Tips & Tricks For Painting Kitchen Cabinets

PaintKitchenCabinets-ClaffeysPaintingAre your kitchen cabinets starting to look a little old, tired, boring, and outdated? Would you like to just replace them with something new and updated, but it’s just too costly? Painting is a great way to bring them up to date:

  • It’s more cost effective
  • You can add some fresh color to your kitchen
  • It’s become a very current and popular thing to do.
  • You can paint almost any cabinet face, new or old, as long as it can be “scuffed” up so the paint will adhere to it.

While painting your kitchen cabinets is a great idea, it’s a project that you shouldn’t just jump into, and it’s a project that will take time to do so you’re proud of it.

Tips to paint your kitchen cabinets and be proud of them:

  1. Begin by understanding that you can’t complete the project Saturday and Sunday, it’s not a weekend project. Decide that no matter how long it takes, you’re going to enjoy the time spent, the creativity, and the finished results.
  2. Choose the right paint for the job:
    1. Although it’s harder to clean up, oil-based paint is the best paint for the job, it has a harder finish, will last longer and you can buy it in the kind of sheen you want. A nice low sheen finish is an eggshell oil. Most people don’t want really shiny cabinets, so a semi-gloss or satin usually works best.
    2. Choosing the right paint also means choosing the right color…considering the style of your kitchen will help you decide which colors go will work the best:
      1. Traditional kitchens are typically whites or cream colors
      2. More modern kitchens look great painted bright and vibrant colors
      3. If you want your cabinets to be the accent color in the room, blacks, grays and dark browns work well.
      4. A great idea to do a test of the color you have chosen, is to paint a piece of poster board with a sample of your intended color, hang it in the kitchen for a couple of days to make sure it’s what you really want.
    3. Don’t scrimp on the paint, an inexpensive paint may not give you the finished look that you want, whereas a quality paint will give you a much smoother finish.
  3. Next is the most important step, as it is with all of your projects…PREPARATION! This is not only the most important step, but also probably the most neglected step. The quality of your job depends on how well you prepare.
    1. Totally empty your cupboards.
    2. PreparingKitchenCabinets-ClaffeysPaintingRemove handles, knobs and hinges.
      1. Some people skip this step thinking they’re saving time, and they just paint over the hardware. Not only does that not look professional, but the paint will begin chipping off these parts within just a few weeks.
    3. Remove cabinet doors and drawers and be sure you label where they came from so they fit properly when they are replaced.
    4. Clean all of the surfaces thoroughly, using a grease remover, to ensure your paint adheres.
    5. Repair any damaged areas.
    6. Sand down the cabinets, if you have a rotary sander, they are great for flat spaces, but if you have detail areas on your cabinets you will need to sand those by hand. It isn’t necessary to sand down to bare wood, the goal is to take the previous glossy look off.
      1. Of equal importance as sanding, cleaning off left over dust particles, by vacuuming and wiping down, will help you get a smoother finish that will last longer.
    7. Tape off the areas in your kitchen that are next to your cabinets that you want to remain paint free.
    8. The final step in prepping is priming. This is a critical step. You should avoid using paints that have the primer in them…use a primer that is intended as only a primer.
  4. When the painting is done, give your cabinets ample time to totally dry and cure. Use a little patience and give your doors and drawers the time they need, otherwise you may need to re-sand and re-paint.

Painted kitchen cabinets can be beautiful, if the job is done right…

If you have some cabinets you would like painted and updated, but don’t want to do it yourself,
Call Claffey’s for a free estimate – (425) 888-3634
Claffey’s Painting is a full service painting contractor serving Western Washington, Chelan, Douglas and Kittitas Counties. We have painted over 7000 homes and would enjoy the opportunity to help paint yours. We can guide you through all the decision making processes so you get the right paint for the right job, and the professional job you’re looking for.