Articles / How-To / Video

How to Paint Cabinets Like a Pro

Painted cabinets instantly update a dingy, old space

Painted cabinets can bring new life to any outdated space.  I’ve been dreaming of a creamy white kitchen for years now, unfortunately mine looks dark and dingy.  However, Scott Fox with Harry’s Ace Hardware says I can achieve a professional look on a do-it-yourselfer’s budget.  The devil is in the details and that couldn’t be more true for a project like this.  Before you ever pick up a paint brush, you can expect to spend at least a day doing prep work.

Here’s how you do it:

1. Remove all of your cabinet fronts and hardware.  If you don’t, you’ll get drips and sticks.

2. Mask off any areas you don’t want to paint and cover the floors and counter-tops with butcher paper.

2. If your cabinets are laminate, spray them first with a plastic primer (you’ll find it in the spray paint section).  If your cabinets are wood, sand them down to remove the finish.  Start with a fine grade sand-paper and work your way up to a grade that will remove the finish.  If you start too rough, you may gouge the surface.

3. Wipe off your cabinet fronts and bases with regular kitchen cleaner and a rag or paper towel.  You want the cabinets to be clean, dry and dull before you begin to paint.

4. Decide if you want a latex primer and top coat or paint and primer in one and purchase the highest quality you can afford.  The same goes for brushes- the better the quality, the smoother the finish.  For your paint, choose an semi-gloss, which will be easier to clean down the road.  Bring your paint chips and samples home, because the lighting will be different inside your kitchen than it is in the store.

5. Dip your brush in the paint about 1/4″.  Begin brushing the paint onto your cabinet in long, even strokes, painting with the grain of the wood.

6. Allow ample time to dry between coats and repeat the process.  You can expect to apply about 3 coats for full coverage and allow a couple of weekends for the project.

8. Reinstall cabinets and add new, decorative hardware if desired.

9. Enjoy your beautiful new kitchen!

For more information, watch my video tutorial:

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