You really don’t want hinges, cabinet hardware and interiors covered in paint. It’s tempting to leave the doors in place for painting, but you’ll get a much neater job by removing doors and hardware first. On many cabinets, drawer fronts can be removed, if not, use masking tape to protect the drawer sides and bottom.
Label your doors so you can match them up with the right cabinets later. Write where the hinges were attached, so you dont have to paint over your labels! Mask over that area before painting to save your labels.
Kitchens inevitably have a little more grease in the air, that ends up on your cabninet surfaces. Make sure to degrease them with either a DIY solution of washing up liquid or an off the shelf degreaser. Remember to rinse and dry.
You likely don’t have the benefit of our professional dustless sanding machines. You should lightly sand your cabinets for good paint adhesion, but it will cause dust. It’s really important to remove all that dust carefully before any painting.
After sanding vacuum with a soft bristle to get the bulk of the dust off. Go over with a tack cloth. You can buy packs of tack cloths at DIY shops. To use a tack cloth, unfold it then loosely crumple it up. Wipe it gently over the surface to pick up dust. Shake it out often and recrumple to use again. When the cloth stops picking up dust well, get another.
Sand lightly between coats for the best finish, and remember the same level of care in removing dust.
Want to speed up the project? Choose a fast-drying primer for the first coat. Read the label for information on recoating time and to make sure the primer is compatible with the paint you’re planning to use.
Read labels and buy paint that’s specifically for painting cabinets. Glossier finishes show up any mistakes, so unless you’re a super careful and patient painter, consider eggshell or satin finishes.
If your paint feels too thick and isn’t smoothing out after application, try adding a paint conditioner. Read the label for correct proportions of conditioner to paint. Conditioned paint is often applies easier and dries smoother .
You can buy “painter’s pyramids“, plastic supports for your doors while you paint them. Or you can make your own by driving 2 inch screws through 3 inch squares of ply sheet. It’s best to let the first side dry before moving on, but if you don’t mind four tiny indentations on the back of your doors, you can paint the front immediately after the back using such standoffs.
Paint the back first, but leave the edges unpainted! This will give you a safe spot for your fingers when you turn the door over. After painting the back, turn the door over and rest it on the screw tips. Now you can paint the door edges and front, then let the door dry.
Paint with a mini roller! Experienced painters can use a brush, but for most a mini roller is a more effective option for painting kitchen cabinets. Foam sleeves will leave the smoothest finish, but they don’t hold much paint, so you’ll be reloading frequently. Experiment on the inside of doors to see which sleeve type works best with your paint.
Follow the wood grain! You probably know this one. If you’re painting frame-and-panel cabinet doors, follow the direction of the wood grain with your finishing brushstrokes. The last brush strokes should running from top to bottom on vertical sections.