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Painting Kitchen Cabinets-Step by Step
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Painting Kitchen Cabinets-Step by Step

I would like to start off by saying that if you are going to tackle painting your own kitchen cabinets, it is NOT as easy as it seems. It also takes a little bit longer than the DIY shows make it seem.
Hiring a professional painter to refinish your cabinets will still save you a lot of money if you are thinking of replacing your cabinets.
Still with me? Ok. Let's get started. First you will need to make a list of all the materials you will need for the job.
1. Paint (oil-which is more durable but dries slow/latex-not as durable but dries quicker)(semi gloss, gloss, or if you are going to use Benjamin Moore Oil, I recommend Satin Impervo)
2. Primer (I would recommend using a bonding primer for good adhesion)
3. Krudkutter or TSP or any degreaser
4. Rags, Sponges
5. 2 buckets
6. Sandpaper (220 grit, 120 grit)
7. Tack cloth
8. Paint Brush (I use a 2 inch flat brush but use what you prefer)
9. 7 inch roller pan
10. 4 inch roller cage
11. Pack of 4 (4" roller covers- 1/4" nap)
12. Painters plastic (to cover counter)
13. 2x4's to lay the doors on when drying
14. Dropcloths
Now Let's Get To Work
Step 1: cover your counter with painter's plastic and cover the floor with dropcloths.
Step 2: remove the hardware from all of the cabinets, marking each one, if necessary with tape. I like to use a left to right and top and bottom system. For example, T-1 would be the top left cabinet. After you remove all of the hardware, and it's marked, I recommend that you keep it in a ziplock bag until you are finished painting.
Step 3: remove the doors and hinges. Again marking everything if necessary.
Step 4: with your TSP or degreaser thoroughly clean all areas of the cabinet doors and boxes that are going to be painted with a sponge. With a damp rag, I like to wipe down the areas as soon as I degreased them.
Step 5: After your cabinets have dried, look for any imperfections. If you see any this is the time to use wood putty and fill the areas in. When the putty has dried, use the 120 grit sandpaper and sand down the areas going with the grain.
Step 6: Sanding produces dust and you have to get rid of it. I always carry a little pocket duster with me but if you have a dustbuster this will work just fine. Vacuum all loose dust and then use your tack cloth to get all of the fine dust off of all cabinets.
Step 7: Now you are ready to start priming. I always start with the outside of the doors. Start on the inside of the panel and work your way out. When you finish the first side of all of the doors, you can start on the boxes as the doors are drying. It is very important to let the primer dry completely.
Step 8: After you have finished priming all areas to be painted, grab the 220 grit sandpaper and sand all areas to make sure there are no brush strokes. When finished, grab the dustbuster or duster and vacuum the dust and once again use the tack cloth for the remaining dust.
Step 9: Apply 2nd coat of primer and repeat Step 8.
Step 10: Now you are finally ready for the topcoat. Just like you did with the primer, start on the doors and apply the first coat on the outside of the doors. When you finish you can move to the cabinet boxes. If you are using an oil topcoat it will take at least 24 hours to dry in between coats. For this reason, I like using an acrylic latex topcoat which will try in 4 to 6 hours. After the side of the doors is dry flip over and paint the other side. You will have to apply 2 coats of the topcoat but when you are finished you will be proud of the job you did and the money you saved.

3 Comments to Painting Kitchen Cabinets-Step by Step:

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madeforart on Tuesday, May 21, 2013 10:33 PM
As a Newbie, I am permanently searching online for articles that can help me. Thank you
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In Between Furniture on Monday, September 22, 2014 5:22 AM
Awesome Tips for kitchen painting. I was searching for this type of information. I really appreciate your work.

www on Friday, November 10, 2017 1:57 AM
Great site!
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