Kitchen Doors

25 Tips For Painting Kitchen Cabinets

  1. Choose the right paint. Everyday wall paint consists of a formula not suited for surfaces like cabinetry. It’s known to chip and it won’t stand up well to repeated cleaning. It costs more, but choosing an alkyd enamel, like Benjamin Moore ADVANCE or Sherwin-Williams ProClassic will hold up better in the long run and since the formulas are self-leveling, will leave you with a smoother finish. Learn more about alkyd-enamels in this post.
  2. Choose a color that will flatter your appliances. Consider this: I had a lot of older, black appliances in the kitchen in my old house. They stood out like a sore thumb surrounded by oak cabinetry. When I stained all of the cabinets dark brown, the black appliances nearly disappeared. Magic! In this kitchen, we have an abundance of almond appliances that aren’t quite ready to kick the bucket, and almond isn’t my favorite finish for appliances, but miraculously, by painting the cabinets a similar light sand color, they suddenly seem to fit in perfectly. When we eventually update, we’ll probably go to stainless steel appliances, which will still fit in nicely.
  3. Remove all of the hardware. All of the hinges. Every last screw. The knob. The magnets that help to keep the door shut. It takes time, but it’s worth it to have a clean slate when you begin refinishing the surfaces.
  4. Take the time to organize the hardware. One of the best tips I came across was to label each door by number beneath where the hinge goes in the frame. Label a plastic baggie filled with that door’s hardware with the same number. Place a small piece of painter's tape over the number on the door, so when the painting is complete, you can remove the painter's tape and see the number. The small place where you had written the number should be inconspicuous enough not to be seen (ideally, it will be hidden behind the hinge hardware).
  5. Pack up your kitchen cabinets neatly. Pack paper bags or plastic bins for each individual “pantry-like” cabinet, so that the contents can be easily returned to their home when the job is through. Stack small appliances out of the way. Keep the cookware you use most regularly (a fry pan, your big pasta pot) on your cooktop. Transfer your silverware into coffee mugs – one for each spoons, forks, knives, and serving utencils – and let them be the centerpiece on your dining room table. You’ll still need them throughout the duration of your project, so best to keep them handy.
  6. Roll up the rugs, clear the countertops and remove the curtain.You’re going to make a mess.
  7. Consider buying or renting a handheld electric sander. Regardless of the surface material you’re refinishing, sanding all of the surfaces is essential to creating the best area for primer and paint to adhere. You’re going to be covering a lot of ground, and an orbital detail sander will both speed up the process, evenly prep the surface, and take a lot of the effort off your own muscles. I was painting over solid wood, but if you’re painting over laminate consider the tips I gave in this post, where I refinished a laminated tabletop.
  8. Buy a lot of sandpaper. Buy multiple packs of sandpaper to fit your palm sander (I used 15 sheets each of 80 grit and 120 grit to prep my 40+ doors and the base cabinetry surface before painting). I also bought a pack of 10 sheets of 180-grit sandpaper, which I used to lightly hand sand between coats while priming and painting.
  9. Buy a lot of tack cloths too. Cleaning the surface is just as essential as sanding the surface, is. Remove all of the dust and debris after sanding by wiping the surface with a tack cloth. It will lift all of the dust while containing the mess (you might want to don rubber gloves for this part – the cloth will make your hands sticky, too). They’re sold in packs of 2-3 for only $2-$3, and if you’re like me, you’ll use 20+ during the course of the project to manage dust between coats.
  10. Use oil-based primer. Kilz came recommended by several painting pros I conferred with – specifically the oil-based formula, not the water-based. With the oil-based formula, the hardwood is less likely to discolor painted white cabinets over time (wood is known to “bleed through” and give the paint a tinge of yellow, especially if it's knotty wood). The oil-based also creates a very well-adhered surface on which to paint.
  11. Have the primer tinted, if you’re painting a dark color, to lessen the chance of needing multiple coats. I went...
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  • avatar Where can one purchase a kitchen door?
    • One can purchase a kitchen door at a home improvement store such as Home Depot or Lowes. Kitchen doors are also available for purchase at larger department stores, for example Sears.