Painting cabinets is a great way to give your kitchen a new look without spending a fortune on new cabinets. Whether you have solid wood, laminate, or metal cabinets, you can transform them with some paint and a few tools. We will show you how to prep and paint kitchen cabinets in nine easy steps.
Why Paint Your Cabinets?
There are many reasons why you might want to paint your cabinets, such as:
- You want to change the color or style of your cabinets to match your personal taste or the latest trends.
- You want to update the appearance of your cabinets that have become worn, faded, or outdated.
- You want to protect your cabinets from damage, such as scratches, stains, or moisture.
- You want to increase the value of your home by improving the appeal and functionality of your kitchen.
Painting cabinets can also be a fun and rewarding DIY project that you can do over a weekend or two. You don’t need to hire a professional painter or buy expensive equipment. All you need are some basic supplies, some patience, and some creativity.
What Type of Paint Do You Need for Cabinets?
Before you start painting your cabinets, you need to choose the right type of paint for your cabinet material. There are two main types of paint: oil-based and latex-based.
Oil-based paint is more durable and resistant to water and stains than latex-based paint. It also creates a smoother and glossier finish. However, oil-based paint is more difficult to apply and clean up than latex-based paint. It also takes longer to dry and cure than latex-based paint. Oil-based paint is ideal for solid wood cabinets that are exposed to high humidity or moisture.
Latex-based paint is more user-friendly and eco-friendly than oil-based paint. It is easier to apply and clean up with water than oil-based paint. It also dries and cures faster than oil-based paint. Latex-based paint is suitable for laminate or metal cabinets that are not exposed to high humidity or moisture.
You also need to choose the right color and finish for your cabinets. You can choose any color that suits your taste and style, but make sure it complements the rest of your kitchen decor. You can also choose from different finishes, such as matte, satin, semi-gloss, or gloss. The finish affects the appearance and durability of your paint job. Generally, the higher the gloss, the more durable and easier to clean the paint is. However, the higher the gloss, the more imperfections and brush marks are visible on the surface.
How to Prep and Paint Kitchen Cabinets in 9 Steps
Now that you have chosen your paint type, color, and finish, you are ready to start painting your cabinets. Here are the nine steps you need to follow:
- Prep the room. Remove everything from your cabinets and drawers, and clear off your countertops and appliances. Cover your floors, countertops, appliances, and backsplash with drop cloths or plastic sheets. Tape off any areas that you don’t want to paint, such as hinges, knobs, or hardware.
- Clean the cabinets. Use a degreaser or a mild detergent to wipe down the surfaces of your cabinets and drawers with a sponge or a cloth. Remove any grease, dirt, dust, or grime that might prevent the paint from adhering properly. Rinse with clean water and let them dry completely.
- Fill any holes or gouges. Use wood filler or putty to fill any holes or gouges on your cabinet doors or frames. Smooth out the excess filler with a putty knife or a sanding block. Let the filler dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Sand the cabinets. Use sandpaper or a sanding sponge to lightly sand the surfaces of your cabinets and drawers. This will create a rough texture that will help the primer and paint stick better. Use a fine-grit sandpaper (180-220) for solid wood cabinets, and a medium-grit sandpaper (120-150) for laminate or metal cabinets. Wipe off any dust with a tack cloth or a damp rag.
- Prime the cabinets. Use a primer that is compatible with your paint type and cabinet material. Apply a thin coat of primer with a brush or a roller on all the surfaces of your cabinets and drawers. Follow the grain of the wood if you have solid wood cabinets. Let the primer dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Paint the inside of the cabinets. Use a small brush or a mini roller to apply a thin coat of paint on the inside of your cabinet boxes and shelves. Start from the top and work your way down. Let the first coat dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions before applying a second coat if needed.
- Paint the drawers and door fronts. Use a larger brush or a roller to apply a thin coat of paint on the front and back of your drawers and door fronts. Lay them flat on a work surface or hang them on a rack to avoid drips and runs. Let the first coat dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions before applying a second coat if needed.
- Paint the cabinet frames. Use a brush or a roller to apply a thin coat of paint on the front and sides of your cabinet frames. Follow the same direction as the grain of the wood if you have solid wood cabinets. Let the first coat dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions before applying a second coat if needed.
- Reassemble the cabinets. Once the paint is completely dry and cured, you can reattach your hardware, hinges, knobs, and drawer slides. Reinstall your drawers and doors, and adjust them if needed. Remove any tape or protective coverings, and enjoy your new cabinets.
Painting cabinets is a DIY project that can transform your kitchen with minimal cost and effort. By following these nine steps, you can prep and paint your cabinets in any color and finish that you like. You can also customize your cabinets with different accessories, such as molding, trim, or glass inserts. Painting cabinets can make your kitchen look more modern, fresh, and inviting.