July 19, 2024
How to paint kitchen cabinets? Easy tips, techniques, and other details explored

Painting kitchen cabinets is one way to give a home an easy refresh without going to the expense and inconvenience of a full remodel.

Updating tired cabinets with paint or experimenting with different colors and finishes can brighten an old kitchen and breathe new life into the family room. Here, we will outline basic tips and techniques to get one started on an easy DIY project, whether you are a pro or a beginner about to undertake your first home painting project.

For starters, one willl need to paint-prep the cabinets, which includes cleaning the surfaces to remove cooking grease/dirt/dust/grime and sanding them to a smooth, receptive surface the paint adheres to.

One will also want to take time to remove the cabinet doors and hardware, and carefully label each with painter’s tape for reassembly.

Prepping the cabinets is going to be the most time-consuming and crucial part of the entire project, so make sure to stick it out through the preparation process and not jump to the fun part of painting.

Taking due care to prep the cabinets will yield a long-lasting and polished paint finish that one can be proud of, improving the functionality and beauty of the kitchen for years to come.


Getting the kitchen cabinets started and more

Buy good paint, and put some elbow grease into it

Good paint and brushes and rollers for painting cabinetry will apply easier and better and last longer for the kitchen cabinets.


Dry scrub and sand

Scrub the surfaces of the cabinet to remove grease or grime that may have built up over the years. Next, lightly sand the cabinets – this is a very important step particularly if you like a professional-looking finish.


Prime after painting

Preferably, paint and prime rather than vice-versa, but there’s a case to be made for applying the primer before applying paint when working with stained cabinets.

Priming before painting can seal the surface, improve paint adhesion and help prevent any stains from bleeding through. Choose a primer that’s formulated to adhere to cabinet doors, and follow the manufacturer’s directions for application.


Thin coverage

Thin out the paint by using multiple coats (thin coat one, thin coat two, thin coat three), rather than making thick paint (thick coat one).


Why one thins

So no one gets runs, sludges and other puddles of unapplied mess. Allow each coat to dry fully before applying the next.

Break the work into little sections, several square feet each, so one won’t get so overwhelmed by painting the entire kitchen that one ditches the idea of giving the cabinets a smooth, even finish for kitchen cabinets.


Details, details, details

When painting around edges, corners, and small detailed areas, slow down, use the smallest brush one has, or a foam brush, and make sure that one continues to smear out drips and brush strokes as one paints them.


Consider cabinet doors separately

If one is painting just cabinet doors, select the cabinet doors first for painting. That way, as they are bare on all sides, one can paint them more conveniently. Also, the access to all sides is better, making painting kitchen cabinets easier.


Give drying time

Each coat needs to have good drying time between the coats of paint and before opening cabinets, so plan accordingly. Don’t rush the process, or the of risk smudges, print and even ruining the final look entirely for the kitchen cabinets.



Some tricks explored

Paint in a well-ventilated area

If one is working in an interior, this is a must: no one wants to be breathing in the fumes from the paint and primer. Open windows, and use fans to increase airflow.


Give ample drying time

Take one’s time, and make sure to wait between layers for good, full drying. Don’t rush this part, or the finish will show evidence.


Reattach the hardware reversely

When the paint is completely dry, reattach the cabinet doors and labels on the doors, and be sure to guide the hardware in carefully.


Add a protective topcoat

If you want a finish on the paint job that will resist stains and scratches, ask the paint store about a clear, protective topcoat for the kitchen cabinets.


Painting kitchen cabinets oneself can be a fine DIY project, an inexpensive way to rejuvenate the kitchen when one is not yet ready for a full kitchen remodel.

As long as one uses good materials, premium finishes and excellent techniques, one can achieve professional results. Eventually, updating one’s cabinets by painting them oneself will revive the cabinetry, return appeal to the kitchen and save one truckloads of money.

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