10 Helpful Tips When Painting Your Kitchen Cabinets
Are you looking for a way to spruce up your kitchen without major renovations? Bust out the paint rollers and brushes, and paint those kitchen cabinets! It’s a fun DIY project that—with careful preparation and the right tools—can yield professional-looking results. Still, it may not be as easy as it looks, so here are some tips to help you along. Many homeowners are surprised that kitchen cabinet painting & refinishing is an option that can produce professional results at a fraction of the cost of replacing or refacing cabinets.
Wood Is The Best Material To Paint
A trusted cabinet makers Perth professional can tell you with no hesitation: wooden cabinets are the best cabinets for painting. It doesn’t matter what kind of wood your cabinets are: painted, stained, unfinished, or even engineered wood; the results will always be superior to other materials. Do note, however, that stained and gloss-finished wood must be de-glossed before sanding. Cabinets with a thick layer of old paint should also be stripped before sanding and painting.
This doesn’t mean, however, that other kinds of cabinets can’t be painted. In fact, almost any material can be painted as long as you can apply a primer to it or scrub it with sandpaper to create a rough surface for the paint to stick. However, the results won’t be as good or long-lasting when compared to wooden cabinets.
Remove Doors And Hardware
If you want neat-looking results, you should remove the cabinet doors and hardware, including hinges (if applicable). For modern-style cabinets, the drawer fronts can also be removed. If not, use some masking tape to cover the sides and other surfaces that you don’t want to paint. Removing the doors and hardware also makes your job easier, since you don’t have to work around too many nooks and crannies.
Make Sure To Prepare Properly
Aside from emptying and removing the cabinets and hardware, make sure that the surfaces to be painted are clean and free from grease and oil. You may also want to label which part goes where, so you don’t get confused when it’s time to put them back. Use masking tape to cover areas that you don’t want to accidentally smear paint on, like countertops and hinges. If your cabinets have holes, fill them up first before sanding.
Satin Or Glossy Finish?
The paint finish is all a matter of preference. However, for beginners, satin and eggshell finishes work best. Why? A glossy finish is more likely to show imperfections like uneven coats. However, the benefit of a glossy finish is that moisture beads on the surface instead of getting absorbed. This means it’s easier to clean and it will last longer. Meanwhile, make sure you read the label and ensure that the paint you choose is suited for wood applications. Almost any kind of paint can be used on wooden cabinets, but oil-based paints are ideal since the kitchen is often exposed to moisture.
Choose A Neutral Colour
If you want a colour that goes with anything, go with neutral shades like light or dark grey, taupe, beige, or “greige” (a blend or grey and beige). Another popular colour choice for kitchen cabinets is, of course, white. The fresh and clean look makes the cabinets look bigger and also gives the illusion of more space overall. Other colours that work well in kitchens are pale yellow and blue, mint green, and various bluish shades. These are a little more adventurous, but still work with a variety of colours and finishes of appliances.
Apply Light Coats
When you apply a heavy coat of paint, you run the risk of getting drips, stippled surfaces, and other imperfections. In worst-case scenarios, you’ll end up stripping and re-painting everything. Applying two thin, even coats is the way to go, since the paint will dry and cure faster and better this way.
It’s also good to remember that while wall paint doesn’t need thinning, wood paint needs a conditioner. Most, if not all paints for cabinets, doors, and general woodworks can be a little thick straight out of the can. To get the best results, add a compatible paint conditioner to the paint so it flows better and applies more smoothly. Make sure to read and follow the instructions to know how much paint conditioner you have to add. Finally, if you’re working with leftover paints, make sure to filter it before you apply.
Invest In Quality Tools
Investing in high quality tools can help you produce better results. Moreover, with proper care, you can use the same painting tools for more years to come. For painting kitchen cabinets, 2-inch paint brushes and mini paint rollers are your best friends.
Follow The Wood Grain
To make the job easier and to get the best output, make sure to follow the direction of the wood grain when you apply the finishing coat. For a faster job, on the other hand, you can start with painting using a mini paint roller with foam or microfiber sleeves. Then, run a paintbrush over the coat to smoothen the coat and get rid of roller marks. A helpful tip: rollers with foam sleeves produce the smoothest coats, but you have to reload often since foam rollers don’t hold much paint.
Paint The Insides, Too
When you’re painting kitchen cabinets, it’s easy to forget about the insides. After all, only the outside parts are immediately visible. Still, make sure to paint the insides of the cabinet doors and even the bottoms of the drawers and shelves. This will provide visual cohesion and continuity. Also, completely finished kitchen cabinets are more pleasant to look at.
Clean The Hardware Before Reinstalling
Most likely, it’s been a while since you’ve cleaned your kitchen cabinets’ handles and drawer pulls. Dirty, dull hardware can ruin the look of freshly painted cabinets, so before you put them back, it’s a good idea to clean these parts first. If you have to, soak them in a mixture of water and a suitable cleaning agent, then scrub and rinse thoroughly. Make sure to dry the parts completely before reinstalling them.
Painting looks easy, but it actually needs a bit more preparation and skill than you’d expect. Still, there’s no reason for you not to DIY painting your own kitchen cabinets. With these helpful tips, you’ll be well one your way to giving your kitchen a simple but striking facelift.