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How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets

Updated: Dec 19, 2023

Your Kitchen Cabinets Don’t Need to Be Taken Down When Painting


Have your kitchen cabinets seen better days?  If they are smudged with old fingerprints or spattered with grease that refuses to come off no matter what the homeowner does, it might be time to repaint. The following are some tips on how to paint kitchen cabinets.


a handyman prepping kitchen cabinet for paint
Prepping Kitchen Cabinet for Paint

A surprising number of homeowners think that in order to paint kitchen cabinets, especially wall cabinets, they need to be taken down. This belief is simply not true. However, the cabinet doors and drawers should be removed and painted separately.



Though cabinets don’t need to be removed, the painter needs to prepare well in advance. First, you need to know what material your cabinets are made of and find the paint and other supplies that are right for that material. For example, cabinets made of laminate need a special type of primer, and the laminate itself needs to be in good condition before the job begins.



As a homeowner, you should buy the highest quality paint that you can afford, and read the instructions carefully. As for the type of paint, cabinet refacing experts recommend one with a semi-gloss finish. A paint with a high gloss is too shiny for the kitchen, and flat finish paints are tough to clean.


Prep the kitchen area


It typically takes a few days to paint kitchen cabinets. As a painter you want wear old, comfortable clothes that you don’t mind getting paint on and perhaps safety goggles. You should also keep the windows open.



The painter should also check the condition of the old paint. If it’s sound, it can be painted over, but if it’s in bad shape some cabinet refacing may be in order. The easiest way is to brush on a stripper, wait a while, then scrape the old paint off. Let it dry, then sandpaper off the rest of the old paint.

Add Primer

After cabinet refacing, primer should be applied. The best technique is to start inside the cabinet and work outward. An angled brush is good to get into tight corners. A mini-roller can be used on larger, flat surfaces. After the primer has been applied, use a dry brush or roller to lay off, or smooth out the surface. Add primer to the doors and the drawers, and let the paint dry thoroughly.


Apply Paint


As with primer, paint can be applied to your kitchen cabinets with a roller or a brush. The frames should be painted first, laid off and allowed to dry completely. Then, add the finish coat of paint, and let it dry thoroughly. Though it may be tempting, don’t put everything back together until the paint is completely dry. This can take a few days.  


Painting and Kitchen Remodel Ideas


Some homeowners wonder if it’s enough just to paint their cabinets and start to consider kitchen remodel ideas. Though a kitchen remodel is desire for many Massachusetts homeowners, a full remodel is expensive. If you need more than just Painting the cabinets, you may consider refacing your kitchen cabinets, which is far less costly, less time-consuming and much less aggravating, and many homeowners are pleasantly shocked to see how this simple job refreshes the overall look of their kitchen.


Summary


Homeowners wonder if it’s enough just to paint their cabinets and start to consider kitchen remodel ideas. Though a kitchen remodel is desired for many Massachusetts homeowners, a full remodel is expensive. If you need more than just Painting the cabinets, you may consider refacing your kitchen cabinets.



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