How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets

Painting your kitchen cabinets is a great way to blend all your kitchen space into one cohesive unit or to add a splash of color to your food prep area. You can choose to make your cabinets accents or to match the room’s overall décor scheme. There are infinite possibilities to choose from, but no matter which color pattern you go with, understand that painting your cabinets can be tricky. Follow this quick guide to avoid the most common pitfalls. 

Prepare Appropriately

First, you’ll need the right paint for the job. This depends on what your cabinets are made out of. You’ll find paint appropriate for several types of surfaces, such as solid wood, laminate, and metal. There are also quality paints made specifically for cabinets of several compositions. At the very least, ensure that your paint is acrylic, not vinyl. Acrylic is latex-based and is more durable and easier to clean in a kitchen setting than vinyl paint. 

Before you get started, understand that this will be a several day affair. Make sure you have the proper safety equipment and, assuming you’re painting in your kitchen, take the proper steps to protect your surfaces and floor. Open the windows for better ventilation before you break out the paint. Empty your cabinets before you start.

Prepare Cabinet Surface

If the cabinet has never been painted, you’ll only have to clean the surface, sand it if it’s a rough surface and you think it will be difficult to get good paint coverage, and prime it. If there’s old paint on the cabinet, you can either prime over it or strip the paint using a specialized product you apply with a brush. You’ll also need to repair any damage to the cabinet like holes or cracks before you begin. Remove the cabinet doors and drawers so you can reach all surfaces. 

Sanding is not always necessary, but it does make it easier for the paint to adhere to the cabinet surface. Make sure you have wiped away all debris, dust, and dirt from the cabinet before you start priming. Some kitchen cabinet painters even vacuum the surface and use a tack cloth to remove any fine particles. 

Wait until the primer has dried before you try to move things around to reach another area. For example, when priming your cabinet door, wait until it dries before flipping it over to prime the other side. 

Apply Two Coats of Paint

After you have created a smooth, primed surface to paint, you’ll likely want to apply two coats to completely cover the cabinet and cover any dark colors on its surface. Wooden cabinets have knots and grain texture, for example, and many cabinet paints won’t completely blot them out with one coat.

You’ll have to wait at least four hours in a well-ventilated, dry room for the paint to dry and to apply the second coat. After the second coat, you can re-attach the doors, drawers, etc. 

For more kitchen painting tips, contact Ireland’s Finest Painters.

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