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Painting Kitchen Cabinets - A quick and simple update

Update a dreary and dim kitchen by giving it new color with a coat of paint. It's a swift and simple solution that requires no construction or other major undertaking. a wonderful alternative to buying new cabinetry.

Select Your Painting Alternative

You can paint your existing doors and drawer fronts in addition to your cabinet surfaces and casework, or buy them new through Rockler's door and drawer program. Replacing your cabinet doors and drawer fronts enables you to update the style of your cabinets, and save a significant amount of time in the process. You'll need to remove the old doors and drawers to paint them anyway. Rockler offers a wide variety of ready-to-paint styles to choose from. Or, you may want to consider Rigid Thermo Foil (RTF) doors and drawer fronts for a durable white matte finish without painting. Simply determine the size, style, and edge option of the door and drawer fronts you need for a striking new look. New hardware will add the polish of a professional kitchen update.

Choose Your Paint

You will need to consider three paint type alternatives. They are:

  1. Epoxy paint
  2. Oil-based paint
  3. Acrylic water-based paint
Epoxy

Epoxy paints are the hardest form of paint finish, but are usually spayed on. Unless you're willing to spend a lot of time preparing adjacent areas from over spray, we recommend another alternative.

Acrylic Water-based

Acrylic water-based paints. latex paints, offer ease of use and clean up with soap and water, but take up to 7 days to cure. They do not adhere well to previously painted or finished cabinetry so an oil-based primer must be used first. The final finish is not as hard as provided by an oil-based paint.

Oil-based Paint

Oil-based paints produce a beautiful luster and dry in a relatively short time. They require more intensive clean up (petroleum solvents), but reach final curing hardness within 48 hours.

The Painting Process

Preparation is the key to a successful paint job. It's easy when you observe the following 6 steps.

Step #1:  Remove door and drawer hardware and take all doors off their hinges.

Step #2: Wash and degrease all surfaces to be painted with a trisodium phosphate (TSP) cleaner to remove dirt and grime from old surfaces.  (Make sure to wear rubber gloves and safety glasses).

Step#3: Lightly sand all cabinets with 120-grit sandpaper to roughen their surfaces, and wipe with tack cloth. This will assure the adherence of a new paint covering to the old surfaces.

Step#4: Prime all exterior surfaces using a high quality paintbrush or roller and allow the primer to dry thoroughly. Use a second coat if necessary to cover original finish or stains.

Step#5: Apply two coats of a high-quality paint and allow it to dry for 24 hours before reassembling components. Be sure to sand between coats with 220-grit sandpaper to remove dust nibs and/or drip marks.

Step#6: Reassemble doors and drawers, and install new hardware.


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