Want a new look in your kitchen? Painting kitchen cabinets will offer the biggest bang for your buck. Before you start thinking about color schemes, though, it’s important to understand all the steps involved in the job. Here’s a look:

Step #1: Protect Your Counters & Floors

Paint splatters are hard to remove from any surface. It’s best to avoid them in the first place. To do that, make sure you protect areas, including your floors, countertops and your backsplash by covering them. You can use anything from rosin paper to brown builder’s paper and tape it off. 

Step #2: Label Doors & Drawer Fronts

It’s important to be organized when painting kitchen cabinets. Otherwise, you’ll lose track of what goes where. When it comes time to re-install everything, you’ll have a huge headache and potentially hours of work on your hands. 

Avoid this by taking a picture or creating a quick sketch that shows which doors and drawer fronts go where, numbering each one. Then use painter’s tape to label each door and drawer front with a corresponding number. You can tape it in the area where the hinges go.

Step #3: Remove Hardware, Doors & Drawer Fronts

While it’s tempting to keep the doors and drawers in place to paint them, don’t. You’ll have to paint over hinges, which will look sloppy in the end. Instead, remove all the hardware, including knobs, pulls, handles, screws and hinges, and place them in individual, labeled Ziploc bags. 

Step #4: Check for Defects

If there are any unwanted holes, scratches, or dings, you’ll want to repair them before painting your kitchen cabinets. To do so, you can spackle them with wood filler. When you sand, simply go over them with sandpaper to ensure an even, smooth finish.

Step #5: Cleaning & Sanding

Ready to paint? Not quite yet. You still have more work to do. The next step is to clean everything, from the cabinet boxes to drawers and door fronts. Use a degreasing product that will eliminate grimy fingerprints and other dirt and grease. 

Next, sand your cabinets lightly. This will help the primer and paint to stick better and also smooth out any uneven surface areas. Just don’t go overboard and sand down to the bare wood.

Step #6: Clean It All…Again 

Before you can prime or paint, you’ll have to wipe all the doors and drawer fronts off to remove dust from the sanding process. Many traditional painters use a tack cloth to do this job. You can also vacuum first using a soft bristle attachment on your vacuum. Then use a tack cloth to wipe everything down.

Step #7: Let Priming Begin 

Finally, you can prime each door. If you sanded properly, this will reduce the number of coats of primer you’ll need. Generally, one coat of primer is enough, unless the original paint color is extremely dark. In that case, you might need two coats. 

Step #8: Get Ready to Paint

Now, you’re almost ready to paint. Before you do, place all the doors and drawer fronts on painter’s pyramids to support them while you’re painting your kitchen cabinets. These balance your cabinets, so you can paint both sides without waiting for it to dry. 

Also, make sure you have the right tools in place before you begin. These include a sprayer or a roller. You’ll also need a brush to reach into any tight corners. 

Step #9: Painting Kitchen Cabinets 

If you’re simply refreshing your cabinets with the same or a similar color, one coat might be enough. However, most often, two coats produce the best result. 

When you’re painting your kitchen cabinets, work from the top to the bottom. You might also want to sand the surface lightly between coats to ensure a flawless, smooth finish. Just make sure you clean up dust before applying the next coat.

Step #10: Wait for Everything to Dry

This might be the hardest step. You can see the finish line of your project, but moving too quickly can result in fingerprints, smudges, and other flaws that will tank your project at the last minute. It’s best to wait at least a week to let the paint thoroughly dry and cure before you move on to the final step of your project. If you have the time, and the patience, waiting 2 or even 3 weeks will help to ensure the paint has had enough time to cure.

Step #11: Put Everything Back Together Again

Once you apply the final coat and it’s had enough time to thoroughly dry, replace the shelves inside your newly painted cabinet boxes. Also, remove all the tape with each door’s number on it. Then install hinges and drawers, as well as hang the doors. Finally, reinstall all the knobs, pulls, and handles. 

Decisions, Decisions 

Obviously, there are many steps involved in painting kitchen cabinets. During each one, there are also a range of decisions to make. These include:

  • Products: What paint, cleaner, wood filler, and primer to use. (Hint: don’t use wall paint on cabinets!)
  • Tools: The paint trays, painting tape, tack cloth, drop cloths, rosin paper, and sandpaper to buy and how much of each.
  • Equipment: Whether to use a sprayer or roller, whether to buy a shop vacuum or rent one, and what kind of brushes to use. 

On top of all that, you’ll need to choose a color, along with the finish and whether it’s satin, matte, or gloss. Likewise, if you want to add any type of effect, like antiquing, you’ll have to factor this in, as well. There are pros and cons to each and you’ll have to consider your unique space, needs, and preferences to make decisions that are the right fit for you.

Finally, you’ll have to create a makeshift kitchen while yours is undergoing an upgrade, so you have somewhere to make meals and eat. And of course, don’t forget about the chunk of time you’ll have to set aside to tackle the project. 

Ready for Professional Kitchen Cabinet Painting Instead?

If this sounds like a lot of work and hassle, it is. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you can wind up spending countless hours, plus a lot of money and energy achieving a result you don’t love. The good news is you can avoid this all by hiring professional kitchen cabinet painters, like those at N-Hance®.

When you bring in our team, we’ll help you choose the right color and design options for your space. We’ll then handle everything from start to finish. We simply ask you to clear out your cabinets and remove any clutter from counters. We will take care of the rest. Just lead the way to your kitchen and then go to work, go out with your friends, or go take a nap. 

Once we’re done painting, we can cure your cabinets instantly thanks to our UV Lightspeed® Nano system. They’ll have a rock-hard, durable finish immediately without all the waiting time for curing. You’ll be able to get into a kitchen that looks like new – faster and without all the stress – with help from our team.

Don’t go it alone when you’re painting kitchen cabinets. Instead, call your local N-Hance at (855) 642-6230 today to set up a FREE design consultation.