Expert Tips for Painting Kitchen Cabinets


kitchen, living room, apartment

Whether you have a small gallery kitchen or a huge kitchen that is every chef’s dream kitchen, a painting kitchen cabinet job is no small job and it is going to take a lot of time out of your schedule which is why it is so absolutely vital that you plan out the task properly and prepare everything you need beforehand so you can get the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible and that it looks great for many years to come.

Below you will find several tips that will help you paint your kitchen cabinets so they look awesome and you know that the job will be done right the first time!

1.) The right paint is the most important ingredient in the whole process

When it comes to painting your kitchen cabinets, you cannot simply go to the hardware store and buy a can of paint that is made to go on walls. Paint that gets painted onto walls is made of a formula that is specifically meant for walls and they are not supposed to go on different surfaces like those of cabinets.

We do not touch walls all day every day, but we are constantly touching, opening, and closing cabinets all day long, not to mention spraying them down and cleaning them. In order to keep it from chipping or rubbing off, you need a touch alkyd enamel paint. This is going to cost more but it will last longer and hold up better during the long run. These formulas are made to level themselves out which means you will be left with a much smoother finish when they are dried.

2.) Consider your kitchen appliances and accent colors when choosing a cabinet color

Once you start looking for paint colors, look at your kitchen appliances. You want to get a color that will flatter your appliances and not make them stick out like a sore thumb. Stainless steel appliances go with almost every color you pick, but if you have appliances that are older or darker colors, then you want a finish that will all but make them disappear. The goal is to draw the eye to the cabinets instead of the appliances.

3.) Take all of the hardware off of the cabinet doors and drawers

While you can certainly paint the cabinets with the hardware still on there by using a tiny little paintbrush to paint around the smallest areas that is only going to take even more time and make your job harder than it has to be. Grab a screwdriver and remove every last hinge, screw, door handle, drawer knob, magnets to shut the door, etc.

It is going to take a couple of hours to take everything off and organize it so you do not lose the tiny pieces, but it will give you a clean slate to work with and you can just focus on painting and not worry about getting any paint on the hardware.

A great way to organize all the hardware is by labeling each door by number under the part where the hinge fits on the frame. Put each piece of hardware in a bag numbered with the corresponding door number. You then know exactly where each screw, knob, and handle belongs which cuts your time down by so much!

4.) Put everything that belongs in the cabinets away neatly

Over time we accumulate a lot of utensils, cookware, canned vegetables, spices, etc. that all add up in our cabinets. It is important to not just grab things out of the cabinet and throwing it all in a pile. If you just throw everything in a pile it will just be harder at the end to figure out where everything goes again and take more time than it has too.

Put the contents of your cabinet in boxes or paper bags and label and organize them neatly. Put the things you use the most upon a kitchen or dining room table so you can still access them easily throughout the duration of the job and your life remains as convenient as possible until it is done.

5.) Expect things to get messy and prepare for it!

Sandpaper dust and paint are going to get flung everywhere and all over everything in the kitchen, it is important to prepare for this! Before you do anything take out your kitchen rugs, take any toasters, microwaves, or decor off of the kitchen countertops, and if you have a window remove the blinds and curtains.

You then want to use a sturdy drop cloth or an old sheet and tape it down over your floor so that your flooring does not get messed up throughout the process. If you have a table in the kitchen you may want to move it to a different room or cover it with a drop cloth as well.

6.) A sander is going to save you a lot of time

Sanding down your surfaces is an essential thing to do to make sure that your paint primer and paint adhere to the surface and does not peel off in a matter of weeks undoing all of your work. Sanding your cabinets is a big undertaking and it is going to take a lot of time.

Getting a handheld sander is going to speed up the process, make the surfaces even throughout, and cut down on how much muscle you have to use. Whether you sand it all down manually or use an electric sander, you are going to need to buy a whole bunch of sandpaper.

You will need at least 40 sheets of sandpaper at different grit numbers to get it all done. It is better to overbuy sandpaper and have extra to stack away and use on another project on another day, than not have enough and have to wait until you have time to get to the store and get more.

7.) Clean off the surfaces

After you sand your surfaces down, the next thing you need to do in your painting kitchen cabinet job is to clean off all of your surfaces. Liftoff all of the dust and debris. You can easily use 20 tack cloths to make sure you get every last bit of dust-up, but it is a necessary part of the job!

8.) Use an oil-based primer

Make sure that when you prime your cabinets, you use an oil-based primer like Kilz and not a water-based one. They are less likely to get discolors and adhere very well to the cabinets.

9.) You need a lot of brushes and rollers

You can use your rollers and brushes several times, but cleaning them between uses is a lot of work and time that isn’t necessary. Spending a little extra for more brushes and rollers just saves you time and keeps you from extra work.

10.) Use a paint sprayer

As mentioned above, painting your cabinets can take hours and hours if not several days. While using rollers and brushes will certainly get the job done, it is not the most efficient or the best method out there. Getting a paint sprayer will help you paint the cabinets much faster and give you a more even coat in the end! Paint sprayers cost about $60 and they are worth every single penny!

Following these steps will make sure you have an amazing kitchen with modern, sleek cabinets. You will love the look of them and they will look amazing and stand the test of time for many years to come.

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