the painted surface
How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets - page 3
Painting kitchen cabinets - Day two
Inspecting the Primer Coat - Allowing everything to dry overnight will give the primer time to completely dry, harden and develop its maximum adhesion. Now easily handled you can inspect the kitchen cabinet frames, doors and drawers. Look for missed spots and patches that may not be sealed. If the primer has soaked into the patching compound too much it will need to be spotted in again with primer. This will prevent the finish coats from soaking in and leaving a dead spot, sometimes called “dying in”. If this happens there will be dull spots in the satin finish coat.
Sanding the Primer - The primer coat will need to be sanded. A good primer that is fully dry will sand easily. A fine grit sanding sponge sands the flat surfaces as well as the curved edges, mouldings and profiles. Usually a light sanding is all that is needed to achieve a smooth finish. Do not sand so aggressively that you sand through the primer. If this happens these areas will need to be spot primed. Even a light sanding will create dust so protect yourself with good ventilation, the proper dust mask and eye protection. After sanding the cabinets vacuum and wipe the surfaces with a tack cloth to remove as much dust as possible.
Caulking the Cracks - There may be some cracks around the edges or joints of the cabinet frames and on the mouldings of the doors and drawers. After wiping off the dust with a tack cloth caulk these cracks. Use a paintable acrylic caulk (not 100% silicone). See “How To Caulk” for some specific tips for caulk and caulking cracks. Allow the caulk to dry before painting the first finish coat.
Thin or Not to Thin - The paint for the first finish coat after priming may need to be slightly thinned to help it flow easily from the brush and leave a smooth even finish. Most enamels, both water and oil-based can be too thick straight out of the can. If you want and taking the manufacturers recommendations into consideration try thinning the paint with small amounts of the appropriate thinner until the paint easily brushes and flows but not so much it runs. Penetrol® or mineral spirits will thin oil-based paints and Floetrol® or water will thin water-based paints. Ideally the paint should “level out” as it dries leaving very few brush marks.
First Finish Coat - The first finish coat should be applied in a work area as dust free as possible. take a few minutes to shake out the drop cloths and vacuum the work table and floor. Even an acrylic enamel will be wet for a while and prone to attract dust particles. Some moving air in the room will speed the drying time but may make it difficult to brush on the paint because it tacks up too fast. If using a fan, point it away from the work so as not to blow dust onto the painted surface. If possible paint the doors and drawers in one area and place them in another to dry. Hanging the drawers front face down will prevent dust settling on them. When painting natural wood finish cabinets like these I always apply two finish coats. The first coat of finish paint may not completely cover but that is usual. It will take two coats for complete hiding and to build up a consistent sheen. As you apply the paint try to brush on a even coat, leaving as few brush marks as possible. Finish off each section with a light finishing stroke to smooth the paint. Follow what would be the direction of the grain with your finishing strokes. The photo shows a basic example. Sometimes paint will level out better when paint is first applied in one direction and then smoothed out in a perpendicular direction. For example, if you are painting a drawer front, put the paint on initially in an up and down direction and then smooth the paint with lighter left to right strokes across the drawer front. As you apply this first coat of finish paint you will begin to see how your work will pay off in the finished kitchen cabinet makeover. This will be an encouragement. Most of the hard work such as patching, sanding and priming is done. Apply this coat as evenly and uniform as possible avoiding the temptation to paint on one heavy coat in hopes of getting by with one finish coat. Two thin, even coats will look much better than one heavy coat.
Painting kitchen cabinets - Day three
Second Finish Coat - The second and probably final finish coat of paint will pretty much go as the previous one. Waiting overnight will have given the paint sufficient time to dry. Inspect all doors, drawers and frames to find any imperfections you would like to repair now. If you have chosen to use a high gloss paint a light sanding with a fine grit sandpaper of all surfaces will help the final coat adhere. Any dust particles should be lightly sanded being careful not to sand through any layers of paint. Vacuum and wipe off the dust with a tack cloth. In most cases there should not be much to do but apply the finish coat. Again, do so as evenly and smoothly as possible to achieve the best overall appearance. Work in a dust free area to avoid spoiling what will hopefully be the final coat.
Painting kitchen cabinets - Day four
Finishing the Kitchen Remodel - With the cabinets of the kitchen, laundry or bathroom dry painting the walls or other work can be finished. While the walls are drying the hooks and eye screws can be removed from the doors and drawers. Inspect each piece just in case something needs to be touched up.
Install the Hardware - Get ready to install the hinges, knobs, pulls or any cabinet hardware. I like to use some clean sheets or towels to pad the counter-top and lay the doors on them to install the hinges. Having marked the hinges and doors prior to painting them I know exactly which opening they belong. It is usually easier to install the hinge on the door then hang the door on the frame. A helper might be needed. Hang the door by installing the top hinge first leaving it slightly loose then the bottom one. Finish by tightening them both being careful not to strip out the threading. Most cabinet doors and drawers will benefit having pads to soften their closing. Little round pieces of cork, felt or rubber can be applied to the corners to cushion and quieten the shutting of the doors and drawers. The clear vinyl bumpers are almost invisible if you want something not to be seen. The pads will also help prevent paint chipping where the doors meet the frames. If new holes need to be drilled for the knobs and pulls a jig of some kind can be made to drill the holes in matching places. Or you can measure and mark the doors very carefully so the knobs will line up. A sheet of graph paper might come in handy to locate the holes.
Enjoy Your Work - There is no doubt a kitchen makeover is a lot of work and time consuming but considering the cost savings and the finished result it is certainly worth the effort. For a fraction of the cost of new kitchen or bathroom cabinets you have a new space to enjoy. The paint (primer, wall paint, satin enamel) plus materials (sandpaper, dust masks, paint brush, etc.) cost less than $200.00. New cabinets in this number would have cost thousands to replace or reface.
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: