I have gotten LOTS of questions about painting my kitchen cabinets (click here to see the finished product).
So I have compiled some tips, facts and regrets to make the overwhelming process seem doable.
- I was only unable to cook in the kitchen for 2-3 days during the whole painting process.
- It took me 66 days from start to finish for the prep work, painting, and then putting everything back in place. I know I could have completed it faster but life happened.
- I used a self-leveling enamel paint specifically made for painting cabinets.
- I did not sand before painting.
- I did use a simple cleaner on the cabinets to remove existing grime.
- I did 3-4 coats of paint on every surface.
- I allowed each coat to dry for 24 hours.
- I used an angled paint brush and a foam roller for painting.
- I did not paint the inside of the cabinets.
- 1 1/2 gallons covered 17 doors and drawers plus the frames.
- Painted cabinets will chip. It’s inevitable.
- I stocked up on disposable plates and cups so I didn’t have dishes to clean on top of the paint mess I had EVERYWHERE.
- I also stocked up on easy meals (hello Trader Joes), and we ate quite a bit of Papa Johns.
- I moved my kitchen table and chairs into the basement and used that area for all the paint mess.
- I taped paper to all the exposed floors so I didn’t have to worry about drop clothes.
- Cover all your appliances so you don’t have to spend a hour cleaning off tiny bits of white paint on your black appliances (like I did).
- Number all the drawers and cabinets. By the time you are finished you won’t be able to remember which one goes where. Trust me on this one.
- I used a paint can spout which saved me on A LOT of clean up time.
- Paint the cabinet frames before you paint the doors. It makes the whole process MUCH easier because once the frames are done you can remove the paper “drop-cloths” and use your kitchen normally while you finish painting the cabinet doors.
- I painted the doors in batches of six. Four coats on six doors, and then once dry I hung them. It gave me a sense of accomplishment when I felt like the process would never be over.
- Painting the cabinet doors was MUCH easier because of the framework my husband put together for me.
- Do NOT paint on rainy days. The humidity really effects the paint.
- Initially the paint looks horrible, but as it dries the finish become more even and the brush strokes disappear.
- Once you are ready to put hardware back on the cabinets be sure to place a towel underneath the cabinet to keep from messing up the finish as you use a drill or hammer to secure the hardware.
- I wish I had sanded the cabinet doors. The areas that get the heaviest use chipped almost immediately. I ended up sanding, and repainting a few of these ares which seemed to do the trick.
- Priming at least the doors, and possibly the frames would have helped with the wood grain showing through. Live and learn.
Products to make the job easier: all these products came from Home Depot but can be ordered on Amazon as well.
I tend to be a messy painter so anything to make the job cleaner is greatly needed. This simple pour spout saved me time and money! And I didn’t have to take the paint can lid off and on all the time because the spout is air tight when closed.
This “handy” paint container and liners made painting on a ladder so much easier. The liners make clean-up a breeze. And the magnet on the side keeps your paint brush clean.
Using painter’s tape I fastened this brown paper to the floor anywhere I thought I might drip. And it was thick enough that even the drips didn’t seep through to the hardwood. And it stayed put for 2 months. Awesome product.
I am not going to say this is the best paint ever, but if you are a novice painter (or just not a great painter) it hides brush strokes and dries to a nice hard finish.
It says that you don’t need to use primer, but I should have anyway.
For the money this is a great product. Some of the other cabinet paint options I looked at were $80 -$100 a gallon. It does have a limited selection of tint-able colors. It is only sold online, but Home Depot can tint it for you in the store. I just used the bright white that came in the can.
And the best part was that it really adhered to the laminate areas on my cabinets. So if you have a mix of laminate and real wood cabinets this is a great option.
Overall I am very pleased with how the painted cabinets look now. I am not sure if I will ever tackle painting cabinets on my own. I might opt to save my pennies next time and hire a professional.
I hope that helps.
Feel free to ask questions.