It’s been just over two years since we gave our kitchen a full-on makeover including replacing our worktops, building some super-slim floating shelves, painting the fridge and painting our laminate kitchen cabinets.
We absolutely love how our kitchen makeover turned out but I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I see projects on the internet where I know that they aren’t going to hold up over time. That’s why I think it’s really important to share how projects look after some real-life use.
Do the things we share really work? What is the finish like after some use? Do painted kitchen cabinets last? And, most importantly, was the project worth all of the hard work?
So, today we’re sharing exactly how our kitchen looks now and how it’s holding up after two years of almost daily use! But let’s start right back at the beginning…
It’s not common for you to buy houses or apartments in Germany that include the kitchen (kitchens mostly aren’t even included in rental properties!) so we were really lucky to have one in the apartment when we moved in. After all, we spent a lot of money on buying our new home and really didn’t have any extra cash to splash on a new kitchen.
As much as we were happy to have a kitchen at all, it’s wasn’t exactly the kitchen of our dreams which is why we decided to give it a budget-friendly kitchen update!
Ultimately, it turned out that our update wasn’t quite as budget-friendly as I’d planned (you can see the cost breakdown here) but that was down to a few unforeseen circumstances like having to buy a new hob after our extractor fan fell off the wall in the middle of the night and smashed our old hob into oblivion.
Painting the laminate kitchen cabinets, on the other hand, was really budget-friendly and, if you’re anything like me, I’m sure you’re wondering – do painted kitchen cabinets last? Well, after two years, this is what our kitchen looks like today!
Yup, it looks almost exactly the same!
We’ve made a few changes over time like adding our new DIY floating spice rack but even close up there is almost no difference at all! Well, almost….
We have one big dent in our worktop due to a pigeon flying through one of the kitchen windows and smashing it (yes, there’s a bit of a smashing glass theme going on here). Big pieces of glass flew everywhere and a couple of large pieces ended up wedged into the countertop of our antique fridge under the window.
We also had a very recent Christmas incident where half a pomegranate leaked onto the wooden worktop and staining it. I’ve not properly tried to remove the stain yet but I assume I’ll have to do a bit of sanding to be able to completely get rid of it.
Both are annoying little incidents but would have possibly happened independent of the update.
Other than that, there’s one chip above on the shelf of our home coffee station which is totally my own fault as I bashed a frying pan against it while I was in a hurry. I still have some of the cabinet paint left so it should only take a couple of seconds to touch up.
What would we change?
There’s just one thing we’d change – the handles. I still like the look of them but they are difficult to keep clean as the horizontal bar collects dust and dirt and the odd crumb gets stuck between the handle and cupboard door.
It’s nothing too dramatic, it’s just that I’m lazy when it comes to cleaning and anything that isn’t easy to maintain doesn’t usually make it into our home!
If I hadn’t needed quite so many handles I would have chosen these ones by Swarf hardware. They are the same as the ones we have on our bathroom vanity and they are not only totally gorgeous they are really high-quality, too!
Based on our experience, we would totally recommend giving your kitchen cabinets a coat of paint. Our painted laminate kitchen cabinets look exactly as they did on the first day and the paint finish has held up beautifully.
You can read our full DIY guide on how to paint laminate kitchen cabinets here and there’s no doubt in my mind that the painted cabinets have stood the time because of the combination of prep work (basically, a bit of sanding) and using the right primer.
I’m not going to lie, it was a lot of work but so, so, so worth it!
I’ve seen so many people sharing tutorials on how to paint kitchen cabinets without sanding them first and I honestly think it’s the worst advice ever.
Painting your kitchen cabinets is not a quick job and you’re not going to want them to look worn and chipped after just a short period of time. If you’re going to go through all of the effort of painting your cabinets you’ll want a finish that lasts!
Have you ever tried anything you’ve seen on the internet that hasn’t turned out as you expected? Do you have painted kitchen cabinets? And, if you do, how are they holding up? What would your dream kitchen look like?