Kitchen renovations are one of the most expensive items in home remodeling. Cabinetry costs more than replacing the kitchen furniture in many cases. If you can afford the expense, there are a wide variety of designs and styles available to update your cabinets. You can add extras like a kitchen island, lazy susan, or built-in appliance centers.
If replacing the cabinetry is too expensive for your budget, painting the kitchen is a less expensive alternative. Refacing involves replacing only the cabinet doors and exposed wood areas of the cabinets. The insides are left as they are to save money on the job. Painting is the least expensive option and can give the room new life. The job can be easily done over a long weekend with the right preparation.
You will need to decide if you will paint the entire cabinet, inside and out, or just the outside and the doors. To save time, consider leaving the inside of the cabinet alone, you won’t be able to tell the difference.
Preparing the Cabinets for Painting
Start by removing all hardware from the cabinets and remove the doors. Mark the doors, so you will remember which door goes on which cabinet. This will save you time and prevent aggravation later. Protect the counter tops and floor with drop cloths, old bed sheets or plastic sheeting. These can be taped in place, especially on the floors. If you will be replacing the flooring, paint the cabinets first.
Clean the cabinets thoroughly before painting. This is important. Grease and oils from cooking will prevent the paint from adhering properly. You could end up with an uneven color. A wood cleaner with orange oil works well for breaking down grease residue. Be sure to let the surface dry thoroughly before you begin to apply the primer.
Primer is an important step in the process. It provides a smooth, even surface for the paint to adhere properly. Use a roller for larger areas and a brush for small areas. Be sure to coat all areas, including the underside of the cabinets. Consider using sawhorses for priming and painting the doors, for an easier time and a more even coverage.
Allow the primer to dry thoroughly before you begin to paint. Overnight is generally sufficient for the primer to dry. Apply the paint in thin coats. It’s better to apply a few thin coats than to use one thick coat. Allow twenty four hours between coats for the paint to dry completely. Sand with a fine grit sandpaper between coats.
When the paint has dried completely, you are ready to put the doors back on and replace the hardware. Consider updating the hardware to match your new look. Door handles and hinges are inexpensive and can make a big difference in the look of the room.
Choosing Paint for Kitchen Cabinets
Don’t skimp on the paint. Use high quality paint that is right for the surface being covered. This will be different for wood or metal cabinets. If you’re not sure, ask for help at the paint store.
In general, you will want to use enamel paint. You have a few choices in the finish. Gloss, semi gloss or satin finishes are most commonly used. The higher the gloss, the stronger the finish and the easier it will be to clean. If you want less shine, consider the semi gloss finish.
Safety When Painting
Be sure to paint in a well ventilated room. Do the job when the weather is warm enough and leave the windows open.
Wear long pants and a long sleeve shirt to protect your skin from the paint. Plastic gloves can be worn to protect the skin on your hands.
Wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from paint and fumes.