the painted surface
How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets - page 1
Are your kitchen or bathroom cabinets ready for a makeover?
Dark or out-dated kitchen and bath cabinets can drain the life from a room. The cabinets may be structually sound but are in definite need of a cosmetic makeover. Try resurrecting the space with a few coats of new paint. You will save thousands of dollars by painting the old cabinets instead of replacing or refacing them. For a few hundred dollars and several hours of work the average kitchen or bathroom can be revitalized. A kitchen with 20 to 40 cabinet doors and drawer fronts can be painted in 3 to 5 days. Add some more time if the interior of the cabinets and drawers will be painted.
Of course you will need some tools, you might find “The Painter's Toolbox” helpful. Also, you will need some small plastic bags or paper sacks to store the hinges, screws, knobs and drawer pulls, a cordless drill or screwdriver, black permanent marker, screw-eye hooks, hanger hooks, degreaser, wood putty or spackling and masking tape.
Now is good time to consider the type of paint to use for the cabinet makeover. Some general guidelines can be found at “Paint Types and Their Uses”. The main decision to make is whether to use oil-based enamel or water-based acrylic paint for the finish coats. The oil paint is more durable but the acrylic paint will be easier to use for some folks. A primer should be chosen also. Look for one that adheres well to old finishes, sands easily leaving a smooth surface, seals well and fills small scratches and wood pores.
This article will take you through the various steps and methods used to paint kitchen cabinets. You may encounter specific situations not covered here and would like to ask us a question, you may contact the painted surface at “Ask the Expert”. We also welcome your tips and suggestions that will be added to our site.
Decisions made before painting the kitchen cabinets.
A satin oil-base enamel was chosen as the type of paint to use, the satin finish is a low-luster gloss that will not show alot of glare and is durable and easy to clean. The cabinet color is “Antique White” from Sherwin-Williams. Antique White complemented the background color and contrasted well with the darker colors of the granite countertop. The walls after the wallpaper removal were painted “Camelback”, also from Sherwin-Williams. It is a good to know the colors before priming in case you will need to tint the primer. A small amount of umber colorant was added to the cabinet primer to help the hiding power of the primer and paint. New knobs and hinges were on hand to test for size and appearance. The new knobs were to be placed in the same position as the old ones so the holes did not need to be patched and new ones drilled. The new hinges were the same style as the old ones but a slight difference in size required the rabbet on the back of the cabinet doors to be trimmed back about 3⁄16 of an inch for the doors to close properly. The stove's hood and backsplash was to be replaced so they were removed before painting. The old countertop was removed and the new one installed. After removing the old countertop do any wall repair or prep before the new countertop is installed.
Painting kitchen cabinets - Day one
Work Area - A work station was set up in the garage to prep and paint the doors and drawers. The garage door should be open for ventilation. You'll need a sturdy table or workbench close to an electrical power source. The area should be large enough to work safely with enough space to stack or distribute the drawers and doors while the paint is drying.
Drying Rack - For this job a temporary drying rack was built. Wooden closet rods were taped to two step ladders set side by side and spaced about 4 feet apart. Using a strong tape such as duct tape one rod was taped to the top and one on each side of the ladders. This provided a place to hang about 30 doors, enough for all of this kitchen's cabinet doors.
Remove the Doors and Drawers - I find it easier to first remove all of the knobs or pulls, storing them and the screws in baggies. Take out all of the drawers and mark them and the space. Even though the drawers are various sizes and replacement is fairly obvious it is good to know exactly which opening they belong in case of subtle differences in sizes or track positioning. Each door was inspected for need of cleaning and repair. As you take down the doors it is important to mark or number their location and orientation. Sizes and hinges may be slightly different and you will want to know exactly where each door should be located. If the old hinge is to be reused its location should be marked also. A number written on the back and either a ”b“ for bottom hinge or a ”t“ for top hinge corresponding to the cabinet door's number will make replacement much quicker and easier. To mark the doors number them under where the hinge was and cover the number with a small piece of removable tape. As the doors are removed inspect each one for areas that may require special cleaning or repair.
Cleaning - The doors and drawers will probably need some cleaning. Whatever is used to clean them it should rinse completely leaving no residue that would weaken the adhesion of the primer or paint.in this case all of the pieces and the cabinet frames were wiped clean with denatured alcohol. TSP or Spic and Span could also be used. Rinse and wipe dry with clean cloths and allow to air dry completely. More kitchen cabinet painting info is continued on page 2...