Tips for Kitchen Cabinets

Thursday, February 22, 2007

A lot of people have been asking me about the painting project. From what I have heard, many of my friends didn't think you could paint your cabinets yourself. While you can't just slap some paint on, this is a project that anyone who can wield a paintbrush can accomplish. Again, I recommend following the advice of This Old House, it's a venerable publication that knows a thing or two about renovating older homes. Here are some of my own tips for painting your own kitchen cabinets:
  • This Old House tells us that prep work is 90% of a painting project like this — they’re right. Don’t try to rush through the prep to get to the painting: You’ll be sorry you didn’t take your time.
  • Buy the best supplies you can: A decent primer and quality paint make a big difference, especially in a high traffic area like the kitchen. I opted for Kilz Premium primer, a product I’ve used and trusted for years. You should also invest in quality brushes appropriate to your project.
  • The most important skill for a project like this is patience. Read the package directions for your paint and primer and follow them. If the paint says to let it dry for 24 hours between coats, do it.
  • One big mistake when you do get to painting is applying a bit too much paint and ending up with drips at the edges. Keep a sharp eye on whatever you have just painted to make sure drips aren’t forming at corners and edges. If they are, carefully brush over them with your paintbrush. If you find a drip only after it has dried, you may be able to cut it off with a window scraper, but this is a particularly non-professional maneuver (which I used many times).
  • Don’t be lazy! Take the cabinet doors off of the cabinets to paint them. Remove the hardware from the cabinets, don’t just paint over it. The end product will be worth it, trust me.


lsaspacey said...

When I paint my furniture pieces, I also sand between each primer coat, and use a very fine sandpaper after the 1st coat of paint. The smooth finish at the end is like "buttah". But I can completely understand not wanting to do that with such a large project like this.


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