Preparation is always just as important as the actual job itself.
Without proper preparation, a paint job can look messy or simply fall
apart prematurely. Many do-it-yourself painters don’t realize just how
much preparation is required when it comes to painting kitchen cabinets
and having them look their absolute best at the end. The following steps
will explain how to get your kitchen cabinets ready for your painting
project with simple tools that you probably already have. However, it is
important to keep in mind that professionals will have access to better
materials, tools and paints than the average person and also have the
experience to make the final product look better than most people are
capable of despite following all of the steps below.
Dismantle the Cabinets
The very first step is to take the cabinets completely apart
so that all surfaces can be painted as neatly as possible. This
involves removing the hinges, handles, knobs, latches and any other
added hardware that can get in the way of painting the cabinet itself. A
tell-tale sign of a poor paint job is hinges and hardware that have
been painted over ever so slightly. Many people try to tape off the
hardware to avoid taking everything apart, but the hardware has too many
edges to tape off perfectly and even if it is taped off with great
care, there will be a noticeable edge where the paint meets the
hardware. Not only is this edge unsightly, but it also increases the
chances of the paint peeling or flaking off in this area when the
cabinets are wiped down with a cloth since water will be able to creep
in and cause problems.
Clean the Surfaces
Kitchen cabinets really take a beating when it comes to dirt
and grease. The hot and smoky environment of a kitchen can allow grease
and grime to firmly take hold even when cabinets look clean at first
glance. Professionals will use a chemical to clean the cabinets and
remove all of the grease that may have worked its way in over the years.
If this step is skipped, paint will usually have a difficult time
adhering to the cabinet and premature flaking or peeling is a very real
possibility. Without access to professional chemicals, hot water and
dish soap can do a decent job.
With the cabinets cleaned and free of grease, now is the
perfect time to fix scratches, dents or gouges that are likely present
on the visible surfaces of the cabinets. This can be done with wood
putty and then sanded smooth so that the imperfection is invisible. This
even works for old holes from hinges that may have been in a different
position or if your hinges need to have new holes drilled. For putty to
fix deep imperfections the best, the putty should slightly overfill the
dent so that the dent will be completely hidden after sanding. Once the
imperfections have been repaired, the entire area of the cabinet that
will be painted can be sanded down. This is especially important when
the old paint was flaking off or cracking.
Tape and Prime
Any areas that will not be painted should now be taped off
to prevent paint or primer from sticking to these areas. This is a key
step to making sure that the final paint job looks neat. Primer should
always be applied in order to make sure that the paint will withstand
the heat, grease and moisture of a kitchen environment. Once the primer
has been neatly applied and allowed to dry, your kitchen cabinets are
ready for paint! No need to tape off sections a second time, unless the
tape was damaged somehow after or during priming. Make sure to look at
the primed surface for imperfections because the primer will show
imperfections just like the paint will. Don’t expect paint to hide flaws
since paint is only as beautiful as the surface underneath.
By following every one of the above steps, chances are that
your paint job will look amazing. Of course, not everyone has enough
time or experience to take cabinets apart and put them back together
while following all the steps and without damaging the paintjob along
the way. Sanding a surface to be free of imperfections is an art, so
don’t be discouraged if it is painstakingly slow at the beginning or if
you end up requiring the services of a professional at any point in the
process. A professional can help get the job done faster and without
inconveniencing the flow of your home during the project.
If you have any questions or would like to get a free estimate, contact us here or call us directly at 239.963.7937.