Step-by-Step Guide to Painting Your Kitchen Cabinets

7 Steps for Painting your Kitchen Cabinets!

Do you want to transform the feel and look of your kitchen instantly? Changing your cabinet color is one of the fastest ways to go about it. Kitchen cabinets make up most of your kitchen’s visual area. As such, painting kitchen cabinets will drastically change your kitchen’s appearance.

But a word of warning, painting kitchen cabinets goes beyond just choosing your favorite paint color and dusting off the paint brush. It’s a complicated process and can be more time-consuming than painting a room or wall. As such, you must prepare and understand the essential techniques to get the job done correctly.

Iif you’re up for the challenge though, we’ve got the ultimate painting kitchen cabinets how to, just for you!

Painting Kitchen Cabinets

Should You Paint Your Cabinets?

We know you want to change your kitchen’s look and feel, and painting your cabinets is one surefire way to do that. However, repainting your cabinets is not the solution for everyone. Take time to think through if it’s the best decision for your kitchen before undertaking the project.

Here are a few scenarios where painting your cabinets might not work. If your kitchen cabinets are old and have grown very frail, painting them is like applying a band-aid on a bullet wound. Yes, even the best paint job will not resuscitate cabinets that are warped, broken or not in good condition. In such cases, replacing them is the best option to get your kitchen looking as good as new.

If your cabinets have a plastic laminate topcoat, you may have trouble getting the paint to take. Wood, wood laminate and metal cabinets are ideal candidates for painting.

Another thing to note, is that the more intricate the woodwork on your cabinets the more difficult and time consuming repainting your cabinets will be.

If you’re unsure about whether your cabinets can be repainted, you could take one of your doors to your local paint store and ask their opinion.

Painting Kitchen Cabinets Cost

Another thing to think through is painting kitchen cabinets cost and how it compares to replacing them with brand new.

Generally, if you have a 10-by-12-foot kitchen, buying brand new cabinets will cost upwards of $5,000. Even at that, you can’t be sure that your replacement cabinets will be of better quality than the already installed ones. Fortunately, repainting your cabinets will cost way less than that.

To paint your cabinets you need to know how much paint kitchen cabinets need. You can cover around 400 square feet with a gallon of paint. This means that with about $250 and some elbow grease time, you should be able to cover all your kitchen cabinets. It’s a much cheaper way to give your kitchen a new look than replacing your cabinets, especially if they’re still in good shape.

You can use Pretty My Kitchen Remodel Budget Planner for a more detailed and definite breakdown of your kitchen remodeling cost.

painting kitchen cabinets

How to Choose Your Cabinet Paint

Finding the right color for your cabinets is probably the hardest decision in the process. The last couple years many people have been painting kitchen cabinets white, but more and more we are seeing people painting kitchen cabinets gray, green or blue. Take some time to look through Pretty my Kitchen’s kitchen cabinets ideas to inspire you!

There are a lot of paint options out there, but usually you can choose between latex or oil paint. Latex is generally a better option for beginners, it is easier to clean, wipe down and is more affordable. Oil based paint is more durable and usually has a better finish than latex based, but it’s also more expensive and harder to get perfect.

The paint you choose really depends on your experience level and the material your cabinets are made of. Consult your local paint store for the best option for your space.

How to Prep Your Cabinets for Painting in 7 Simple Steps

Getting a professional painter to handle your cabinet painting will save you lots of time. Just do a quick search for “painting kitchen cabinets near me” to find local businesses who can get the job done. If you’re able and ready to go DIY on your kitchen project, these seven easy steps will do the trick:

1. Do a Great Prep Work

Like everything else, good preparation is the key to a well-done job. So, ensure you dedicate enough time to prepping your cabinets and the kitchen for your repainting project.

First, clear the counters, remove everything that’s not attached, and take the kitchen furniture out. Next, protect the flooring, countertop, fixed appliances, windows, etc., from dust and pollution by covering them with tape rosin papers/ plastic sheeting.

Lastly, mask off the surrounding walls and prepare a paint station to enable you to paint the shelves, drawers, and doors in an organized manner.

2. Take Out the Hardware

After prepping the room, the next step is to remove the cabinet hardware, including the knobs, drawer pulls, hinges, latches, etc. This is important because your door may no longer function properly after painting the handles and hinges. Be sure to keep the uninstalled hardware in a safe place.

Also, take the cabinets’ drawers and doors off from the boxes and label them! This makes for easy assemblage and ensures that you don’t mismatch them when you put your kitchen back together.

3. Clean the Surfaces

Painting on dirty surfaces is a huge NO-NO if you want a perfect finish. So, remove grease and dirt by spraying a degreaser solution on the cabinet and using a clean rag to wipe it down. You can also use trisodium phosphate (TSP) to remove stubborn stains.

4. Prepare the Boxes

To prepare the cabinet boxes for painting, start by scrubbing down the surfaces with an abrasive pad already soaked in liquid deglosser. Be sure to wear your safety gear and check that the room is well-ventilated for this stage. As you scrub, hold a towel below the surface to mop up spills and wipe deglosser residues off using another deglosser-dipped rag before it evaporates.

Next, mix an auto body filler in small batches and use it to fill any holes from the old screws. When the filler sets in, use a paint scraper to remove the excess and a foam sanding block to light-sand the door, drawer, and cabinet surfaces. Be careful not to scrape the bare wood.

Lastly, vacuum the cabinets thoroughly and wipe with a tack cloth to ensure no dust particles taint the finish.

5. Apply Primer to the Cabinets

Before applying primer, check if there are heavy stains on the cabinet. If there is, choose a stain-blocking blocker; if not, an oil-based bonding primer will work fine.

Now, load the brush and roller with primer from a paint tray and use them to coat the doors, cabinets, and drawer fronts. Use the roller on large surfaces and the brush for tight corners.

6. Sand, Caulk, and Fill

Wait for the primer to dry before using 220-grit paper to smooth the flat surfaces and a medium-grit sanding sponge to sand profiled surfaces. Next, fill open seams with latex caulk, pulling the tip and smoothening the caulk with your wetted finger.

Sand the surface with 220-grit paper after an hour (or when the spackle dries) and later with 280-grit paper. Remember to vacuum and clean with a tack cloth upon each application. Also, don’t forget to prime spackle spots with an oil-based primer after applying the sanding with the 220-grit paper.

painting kitchen cabinets

7. It’s Time to Paint

Now, it’s time for the painting proper. Start with the boxes, then move to the drawers, doors, and shelves.

Here are some tips for this stage:

  • Use brushes for tight areas and rollers for large surfaces
  • Use a smooth-surface mini roller for the cabinet’s interior
  • If your best paint for kitchen cabinets has the same shade as the already existing one, one or two coats is enough
  • Refer to a color wheel and strive for balance if you prefer two-tone kitchen cabinets
  • Paint drawers, shelves, and doors on a table to minimize drips, sags, and runs
  • As you wait for the initial coat to dry, wrap the brush and roller in plastic to prevent them from hardening
  • Start by painting the area surrounding the panel when painting paneled doors

When the cabinet paint is dry, put all the pieces back and take some time to congratulate yourself on a well-done job!

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