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  • Writer's pictureMike

How To Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets

Updated: Feb 27, 2023

Kitchens are one of the first things people look at when they go into any house. Whether you’re renovating your kitchen in your forever home or doing it to raise the value of your current house, having a beautiful kitchen can really make your place feel more upscale. There are many ways to renovate a kitchen but I found that one of the best and cheapest ways to renovate is by painting your cabinets! If you are considering it, be prepared for A LOT of labor. I say this because when I decided to paint my cabinets I thought it would be a breeze but I couldn't be more wrong. Although there are ways to make it faster, that would mean cutting corners and that’s not something I like to do. If you’re going to renovate anything yourself you might as well do your absolute best job on it.

Prep, prep, prep, and PREP! Get all your materials ready before you do anything. Make sure your workspace is free of clutter and that everything you don't want paint on is covered. Nothing is worse than forgetting something at the store when in the middle of a project.

Now for what most people consider as the “fun” part, picking the color and knob combinations for your cabinets. The choice of the color and knob is completely based on how you want your kitchen to look. Whether you're going for a more modern and cool or minimalist/simple the choice is yours!

After deciding for what I'm sure took hours you probably have your combination picked, it's time to get everything ready before you start taking them off their hinges. If needed, you might need to sand your cabinets in order to take off a layer so the primer/paint can stick. There are products like liquid sander to help with this as sanding can be very tedious and time consuming. Cabinet doors tend to have some grease splashes (especially those near the stove) so make sure they're all clean and ready to go! Prepare yourself an area to work on. I highly recommend painting them in your garage that way you have the room and the smell can be contained in one area.

You’ve done the prep work, you’ve picked the color, you may now begin! Take the cabinet doors off their hinges, take the knobs off the doors, and this time mark each door with their corresponding spot in the kitchen. I marked each cabinet door with a number and put the corresponding number in the cabinet I took them from. This will save you the headache of trying to match them all up later. Sand them down with either this liquid sander or by hand (both of which is a great option). After each sanding phase you must wipe the surfaces with a damp towel to get any residual dust or particles that came from sanding. You can now start with a coat or two of primer. If your cabinets were previously painted then the primer part is not necessary. When you’ve made sure that the coat(s) of primer are dry you can then start with painting your cabinets. I recommend doing at least two coats of paint and even a third one if you really want to do the most for your cabinets. For the absolute best result, make sure you sand and wipe down at every coat of paint and primer. This ensures you have a nice smooth surface. This step really separates a good looking cabinet from a great one! Give the cabinets plenty of time to dry (even more than the manufacturer recommended dry time). There is no need to rush this phase especially cause you're almost done and any mistake here can potentially set you back some time.

Note: When picking paint for cabinet doors, I recommend getting a gloss or high gloss one because this gloss actually acts as a protectant. Gloss paint is commonly used for kitchens as they are a little more durable and won't absorb as much grease as well as easier to clean.

You’re almost there! Put all knobs or handles back on the doors and hook the cabinet doors back up on their hinges (Aren’t you glad you’ve marked each cabinet door on their proper places?). Clean up whatever mess you’ve made along the way and take a look at the work you’ve just accomplished! Not only did you elevate the look of your kitchen but you may have potentially increased the value of your house! I’m so excited to see the transformations you’ve made so make sure you take before and after and send them to us for a chance to be featured in our website and social media!

STEP 1: Prepare everything you’ll need. The most time consuming part of any DIY is forgetting something at the store or in your garage. Preparing stuff beforehand can save you so much time!

Don't forget your paint(s), brushes, rollers, trays, tape, paper covering (or anything you decide to use) and more!

STEP 2: Unhinge all the cabinet doors and this time you should also take off the knobs on them!

I highly recommend using a screwdriver and not a drill when taking off and putting the cabinet doors back on!

STEP 3: Sand the surfaces you’ll paint over and make sure to wipe with a damp rag to get dust and other particles. This will leave a smooth and clean surface (this step may or may not be required depending on the material you're working with). At this time make sure you clean the surface as it may have some grease or other stains on them that can prevent the paint or primer from sticking.

In this step the more time you take to sand and wipe the better the results will look! Oh and also, please wear a mask when sanding! Safety first!

STEP 4: You can now apply your primer. A coat of primer should do the job but two coats would be ideal. After giving it some time to dry, you can now apply the paint of your choice. I highly recommend to sand and wipe after each coat of paint and primer except for the last coat of paint.

Like the step before, the more time you take with this process the better your results will be. Just remember that this is your home and you want to give it your absolute best!

STEP 5: Last and probably the most important step. ENJOY YOUR NEWLY REJUVENATED CABINETS! Be very proud of your work!

Be sure to send us your before and after so we can showcase it in our weekly DIYer!

Things You Need

Disclosure: We at PanHelic are not licensed professionals. Everything we say here is purely our ways of doing DIY. If you need to refer to anyone about code, permits, safety guidelines or anything of relation please contact your local professionals for help.


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