Bathroom & Kitchen Guide

Your complete guide to remodeling, design and new products.


How to repaint your kitchen cabinets for a fresh new look

Sick of the color of your kitchen cabinets or are they just worn and tired looking? If you have wood surfaced kitchen cabinets then they can easily be repainted.

What you will need is enough paint for your cabinets to receive 2 coats of paint, some undercoat paint and a finishing coat; which can be a gloss or matte finish. Also you will need some paint stripper, a paint scraper, sand paper 800grit , putty and some decent paint brushes. If you have cabinets that have carved designs keep this in mind when you are buying your paint brushes, as you will need a few different sizes. You will also need some cleaning solution such as turpentine and a bit of free time.

Before you start splashing paint around you need to prep all the kitchen cabinet surfaces. The best way to do this is to pull all the doors off. Some kitchen cabinets can easily unhinge and others will need to be unscrewed. Keep all screws in a safe place. Otherwise you may end up a few short at the end when you are putting the doors back on.

Depending on condition of the cabinets depends if you need a heavy duty paint stripper or not. In a well ventilated area coat the doors and cabinets with paint stripper and it is best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the correct usage and activation time. Then carefully scrape of the paint stripper after the directed time.

Once the paint stripper is removed lightly sand the cabinets to a smooth finish. If there are any dints or cracks in the cabinetry use some putty to fill these and when it dries, sand the area back for a nice smooth surface too.

We are almost there, with a damp cloth wipe away any dust on the surfaced then wipe it with a dry lint free cloth. Any dirt or dust that is not wiped off will show up in the paint. It is a good idea to quickly vacuum the area you are working in so any dirt doesn’t flick up on the painted surfaces.

After all the kitchen cabinet surfaces are prepped it is now time to begin painting. Firstly apply an undercoat to the cabinets. This helps treat the wood underneath and ensure a nice even colour tone of the finished surface. Do not apply the undercoat too thick, it should just be a thin layer of paint as you are going to coat the cabinets twice with the finished colour.

After your undercoat has dried it is time to paint with colour. Apply a even coat of paint to the cabinets and doors. Keep your brush strokes even and all in the one direction. It is best to work top to bottom not left to right. Don’t overload your brush with too much paint as this can cause streaks and runs in the paint. Use a smaller brush if there are any fiddly areas to paint such as carved details or edges close to the wall or floor. Paint these areas first before you coat the larger areas. Check the paint manufacturer instructions for the recommended drying time. In the meantime make sure you wash out your brushes to prevent the paint drying and ruining the brushes.

Once the first coat has dried it is time to apply the second coat. Do this how you applied the first coat. Small fiddly areas first then the larger areas and be careful to have nice even strokes to give a great finish. The final coat takes a while to dry normally a bit longer than the first coat.

It is up to you if you apply a finishing sealant coat. It is a good idea to give a finishing coat for kitchen cabinets since it is a high traffic area. There are a few different products to choose from. Also some paints have it already included in their product so check with your paint specialist. If you need to apply a finish coat make sure you diligently apply the product in nice even strokes as any imperfections will easily show.

Once this finish coat completely dries pop your doors back on and you have finished repainting your kitchen cabinets giving your kitchen a refreshed updated look.

To take it to the next level you could update the handles and pulls and even replace the kitchen counter top surfaces too.

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