If you’re ready to give your kitchen a face lift but are working under a tight budget, you can update your cabinetry with a new paint job. Have a fresh kitchen in a matter of days with a little preparation, dedication and a steady hand.
The first thing you will want to do is prepare your kitchen by removing everything that isn’t fixed in its place. Empty all contents from your cabinets and drawers. Cover the counter tops, back splash, widows and fixed appliances. Also, hang heavy plastic sheeting over the doorways to help control dust. Finally, build a workbench with two sawhorses and a sheet of plywood.
Working clockwise, remove all of the hardware from the frame and doors. Use your workbench to remove the pulls, knobs and hinges from your doors. Save everything in Ziploc bags, or for a fresher look, buy new hardware! Label and map everything for easy reassembly.
At this point, you will want your kitchen well ventilated. Open all of the windows and set up a box fan or two. Put on your safety goggles, breathing mask and rubber gloves. Use a liquid deglosser and an abrasive pad to scrub all of the cabinetry: the doors, frames, shelves and drawer fronts. Hold a rag under the abrasive pad to catch any drips, and follow over the pad with a separate deglosser-dipped rag to wipe away any residue.
Once de-glossed, sand everything by hand with 100-grit paper. Vacuum the doors and cabinets, then go over it all again with a tack cloth. Be thorough to ensure you pick up all of the dust.
Take a cabinet door to your local paint supply store and ask a professional for the best types of primers and paints for your cabinetry. They will be able to tell you how many coats you will need to apply, as well as the best brushes to use for your particular cabinets.
When priming, brush across the grain beginning at the top. Once covered, “tip off” the wet finish with a single brush stroke along the grain. Allow 24 hours to dry. Finally, use 220-grit paper on a random orbit sander to sand any flat surfaces and a medium-grit sanding sponge on any profiled surfaces.
Apply the paint the same way as you did with the primer. Begin at the top, painting across the grain then “tip off” with a single stroke along the grain. Use a new brush on the final coat. Allow the paint to dry, sand with 280-grit paper, vacuum and apply tack cloth to bring your cabinets to a smooth finish.
Reassemble your cabinets clockwise using the labels and map you made. First, reinstall the shelves. Next, install the hinges and pulls on the doors and drawers. Finally, install each door into its proper frame.
Now all that’s left to do is admire and celebrate your work!