How To Easily Paint Kitchen Cabinets
The kitchen is one of those places inside your house which needs proper cleaning on a regular basis. Not to mention, most of the stuff that you use regularly wears out by the span of a year or two and a lot of people stress themselves out while adding to the expense of renovating the kitchen to their yearly expenses. However, if you plan on taking this tiresome job on your shoulders instead of hiring a professional, you’ll be saving up loads of money that you would have spent otherwise for the same purpose.
The following are the steps that you’ll need while carrying out the job. It isn’t an easy task but if planned out properly, you can pull it off in two days’ time.
- Semi-gloss Paint
- Tack Cloth
- Sanding Block
- Primer Sealer
- Fine-grit Sandpaper
- Painter’s Tape
- Denatured Alcohol
- Paint Applicator
- Trisodium Phosphate (TSP)
- Steel Wool
1. Removing The Hardware And Doors
Before you set out to paint your kitchen cabinets, take the time to take out all the screws and magnets. The list, however, doesn’t end here. Begin with removing the drawers and the doors of the cabinets. Next, head towards taking out the door knobs, magnets, latches, pulls and the screws. Remove any other hardware that may be present after taking out all the items mentioned above.
Even though this is going to take you a while, you can rest assured that it is absolutely worth it. While painting, you will not have to be extra careful when painting around the knobs and other hardware.
2. Organizing The Hardware
After you have removed the screws and all the other hardware from the cabinet, put them inside a plastic bag and keep it aside. However, make sure you keep the bag within your eye range so that you don’t lose sight of it.
While taking out the doors off the cabinet, take a marker pen and label them with a specific number. People usually label the place where the hinge is attached. Keep separate plastic bags for individual cabinets and label the bag as well so that after you have finished painting, you can easily reach out for them. Place painter’s tape on the area before you begin to paint it so that the labeling is still there after the work is done.
On the brighter side, you don’t even need to worry about ruining the spotless look of the cabinet post labeling since it will be shielded with the hinge hardware anyway.
3. Cleaning The Exteriors
Before painting on the surfaces, it is ideal to clean it up so that the dirt does not stick to the paint and give it a dull look. Chances are there is more grease than dust on the cabinets that you may have not have noticed until now. However, it is very natural for cabinets to be covered in grease and grime since it is the part of the house which is used daily. It is likely that the uncountable number of meals that you have made in all these years have resulted in this.
But, there is nothing to stress about because a little bit of TSP (Tri-sodium phosphate) and water is all it will take to give them a good cleaning. Do not ever immerse them in water, especially if you have wooden cabinets since wood soaks in water. After you have cleaned the cabinets, leave them out to sundry.
Sanding is very important before painting cabinets because it gives you a clean slate to start with. All you need to do is take the sanding machine and polish all the surfaces including the inside of the cabinets. However, you need to be careful while sanding the edges to avert them from rounding up. If giving it an overall makeover is all you want, you do not have to give yourself the trouble of sanding the interiors. Using painter’s tape can be a good alternative for this. You’ll only need to stick it and you can start sanding off the edges and the front.
You should know that it is not necessary to remove all of the old paint while sanding the cabinets. If the cabinet is in good shape and the color is still perfect and glued properly to the surfaces, you’re good to go. All you need to do is roughen up the surfaces well enough for enhanced adhesion and an unsoiled base.
You also need to make sure that you have polished the areas which had worn-out earlier and removed the old varnish completely in order to ‘de-gloss’ the cabinet. However, if you are unable to get rid of the finishing using the sanding machine, you can use steel wool and denatured alcohol to clean it.
At times you will need to sand out the cabinets to their wood surfaces if they are in terrible conditions. This may include flaky old paints trapped on the surface of the cabinets which shows that the old varnish could not keep up probably due to all the grease and dust which are often trapped in between the wood surface and the paint. Sometimes the grease is absorbed by the wood making it very difficult it even more difficult to fix it. Although, it is still not beyond repair so you can scale off the damaged part until the fresh and clean wood surface shows up. This will allow the paint to sit well.
