How To Prep and Paint a Cabinet for Wood and Laminate Cabinets

Chandler 480 Painting in Chandler AZ

Instead of replacing your cabinet, the best and budget-friendly option is to painting cabinets instead. Whether you choose to paint cabinets using a DIY approach or seek the help of professionals when painting cabinets, your decision will surely go a long way on saving your cabinet painting cost. However, you need to take a careful approach when you paint kitchen cabinets. If you are looking for cabinet painting tips for kitchen cabinets made of wood or laminates, you came to the right place!

The Process of Painting Kitchen Cabinets

If you intend to take on painting kitchen cabinets as a DIY project, you want to make your painted cabinets look as professional as you can. Before you start your cabinet painting activity, you need to choose the right paint first. It would help if you also planned how many coats of paints it will require you to get the look of the kitchen cabinets you are looking for. Moreover, we offer a few tips on how to avoid spoiling your hard work once you are painting cabinets.

Choosing The Right Paint Types

The best paint for your kitchen cabinets is acrylic latex paints for wood or laminate cabinets. Avoid using vinyl paints. For primers, select a stain blocking primer especially if your cabinet doors and drawers have heavy scruff marks.

Nowadays, there is a specific special paint for certain surfaces. Even among acrylic latex paints, you need to check the can for specific instructions. Only choose high-quality paint.

  • The most important detail you need to take note is the curing time.
  • For acrylic latex paint, wood is an ideal surface for painting.
  • Laminate cabinets, on the other hand, will require a specific primer.
  • What type of finish do you want for your cabinets? Since kitchens are typically heavy-traffic areas in the house, you might consider a glossy look for your kitchen cabinets to make them easier to clean. For a classic look, you may want a semi-gloss or satin finishes. We don’t suggest a matte or flat finish coat because those surfaces are challenging to clean. However, if you insist on a flat finish, select chalk paint for your cabinet.

Preparing Your Kitchen Cabinets

Before starting your kitchen cabinet painting project, ensure that your safety gear is ready. If you intend to use oil-based paint, you must take extra precautions to avoid inhaling harmful fumes. For the best results, we suggest painting cabinet doors in another area, such as your garage, as long as there is proper ventilation.

  1. Check The Condition of Your Kitchen Cabinets
    1. Painted kitchen cabinets may be repainted if the old paint is still in good condition.
    2. If the condition of the paint on your painted kitchen cabinets is not in good condition, remove them with a paint stripper. Apply the stripper with a brush and wait. Use a plastic scraper after about an hour to strip the paint away.
    3. Sand the remaining paint
  2. Empty the Cabinets and Remove Cabinet Doors
    1. Remove the contents of your cabinets
    2. Remove the handles and cabinet hardware from your cabinet doors
    3. Label each piece of hardware according to which cabinet door they belong to
  3. Repair Damages and Clean Out Cabinet Surfaces
    1. Using a TSP cleaner, remove all grease and dirt to ensure the proper coating
    2. Fill all the dents and holes with wood filler. Use a putty knife to push the wood filler properly
    3. If you intend to use a different set of hardware, fill the holes that won’t line up with the new hardware with wood filler as well.
  4. Prepare Your Work Area
    1. Cover your appliances, countertops, and other areas with a drop cloth.
    2. Once you cover everything in the area not involved in the painting project, commence sanding flat surfaces. Once done, sand the corners and hard-to-reach places as well.
  5. Clean Your Work Area
    1. Ensure everything in the area is dust-free before your start painting

Apply The Right Primers

Regardless of the wood or laminates you chose for your cabinets. The primer will help the paint stick properly, irrespective of the wood grain.

1. For the entire painting process, remember to paint from the inside out.

2. Start painting your cabinet frames. Use a brush to ensure that you reach all areas.

3. Use a foam roller to apply the primer to flat surfaces.

4. Run your foam roller without reapplying the primer to “lay off” the surface.

Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets

Though painting cabinets with a brush and roller is suitable for DIYers, painting kitchen cabinets using spray paint will still be the best paint job for wood cabinets. However, if you intend to use brushes and rollers, here is how you do it:

1. Since you will be painting from the inside out. Start with the cabinet frames. Using a new high-quality brush, start with a narrower surface first. Use a foam roller to paint flat surfaces. Use even brush strokes by brushing back into the wet paint. Like what you did with a primer, lay off your paint after every coat.

2. Start painting the back of your cabinet doors first. Ensure you paint them when prone on a flat surface to avoid the paint running down. Paint the front of cabinet doors once the paint you applied on the back of your cabinet doors is dry. Once done, you must ensure the paint dries before applying the finishing coat.

3. Apply your finishing coat using the same procedure discussed to ensure a smooth finish. Do not proceed to reassemble your cabinet doors and drawers before the paint dries.

  1. Before reassembling, make sure your freshly painted cabinets are completely dry.

Refinishing Your Kitchen Cabinet Handles and Hardware

1. Wash your kitchen cabinet door handles and hardware using soap and water.

2. Scuff the cabinet hardware using steel wool

3. if you intend to paint your kitchen hardware, spray the correct primer on the hardware while attached upright to cardboard.

4. Once dry, apply a light coat of paint. The best paint on metal is oil paint or enamel paint. Make sure to have the proper ventilation when painting metal surfaces with oil-based paint.

Reassemble Your Cabinets

Reassemble your cabinet hardware, drawer pulls, and cabinet doors to the cabinet.

Takeaways: For the Best Quality Results, See How We Do It!

Painting kitchen cabinets is a fun activity. However, painting projects involving an entire room require care, skill, and planning. You will need the proper equipment and a lot of spare time to pull off this challenging painting project. For instance, you may need to borrow a paint sprayer and buy painting equipment that you may not use again. If you want to ensure high-quality painted cabinets and save time, you can ask the pros to do it. Chandler480 has executed kitchen cabinet painting projects perfectly for hundreds of clients for decades. If you want to know more about our kitchen cabinet painting service, call us at 480-930-2360, or fill out the estimate form on this page.

Scroll to Top