If you want to upgrade your kitchen without spending a lot of money, knowing how to paint kitchen cabinets is the perfect DIY solution.
New types of water-based cabinet paint like acrylic alkyds and acrylic urethanes have made it much easier to get a durable, professional-looking job.
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These finishes can be cleaned up with water and don't make your house smell like a chemical factory. And quality tools like mini rollers and good consumer-grade sprayers allow even beginners to get pro results.
Painting cabinets is a messy job, and the last thing you want is paint all over your countertops as you learn how to paint kitchen cabinets. An easy way to protect your countertops, backsplash and floor is to cover them with inexpensive rosin or brown builder's paper.
Remove Doors, Drawer Fronts and Hardware
We've all seen painting projects where the hinges and hardware are covered with paint and paint is slopped over drawer interiors. It's tempting to leave the doors in place for painting as you begin your how to paint kitchen cabinets project, but you'll get a much neater and more professional-looking job by removing them, as well as all the hardware. On many modern cabinets, drawer fronts can be removed from the drawer by backing out a few screws. But if your drawer fronts are part of the drawer and can't be removed, use masking tape to cover the drawer sides and bottom if you don't want to paint them.
For best kitchen cabinet painting results, don’t skip any of these steps:
Label your doors
Start by making a quick sketch or two showing all the doors and drawers as you learn how to paint kitchen cabinets. Number them however you want. Then label the doors and drawers with the corresponding number when you remove them. Write under the hinge locations where it won't be visible. Then cover the numbers with masking tape to protect them while you're painting.
You better get the grease off
Even the best paint for kitchen cabinets won't stick to greasy cabinets. So the first critical step in preparing how to paint kitchen cabinets is to clean them with a grease-cutting solution. Dishwashing liquid will work, but a dedicated grease remover like TSP substitute is even better. Mix according to the instructions and scrub the cabinets. Then rinse them with clear water and wipe them dry with a clean rag.
Don't Go Overboard on Sanding
You should sand cabinets before beginning your how to paint kitchen cabinet project to give the new paint a good surface to grip. But you don't need to sand to bare wood. If your cabinets have a factory finish, sand lightly with 120-grit sandpaper or a sanding sponge. If the surface is rough from a previous paint job or poor varnishing job, start with coarser 100-grit paper to remove bumps. Then sand again with 120-grit to get rid of any sanding marks.
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Pro Tip: Use an enamel underbody primer. Also, when they're dry, oil-based primers like Benjamin Moore Fresh Start Enamel Underbody sand easily to provide a perfect base for your finish coat.
Some types of wood have grain with many open pores.
The pores show through finishes and are especially noticeable under paint. It's OK to leave the grain showing, but if you want a smooth, grain-free look, you'll have to fill the pores before painting.
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