on to the makeover steps that literally anyone can do! This paint was designed for use on surfaces that need a quick return to service, because let’s not kid, no one wants to try to spend weeks on end waiting for paint to cure just to be able to use their kitchen or front door again. It is made for indoor and outdoor use, has an abrasion resistant finish, is water thinned acrylic enamel so it poses no fire hazard, it is low VOC, oh and did I mention the built in top coat? Seriously this stuff seems more wizardry than science, but it is all science none-the-less. We are talking serious industrial strength with this paint. I have used nothing like it, and I have tried a lot of paints, on a lot of things.
There are a few steps of prep that typically with chalk paint you could could half…well you could do them haphazardly and still be okay. With this paint, you really want to focus on the prep work, because we are working with cabinets and doors, which means lots of skin oils, hair/cooking products (oils in my case), dirt, grit, grime. Seriously, just consider what you and your little ones (pets and kids alike) put these items through on the daily…Gross isn’t it?
First off you want to remove drawers, doors, hardware, and then you want to clean, and I mean clean thoroughly, and you want to use something that will cut through the oils from years of abuse. In my case I used a combination of cleaning vinegar, and straight alcohol, but I sanded my pieces pretty thoroughly with a rotary sander. If you are opting to just scuff sand the surface, you may want to use something a little tougher like TSP or LA’s Totally Awesome. With both of these products you will want to make sure you rinse the products off afterwards, because residue can have a negative impact on any paint. Don’t forget to put the hardware in a baggie or something similar and label it, so you don’t lose it. Another little tip is the number the drawers as you remove them, you can do so on the bottom of the drawer with a pencil, this will help to ensure a good fit later.
Once you have cleaned, you can take a few roads here, you can opt to fully sand, which is what I chose, because I had no clue what all had been on these cabinets since purchasing the house a few years back. You can scuff sand just to give a rough surface for the paint to adhere to, or you can opt to prime your piece. Many actually choose to scuff sand and prime for added insurance. Our Wise Owl primer is designed for use under our enamel, and can be painted over in about 4 hours. You can find the primer here.
Done sanding? Great! Now clean your piece one more time, because you don’t want left over sawdust on your piece. I also took a cloth with just rubbing alcohol after the cleaning, and wiped over the surface as a precautionary measure. Now it is time to paint!
You can choose to use a paint sprayer, roller, or paint brush. I opted for my Cling-On Brush of course, but for this paint you want a dry brush, so if you have been storing your Cling-Ons in water as they are designed, lay them out for some dry time while you prep. If you decide to roll your cabinets, you will want to choose a roller that holds a good amount of paint, and that doesn’t leave behind fuzzies (technical term) like a good microfiber roller. The key to this paint is to load the brush or the roller and lay the paint on a little heavier than what you are used to, because it is designed to self level. Also try not to over work the paint. Essentially lay it on, check for drips, or pooling, and then walk away for roughly 30 to 40 minutes.
This paint is designed to be cured enough for use in about an hour, so it is typically ready for a second coat within about 30 minutes depending on humidity, temperature, etc. which can effect dry times for any paint. Once it is dry to the touch in all areas, go ahead and put on a second coat. In many cases one coat is sufficient for coverage, but the second coat really allows the self leveling to work its magic. As before, check for drips and pooling, then walk away, and have a bite to eat. Give the paint a little over an hour to dry and begin the curing process. You will literally see the changes as the top coat rises to the surface of the paint. Once this has happened, you can rehang the doors, put the numbered drawers back into place, and reattach your hardware, and get back to your life! Or in my case, onto the next bathroom project like mirrors and tile!