Giving your kitchen a facelift might be what you need to spice up your home, but how do you begin? If you’re wondering how to paint kitchen cabinets, you’re not alone. Painting your kitchen cabinets may seem like a lot of work, but it is a relatively easy task as long as you have the correct supplies and follow a few simple steps.
Below we will teach you all you need to know about how to paint your kitchen cabinets and how to make the process as seamless as possible.
What Paint Should You Use for Kitchen Cabinets
There are many different types of paint and painting methods out there that make it difficult to know what is best. Below we cover common dilemmas that people face when wondering what is the best type of paint to use on kitchen cabinets:
Latex vs. Oil
Latex paints are steadily improving, and people have been leaning more towards them lately. They dry fast and are easy to clean. They are forgiving and user-friendly. Oil-based paints are less easy to clean, but they do form a harder coating and are arguably more durable.
Both paint types work great for painting kitchen cabinets and will provide a good finish.
Spray Paint vs. Brush Paint
Most people use brushes to paint their cabinets. A 3 or 4-inch brush will help you cover most of the flat panels, while a smaller, angled brush will help you get into the corners and any molding on the cabinets. Use a natural-bristle brush for oil-based paints and use a synthetic bristle brush for latex paint so that it does not absorb the water.
Praying paint onto your cabinets will create a smoother finish and might be less time-consuming, but it is less common because the technique takes some time to perfect, and if it is not done well, your cabinets will look streaked. Additionally, you will have to rent or purchase costly spray equipment, and you have to cover your kitchen to avoid spraying it.
Primer vs. No Primer
Primer is highly recommended when painting your cabinets. Primers do three things, they cover up stains so that they do not show through the fresh paint, they create a surface to adhere to the new paint, and they seal the natural wood so that the fresh paint does not just seep into it.
If your kitchen cabinets are made from wood and do have a finish on them, you will likely be okay skipping the primer. If your wood is old and unfinished or laminate, then definitely include a coat of primer before painting your cabinets.
Covering vs. Stripping
If the cabinets had been previously painted and finished with a clear coat, then stripping them down to the bare wood before painting them will provide you with the best results. It will ensure that the fresh paint adheres entirely to the cabinets.
Stripping the cabinets completely may be too time-consuming for you. If this is the case, cleaning the surface or lightly sanding them should be good enough. Different types of paint have additional requirements, and some can be directly painted on after a quick degrease and clean.
When to Paint Kitchen Cabinets
It is important to plan when you are going to paint your kitchen cabinets. You will be temporarily cutting off your kitchen for a while, so choose a time when you will not be using your kitchen to entertain or cook any big meals for a few days.
Set up a temporary kitchen to use for the time being. Bring a hot plate, a cooler, a toaster, and paper plates into a living or dining room to use temporarily. Remove all food and utensils from the cupboards and drawers and take all furniture into another room.
Should you paint before installing kitchen cabinets? Yes! If you install a new set of cabinets, paint them and let them dry completely before installing them into your home. If you are repainting your existing cabinets, then remove them from the kitchen, along with all drawers, and paint them before reinstalling them.
Where to Paint Kitchen Cabinets
When removing your cabinets, shelves, and drawers, start from the top to bottom and right to left. Label each one with a number on a piece of tape so you know exactly how to reinstall them. Set up a makeshift painting station.
If you have a garage or a shed, these are usually good areas to set up a paint station. They are typically open workspaces and have good air circulation. Make sure to lay down a sheet and cover any areas that might be susceptible to paint splashing and dripping. You can work outside as well, but dirt and debris can easily get blown into your wet paint.
If you want to paint them directly in your kitchen, cover the floor with sheets and the counters with rosin paper. Cover everything that could potentially get paint on it and set up a makeshift paint station by spanning a 2×4 between two ladders.
Is it Worth it to Paint Kitchen Cabinets?
Kitchen cabinets are a huge part of any kitchen. Cabinets often take up 40% of a kitchen’s total cost, so painting them rather than replacing them could save you tons of money. For example, repainting a 10 foot by 10-foot kitchen could cost around $200 total. Replacing all of the cabinets could start at about $1650.
Painting your cabinets can cost up to ⅓ less than replacing them with new ones. So, all in all, it may take more time to paint them yourself, but it will save you hundreds, even thousands, of dollars.
At the end of the day, painting your kitchen cabinets might seem like a daunting task, but it can be done at home by almost anybody. Renovating a kitchen can be expensive and time-consuming, but applying a fresh coat of paint onto your cabinets can transform a room by freshening up the space.
With the right paints, the proper technique, and exemplary dedication, you can quickly transform your kitchen and feel proud that you did it yourself. Happy painting!