Painting Kitchen Cabinets: The Thrifty Kitchen Facelift

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Painting Kitchen Cabinets: The Thrifty Kitchen Facelift

Submitted by: David Faulkner

If you want to give your kitchen a much-needed facelift without calling in a team of design professionals and taking on a budget breaking project, a great place to begin is with your kitchen cabinets. Your kitchen cabinets are the single largest feature of your kitchen d?cor, and painting kitchen cabinets can be one of the simplest ways to make your kitchen look like an entirely new room. The best thing about painting kitchen cabinets is that if you are careful, you can do a professional looking job without ever consulting a professional.

Preparing To Paint

The proper way to begin painting kitchen cabinets is to remove their doors, and if at all possible, take the cabinets off the walls. You will have to put the cabinet hardware–their hinges, knobs or drawer pulls, and screws, aside in a safe place; using a separate baggie for the hardware from each cabinet, labeled so you know where it came from, is a foolproof way to keep track of all the separate pieces.

Once you have removed the cabinet doors and/or the cabinets themselves, the next step to successful painting your kitchen cabinets is to remove them to a well ventilated area and place them on a drop cloth, tarp, or several layers of newspaper.

Sand Before Painting

If your kitchen cabinets have been finished with varnish or polyurethane, you will have to sand them down in order to create a surface to which you new paint will adhere. The same applies if they have been painted with an oil-based paint and you want to repaint them with acrylic paint. Use medium grade sandpaper to start and finish them with fine sandpaper. Use a tacky cloth in between each sanding session to remove the old finish, and never sand without using safety glasses and a face mask.

You will be able to start painting your kitchen cabinets when the old varnish or paint is removed, and the amount of paint you need will depend on the sort of finish you want. A matte finish will require less paint than semi-gloss or high gloss paint. And you are always better off using an acrylic, or latex paint, simply because of the ease of cleanup.

One tip for painting kitchen cabinets is to follow the direction of the wood grain when you are applying your paint. Otherwise your brush strokes will be much more noticeable.

Drying and Reassembling

Let your kitchen cabinet doors dry between coats in a ventilated and dust-free area, and keep them away from the sun if possible, so that their color remains unaffected. While they are drying, you can return to the kitchen and begin work on the cabinet exteriors and frames. Just remember to keep the kitchen doors and windows open.

When both your kitchen cabinet doors and exteriors are dry, you can attach the doors with the hinges and add the handles, drawer pulls, and knobs. If you want to finish the job of painting your kitchen cabinets with a completely different look, you can even add new hardware!

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