Repainting Kitchen Cabinets – DIY

Repainting Kitchen Cabinets – DIY

Repainting kitchen cabinets is a good project to undertake if you want to completely redo the look of your kitchen without spending a lot of money on an extensive remodel. It sounds like an easy DIY project but there are a lot of steps you need to take to make sure the cabinets come out looking smooth and professionally done. While many people find it easier to just hire somebody to paint their cabinets, you certainly can do it yourself to save a lot of money and still be left with a great-looking kitchen. You just need to know to follow the right steps.

Part 1: Preparation

Step 1: Decide On The New Look Of Your Kitchen

You shouldn’t repaint your cabinets without having a good idea of what you want your kitchen to look like when you are done. What color scheme are you going for? Do you want your cabinets to be textured or smooth? Are you going to make any other changes to your kitchen while you’re at it? These are all things to consider when preparing for this project.

Step 2: Assess Your Options

There are a couple of different ways to go about painting your kitchen cabinets, and they can have different results. You can use a paintbrush and a small roller, or spray paint. If you choose to use spray paint, you will probably want to do it outside. Otherwise, the methods and directions are the same. Make sure that you buy quality paints for this project, because cheaper paints might not leave you with as smooth a finish. You should also ensure the color of paint you have selected is exactly what you want. You can do this by painting something else, like a poster board, and seeing how that color looks in your kitchen.

Step 3: Clean Everything Off The Counters

You won’t want paint getting on everything and you will want unobstructed access to the cabinets. You will also want to remove all items from inside the cabinets and the kitchen drawers. It’s probably best to designate an area in another room and store these items there until you are completely done painting.

Step 4: Put Down Protection

Unless you are going to be redoing your flooring as well, you should put down sheets before you begin painting, as you should always do when painting indoors. Don’t forget to cover all appliances and backsplashes.

Step 5: Remove The Cabinet Doors

Removing the cabinet doors and drawers will make painting them a lot easier. You can turn your kitchen table into a worktable to make this easier, or even fit a worktable in your kitchen if you have the room. When you remove the doors, be sure to label each of them in some way so you know where they go.

Part 2: Painting


Step 6: Clean

Every surface you are going to paint should be thoroughly cleaned of any grease or residue. Just about any surface cleaning product will work well for this, as long as it won’t impede the paint or primer from taking hold.

Step 7: Smooth The Surfaces

Using sandpaper, your next step is to sand the surfaces to smooth them out. This is one of the most important steps if you want your cabinets to look smooth at the end of the process. 150 grit is about the median recommended – some say as low as 100 and some say as high as 200. It might be best to pick a small spot and see how that goes before sanding the entire surface.

Repainting Kitchen Cabinets – DIY

Side Note: Adding Additional Designs

If you are interested in woodworking, or if you want to paint them on, you can even add cool designs or flourishes to wooden cabinets when you go to paint them. Let your creativity flow!

Step 8: Prime

For professional-looking results, you will next want to add a layer of primer to the surfaces you will be painting. Make sure it is allowed to dry before you continue.

Step 9: Start Painting!

Now that all the prep work is done, it’s actually time to start painting! An angled brush and a mini roller should be sufficient to apply the paint. Give it a couple of layers so the old surface will not show through when you are done.

Part 3: Aftermath

Step 10: Let The Paint Dry

It can be super annoying to have drying cabinet doors everywhere, but this step needs to be followed or you risk smudging the paint and having to start over on that particular surface. Drying can take up to several days, so be patient. That can be difficult after all the hard work you’ve done, but it’s worth it to avoid spoiling your efforts.

Step 11: Put Everything Back Together

Once the paint is completely dry you can fix the cabinet doors and drawers back in place and put everything back where it came from. Voilà, it will seem like you have a brand new kitchen!

There are a lot of amazing do-it-yourself projects to be done around the house, particularly in the kitchen. Repainting the kitchen cabinets is one that’s fairly involved, and a good challenge for do-it-yourselfers if you want them to look like new and professionally-painted when you are done. But it can result in a truly unique kitchen that’s more you than any contractor could have done. It’s also a lot cheaper than hiring a contractor, or replacing the cabinets altogether. Take our word for it!

James Niehaus


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