Painting Kitchen Cabinets

Discover ideas for painting kitchen cabinets with these helpful hints and tips.

Painting kitchen cabinets is an economical way to renew the look of your cooking space.

If you're looking to give your kitchen a facelift, painting kitchen cabinets can be a quick and economical option. This fairly easy DIY project can add color to any kitchen and update cabinets of just about any age or condition.


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The cabinet surface you're painting will be your first consideration. Flat, unfinished wood is the easiest surface to paint. Wood laminate and metal are also fairly easy to work with. Plastic laminate may require special paints and techniques, so if you have this type of surface, consult a professional.

First up, remove the cabinet doors and hardware. Number the doors and their corresponding locations as you remove them.

Next, you'll need to clean all the surfaces you wish to paint. A solution made from one part tri-sodium phosphate and four parts water is recommended. When you're done applying the cleaner, rinse—but don't soak—the cabinets with clean water, then allow them to dry completely.

Your next step is to sand all the surfaces you intend to paint. If the old paint on the cabinets is in good condition, you don't need to sand down to bare wood—just roughen the surface so the new paint will adhere more easily. If you do sand to bare wood, feather the edges of the sanding area so the new paint will lay flat. Vacuum the sanding dust from all surfaces when done, and wipe all sanded surfaces with a tack cloth.

Next up, apply primer-sealer to all surfaces you intend to paint, allow it to dry, and then apply the paint—you can do this final step with a spray, brush or even a roller if you're working with an entirely flat surface. Allow the paint to dry, then re-install all hardware, and hang your newly painted kitchen cabinets.

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