Gone are the days of the sticky painted kitchen cabinet that peels, chips and generally looks cheap. Modern paint finishes means you can rejuvenate or renovate your dated kitchen or bath cabinets with just some elbow grease and your own creativity. Like any paint job, painting cabinets is not hard, but it does require some prep work to get the perfectly finished outcome you want. Before putting brush to wood, there are some steps you just can’t skip:
Cleaning: the most important step in your renovation project, cleaning is the one newbies try to skip most often. Your cabinets have years of fingerprints, cooking grease, grime, smoke and other surface contaminants that can keep your paint from adhering.
Sanding: Another step newcomers are prone to skip is proper sanding. Sanding is the hardest step because you need to break the surface of the existing finish. If your surface has nooks and crannies, you’ll want to get in there with some 100-grit sandpaper.
Primer: Priming your cabinet doors can make the difference between a classy new renovation and a slapdash cover-up. To make your surface smooth, you need a so-called “high build” sandable primer.
Paint: The best outcomes for kitchen cabinets come from oil-based paints because they are self-leveling. When your cupboard doors are flat on your sawhorses, an oil-based paint will fill in any ridges or imperfections to leave a smooth finish. Unfortunately, oil-based paints can be messy to work with and have toxic fumes. But, while latex paints may not be perfect, they are getting closer. These days you can find 100% acrylic paints that will create a durable finish, so check with your paint specialist to find the right one for you.
When renovating your kitchen on a shoestring, you can get impressive results if you take your time, use the right products, and follow instructions closely. When done correctly, freshly painted kitchen cabinets can boost your home’s value and up its appeal to homebuyers.