How to Paint Non-Wood Kitchen Cabinets

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Non-wood cabinets are generally cheaper than real wood cabinets and will serve the function just as well. Just because the cabinet is not real wood does not mean you can't paint it if you want to remodel. Painting a surface is always possible if you use the right paint and paint primer. Most non-wood cabinets are laminate over particle board and easily painted with a latex primer and latex or alkyd paint.

Things You'll Need

  • Latex primer
  • Latex paint or alkyd paint
  • High-velocity, low-pressure paint sprayer
  • Screwdriver
  • 220-grit sandpaper
  • Table
  • Tarp
  • Small boxes
  • Cloth
  • Unscrew the hinges from the cabinets, using a screwdriver. Remove the doors from the cabinets and any decorations you do not want painted. Completely disassemble the cabinets as per how they were constructed. Move the pieces into a well-ventilated area, preferably a garage or outside. Lay the pieces down on the table. Sand each piece of the cabinet where you want to apply paint. Remove the pieces from the table when they are all adequately sanded--that is, when the shine of the laminate is gone. Wipe down each piece with a damp cloth to remove any dust or specks.

  • Place small boxes on top of a table that has a tarp on top of it. Prop a piece of the cabinet on top of each box. Fill the paint canister to the HVLP paint sprayer with latex primer. Spray the primer onto the cabinet pieces one side at a time. Spray 12 inches away from the surface of the cabinet in sweeping motions that go up and down or across the piece in sections. Many thin coats are better than one sloppy coat. Prime each side of the cabinet evenly and let them dry.

  • Fill the HVLP paint sprayer canister with the latex or alkyd paint. Apply the paint the same way you applied the primer. Paint a side facing up and the sides, then allow the piece to dry. Flip it over and paint the opposite side. Continue this process until all the cabinets are fully primed, painted and dried. Reassemble the cabinets and touch up any areas that get scratched in the reassembly process.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear protective eyewear, gloves and a breathing mask.
  • Always paint, prime and use the paint sprayer in a well-ventilated area.

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