A kitchen makeover doesn’t have to break the bank. Sometimes all you need is a new color palette to freshen things up, and painting your kitchen cabinets can be just the upgrade you need. Paint can cover up scratches or worn spots, and it also lets you bring the look of your kitchen up to date. A light color will brighten your space and make your kitchen seem bigger, too. So what are you waiting for? Use these tips to get started:
Choose the Right Cabinet Paint
While an oil-based paint is super durable, it can be a pain to use. It smells terrible, and it’s hard to clean up because it requires you to use mineral spirits as a solvent. Latex paint, on the other hand, is popular with DIYers because it cleans up easily and has low VOCs. It’s not nearly as resistant to chipping and staining, though — a major flaw in an area like a kitchen. Luckily, new waterborne alkyd paints provide the best of both worlds: They perform like an oil paint but clean up easily with water.
Prep Your Work Space
Start by removing all doors and drawer fronts, making sure to label the hinges and hardware so you can match everything back up to right cabinet when you’re finished. Clean off your counters and use drop cloths to protect your floors, backsplash and walls. If you can set up a work table or a sheet of plywood over some sawhorses, you’ll have a comfortable set-up for painting cabinet doors and drawer fronts.
Prep Your Cabinets
For paint to adhere properly, you have to prepare the wood. Scrub all surfaces to remove grease and grime; then fill any unnecessary holes and dents with wood putty. Use 100-grit sandpaper to rough up the surface of the wood, which will dull any previous finish and allow your new paint good adherence. Use a sticky tack cloth or damp sponge to wipe away any sawdust or residue.
Paint Your Cabinets
Your first coat of paint must be primer. Use an angled sash brush to get into corners and coat all wood surfaces thoroughly. When the primer is dry, you’re finally ready to add your topcoat. Use the same brush and go slowly, working in long strokes that go with the grain of the wood. If you find that you topcoat shows your brushstrokes, roll over it with a small roller made for very smooth surfaces for an even finish. Allow paint to dry thoroughly before adding a final coat.