7 Steps for Painting Your Kitchen Cabinets

November 25, 2020
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7 Steps for Painting Your Kitchen Cabinets

There is no simpler or more cost-effective way of upgrading the look of your kitchen than by giving a new coat of paint to the cabinets. Here are a few important steps for painting your kitchen cabinets.

Get the Right Tools

Get yourself a 2” wide tapered brush of decent quality. Be sure to use a natural bristle brush for oil-based paint, or a synthetic bristle brush made especially for use with oil. Latex paints need a brush with synthetic bristles. Using a fine-nap roller will speed up the job if your cabinet doors are flat without raised panels.

Look for the side handle of a painter's bucket, an inside lip to clean the paint off the brush, and a small magnet on the inside to keep the brush upright when you do not need it.

Remove Doors and Any Hardware

Unscrew all the doors and cabinets with all the hinges and unscrew any handles or knobs from the doors and drawers. Many cabinets come with cup hinges today, often referred to as European hinges.

Remove the single screw attached to the cabinet frame for each hinge and the two screws attached to the door for each hinge. Remember that most cup hinges have 2 extra screws that can be adjusted after installation to the door position. Don't disturb these screws for adjustment.

Clean the Surfaces to Be Painted

If you have drawer faces screwed inside the drawer cases, remove the faces of them. Place each kind of hardware together with its screws in its own sealed bag or another package so that nothing is lost.

Using masking tape, protect the floors with drop cloths and cover the counters with rosin paper to hold the paper in place. Kitchen cabinets get greasy, so the paint can not hold except if you clean them properly with a grease cutter, like trisodium phosphate.

Sand the Surfaces

The aim of this sanding is to scuff up the surfaces and dull them so that they can stick well to the primer. For the flat regions, use #120 grit sandpaper with a sanding block. For rounded or contoured surfaces, make use of a small piece of sandpaper.

Vacuum the surfaces and scrub them to clear the last traces of dust with a tack cloth.

Prime Doors and Drawer Fronts

The method is the same whether you are priming or painting. The only difference is that you want to work the primer a bit into the wood, when you want to concentrate more on deep, even brush strokes while painting.

Only start from one side and paint from top to bottom with long overlapping strokes if you are priming or painting flat doors.

Prime the Cabinets

It's better to paint the highest sections first when priming or painting raised panel doors or something else laid flat, so you can brush any drips out into lower spots.

To mask off any adjacent surfaces and areas inside the cabinet that you don't want to paint, use painter's tape. Then "cut it up" where the cabinet meets the ceiling, wall, or floor. Here is where your tapered brush really does come in handy.

Dip the brush into the paint, place it near the wall or other meeting surface on the cabinet, then bring the taper's long end up against it and then down along the wall or ceiling.

You might decide that you no longer need to bother with the painter's tape if you're very good at cutting in. Prime the entire section with vertical strokes after cutting in. Then prime the cabinet in front.

Apply 2 Coats of Paint

Apply all the primed surfaces with a fresh coat of paint, starting with top-to-bottom strokes around the grain. A second coat is added when the paint dries, normally after about 4 hours. Now you can reinstall doors and drawers and enjoy your revamped kitchen.

If you’re planning to give a new look to your kitchen without DIY, contact a Kitchen Remodeling Contractor in Connecticut.

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