What's Involved When You Have Your Kitchen Cabinets Painted

When you want to renovate your kitchen but you have a small budget, painting your cabinets rather than replacing them could be a way to save money. Painting the cabinets a different color transforms your kitchen, and your cabinets will look as good as new -- as long as they are professionally painted. Painting cabinets is more complex than painting walls. Here are a few of the steps involved.

Prep The Area

The first step is to protect your countertops by covering them with protective paper so the granite or solid surface isn't splattered with paint. You'll want to remove everything from the cabinets as well, and set up a food station in another room so you have access to food and dishes without having to go into the kitchen. Painting kitchen cabinets is a labor-intensive job that could take multiple days if you have a lot of cabinets, so you'll need to figure out a way to use the vital parts of your kitchen without disturbing the painting process.

Prep The Cabinets

Prepping the cabinets is one of the most important steps in painting them. Cabinets have a variety of finishes that make it difficult for paint to adhere; additionally, cabinets collect polish when you clean and grease when you cook. The cabinets are first washed with a grease cleaner and allowed to dry. Then, they are sanded to remove the finish. They don't have to be sanded down to the wood, but a light sanding is needed to get rid of the protective coating.

Dings and holes are filled in at this time, and if you don't want the grain of the wood to show through when the cabinets are finished, these grooves might be filled in and sanded smooth before painting begins. After this prep work is complete, the work area has to be cleaned of all the dust created and the cabinets are wiped down so they are ready for paint.

Remove The Doors And Drawers

The drawers and doors are removed before being painted; this is necessary for professional results. All hardware is removed as well. The doors are supported from a frame or rack so they are elevated to allow them to dry quickly. Depending on the support system used, it might be possible to paint both sides of the doors at once to make the job go quicker.

Paint In Layers

The cabinets are painted using a variety of tools to get complete coverage in creases and open spaces without streaks. Paint is usually applied in layers, with one coat being allowed to dry before the next one is applied. The painter may even sand the cabinets between each coat to ensure good adhesion and smooth coverage. Primer is applied first and then the paint. A protective top coat may finish the job so your cabinets resist stains and stay easy to clean.

The nice thing about kitchen cabinet painting is that you can choose any color you want, even a custom color or a combination of colors. You may want a natural look complete with grain showing or you might want a smooth surface in green, blue, or yellow for a look that's totally your own.