Do’s and Don’ts of Cabinet Painting

  • Do make a plan ahead of time.Don’t go to the hardware store and just grab what “looks good”. You need to have an accurate shopping list prepared before you go shopping. You’ll need to know what type of surface your cabinets have. Metal, wood, and wood-laminate cabinets are generally easy to repaint but plastic surfaces can be more difficult. Talk to a cabinet paint specialist to determine the best type of paint for your cabinets.
  • Do test paints out before making a decision.Don’t pick a style/color at the store and just “go with it”. Choose a few paint samples and paint a small portion of your cabinet a few days beforehand. This will allow you to see the color you’ve selected when its dried and in different lighting – robin’s egg blue is very different in early-morning light when compared to evening sunlight, or your overhead lighting. By painting a few different colors or shades, you can decide which one you like best. It will also show whether a paint will stay or not. Flaking or chipping may occur on your test areas, especially if they are painted near handles or knobs. If you have a test section, it will save you from painting the whole area with the wrong paint.
  • Do remove all cabinet doors, knobs, handles, hinges, and other hardware before you start painting. Number and label all parts so you don’t mix things up.Don’t try to paint around handles or paint cabinet doors while they are still attached. Painting around hardware will just make the process more time consuming and sloppy-looking. By removing hardware, you can quickly paint the entire surface in smooth, even coats of paint. The easiest way to paint the cabinet doors is to lay them out on a flat surface. If you leave them hanging up, gravity may cause your paint to drip down. If you have a garage or basement, that would be ideal. If you don’t have access to an indoor space, choose a day that is nice and sunny. Spread a painter’s tarp, or any covering you don’t mind getting paint on, and lay the doors on that.
  • Do clean the area before you paint – especially areas prone to grease or residue (such as a kitchen). Use a spray solution made from one part tri-sodium phosphate and four parts water.
    Don’t soak the area with the solution, just rinse them and allow adequate time for them to dry.
  • Do sand the cabinet surfaces enough to provide a clean base for the new paint to stick to.
    Don’t remove all the old paint if it is stuck on there. By sanding, you only need to rough the surface enough to allow the new paint to adhere.
  • Do apply primer-sealer. This reduces the need for you to thoroughly sand the old paint off.Don’t skip the primer step. If you don’t apply primer, it could allow the old paint to show through some. It allows provides a good base for the new paint to stick to.
  • Do start painting the most difficult areas first – such as the section around the cabinet openings.Don’t start in the center of the cabinet door and work outward. Start outward and move in.

Adding a fresh coat of paint can easily spruce up a space, without spending lots of money. By planning ahead and preparing the area to paint, you will save yourself time in the long run. If you want to know about how to paint cabinets, what paint to use, or any other home-improvement questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call at Power House Services. We are here to help!

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