Top 10 Things You Wish You Knew Before Painting Your Cabinets
Painting your kitchen cabinets is a big job and takes a lot of preparation. It’s important to take the necessary steps in order to get the painted cabinets you’re looking for. Here are the top 10 things you wish you knew when you started painting your cabinets.
- It Takes a Long Time
- Labeling isn’t Just Convenient
- Clean Everything Thoroughly
- Fix the Dents and Nicks
- Get Used to Sanding
- Remove the Doors & Drawers & Hardware
- Dust One Last Time
- Don’t Forget to Prime
- Make Sure You Have the Right Color
- Wait to Put Everything Back
Cabinet painting takes a long time. You shouldn’t expect to be able to get it done in a weekend. For most DIYers, it takes about a week from start to finish.
Labeling is convenient but it’s also necessary. Over the years, cabinets and drawers move a certain way on their own hinges and roll-outs. So if you put a cabinet back using a different hinge, it may not be straight or move as smoothly as before. Labeling your cabinets, where they go, and the hinges used will save you a lot of trouble.
Kitchen cabinets get really greasy over time and it won’t come off with just water. You’ll have to clean it with a degreaser like TSP to really get off the grime. A dust cloth won’t cut it. If you don’t clean your cabinets well, the paint won’t stick and you’ll have to start all over. Don’t miss this step!
If you want a truly smooth finish, you’ll have to take the time to fill in any dents or nicks with spackling and a putty knife or wood filler. Leveling out these flaws will make a huge difference with the end product.
Once you’ve filled in all the imperfections, it’s time to sand everything down. Sanding will give everything a smooth finish allowing the paint to go on evenly and stick. It’s important to get all the nooks and crannies too, otherwise, you may have some spots on your cabinets that aren’t getting as much paint as others.
Don’t be lazy in this area. Removing the doors and drawers will allow you to lay them down flat to get an even coat. If you don’t remove the hardware, it will rub against the freshly painted cabinets and strip off the paint.
Sanding creates a lot of dust so the dust needs to wiped off or vacuumed. A vacuum will help get everything out of the nooks and crannies and save you some time.
Priming may seem like a waste of time, but it’s not. Primer gives your cabinets a base coat so the color you choose shows up as it’s supposed to. It also doesn’t cost as much as the actual paint you’ll be using, saving you from having to do more coats and costing more money. Choose a high-quality primer and it will save you time as well.
Use a color swatch to determine your cabinet paint color. As a general rule, look at the darkest of the colors on the swatch. If the darkest one has blue undertones, then the others on the swatch will too, even if you can’t see it. A lot of time the color you like will look different once it’s on a large surface area. Test the paints on your wall or a poster board to see how they look in person and in the light of your kitchen. You don’t want to buy a whole bunch of paint only to realize you don’t actually like the color. The samples will give you peace of mind and save you money in the long run. Be sure to use a high-quality paint as well! Your cabinets will last longer with high-quality paint and look so much better.
You may be eager to put everything back in its place once you’ve finished painting, but don’t do it! Paint has to cure for a few days or else it will smudge.
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