Archive for Monday, February 7, 2011


Fix-It Chick: Painting cabinets a cheap way to make over your kitchen

February 7, 2011


Give your home an easy and affordable makeover by painting your kitchen cabinets.

Step 1: Remove everything from the cabinets to be painted and clean the area thoroughly.

Step 2: Remove the cabinet knobs or pulls. Use wood putty to fill in any large scratches, or screw holes that will not be reused.

Step 3: Remove the cabinet doors and hinges or leave the doors hanging and cover the hinges with blue painters tape. Cabinet doors can be painted while hanging, but the chances of paint drips are greater. Doors that are removed will need at least five days per side to dry before they are re-installed.

Step 4: Use 100-grit sand paper or a sanding sponge to lightly sand all surfaces to be painted. Once the sanding is complete, use TSP mixed with warm water to thoroughly clean the cabinets, inside and out. Don’t forget to sand and clean the undersides of the cabinets and shelves, as well as the inside portion of the doors.

Step 5: Once the cabinet is completely dry, use a brush to apply a quality primer, such as Kilz Premium Stain Blocking Primer or Zinsser Bulls Eye Zero Primer. Cabinets that are being repainted the same color as before do not need to be primed before painting.

Step 6: Painting cabinets is a slow and tedious process that is easier with a high quality brush and an excellent quality paint. When it comes to paint and brushes, there are no bargains. You pretty much get what you pay for. Use an angled brush for edges and tight corners and a 2 1/2-inch or 3-inch brush for the larger surface areas. A professional-looking finish can be achieved by applying several thin coats of paint with smooth, straight brush strokes. Do not rush the job. Perfect your technique by painting the backsides of the doors and the insides of the cabinets first.

Step 7: Allow the first coat to dry completely before applying the second coat. Two coats will usually suffice, but if you have a chance to apply a third coat, now is the time to do it. Multiple thin coats will hold up better in the long run.

Step 8: Allow the paint to dry for a minimum of five days before re-hanging the doors or restocking the cabinet shelves.

— Linda Cottin can be reached at


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 2 months ago

And don't stack the doors once they've been painted, even after they dry-- latex paint can work very effectively as an adhesive.

richfree 7 years, 2 months ago

An oil-based paint will give a much longer lasting finish which is much easier to keep clean. Its drawbacks include higher price, longer time req. between coats, and a messier cleanup. Also , better to use oil paint outside, when the weather cooperates ! C' mon spring !! .........thanks for your ideas Linda !!

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