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Monday, August 22, 2011

Kitchen Cabinets...Makeover Begins

Manufactured Homes have unique features that hinder your typical remodel.   For instance, while our cabinet doors are solid wood, the cabinets themselves are a wood product wrapped in vinyl. 

We didn't want to replace our cabinets since they are in good condition, so we found a way to work around the problem.  The process wasn't that complicated as you'll see below... and we feel confident it will stand the test of time.


The Painting Process:
  • We cleaned the entire cabinet & lightly sanded the doors (Since the cabinet is a wood product wrapped in vinyl, we didn't sand it)
  • We applied one coat of bonding primer to all the surfaces of the cabinet & both sides of the doors. (Following Mfg Instructions)
  • We applied two coats of a water-based paint (semi gloss) (Following Mfg Instructions) - It went on very smoothly, and is holding up great after almost four years.
  • We painted one side of the cabinet with two coats of chalkboard paint. (Following Mfg Instructions)


This process might not work for everyone, but it's worked great for us.

See "Kitchen-Phase Two" for the rest of the story.

More links to our Remodel


  1. Very nice job on that cabinet. Love the color and the new handles.

  2. Great job! I can so relate. I've painted my kitchen cabinets three times in about five years. It's a lot of work, but so worth it in the end. Look forward to seeing the rest!

  3. I'm amazed at your decorating taste and design... brilliant job! I have a question, hope you don't mind. (couldn't figure out how to email you)

    I live in a trailer and want so badly to paint that fake wood stuff in my kitchen and the trim that's everywhere... but I haven't the funds to do such a clever job as you by adding the beadboard and extra trim. Do you think if I primed the cabinets/trim and painted it it would be okay? And, lacking all the architectural interest you've added, do you think it would be attractive or just too plain? I want to paint it all white, simple and clean... I have sage green counters with same color tile trim, my walls are white with light sage and lavender flower vinyl wall paper.

    Appreciate your advice, can't think of a better person to ask!

  4. Nina... Thank you for your sweet comment.
    I think your cabinets would look fine painted white ... even without the extra trim and beadboard trim. Just get a good "Bonding" primer for your basecoat and you should be fine painting over the fake wood. So far, ours is holding up real well. If your trim has gaps ...where it's pulling away from the cabinets...(ours did) you might fill the gaps with caulking before priming and painting.
    Here is another homeowner who painted her cabinets ... you might like to read what she did.
    Good luck with your project... if you have more questions, you can email me at

  5. Yeah, I'm so excited to get started... I've only lived here two years and feel my heart sink every time I see this ugly trim... thank you. I'm going to look for the products you've shown in your pictures... now for the right shade of white!!

    I've been thinking about your home all day... seriously, some people just have a knack for design/decorating... and you certainly have it... form, function, color, design, and aesthetically pleasing... I admire your work and will be visiting often to get ideas. Anyway, I've been walking around trying to view my home through your eyes... I'm handy just not creative...

    Thanks for this site and keep up the good work.

  6. I'm sure you'll do a great job... can't wait to hear all about it Nina.

  7. I was curious to see if you actually sanded and cleaned the cabinets before painting them? And then you added one coat of primer. Did you brush the cabinets or use a sprayer? Thanks for the great ideas for mobile living. We have just started to fancy up our little place and I love it!

    1. We did clean the cabinets before we painted them, and lightly sanded some of the doors and drawer fronts. As far as the actual cabinet (the fake wood part) we didn't sand them at all.
      We painted everything with a brush but I think spraying them would be the best route if you can. I will say, our hand painted cabinets came out nice and smooth...we're very happy with them. You'll have to let me know how things go at your place...I'm excited for you.

  8. I am getting ready to paint my cabinets, I was wondering how your painted cabinets are now after a couple of years.

    Have a blessed day!

    1. Hi Pat! I wanted to let you know that our cabinets are doing well. We've only had to do minor touch ups during the past two years...otherwise, everything is great!
      Best Wishes!!!

  9. i think ill try this on my cabinets. where did you find the bonding primer?

  10. I was wondering what color this is that you painted your cabinets with. I love it! I too live in a modular home. I also have five kids so I am definitely not wanting to go with white. Plus, I like having color in the house. Thanks in advance for your comment.


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