My Garden Retreat

My Garden Retreat
photo Gridley Graves for Country Living

The Cottage Kitchen...part deux

Hello again and Happy Monday!
It has been a very busy weekend here and
Did I get a lot done!

The little kitchen in the cottage is coming right along...
Actually, it's nearly done but I am going to show you how I did it!
Step by step!
Let's start with the cabinets shall we!

First of all, everything was removed from inside of them.I loaded everything into boxes and took them to another room.
(This gave me a chance to sort through things and get rid of  and /or donate them if they will not be used here and were still unopened.)

Then the doors, drawers and hardware were taken off!
The doors, drawer fronts and cabinet fronts were then sanded.

I used a 120 grit sandpaper and really made sure they were smooth!

This is my mouse sander. I use it on everything! It's actually my second sander because I use it so much!:)
You can do it without a sander but it just takes alot longer.

After sanding, everything was washed down with a mild soap and water and left to dry.
After they were dry...I rolled on a coat of paint with a small sponge roller and then brushed over the top.

I did two coats on everything!
And sanded in between coats. 
This is a very important step in order to have that smooth finish when they are complete!

A quick word about paint.
I have been doing this paint technique on furniture and cabinets for years and it really works for me.
The trick is to use a paint in a  flat or matte finish. I have tried to use satin before and it just causes the paint to roll when I sand.
My favorite paint right now is from Lowes and it's the new Hi-def or Ultra Premium.

 Because I was going so light over so dark...I needed it to cover!
This paint does just that!
I have used so many paint companies over the years and I am not kidding this is such a great paint!
It's just thick enough to give you coverage and really doesn't need to be re coated...I just wanted to in order to have the finish I was going for.

After they were allowed to dry overnight...I lightly sanded them again to give them an aged look.
I wanted them to have a well-used ,vintage appearance.

I also use 220 grit sandpaper to give it some depth of color!
Especially in the corners.
You can see the black and the natural color of the cabinets!

Now for the fun part!
In order to for the cabinets to have a vintage feel , I did a hand-rubbed finish.
These are my all-time favorite products for this technique.

Briwax is not always available so I sometimes have to order it online. Here

This is my gadget!
It's a polishing brush!
I love it because it makes the polishing go so much faster!

This is my super duper inside secret: So don't tell anyone:)

In order for this to really work, you need to dap your cloth into the darker shade first and then add it to the natural.

To apply the paste...I use my hubby old work t shirts!

Rub a thin, even coat over the entire surface.
After about 15 can buff it out.

Then apply a second coat! I also use another t shirt to buff out!

I do at least two coats to give it that amazing sheen and luster found on vintage furniture!
It also makes it so much easier to keep clean.

I am so thrilled with how the cabinets look!
So what do you think so far?

I will be back tomorrow to show you the interiors which have been painted and lined in wallpaper is a sneaky peak!

See ya then!


  1. It's looking wonderful and thanks so much for the 'secret' tips!

  2. OH Donna, they look amazing!!! Lots of hard work but well worth it...Have a good Monday...


  3. Gorgeous! Your Mom is going to be so pleased!

  4. Your technique sounds great! Love the idea of an electric polisher, the cabinets are turning out amazing. Can't wait to see the big reveal!!

  5. What a huge project to take on. The results are lovely. I might steal your ideas, but really hubby dislikes white. He still likes the 80's/90's oak...........but maybe I can sneak it in the kids' bathroom.

  6. Looking good so far! Can't wait to see it all finished! Do you have any feeling left in your hands? LOL!


  7. I LOVE that you have shared your 'how to' techniques with all of us! Thank you!!!
    I look forward to reading/seeing more! :)
    ~ Zuzu

  8. Gorgeous! Thank you for sharing how to do this! I saved your post in my favorites so that I can return to it when I get ready to paint my cabinets.

    Your kitchen is going to look so fresh and sweet!


  9. They look amazing just as I knew they would...
    good to talk to you! Feel better...
    Better be good today and take off.
    Little man is whining right now again... gotta feeling this may be a long day

  10. Everytime I read a post of yours I just feel like I am a lazy woman!! hee hee I LOVE your cabinets and I too am a fan of the minwax finishing wax. Used it on a hutch that we refinished years ago and it is my favorite finish ever, but I buffed it all by hand! ugh. Would love to try my cupboards like you did yours. Hey I have a better about you come and do them!! Ha ha! Just kidding. One of these days...if the heat ever lets up. I don't know how you do it in this hot weather, but you are one amazing lady!!!!!!

  11. What color did you use Donna? A true white or an ecru, off white? I have a bisque refrigerator and an almond and black stove so I think I would need to use some type of off white.

  12. Donna, I love that paint too! I got sick of paying the Ben Moore prices...actually I use Ben Moore colors but have them done in the Valspar Signature. Interesting about using flat or matte finish on furniture. Also very interesting on your tips on EXACTLY how you do it all! Thanks so much my dearest! I am loving the cabs lined in the check. Oh boy,counters are next right??

  13. PS I asked my hubs if we had a mouse sander (he has every freaking took ever made) and sure enough we do!!! he just never uses it, so guess who is going to grab that little monkey for herself. Now where do you get your polishing brush and what do you attach it to for using it that way?

  14. This is so exciting, and such a fun project to watch! I love that you shared your tricks... and the cabinets look adorable already!


  15. Just took a break from painting cabinets to catch up on my blog reading! Love how your cabinets turned out, and I appreciate all the detailed information. Have a great day!

  16. Awesome, Awesome, Awesome! would love to give it a try.
    Now....if only I had some cupboards to paint! ;-)
    Hugs and have a wonderful evening Donna ~ Rebecca

  17. lol I use the exact same products!!!!! but have some more secret hints I'll give you next time we talk...(to make stuff grungy) think bisquick and dirt.... hahah

    also when I have run out of briwax and can't wait to order on line but have a job that needs to be finished I have substituted a can of brown shoe polish used with the paste wax and had decent results almost identical in fact!
    I have never used a polishing brush though but I am now a convert when I see how quickly you got it done.

    Of course the last time I did that much sanding ( for days) I ended up in emergency from heart palpitations that they said were caused by too many hours of vibration LOL!

    What a beautiful room. You ARE the bomb!! Did you and Rebecca sign some "we're going home and kick butt on projects pact?" I feel like a slouch.


  18. go girl...looks amazing already!!!

  19. I have got to get one of those polishing brushes. I have used a car polisher but want to try the brush. The cabinet finish looks great.

  20. It always amazes me what a little paint and elbow grease can do! Great job!

  21. thanks donna---you're the know- it- all gal on this stuff {I meant that as a complimnet!} I sooo want to paint our cherry cabinets.

  22. Wow! This is an awesome transformation! You worked so hard and it shows! Thanks for sharing this inspiring post!


Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to leave me a comment!
I love reading them~they truly make my day!
~Donna Reyné