Tips for Painting Cabinets

Thank you all for your sweet words on our kitchen makeover!  It was a huge project, probably my biggest transformation yet.  I put it off for the longest time because it felt like such a daunting task.  There are so many different cabinet tutorials out there and I felt overwhelmed by the different choices.  I was afraid I would mess something up, but honestly it's not hard, just time consuming.  It's really no different than painting a piece of furniture just on a much larger scale.  It ended up taking me about 3-4 weeks to finish it.  I did take some breaks here and there though.  I have to give a shoutout to my mom too for helping me with my youngest while working on this project.  I tried to utilize nap times and early bedtimes as much as possible too.    

So here's a reminder of where we started.  I knew it would probably take several coats since we were starting with such dark cabinets and going to white.    

One of the most time consuming parts was the prep.  It's always the part I look forward to the least because it's a lot of trouble and you don't really get to see the progress.  But it's probably the most important part.  I started by removing everything from the cabinets.  I used this as a good opportunity to go through everything and get rid of stuff I didn't really use or need anymore.  

 Then I wiped everything down with Thieves household cleaner.  With it being a non toxic cleaner, I wasn't sure how effective it would be for this, but it ended up working great.  Then I used drop cloths to cover as much as I could and sanded everything with my mouse sander.  Once everything was sanded I vacuumed up as much of the dust as possible and wiped everything down again.  I did the same for the cabinet doors.  Right before I started painting I wiped everything down with tack cloth to get rid of any small debris.

Once everything was cleaned up and ready for paint, I put everything back in the cabinets so we could at least have a functional kitchen.

I used a paint brush and mini foam roller for the bases. 

And for the cabinet doors and drawer fronts I used a Homeright Paint Sprayer.  It made things go so much faster.  I honestly can't imagine how long it would have taken me if I had done it by hand, especially with the amount of doors/drawers we had.  The sprayer comes with all the instructions you'll need and they are very easy to follow.  You need to thin the paint to allow it to spray correctly.  I found the easiest way to do this was to mix it in a gallon sized pitcher.  I just made a big batch and kept refilling my sprayer as needed. 

I created a makeshift spray booth in the garage by covering everything with plastic.  I used this plastic sheeting and it worked great.  I covered the entire floor and all the walls.  I used inexpensive strips of 1 x 2 x 8 to lay out the cabinet doors and keep them elevated.  I also used the lids from spray paint cans for a few of the doors.   

The biggest thing is to try to do light, even coats.  Since the paint is much thinner it will run and drip a lot easier.  I tried to keep the gun moving at all times and do sweeping motions.  I started by spraying the border and then did sweeping motions back and forth across the middle section, slightly overlapping each stroke.  You'll also want to make sure you stop and start off the surface of the door.  

I did two coats of primer on the backs of the doors and then waited a full day to flip them and prime the fronts.  Then I flipped them back over and painted the backs of the doors.  I did 4-5 coats of paint.  Then I flipped them back to the front and did about 5-6 coats on the front.  I wanted to make sure I finished on the front side of the doors in case there were any imperfections.  I wouldn't mind as much if they were on the back of the doors and I could just easily touch them up.  It seems like a lot of paint, but the coats are much thinner using the paint sprayer.  I used Sherwin Williams Extreme Bond Primer and Sherwin Williams Pro Classic Paint in semi gloss.  I chose to skip a sealer since the pro classic has a durable, wipeable finish.  Sherwin Williams has sales fairly often and I was actually able to snag the paint at 40% off.  

Another crucial part of painting cabinets is labeling where they all go.  I used painters tape to label the bases inside and then I wrote the number in the spot where the hinge goes on the door and covered it with tape.  When I was done painting I removed the tape and revealed the number.  After the hinge is screwed in place you won't be able to see it at all.

I let everything cure a few days before I hung the doors back up.  We also took a family vacation so everything had some time to sit before we started using it again.  

Overall I've been very pleased with how well they have held up.  I have two small children so they take a good bit of abuse.  We have had a few chips here and there that you would expect over time, but nothing major at all.  I'm able to easily wipe them down which is huge.  Sometimes I'll grab the magic eraser and that works really well too.  Actually the pictures from my kitchen post were taken almost one year later so you can see they have held up great!  I think that pretty much covers it, but if you have any questions please let me know.  And if you missed the full kitchen reveal post you can find it here.

Here's a consolidated supply list:
-Paint Color: Sherwin Williams Extra White
-Paint Brush (my favorite)

*This post is NOT sponsored.  Home right provided me with a paint sprayer to use for this project.  As always, all opinions are 100% mine.

*This post contains affiliate links which allows me to earn a small commission if you make a purchase at no extra cost to you.  Thanks for your support!



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