Asked on Oct 12, 2017

What is the best (easiest) process to paint kitchen cabinets?

PJ WiseKatAychFauxgal


Painting cabinets has come a long way in the past few years , new products on the market claim to make it a breeze... do you need to prime? do you need to sand? Should you use chalk paint ? to wax or not? So many options! Looking for the best affordable products and easiest operation ( I have over 45 separate doors/drawers to paint) I am considering a sprayer, and a therapist.. ;) Thanks!

5 answers
  • William
    on Oct 12, 2017

    Make sure they are clean and dry. Remove the doors and hardware. Mark the doors and cabinets with tape where they go. Lightly sand the doors and cabinets to remove any gloss and roughen the surface for paint with 120- to 220-grit sandpaper. Use a tack cloth or damp rag to remove dust after sanding. Prime with a stain blocking primer like Zinsser 123, KILZ,or BIN and have it tinted to the color of the top coat. This will prevent dark or stained surfaces from showing through the top coat. Acrylic, or water-base, paints are low-fume and clean up easily with water. Alkyd, or oil-base, paints require good ventilation because the paint contains solvents that can irritate your lungs and make you feel sick. Alkyd options require mineral spirits for cleanup, but they provide a hard, durable paint finish. Whichever you use, buy the best-quality paint you can afford for a lasting kitchen cabinet finish. Seal with at least three coats with a water based polyurethane. Use a small foam roller and foam brush for a smooth finish.
  • Cynthia H
    on Oct 12, 2017

    William covered all the bases. Truly, your prep will determine your final product. One thing I would add, is cleaning the doors will make all the other steps go better. I used TSP on prior projects. There are now TSP substitutes. Some painters recommend Krud Kutter. You want to remove any grease or other residue as completely as possible. Rinse it well, wipe it down, make sure it is dry before moving on to the next steps. There are tons of tutorials using different paint. Good luck!
    • Kari Cummins ODonnell
      on Oct 12, 2017

      Thank you i have read about using a deglosser or degreaser- i feel like this must be an important step! thank you for your input!
  • Fauxgal
    on Oct 12, 2017

    Hi Kari! Our business is painting cabinetry. Here are some instructions:
    If your cabinets are oak, oak has a grain that pretty much cannot be covered up without a LOT of work. But they will look fine with a coat of paint, and their grain marks showing.
    First, start with cleaning your cabinets really well. And then wipe down with a white cloth and white rubbing alcohol.
    Then electric sand, it in the direction of the grain only. Clean that off.
    Wipe it down with white rubbing alcohol.
    I recommend PPG/Porter Paints Advantage 900 paint, in semi-gloss sheen. It is very, very durable. Paint only in the direction of the grain.
    Lightly hand sand between each new coat and wipe off. You can feel when the paint is smooth; touch it with your eyes closed.
    Put very thin coats on, and let each coat dry overnight.
    In the end, once the color has built up sufficiently, you will NOT need to put a sealing, clear, poly coat on.
    Paint takes 30 days to fully cure. But as long as you are not using your kitchen while you are re-doing it, it will be okay to start using it at the end of a week. If you are trying to use your kitchen while you are sanding and repainting, the paint may not adhere correctly.
    IF your weather is wet for very long, then you will need even longer before you use it.
    Just and FYI, ANY furniture that is meant to take a beating must be allowed cure before use, no matter what paints you use.

  • KatAych
    on Oct 12, 2017

    It depends on what look you're going for. We used Nuvo cabinet paint specifically made for this purpose and there was no prep involved other than cleaning the cabinets to get any remaining grease off of them. We didn't even have to remove the doors.
  • PJ Wise
    on Oct 15, 2017

    When thinking about painting anything, I turn to the tutorials here on HomeTalk as we have many exceptional "artists" who have such fantastic ideas. They know how to achieve the end results we all want to have, and I get such good ideas from them. Look at the hometalk icon at the above left, and in the box "Find your next project," type in "painting cabinets" (or something of that nature. What you will find are all sorts of ideas on different paints with corresponding instructions, etc. When you find something, you can then reach out to that HomeTalker with questions.
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