Easiest Way to Paint Kitchen Cabinets

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A fresh paint job can add new life to tired and out-of-date kitchen cabinets. Painting offers an economical alternative to replacing cabinets, while still creating a dramatic change to this much-used room of the house. Whether you are covering wood grain, or simply renewing existing painted cabinets, painting is a simple task that can be done even by a home improvement novice.

Preparation

  • Remove all cabinet doors and hardware. If there is any grease or dirt, this is a good time to soak and clean the hardware. Once these items are clean and dry, keep all small pieces together in a zipper bag, as they may be difficult to replace if lost. Doors and cabinets should be cleaned as well, removing all stains, grime, and grease. Any residue left on the cabinets could show through your final paint finish. Once clean, lightly sand cabinets and doors. Removal of the existing finish is not necessary, just rough up the surface to enable a better bond between primer and surface. Remove all sanding residue with a tack cloth or damp rag.

Base

  • Oil based paints and primers offer a stronger paint finish than their acrylic counterparts. Because oil based paints contain harmful fumes, they should only be used in very well ventilated areas. While not as strong as oil based paints, acrylic products do offer a lasting finish, and are easier to clean than oil based products. Never mix acrylic and oil based paints. Acrylic primer can only be used with acrylic paint, likewise oil based products must be used together. The combination of acrylic and oil based products results in bubbled paint that will not dry, and may ruin your cabinets. Once a primer has been chosen, apply to cabinets and doors with a paint roller, which will provide a smoother finish than a brush, but brushes can be used in small areas and corners. Allow primer to dry according to instructions on the can.

Paint

  • Once primer has cured for the suggested time, paint may be applied. Again, a paint roller should be used to create a smooth finish. Several coats will likely be necessary, depending on the color you have chosen. Allow the first coat to dry no less than 24 hours to prevent a tacky final result. Remaining coats can be added after the previous coat is dry to the touch. Once the final coat has been allowed to dry to a solid finish, usually after 24 hours, hardware can be reattached and doors hung.

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