After polishing the surfaces, you can use a sealer or stain-killing primer to spot-prime the surface. If you are scraping to plain wood, balance the edges where the wood is touching the paint. This will flat out the surface and the old color of the paint will not peek in through the new varnish.
Using a tack cloth, clean up the surfaces to get rid of the sanding residues from the cabinet. Vacuum out the rest of the dust from the floor and if you are the owner of a pneumatic air compressor, you can use it to the highest pressure to remove the dust from the edges and the crannies.
5. Applying The Primer-Sealer
Overlaying the cabinets with primer-sealer is a must as it makes sure that all surfaces have a perfectly even finish. Not only does it offer a fine base for semi-gloss, water-based paint but when painting the cabinets again, you will not need to sand or deglaze former worn-out finishing. As it is impervious to water, stains can be cleaned effortlessly. Therefore, many homemakers often prefer to use high-gloss enamel paint. However, nowadays most use water-based ones as they provide the same results but are easier to maneuver.
6. Applying The Paint
For speedy progress on the painting, it is advisable to paint the face frame fronts at last. Instead, paint the inner edges and openings of the face frame fronts at first and gently work your way to the external cabinet sides. In this way, you’d be able to avoid and amend most drips or blotches.
The cabinet doors and drawer fronts come next along with separate bits of wood, moldings etc. for those interstices between decorative pieces of wood, make sure to paint them carefully, not letting the paint collect between the cracks.
A very important part of painting kitchen cabinets is to make sure the entire surface gets an even coat. Use thin and light coats but avoid repeated brushstrokes as it may form bubbles which will dry only to create a bumpy surface. This may also result due to the use of an excessive amount of paint. Hence, use light coats which will definitely dry faster and make the brushstrokes almost indistinguishable.
Keep a considerable amount of time in between coats (approximately 4 hours) for the paint to dry. Before a recoat, gently sand the cabinets once more and remove the dust using a tack cloth. Generally, two coats are enough to give you a lush finish but since the kitchen cabinets are always exposed to heat and over-use, a third coat wouldn’t hurt at all.
Spray Painting Kitchen Cabinets
Spray painting requires much less effort than the usual paintbrush and a bucket of paint while coloring your kitchen cabinets. However, prepping remains the same as before. You only need a good paint sprayer and a bucket of your preferable paint for this to work out. Just pour in the paint in the can and your good to go.
Do not forget to prime the cabinets before spray painting them. Keep a distance of about 12 inches between the spray can and the surfaces of the cabinet. You’ll, however, need to keep your hands steady while doing this because you don’t want to put on heavy coats of paint in one area. This will take a lot of time to dry and will stick to surfaces while you are painting the opposite side.
Tips and Tricks for The Best Self-Painted Kitchen Cabinets
- Picking a suitable paint
Not all paints are meant for kitchen cabinets. They tend to chip and wear-out within a short span of years. Hence to get that perfect, smooth finish you must choose a type of paint that is fit for your kitchen cabinets.
Homemakers would definitely recommend using full gloss paint, semi-gloss enamel paint, Alkyd semi-gloss enamel paint or Satin paint. These are very durable paints and have formulae which are self-leveling and thus fulfill their purpose of creating smooth finishes.
- Hardware removal
It may be time-consuming but do make sure to discard all screws, hinges, magnets etc. from the cabinets before starting to paint them. It’s best to start anew than facing hindrances from these afterward.
- Sorting out the hardware
If you’re afraid of getting confused and mishandling all the hardware, a quick solution might be to label the doors with numbers where the hinges or knobs go. Store the hardware for each door in separate zip-lock bags and label them with the same number as the door.
