How do I paint over really cheap veneer cabinets???

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I have very cheap cabinets in my kitchen & bathroom. Can I paint over them??? Will the paint stick? Should or could I use chalk paint (I love the look on furniture and cabinets) Please help :-/
  17 answers
  • Stephanie Schultz Stephanie Schultz on Oct 04, 2015
    I would highly suggest a good wash down with tsp and then a oil based primer. I wouldn't use chalk paint, it would be incredibly difficult to clean. If you decide on a latex paint I would use at least semi-gloss. I would suggest doing a little research. I believe there are products available to do cabinets.
  • Sandra Crosbie Sandra Crosbie on Oct 04, 2015
    You sure can. A really good wash down with sugar soap, elbow grease and a clean soft cloth "old t.shirt" then when it's completely dry use standard matt emulsion as an undercoat. Or you can get a rustoleum paint with a primer already in it. Just be sure to seal it after the paint has had a day or so to dry, depending on weather conditions. Damp weather affects the paint. Use a good varnish to seal it. I hope that helps.
  • Jonnie Hammon Jonnie Hammon on Oct 04, 2015
    Wash them down with TSP, lightly sand, add a bonding primer, followed by a kitchen/ bathroom paint.
  • Jonnie Hammon Jonnie Hammon on Oct 04, 2015
    Wash it down with TSP, lightly sand, use a tact cloth to get all of the loose stuff off, use a bonding primer, then follow up with a kitchen/bathroom paint.
  • Cindy Cindy on Oct 04, 2015
    After washing your cabinets....use chalk paint to paint them with. We used this on a very old and worn out book case that also could hold a small tv on it. We mixed anoint a cup of plaster paris to half gallon of paint ( you can add paint more if desired as it will dry fairly quick. You can find the recipe only. Type in chalk paint. This is just how we decided to mix it.) Then just paint. When it dries it will be smooth and beautiful. We sold that worn out cabinet for $65.00. We paid zero for it. Your cabinets will look great. This paint covers any cracks and really makes old wood and especially laminate ( some of this book case was laminate, and the folks who bought it turned it into a wine rack.) Take before and after pictures. You're gonna like it! Best wishes on your project!
    • Michelle Michelle on Oct 04, 2015
      @Cindy This person has stated clearly budget is an issue chalk paint is rather pricey, and requires some DIY know how.
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Oct 04, 2015
    Make sure you clean your cabinets let dry then use a paint and primer in one, You may have to give them two coats of paint.
  • Robin H Robin H on Oct 04, 2015
    Wipe them down with some TSP - it'll clean up anything on them AND 'rough' up the veneer so you can paint over it - I've done it, then painted over the cabinets with regular old latex paint and it worked just fine!
  • Judi Judi on Oct 04, 2015
    After cleaning your cabinets as above, Home Depot carries a special primer for that purpose. It is called B.I.N. Primer by Zinsser.
  • Linda Vellucci Linda Vellucci on Oct 04, 2015
    What about that wall paper that looks like wood?? Just an idea.
  • Karen Sheilds Karen Sheilds on Oct 04, 2015
    The cabinets in my bathrooms are 30 yr old builder's grade. Absolutely horrible, but replacing them was just not in the budget. Instead I washed them, sanded them just a little then used a paint & primer in glossy black. They came out great - much better then I had expected. My bathrooms look refreshed, my budget is happy and so am I. As long as you prep the cabinets correctly and according to your chosen paints' requirements, the paint should stick and your hard work should last a long time. Best of luck!
  • Gail Cooley Gail Cooley on Oct 04, 2015
    Thanks Linda. Did not think about wall paper.
    • Linda Johnson Linda Johnson on Oct 04, 2015
      @Gail Cooley We had the same type of cabinets in our mobile home, so I wallpapered them with "bead board" look wallpaper. It's textured and looks good. I did this during the snow storm in 2009. I used wallpaper glue, so they would stay put. It's holding up well. Unfortunately, I put liquid plastic on them, so it's yellowed over the years. I'm just going to repaint them white this winter.
  • Gail Cooley Gail Cooley on Oct 04, 2015
    Hmmmm sounds good. What did you clean them with???
  • Gail Cooley Gail Cooley on Oct 04, 2015
    Thanks Judi. Going to home depot today.
  • Cheryl Norman Cheryl Norman on Oct 04, 2015
    chalk paint will stick to anything. You Tube will teach you to make your own for cheap
  • Cindy Cindy on Oct 04, 2015
    @J9501b Out of respect, please re-read the original post. Mixing chalk paint takes literally no DIY no how other than knowing how to measure the plaster of Paris to pour into the paint. Thank you for your comment and looking out for others. That was very kind of you.
  • Sue Sanders Sue Sanders on Oct 05, 2015
    Read recently that there is a substance that you paint on Laminate or gloss paint to dull it. No need to sand. This will help it hold paint. I have a narrow rectangle table that is Laminate that I want to paint so will try to find out what I'm supposed to use to dull the finish before painting. Just found my note that says it is "Liquid Deglosser" that you want to apply over enamel. I'll have to find out if works on Laminate too. It will look its best if you use a High Density foam roller to apply the paint and a foam brush to paint in small areas and around hinges and knobs.
    • Loretta Loretta on Oct 05, 2015
      @Sue Sanders Please let me know how this works out. I'm about to chalk paint the 3 unmatched pieces of furniture in my bedroom (armoire and two dressers - all different wood/laminate compositions). Any help gratefully appreciated!
  • M. J. M. J. on Feb 05, 2021

    Go to your local paint store. My daughter did this with success. You need a primer and good advise from someone qualified with no how. I don't have a photo but she did hers black and they came out amazing. Good Luck, M.j.

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