Cabinet Repainting: How to Make Old Cabinets Irresistibly Attractive

If you’ve grown tired of your kitchen cabinets and want to change the color without replacing them, cabinet repainting is a cost-effective option. However, it can be challenging to get a smooth, even finish. To ensure that your new cabinet paint is the best it can be, follow these tips from pros:

Start with clean surfaces. Using a mild grease remover, wipe down your cabinet boxes and doors to remove any oils that could prevent a smooth finish. Afterwards, rinse the pieces thoroughly and allow them to dry completely before beginning the painting process.

Choose a primer-sealer, which helps your paint to adhere and reduces the need for sanding and deglazing. It’s a favorite of professionals because it provides a durable, furniture-like finish that resists stains. Primer-sealers work well with both latex and oil-based paints. If you’re planning on using a water-based paint, opt for a primer-sealer that’s compatible with it (typically labeled as “waterborne”).

For open-grained wood species like oak and walnut, use a sanding putty or wood filler to create a smooth surface before priming. If you’re painting a tightly grained wood, like cherry or maple, a sanding putty isn’t necessary.

To avoid smudging your fresh coat of paint, sand the cabinet surfaces gently before applying a second coat of primer-sealer and then painting again. Be sure to use a fine-grit sandpaper, such as 220-grit. After sanding, wipe down the surfaces with a tack cloth or other lint-free cloth to remove any dust and debris that may affect how smoothly your finishes dries.

When you’re ready to begin the actual painting process, apply a thin coat of your chosen cabinet paint to your boxes and doors. After the first coat dries, sand lightly with a fine-grit sandpaper, then wipe down again with your tack cloth to remove any dust that may have accumulated between layers. Finally, add a second coat of paint, paying special attention to detail trim, corners, and seams.

Once your cabinet paint has dried, you’re ready to reinstall the doors and drawer fronts, as well as any hardware that was removed before painting. Before reinstalling, be sure to label each piece with its corresponding location on the face frame using masking tape. That way, you’ll have a guide to help you line up the hinges and screws when reinstalling them. Also, be sure to leave the pieces to dry in a well-ventilated area for at least 24 hours—a few days is better. This allows the paint to harden properly and makes it less likely that it will chip or flake when you’re ready to reinstall them. If you’re worried about the hassle or aren’t confident in your DIY skills, hiring a Tampa cabinet painting services can be well worth the investment.