Prep Your Cabinets Before Painting

Painting kitchen cabinets is a great way to give them a new look without breaking the bank. Whether you’re painting the cabinets themselves or the doors and drawer fronts, there are a few things to keep in mind that will make your job easier and result in a better finish.

First and foremost, it’s important to clean the cabinets properly. Use a spray degreaser and wipe down all surfaces with a rag, removing any oils and grease that could compromise the paint’s adhesion. If you’re using a stronger cleaner, make sure to wear protective gear and follow the directions on the container.

Next, apply a coat of primer to the surfaces of the cabinets. This will create a barrier to the paint so it will stick better and last longer. Choose a latex or oil-based primer based on the type of paint you’ll be using.

When choosing a paint, pick a color that will match the rest of your kitchen decor. For example, if you want to have a rustic style, select a brown that will compliment the wood grains and knots in your cabinets. You can also use a dark gray, such as charcoal, to give your cabinets a distressed look.

Regardless of your chosen finish, make sure you have all of the tools necessary for the project. For instance, you’ll need a good set of brushes and a paint roller or sprayer.

Lay Down a Drop-Cover
Before painting your kitchen cabinets, cover the walls and backsplash with kitchen cabinet painting a drop-cloth to protect them from drips or smudges. You may need more than one drop-cloth if the cabinets are very large or have extensive trim around them.

Sand Your Cabinets Before Painting
Next, sand the surface of each cabinet to remove any imperfections or scratches that might prevent the primer from sticking to it. You’ll want to use a 220-grit sandpaper to lightly sand the cabinet surfaces, but not to the wood itself.

This is a light sanding that will give the primer something to hold onto, but not so much that it rubbed off all the paint or stain from your cabinet’s previous finish. Once you’re finished sanding, vacuum the cabinet and wipe down with a tack cloth to remove all sanding dust.

Once all of the sanding is done, it’s time to prime your kitchen cabinets and begin painting them! Once you’ve applied the primer, wait 24 hours before applying a second coat. This will allow the primer to dry thoroughly before you apply the second coat of paint.

You should also consider getting a second set of eyes to check your work. It’s always easier to spot errors when you can view the painted surface from different angles.

Lastly, set up a table where you can paint the insides and outsides of your cabinets. This way, you can see any drips or runs and fix them before they become visible when you’re painting the door and drawer fronts.

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