5 Simple Steps to DIY Kitchen Cabinet Painting

At Capital Mark Granite and Cabinet here in Arizona, we offer a wide selection of cabinetry in a variety of materials and colors. We gladly go out of our way to help you select the perfect look for your Arizona kitchen remodel. However, in today’s economy it’s not always possible to create a budget for a full kitchen remodel, so DIY is more up your alley. We’re here to help with this aspect as well.

Painting kitchen cabinets has become an affordable and effective way to give your Arizona kitchen that upgrade you’re looking for. Whether your cabinets are made of wood, a wood-laminate, or metal, in most cases you should be able to paint, or stain, your kitchen cabinets.

Step One – Understand the Materials You’re Working With

While most every cabinet surface can be painted over, each material has its own idiosyncrasies that you need to be aware of.  Certain surfaces require specific paint blends, while others require specific techniques. If your kitchen cabinets have a laminate surface, as many first-time homes do, speak to the paint professional at your local hardware store before jumping right in.

Step Two – Remove Doors, Drawers, Hardware

Start by removing all nuts, bolts, screws, hardware, handles, doors and drawers. This is the easy part, the hard part is remembering what hardware went with which doors and drawers. Make things easy for yourself and categorize everything. Either lay them out side-by-side or place them into plastic bags labeled for each door and drawer.

With older homes and older Arizona kitchen cabinets, sometimes warping can be an issue and many times if you mix up the hardware you will have a hard time getting all fitting correctly again.

Step Three – Clean All Surfaces, Sand if Necessary

Preparing all surfaces to be painted in one of the most important steps to successfully remodeling your kitchen with a can of paint. Your surfaces need to be completely free of grease, grime, food residue and anything else that might have stuck to those cabinets over the years.

After all of the kitchen cabinets have been cleaned, sand them down with fine grit sandpaper or wood sanding block. Don’t go overboard with the sanding. You don’t need to completely remove old paint, what you want to do is give everything a smooth, clean surface free of rough edges, frayed wood, or any other blemishes in the wood. Sanding the cabinets will allow the primer to stick cleanly to the surface.

Step Four – Prime the Doors and Drawers

Many DIY individuals who are looking to save on their remodel budget skip this crucial step, leaving their cabinets unfinished with paint that just won’t stick properly and will chip and peel more easily. Primer goes on to help the paint stick to the smooth surface, will maintain the paint for many more years, and will help limit the amount of chips and peels that can occur over time.

The type of primer that you use will greatly depend on the type of paint that you’re using on the kitchen cabinets. Talk to the professionals at your local hardware store regarding which paint and primer combination to use on your cabinets.

Step Five – Get to Painting!!

Finally, it’s time to paint those Arizona kitchen cabinets. All of your hard work with preparation is about to pay off when you brush that first smooth stroke of color onto your cabinets, and watch your entire kitchen atmosphere change.

To get the paint evenly on the cabinets, it is advised that you use a pneumatic sprayer, however if you are detail-oriented and pay attention to the little things, you can get by with just a paint brush, just make sure it’s a high quality paint brush.

Start with the inner frame and outer cabinet sides. This will allow you to get the highly detailed areas out of the way first. The big secret to achieving that desired look when painting Arizona kitchen cabinets is to use very, very thin coats and build up the layers as they dry. It can be incredibly time consuming, and may span the time of a few days, but in order to achieve that professional finish and give your kitchen that desired upgrade, take your time and do it right.

Allow the pain to dry for a few hours between coats, reapply two or three times, and you’re done! Consider adding some new and improve hardware to your new kitchen cabinets, and you will have completed the DIY, affordable kitchen upgrade!