One of my favorite home improvement subjects is kitchen cabinet painting. This is because it can be done relatively inexpensively and you can do it yourself. Often the task is easily completed in a weekend and the results on an old kitchen are dramatic.

Here are six basic steps to take in order to accomplish a do-it-yourself kitchen cabinet painting project:

Step 1: Sizing up your job.

Cabinets made of wood; wood laminates and metal are easily repainted. If your cabinets are made of plastic laminates the process could require a little more consideration. Those that are able to be painted over may require special techniques and materials. If your project involves plastic laminates it is recommended that a professional dealer be consulted. Always test a sample of the selected paint on an obscure area to ensure proper bonding occurs before committing to using your selection of paint.

There are a variety of applications to choose from. Paint can be applied with brushes, rollers or by spraying. Each has its own advantages or disadvantages. You experience and the amount of painting to be done are good indicators for which is best for you. Another implication might be the type of paint or finish you have selected.

Step 2: Removal of the Doors and Hardware

As you remove the doors and drawers you want to also remove all hardware. Hardware consists of knobs, pulls, hinges and latches. It is always a good idea to put these in a safe container to ensure that nothing is lost. Another good idea is to number the doors and drawers to ensure they are put back in their original places.

Step 3: Cleaning the Repainted Surfaces

Kitchens are used extensively in your home. Because of this they are also victim to grease and oil. Steam is a contributor as well. Food splatter also increases the need to ensure that all surfaces be thoroughly cleaned before you begin the work process. There are a variety of cleaners available for removing residue from the paintable surfaces. Avoid cleaners that contain oils. A degreasing solution is best. Make sure that all surfaces are rinsed well but not saturated. They need to be completely dry before continuing to the next step. Bathroom cabinet refacing

Step 4: Sanding the Repainted Surfaces

Light sanding is all that is usually required to prepare for painting. It is recommended that a sanding block be used to avoid rounding of corners and edges. If you are not painting the inside areas of the cabinets simply mask off the interiors with masking tape. You need only sand the front surfaces and whatever edges are visible. As long as the old paint is well adhered and sound it is not necessary to completely remove it. The goal here is to rough up the surface so that the new paint will adhere to it properly. A good rule of thumb to go by is to sand until all shiny surfaces have been dulled. Make sure that all dust from sanding is removed before you continue to the next step.

Step 5: Priming the Cabinets

The first consideration is to applying a coat of primer and/or sealer. Do this evenly on all surfaces. This will supply a proper surface for the new paint to bond to. This will ensure that the new paint is bonded properly and sufficiently durable after it is completely cured (dried).

Step 6: Painting the Cabinets

This is always a favorite place to be with your project. Start your painting with the face frames by painting the inside edges and frame faces. From there move to the outer sides of the cabinets. These areas are done quickly and since they are less visible it is a good chance to get warmed up to the project without making mistakes on the more visible areas. Be sure to correct any drips and smudges while the paint is still very fresh.

The doors and drawers are next. Don’t forget to include any trim molding that may apply. Apply your paint thoroughly and evenly. Be sure that the material flows into any cracks, joints or crevices as you go without allowing it to build up. Apply a thin, even coat without overworking the brush. This will create bubbles and blemishes.

Allow four hours between coats and lightly sand each coat before reapplying paint. Due to the high usage of kitchen cabinets it is recommended using three coats. You won’t be sorry that you did.


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