How to remove black high gloss paint from cabinets?

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HELP!! 😣 My Mom moved into a rental apartment. The kitchen is small, has black appliances, and high gloss paint on the cabinets...it looks like a black hole! 🌑 Of course, there are several layers of OTHER paint under the black, and the black is peeling whan scratched or scuffed. It looks awful! What can I use as an EASY, inexpensive 💰fix... remember, it's a rental, and I DON'T want to spend any more money/time/effort than is absolutely necessary.

  6 answers
  • William William on Sep 29, 2018

    First you need to get permission from the landlord in writing. You don't want to jeopardize you security deposit.


    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 220 grit sandpaper or a green Scotch Brite pad.. 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.

  • Sally Alter Sally Alter on Sep 29, 2018

    Well, paint is probably out as it costs a lot of money, is time-consuming and makes a mess. Have you thought about using decoupage paper? Plenty online and it could be quite a fun project. You only need some Mod Podge to stick it up with. Put another layer on the top to make sure it stays put.

  • Kelli L. Milligan Kelli L. Milligan on Sep 29, 2018

    Clean and Just sand down the gloss, you can patch out the peeled areas if want. Prime with oil based primer and paint with low sheen oil based paint.

  • Tinyshoes Tinyshoes on Sep 29, 2018

    Michele...Try removing door, marking each so you can put back where it came from and sand. If it doesn't get it all you can use Citristrip to remove then repaint or stain.


  • 2dogal 2dogal on Sep 30, 2018

    Do NOT do anything until you ask the landlord or rental agency first. You may have to repaint it black before she moves or you may not be able to get the deposit money back.

  • Sally Alter Sally Alter on Sep 30, 2018

    OK Michelle, you don't like the idea of decoupage, but the suggestions above using the usual painting methods take a lot of work and you did say you didn't want to spend more money/time/effort than necessary. So here's another suggestion ------ Yes, do get the landlord's permission, first.


    Then do what I did - use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint which requires absolutely no sanding or priming. You just wash the cabinets down with soap and water then paint. My cabinets came out just great.

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