Use a painter’s tape to cover the number on the door. When the paint has dried, removing it will reveal the number. Later when you try to reassemble them, it’ll be just a piece of cake since you already know where the particular hardware for the door is kept.
There’s also no need to worry about the number being visible because it’ll be concealed by the hardware itself!
- Organizing the kitchen tools
Store the contents of each cabinet in labeled plastic or paper bags so when the time comes, they can be arranged back to the way they were, in respective cabinets. Silverware of each kind can be temporarily stored in mugs while you complete your work. Utensils that are of daily-use should be kept on the cooking units and others must be removed so as to avoid cluttering.
- Clearing the room
Clear the room you’ll be working on beforehand. Remove all curtains, rugs and similar paraphernalia so that any mishaps can be averted.
- Handheld Electric Sander
It may just be an excellent idea to either buy or simply rent an electric sander. Sanding is very important to get a smooth and polished surface. Without it, there’s always a chance that the paint nor primer will settle on the surface and eventually chip. Hence to make speedy progress, get your hands on this machine to save both time and labor and to get a smooth surface to work on.
- Purchasing sandpaper
During the project, you will need a huge amount of sandpaper to sand the surfaces in between recoating the paint or primer. You will approximately need 10-15 sheets of 80, 120 and 180 grit sandpaper.
- Purchasing tack cloths
Also, in order to clean the mess created by sanding, you will require tack cloths (used to remove the dust and retain it). So buy them in bulk beforehand. Since tack cloths tend to make hands sticky, it is advisable to buy hand gloves too.
- Oil-based primer
Woods contain tannin which has a habit of leaking into the paint giving it a yellowish tint. An oil-based primer compared to water-based or latex primer is more adept at preventing this discoloration and seals the surface providing a suitable surface for the paint to adhere to.
- Colored primer
Priming requires quite a significant amount of product. For light or pale wood, you may use ordinary primers. But in order to get the right saturation for a darker wood, you may have to use extra coats. However, a more cost effective route would be to get the primer tinted to a darker shade. Hence, instead of having to spend more on extra primer, you can have the same desired results using the same amount of product.
- Canvas drop cloths
These fabrics make it easier to handle all the paint splatters and splashes. Mishaps may occur and it may just be the savior of the day so keep one or two close at hand.
- Paint trays
In addition to using the regular trays, you could also use disposable ones. These will reduce the cleaning work by ten folds and can be discarded after use. The regular tray will support the disposable tray and allow you to roll on the solid surface.
- Additional brushes and rollers
If you are not that keen on cleaning the brushes on and off, buy a few extra ones. Even if you don’t mind the cleaning, keep in mind that after a few washes, the bristles stop functioning properly and become harder after every use. Usually, the enamel paints are easier to scrub off from surfaces using only soap and water. But the ones which are oil-based require more hard work. Hence it is advisable to buy extra brushes to make the job less stressful.
- Sorting out the rollers and brushes for the next use
If you have quite a handful of cabinets here and there in your kitchen, chances are you’ll need two or three days max to get the job done. In such cases, you can store the brushes and the rollers inside a plastic wrap or bag. The brushes stay wet for the next day and prevent you from struggling with the job of softening the brush for hours.
Best Paint For Kitchen Cabinets
If you plan on doing a professionals job on painting the cabinets, you will need the best kind of paint that goes with the material that you’ll be working on. The following are some of the brands that you may look upon while shopping for paints.
- Farrow & Ball Full Glass Paint
- Fine Paints of Europe Eurolux Acrylic Paint
- Behr Alkyd Semi-Gloss Enamel Paint
- Valspar Cabinet Enamel Semi-Gloss Latex Interior Paint
- Benjamin Moore Advance Interior Satin Paint
- Insl-X Cabinet Coat
- Rust-Oleum Cabinet Transformations System
So there you have it! Some clever tricks and tips that will help you to get the job done in a jiffy. But if a friend offers to help, the work will get a lot easier with an extra pair of hands on deck.