Chalk Painting Kitchen Cupboards Before and After

Erin’s home was built in 1908, and her kitchen was in need of an update. However, before embarking on the huge undertaking that a kitchen remodel can be, especially remodeling the kitchen in a home over 100 years old, she thought she would give painting a try first.

Remodeling a kitchen can be very expensive, a huge time commitment, and can also take away from the classic charm of an older home. As an alternative, putting fresh paint in your kitchen can give you the makeover you crave – you can achieve a new look and feel while retaining your home’s character, and saving yourself a bundle of time and money. A new, fresh paint color can make your kitchen look brighter, fresher and more modern without the cost and efforts of a complete remodel.

Erin’s original cabinets are made of oak, which is a great quality wood and would have been a shame to replace. Opting to paint rather than replace them was a great alternative for her, allowing her to keep her original cabinets (and their classic charm) while still getting the update she craved.

Let’s get started repainting kitchen cupboards!

In this post, you’ll learn more about Erin Grujic’s fabulous kitchen makeover, where she takes her outdated cabinets from dull and old fashioned to bright and gorgeous, all without the trouble of having to undertake a full kitchen remodel. Now Erin’s kitchen is bright oasis that makes her feel as though she has a brand new kitchen.

For this project, Erin chose the shades Navajo White and Freedom Road. Both of these colors come from American Paint Company’s Tried & True Collection of Clay, Chalk & Mineral Paint.

More About Clay, Chalk & Mineral Paint:

American Paint Company’s Clay, Chalk & Mineral paint is an all-natural and eco-friendly alternative to your typical acrylic, oil or latex based paints. It’s also a healthier and cleaner option without the dangerous (and smelly) fumes of other paints, making it a great choice for any project you want to take on inside the house.

This paint is easy to use and dries quickly, making multiple coats a breeze, and is available from American Paint Company in 37 fantastic color options. Erin’s colors are available in either quart size (large) or 4 oz (small) pots.

Steps to chalk painting kitchen cupboards:

The first step in most painting projects is to remove the cabinets and begin sanding and priming them for the new paint; however, the beauty of APC’s Clay, Chalk & Mineral paint is that this step is rarely required. Erin was able to simply remove the cabinets and get painting, with barely any of the usual fuss.

When beginning this project, Erin did encounter some difficulty with the color from the existing oak stain bleeding though the new white paint. This is often a challenge when taking furniture or cabinets from a darker color to a lighter one, but she found a simple and effective solution: using a coat of the American Paint Company Top Coat sealer beneath the first coat of Navajo White prevented the bleed through and ensured she got the clean, white color she was looking for.

Three coats of paint were needed to get the desired result, but Erin found the paint easy to work with and quick to dry, so the three coats were a quick and painless process.  Working on her kitchen cupboards inside her house, without any toxic chemicals or smells, made the project an enjoyable process.

Erin used the Navajo White as the main cabinet color, and Freedom Road on the trim to give her kitchen a bit of contrast. This color combination, Erin tells us, makes her updated kitchen pop, a welcome change from the formerly dull brown.

Navajo White

Erin used a medium sized brush to apply her paint, a perfect alternative to rollers or other application methods when faced with grooves and details like you see on Erin’s cabinet doors.

When using Clay, Chalk & Mineral Paint, the use of a sealer is a necessary final step to protect and seal the new paint job. Lucky for Erin (and for anyone using the American Paint Company’s products), the same liquid Top Coat sealer she used as her first coat to prevent color bleed is the perfect product to seal and protect your Clay, Chalk & Mineral Paint project.

Top coat

Top Coat Sealer

It even works great as a sealant between paint and glaze, if you decide to take your project one step further!

When painting kitchen cupboards, it’s important to use a sealer that is more durable than wax.  Clear Top Coat sealer is more durable, and allows you to be able to wash down your kitchen cupboards and keep them clean over the years.

In the future, Erin says she may consider adding a distressed look to her cabinets, but for now she’s enjoying the fresh, solid white. If you decide to take on a project like Erin’s, you can make it your own by using distressing techniques or other unique paint application methods, or by simply finishing your project off with a glaze, like the all-natural Glaze Finish available from American Paint Company.

By Holly Grewall

Share Your Project Contest

Share your project pictures with us and you could win a $100 Gift Box! We want to showcase your projects of love. Use the Project Submission tool on our site today and you could be our next feature. You’ll automatically be entered to win the monthly Gift Box!

For social media posts, use #americanpaintcompany


  1. Hello, I was wondering if I could use an APC grey underneath the Navajo white to prevent my dark wood cabinet color from bleeding through? I’m concerned that the one coat of sealer won’t be enough since my cabinets are a darker brown wood, think cherry but brown.


    • mm American Paint Company says

      Hi Lauren! Yes you are correct, any time you paint over a darker piece of furniture with a ‘light’ paint base color (like Navajo White), it’s going to take several coats to completely cover the dark undertone. We recommend toning it down first by applying a grey color such as Smoke Signal. This acts as a primer and will reduce the number of coats you will use with the white paint. Once you complete the project, we recommend using a durable sealer for your kitchen cupboards so they hold up for the long term.

      For example:

      Top Coat: 4-5 Coats for Kitchen Cupboards
      Hard Coat: 1-2 Coats for Kitchen Cupboards

      For more information on our sealers, click the following link:

We Love to Hear From You


American Paint Company