the painted surface
How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets - page 2
Painting kitchen cabinets - Day one - continued from page 1
Sanding and Patching - Any of the kitchen doors or drawers that need special repair I will do first to give the patching compound more drying time. A vibrator sander with about 100 grit size paper is used to dull the old finish, smooth any roughness and sand away old peeling paint or varnish. Be sure to exhaust sanding dust to the outside whenever possible and where eye protection and the appropriate dust mask. If lead is suspected to be in the old finish DO NOT SAND but call a certified lead paint removal specialist. To test for lead use a lead test kit such as the Leadcheck® 8 Swab Instant Lead Testing Kit. After sanding vacuum the dust from the surfaces. Spot prime any raw wood or material and the places that need patching. The primer will improve the adhesion and appearance of the patch. Any holes, dents or gouges you have taken note of in previous steps are now patched. With a flexible putty knife skim out these places with wood filler or a quality spackling compound. I usually use MH Ready Patch® which should be available at most paint dealers and some home improvement stores. It sands well, is durable and leaves a smooth surface. Having sanded first you may notice the absence of the roughness or the wood burrs usually found around holes and damaged areas leaving a smoother surface to patch. Depending on the depth of these repairs it may take two skim coats to level the surface because patching compounds have a tendency to shrink as they dry. If the old screw holes from the hinges or knobs need to be filled a piece of dowel rod shorter than the depth of the hole can be inserted first then skimmed over to help strengthen and fill the hole. Use only enough compound as it takes to level the surface. Excessive amounts will take longer to dry, sometimes crack and leave you with more sanding. If the repairs need multiple skim coats, that's okay, two thin cats will sand out smoother than one heavy one. When the patching compound is completely dry sand the patches smooth. Sometimes hand sanding will feather out the edges better than the vibrator sander, try both. Using a light finger touch you should not be able to feel a ridge around the patched area. If it does not look or feel smooth apply anoher light skim coat of compound to feather out the edges.
Kitchen Cabinet Frames - While waiting for the primer or patching compound to dry the same work is performed on the cabinet bases and frames. If the interiors will not be painted some small bed sheets, lenghths of paper towels or newspapers will protect the contents from sanding dust and paint specks. Remove brackets and hardware mounted under the top cabinets that might be in the way of prepping and painting or need to be relocated.
Painting kitchen cabinets - Day one - Page 2
Hooks and Hangers - If you plan on hanging the cabinet doors on a rack while the paint is drying install the eye hooks in the hidden edge of the door. Usually this is the top edge of the top doors and the bottom edge of the bottom doors. I wait until now to start hanging the doors since the priming I have done up to now is only in spots and I can stand the doors up on edge while this is drying, plus the eye hook needed for hanging is not in the way. If you have a lot of spot priming to do or you just want to, the hooks can be installed earlier as you spot prime and the doors hung to dry. I cut the wire handles from empty paint cans and bend them into hooks for hanging cabinet doors or objects I can spray paint.
Primer Coat - When the patches are sanded vacuum the work area and the dust from the doors, drawers and cabinet frames. Prime coat everything. Use a good quality primer known to seal and adhere well to old finishes. I will first spot prime any raw wood or patched areas to make sure they are sealed. When these spots are dry everything is given a coat of primer. As you prime wipe the surfaces with a tack cloth to pick up any remaining dust. There are different methods to paint the doors. Sometimes I will lay the door on its backside, paint the face, then stand it on edge while holding the hook and paint the backside. Any spot I missed or need to touch up I can do so with it hanging on the drying rack. I have also painted the door while it hangs. Doing so with a brush is a bit tricky because the door is hard to hold steady. To hold the door still I use an awl or small screwdriver inserted in the screw hole of the knob as a handle to hold. If you want and have the space you can lay the doors flat, paint the top side, allow them to dry and flip them to paint the remaining side.
Walls or Ceilings - If any prep work is to be done on the kitchen walls or ceilings do it before starting the cabinet frames. This kitchen remodel also included stripping the wallpaper from the walls and repainting them later. The wallpaper was stripped prior to priming the cabinet frames. The walls also needed some minor patch work to repair old nail and screw holes. If any priming is needed the primer used on the cabinets may also work for the walls, just check the uses of the primer on the manufacturer's label. Many primers are “multi-purpose” and can be used on a variety of painted surfaces. The final finish coats for the walls should be done after the final coats of the cabinets are dry, its easier to paint the walls last. The ceiling should be painted early in the job as time allows to prevent dripping paint on the walls or cabinets. Any other woodwork such as door or window trim in the room you plan to paint should be done after the ceiling is painted but before the walls.
Take a Break - With the priming done, call it a day, you deserve it. These first steps are usually the hardest and most time consuming. By now the kitchen cabinet doors, drawers and frames are cleaned, patched, sanded and primed. It has been a long day for sure but you are beginning to see progress in the kitchen makeover. More cabinet painting info is continued on page 3...
More helpful painting tips, techniques and how-to articles can be found by following these links:
Pantone 2016 Color of the Year ◊ Sherwin-Williams 2016 Color of the Year ◊ How To Paint a Room ◊ How To Paint a Stairway ◊ How To Paint a Two-Story Room ◊ How To Choose Colors ◊ Six Step Color Choice ◊ Popular Color Ideas ◊ How To Choose Paint ◊ Tools ◊ How To Caulk ◊ How To Patch a Hole ◊ How To Patch a Crack ◊ How To Cut In a Wall or Ceiling ◊ How To Roll a Wall or Ceiling ◊ How To Paint Woodwork ◊ How To Paint a Window ◊ How To Paint Baseboard ◊ How To Paint a Door ◊ How To Paint Crown Moulding ◊ How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets ◊ How To Choose a Premium Paintbrush ◊ How To Paint a MDF Bookcase ◊ How To Paint Aluminum or Vinyl Siding ◊ How To Paint Over Faux Finishes ◊ How To Use Magnetic Paint ◊ How To Use FrogTape ◊ How To Paint Repair Water Damaged Drywall ◊ Hiring a Contractor ◊ Paint Stripper Safety ◊ Painting Louvered Shutters ◊ 2013 Color Trends ◊ Choosing Front Door Colors
More details about specific painting subjects are covered in the additional articles. In those will be found details, painting tips and techniques gathered from over 20 years of painting experience. Here is a list of links to the articles: