Best Way to Paint Kitchen Cabinets

Learn the best ways for painting kitchen cabinets.

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Discover the best way to paint kitchen cabinets. Jean-Marc Giboux/Getty Images © 2012, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

If your cabinets are old and outdated, but you're unable to replace them yet, learn the best way to paint kitchen cabinets so you can update them. Paint can work wonders on everything, and kitchen cabinets are no exception.


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Painting kitchen cabinets can be tiring and you can easily hire a pro to do the job for you, but if you're up for the challenge and want to save the money, do it yourself.

The best way to paint kitchen cabinets is with a paintbrush and small roller. Spray painting is also an option if you want the process to move more quickly, but it can be tricky.

When you're ready to get started, clear off your kitchen counters, empty your cabinets, and cover your backsplash and appliances. Remove all of the hinges, hardware, doors and drawers from your cabinets. Label each door with masking tape so you'll remember which one goes where and put all of the hardware in plastic bags so you don't lose anything. If you can fit a worktable in your kitchen, it will be much easier to paint the doors. If you don't have a large worktable, 2x4 boards propped on buckets or boxes will also work. If you don't have those materials, work on top of a drop cloth.

You'll want to prep all of the doors and drawers properly to ensure your paint will stick. Start this process by scrubbing your cabinets to get rid of any grease or residue. If you're planning to use new hardware, cover the current holes with wood filler. Next, use 100-grit sandpaper to make all of the surfaces smooth and make sure to wipe away any dust with a tack cloth before drilling your new holes. To ensure a nice finish, use caulk to fill in any gaps or seams.

If you want professional-style results, it's imperative to prime the boxes, door fronts and drawers before you begin painting. Once your primer has dried, use an angled brush and a mini foam roller to apply your paint. A latex satin finish works well on kitchen cabinets and it isn't as hard to work with as oil paint. Start working in sections with your angled brush and go over your work with the roller for a perfect finish. When you're done painting, you can also use very fine grit sandpaper for a final sanding and even a coat of a satin polycrylic for extra durability as well. Once your paint has dried, reinstall the doors and drawers and install your hardware.

Spray paint is another option for painting kitchen cabinets, but this process is best done outside or in a designated workspace so you don't have to worry about overspray. If spray painting your cabinets, you'll follow the same process as above but instead of working with a paint brush and roller you'll use spray paint instead.


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