the painted surface
Cabinetry is very expensive to completely replace, so painting the cabinets can be an economical alternative. With a new finish and hardware the cabinets appearance is totally renovated. There are many faux finishes also available such as crackle, two-toning and antiquing, these techniques will be applied additionally after the cabinets have been repainted. Sometimes they just need a change of color. Here are some steps to consider to achieve a quality base or finish coat.
- Remove hardware, doors and drawers.
- Wash, rinse and dry.
- Patch holes and dings.
- Sand, dust and spot prime.
- Apply a primer coat.
- Apply a durable finish.
- Install new hardware and enjoy.
Remove hardware... Remove handles and doorknobs, storing them and their screws in baggies if they are to be reused. The old hinges should also be removed making sure they are interchangeable with each other, if not mark them in some order for reinstalling. If new hinges are to be used make sure they will fit the doors. Swap out some of the old hinges with the new ones to determine if the doors will open and shut properly. It is common for hinges to have slight size differences though they look the same that may cause the doors to have to be trimmed. If trimming is needed now is the time to do it. Emptying the drawers will make the painting easier and give you the opportunity to determine if the entire drawer needs to be painted or just the drawer front.
Wash, rinse and dry... If the cabinets are dirty or greasy they should be cleaned. The new paint will adhere more firmly to a clean surface. Rinse off the cleaner well and allow to dry completely.
Patch holes and dings... Determine if the new hardware will fit the old screw holes. If not, patch the previous holes and drill new ones matching the size requirements for the new hardware. Now is a good time to inspect for and repair bumps and dings that might distract from the new look destined for the cabinets.
Sand, dust and spot prime... Sand all surfaces to smooth and provide a good surface for the new paint. Vacuum to remove the grit and fine particles left after sanding. A tack cloth will pick up the finest of the dust particles. After sanding spot prime the patched areas. This is needed to seal the patching compound, which is porous, preventing the finish coats from sinking or dying into the patched areas.
Apply a primer coat... If the new paint is not compatible with the old surface, a primer coat should be applied. This will be determined by the type of finish used compared to the previous type already on the cabinets. If the paints are the same a primer coat may not be required. A general rule is an oil-based paint can be applied over an oil or water-based paint but water-based paint can only be applied over another water-base paint. Test to be sure.
Tip !!! Before beginning a project you may need to know what type of paint you will be painting over because water-based paints will not adhere well to oil-based paints, but you can paint with an oil paint over a water-based paint. To determine if the old paint is water-based (latex or acrylic), wet a rag with denatured alcohol and rub an inconspicuous spot. If the paint dissolves onto the rag, it is latex and can be painted with water or oil-based paint. If the paint does not disolve it is oil-based and should be painted over with oil paint. Should it be required that an acrylic paint be used over an oil paint then sand and prime the surfaces before using the acrylic paint.
Apply a durable finish... Apply a durable finish. Cabinet drawers and doors are handled frequently so a good quality paint is a must. Oil-based paints will provide the most durable and washable surface. Spraying the cabinets results in a superb finish but this is not always possible. When using a brush, a slight thinning of the paint may improve the finish. Two thin coats will give a superior finish over a single coat applied too heavily.
TIP !!! Avoid using a pure white primer or paint as it will not cover as well as an off-white shade. If a very white look is desired, try using a paint with a touch of umber colorant added. This will still look white but will result in more consistent and opaque appearance.
Install new hardware and enjoy... When thoroughly dry re-install the hinges, hang the doors and slide in the drawers. Everything is ready for installing the new knobs and handles. If holes need to be drilled and was not done prior to painting do so carefully from the front side to avoid a tear out on the show side. Practically new cabinets are ready for use and they only cost a fraction of replacements.
More helpful painting tips, techniques and how-to articles can be found by following these links.
How To Paint a Room ◊ How To Paint a Stairway ◊ How To Paint a Two-Story Room ◊ How To Choose Colors ◊ Six Step Color Choice ◊ Popular Color Ideas ◊ How To Choose Paint ◊ Tools ◊ How To Caulk ◊ How To Patch a Hole ◊ How To Patch a Crack ◊ How To Cut In a Wall or Ceiling ◊ How To Roll a Wall or Ceiling ◊ How To Paint Woodwork ◊ How To Paint a Window ◊ How To Paint Baseboard ◊ How To Paint a Door ◊ How To Paint Crown Moulding ◊ How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets ◊ How To Choose a Premium Paintbrush ◊ How To Paint a MDF Bookcase ◊ How To Paint Aluminum or Vinyl Siding ◊ How To Paint Over Faux Finishes ◊ How To Use Magnetic Paint ◊ How To Use FrogTape ◊ How To Paint Repair Water Damaged Drywall ◊ Hiring a Contractor ◊ Paint Stripper Safety ◊ Painting Louvered Shutters ◊ 2013 Color Trends ◊ Choosing Front Door Colors