DIY kitchen cabinet painting presents challenges even to skilled homeowners. Don’t rush in this crucial stage of remodeling. Remember the outcome can make or break your kitchen space’s appearance. Know the correct procedures to avoid wasting your precious time and money. Here are some tips that can help in this do-it-yourself effort.
Sand and Clean the Wood
You must sand the wood so the paint sticks firmly. Sanding is necessary even if cabinets are in good condition. Different sandpaper categories indicate differences in quality of abrasives, adhesives, and backing material. It is measured according to grit size or a number of sharp fragments per square inch. Density is equally important. Choose the sandpaper’s grit size based on your task.
Heavy sanding/stripping - Coarse variety (40 – 60 grit)
Smoothing and removal of slight flaws – (80 – 120 grit)
Finishing of surfaces – Fine (360 -600 grit)
You may start with lower-grade grit. Then, proceed to finer sandpaper as you move forward. Remove scratches from the preceding layer before advancing to the next. Get rid of the dust and debris before applying primer and paint. A bit of dust ruins the entire look of your cupboard.
Consider a portable electric sander if you have extra budget. An orbital detail model can speed up the painting stage. Purchase plenty of sandpaper if you don’t have cash to spare for this apparatus.
At least 15 sheets each for 80 and 120 grit
10 sheets of 180 grit for sanding between priming and painting coats
Include tack cloths and rubber gloves (20 pieces worth $2 per pack) for removing dust and tiny particles.
Prime the Wood
Don’t omit priming. Otherwise, bulges in the wood will bleed through the paint only after three months. Choose a primer that blocks stains. This variety effectively prevents blotching as the paint dries. Clean the wood surface and sand slightly to expose the grain. All you need is one coating. Choose between brush, sprayer, and roller for application. Sand with 150 grit paper to knock down the grain.
Use the Appropriate Paint
Wall paint are for walls not cabinets. Instead, use the formula that fits cabinetry. Let the primer dry completely. The latex satin gloss works well with cupboards compared to oil-based paints. Alkyd enamel lasts longer. The self-leveling formulation leaves a smoother finish.
Paint products with low VOCs has several benefits. VOC stands for Volatile Organic Compounds which cause various medical conditions. These include headaches, nausea, and breathing problems.
Low VOC paint maintains better quality of air.
It does not produce obnoxious odors.
This variety is inexpensive.
You can clean with water and soap.
The paint is durable and lasts longer.
The paint color must flatter your appliances and furnishings. Many contractors recommend these colors for kitchen cabinet painting:
White and dark gray for brighter look
Crisp white for almost all types of kitchen
Minimalist gray for classic appearance
Animated blue for warm-looking space
Mixture of beige and gray
Detach all the hardware. These include screws, knobs, hinges, and magnets. The process takes time. Yet. It’s important to remove these items temporarily before refinishing. Organize all the items by labeling each fitting with numbers that match the door where these came from. Put a small cut of painter’s tape on top of the number for every door. Remove the tape after you finish painting.
Avoid Messing Up
Roll the carpets. Clear your countertops. Take off the curtains. If you don’t, these fixtures will surely end up splattered with paint and messy. You can use the cheap canvas drop cloth at $10 each or less. Using these cloths will leave the kitchen walls splash-free. Purchase around 10 disposable paint trays. Put these above the real tray to create a firmer surface for rolling on the brush. Just throw the container away after use.
Paint Brushes and Rollers
Get a lot of brushes and rollers. You can reuse brushes several times with enamel paint. However, this is not the case for oil-based varieties. Brush bristles get spoiled easily. This condition makes detailed touch-ups more difficult. Opt for plastic wraps or bags to seal your paint implements overnight. Seal the wrap so paint on the bristles stay wet for the next day.
You should have separate rollers for primer and paint. The packaging helps users to figure out the appropriate rollers. Look for instructions such as smooth cabinet finish. The high-density roller made of foam is meant for enamel variety. A low-nap roller performs efficiently after being wrapped in a plastic baggy overnight. Don’t forget your painter’s tape. It is effective for deep corners.
Bases and Backsides
Focus first on the support and rear portions of the cabinet doors. Finish the sanding and apply primer. Paint the sides mentioned earlier. Allow a few more days for drying than the front doors. These parts hit each other more often. Thus, the foundation and backsides of cabinet doors require 14 days of continuous drying time. By painting the front door last, you don’t need to turn it over for painting the back. It reduces the risk of smears and scratching.
Opt for Light Coating
For kitchen cabinet painting, apply lighter coats to avoid drips. Enamel pain that cures immediately leaves visible drip spots. It will require sanding and repainting. The thinner your coat, the better it will be for you. Add a topcoat of polyurethane, an ideal finish for wooden surfaces. This additional coat forms a barrier for the paint gloss protecting it from fast deterioration.
Kitchen Cabinet Interiors
Never overlook the interiors of cupboards particularly the upper portion and bottom shelves. Sand the insides thoroughly. See to it you apply paint evenly. Badly-painted portions will look unsightly. You can also replace paint with contact paper inside the cabinet. However, it means extra cost to you. The advantage is cleaning, and replacement turn out hassle-free without causing damage to cabinets.