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Straight From The Pros: 8 Tips For Cabinet Painting



Cabinets can usually cover the bulk of the wall space in a kitchen, so painting them can dramatically alter the entire look of a kitchen. If you like the layout of your kitchen and your cabinets are in good shape, repainting is a cost-effective way to update your kitchen without the huge expense of installing new cabinets.

The current trends show that painted cabinetry remains a popular choice for both homeowners and those looking to purchase a home. If you are thinking of remodeling your kitchen before putting it on the market, we suggest you consult with an experienced real estate agent first. They can tell you what colors and features are popular with homebuyers in your area to make sure your renovation will pay off when it’s time to sell.

How to Get the Best Results

To achieve a high-quality look, it’s important to do the job right. Here are eight tips for painting cabinets like a professional.


1. Use The Right Type of Paint


To achieve a professional look, choose high-quality paint. It will most likely cost more, but it will provide a better finish, be easier to apply, and last longer. Oil-based paint is moisture- and stain-resistant, making it a popular choice for kitchen cabinets. However, there are many water-based paint products that are durable and can handle a good scrubbing when needed. Latex can be easier to work with and dries more quickly than oil-based paints. Water-based latex paints are also available in low or no VOC formulas making them safer for both humans and pets. We have a previous blog post all about VOCs and the difference between water and oil-based paints, check it out here.

2. Choose a Complimentary Paint Color



The color you choose should complement your countertops, floors, and appliances. White is a trending favorite for kitchen cabinets because it brightens up any room but many designers are showcasing bolder and brighter color options.

Dark cabinet colors such as deep blues or greens look good in larger kitchens. Mid-range colors that are neither too light nor too dark are also good choices since they don’t show cooking splatters, sun fading, and wear and tear as quickly as lighter or darker colors.

3. Choose the Right Finish


Kitchen cabinets have to withstand a lot of opening, closing, and handling every day. With frequent exposure to water, humidity, and cooking grease, a durable and washable finish is critical.


The best paint finish for kitchen cabinets is typically semi-gloss or high-gloss. High-gloss finishes are extremely durable and, when professionally applied, they have a sleek sophisticated look. However, a high-gloss finish shows fingerprints and dirt more than other finishes and may not be the best choice for households with young children who always seem to have sticky hands. Semi-gloss reflects light and makes a space feel bigger without being too shiny. It’s a fairly reliable choice for most kitchen cabinets. We have a previous blog post all about the different types of paint finishes and sheens, check it out here.


4. Remove the Doors and Hardware But Label EVERYTHING


As you remove the hardware, label and number the doors. You can place the hardware in a plastic bag or tag them with a strip of painter’s tape and a Sharpie.

For the doors, mark them with the corresponding number in a place that will be hidden once the doors are reinstalled. If you fail to do this, you’ll find that, when it’s time to reassemble your cabinets, not all doors are interchangeable, and screw holes might differ slightly. Don’t learn this the hard way–trust us!

5. Prep the Cabinets


Prepping the cabinets before painting is an absolute must. Skipping on preparation will result in a poor paint job every single time. If the cabinets were previously painted or stained, you’ll need to de-gloss the surface. This allows new paint to adhere to the surface properly. Thicker finishes may require chemical strippers but usually, a light sanding is all that is required. If you’re painting wood cabinets with a heavy grain, additional preparation will most likely be needed to achieve a nice smooth finish.

6. Prime the Surface


Primer helps prepare the surface for the topcoat and is another necessary step. Primer will seal the surface and provide for proper adhesion of the paint. Primer increases your paint’s durability which means your cabinets will look good for longer. You can even have your primer tinted to match the color of your paint so the paint covers better. In most cases, a single coat of primer is all that is needed.


7. Apply Light Coats


Whether you are spraying, brushing, or using a roller, apply paint in thin, even coats. Applying too much paint at once will lead to runs and drips which do not look professional.

Two thin coats are usually the minimum recommended for painting kitchen cabinets. In most cases, one coat of primer and two coats of paint are sufficient. Some colors might require additional coats to achieve the desired look.

8. Take Your Time


Make sure to allow plenty of time between coats for the paint to dry thoroughly before applying another coat or it can muddle and ruin the smooth texture. Read the paint can to see how long the manufacturers recommend for the drying time. We know it’s hard to be patient watching paint dry but it is another crucial step to achieve a professional looking painting job!


Get the Absolute Best Cabinet Painting Results by Hiring the Professionals

Cabinet painting is often a surprisingly tedious project best left to professionals who do this type of work every day. Brown’s Family Painting specializes in residential painting and our fully trained, careful, and skilled painters are equipped to handle any size project. We offer professional cabinet painting services that will change the entire appearance of your kitchen without the need for expensive remodeling. Brown’s Family Painting is a family-owned business, serving Sacramento and the surrounding area. Contact us online or call (916) 234-6842 for a free quote. We look forward to earning your business.


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