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How to Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets like a Pro

Brent Lunde - Monday, June 22, 2015

Is something missing in your kitchen? You've replaced the stove, fixed up the flooring, and you even went so far as to replace the light fixtures. However, something still seems to be missing and you can't put your finger on it. Then it hits you; the cabinets!


Cabinets are a major part of your kitchen, both in use and aesthetics. A lot of people will replace their cabinets with something that fits the color tones already in existence; however, what so many fail to realize is that just like the rest of the house, their kitchen cabinets can be painted to match the décor, and for a lot less money!


In this blog we're going to give you some quick DIY tips on how you can safely paint your cabinets so that they match the rest of your kitchen.

Know what you're working with

Before you start playing with different paints, know what material you'll be painting. Are you going to be painting on wood? Wood-laminate? Plastic? Are the doors flat-front, or woodwork with panels that are raised? If there are specific architectural details in the woodwork, more prep time will be required. It's imperative that you find out what type of surfaces you are working with, because not all paints are designed for the same surface. Surfaces that can be refinished for example, often times require a special paint and technique in order to hail a desirable result. We highly recommend consulting a paint specialist with any of your questions before you begin painting (like Pro Paint NW if you live in the Vancouver, WA metro area).


Prepping your kitchen for the task

Clearing countertops and removing doors/handles

In order to properly prepare your kitchen for the painting task, make sure you clear off the countertops. Remove all the drawers and doors off of the cabinets and label them and their locations with duct tape so you remember where they go. We can't stress this enough. LABEL EVERYTHING to avoid a mismatched drawer or handle after the job is done. Cover all kitchen appliances to avoid getting paint in/on them.


Cleaning the cabinets

Do NOT forget to clean the cabinets. This is a very important step. Due to years of use, your cabinets have undergone exposure to years of grease, grime, spills, fingerprints, and more. Get a degreaser and scrub like crazy (the strength of your degreaser will depend on the thickness of grime that needs to be cleaned).


Sand down rough surfaces

This will make your job a lot easier. Take sandpaper and smooth out the rough edges and surfaces of all of your cabinets. Use a dust cloth to remove any traces of dust left behind.


Diving into paints

Prime boxes, doors, drawers

Before you even touch the paint, make sure you've primed everything for a professional-style finish. Apply the primer-sealer on all surfaces and let it dry. This will provide a high quality semi-gloss finish. If you have questions about primer-sealers, consult a painting professional.

Apply the paint

Now the fun begins! Using a small paint brush (or a small roller), apply the paint. Start by painting inside out. This allows you to work quickly in areas that are less visible, and allows you to keep track of any drips or smudges that are sure to happen along the way.


Remember, don't use thick layers of paint; apply thin layers of paint with few brush strokes. You may also use spray paint. The process is the same, except instead of using a roller, you're using a spray can/bottle. Give the paint at least 4 hours to dry between each coat applied. Sand each surface after the first coat has been applied to help the next one adhere better (usually you will only need two coats).


Note: When you paint the doors and drawers, consider doing it outside or in the garage with the aid of a rack. Painting with a rack will allow you to maneuver your doors and cabinets freely, and will help them dry quickly.

And it's as simple as that!


Painting projects are fun, given that you're willing to put in the work. We understand that sometimes it's difficult to find the time and energy to take on DIY painting projects, which is why we're here to help! As we say, a gallon of paint is nothing without a coat of professionalism! Call us at (360) 903-3352 or contact us here.


We look forward to working with you!

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