Update Your Cabinetry with a New Paint Job

If you’re ready to give your kitchen a facelift 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.

Preparing Your Kitchen for Painting

The first thing you will want to do is prepare your kitchen, so that you have a safe, clean area that’s ready to be painted.

Start by removing everything on the counter that isn’t fixed in its place, such as your coffee maker, cutting boards, and so on. Empty all contents from your cabinets and drawers. Use tarps or drop cloths to cover the countertops, backsplash, windows, floors, and fixed appliances, such as your oven. You may also consider hanging heavy plastic sheeting over the doorways, to help control dust.

Working on Your Cabinetry

Working clockwise to stay organized, remove all of the hardware from your cabinets’ frames and doors. You may need to use some basic hand tools, such as a screwdriver, to remove the pulls, knobs, and hinges from your doors. Save everything in plastic bags so you can keep track of the pieces and reattach them later. Label and map everything for easy reassembly. Or, for a fresher look, consider buying new hardware to install after you’ve finished painting.

At this point, you will want to make sure that your kitchen is well-ventilated. Open all of the windows and set up a box fan or two to get air moving. Put on safety goggles, breathing mask and rubber gloves.

Use a liquid deglosser and an abrasive pad to scrub all of the cabinetry you’re going to paint, including the doors, frames, shelves, and drawer fronts. Hold a rag under the abrasive pad to catch any drips, and be sure to 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 to get rid of dust and debris, then go over all of the surfaces again with a tack cloth. Be thorough to ensure you pick up all of the dust.

Finding the Right Paint and Primer

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. Take some time to talk color, as well. The look of your cabinets could help set the tone for the decor of your entire kitchen.

When priming, a rule of thumb to follow is to brush across the grain beginning at the top. Once you’ve covered a surface, “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 you did the primer. Begin at the top of the surface, paint across the grain, and then “tip off” with a single stroke along the grain. You may want to use a new brush on the final coat to make sure everything looks pristine. Allow the paint to dry, then sand with 280-grit paper, vacuum and apply tack cloth to bring your cabinets to a smooth finish.

Reassemble your cabinets, working clockwise once again. Use the labels and map you made earlier to make this process easier. Work in stages. 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!

Talking With the Home Experts

Have any more questions about making the most of your Chicagoland home? Considering buying or selling, and not sure where to start? Our hyperlocal agents know just what it takes to help you find the space that will truly work for you.

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