How to Repaint Kitchen Cabinets: Repaint cabinets and furniture to give them a new look on a budget

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  • Confused about painting kitchen cabinets? A complete kitchen remodel can be expensive and stressful, but if you’re happy with the design and your cabinets are in good condition, why not consider repainting what you have?

    There are many kitchen color combinations to choose from, so painting the cabinets is a great way to add a pop of color to your kitchen. You may even save money on buying new handles or countertops if you do the work yourself.

    Start with finding the best paint for your kitchen cabinets, find the right paint for your job, then follow our experts to learn how to paint your cabinets to ensure your paint project is perfect…

    Kitchen with blue cabinets under white subway tiles

    Image credit: Susie Bell

    Where to start painting kitchen cabinets?

    Cabinet paint colors are easy to update in the kitchen. Professionals remove the door first, as you are less likely to run and drip if painted horizontally. The easiest way is to remove it from the hinge.

    Are you missing or unable to delete them? Cover the hinges with masking tape and make sure all metal work is hidden and painted in place. However, always remove the handle. A cordless screwdriver is here to speed things up and remove dust from paper or newspaper to protect floors.

    How to prepare cabinets for painting?

    There are no shortcuts! Cleaning is necessary to remove the accumulated grime in the kitchen. If the situation is really bad, use a special degreaser like Zep Commercial All Purpose Cleaner & Degreaser.

    Next, “nail” the surface so the paint adheres. In fact, this is just a light sand on a fine paper; 150-250 grit is sufficient. You don’t have to go crazy, just use a flat matte finish. Then wipe off the dust with a damp cloth and let it dry completely.

    Buy now: Zep Commercial Multipurpose Cleaner & Degreaser, £12.89, Screw Mount

    Kitchen with pink walls and grey cabinets with brass handles

    Image credit: Colin Poole

    draw kitchen cabinet step by step

    Aga ice cream in the fireplace next to the ice cream cabinet

    Image credit: Rust-Oleum

    If you’re looking for DIY kitchen ideas on a budget, giving new spirit to your kitchen cabinets by painting is a great option. Choose a formula designed for the job, such as Rust-Oleum Kitchen Cabinet Paint. The result is a chalky finish that’s good enough to withstand repeated pounding and cleaning.

    No primer or finish is required for wood or melamine cabinets. However, shiny cabinets require a quick sanding with fine-grit sandpaper.

    what do you need

    • degreaser
    • adhesive tape
    • screwdriver
    • paint mixer
    • brush
    • roller
    • painting kitchen interior

    Buy now: Rust-Oleum Kitchen Cabinet Paint, Green, £22.99, 750ml, Very

    1. Clean all surfaces

    Close-up shot of beige kitchen cabinets ready to paint

    Image credit: Rust-Oleum

    Before you start painting, thoroughly clean kitchen cabinets with detergent to remove dirt and grease. Let dry.

    2. Protect walls and floors

    Paint the edges of the kitchen cabinets a cream color.

    Image credit: Rust-Oleum

    Peel the tape along the edges of the cabinets to protect walls and surfaces you don’t want to paint. It also helps create sharp edges. Apply polish to countertops, floors and appliances to collect paint drips.

    3. Remove the handle

    Remove cream kitchen drawer handles.

    Image credit: Rust-Oleum

    Carefully remove the drawer and cabinet handles with a screwdriver and set them aside. Open the paint can and use the paint stick.

    4. Start painting the cabinets

    Cream kitchen cabinets are painted green.

    Image credit: Rust-Oleum

    Start with the brush into holes or hard-to-reach areas to ensure even and complete coverage.

    5. Paint finish

    The upper kitchen cabinets are roller painted green.

    Image credit: Rust-Oleum

    Continue rolling a short repeating roller to coat the rest of the cabinets and drawers. Rust-Oleum kitchen cabinet paint dries every hour.

    6. Enjoy your new kitchen

    Aga ice cream on floor to ceiling green sideboard

    Image credit: Rust-Oleum

    When completely dry, remove the tape and reattach the handle. If you’re going for a complete overhaul, why not replace the old handle with a new one? This beautiful green kitchen idea looks like floor-to-ceiling cabinets with simple brass handles.

    Do kitchen cabinets need a primer?

    Primer provides a good base for paint and prevents caking and splattering. The type of primer depends on the surface to be painted: just read the can or choose Universal Primer as a primer and one coat for all Ronseal surfaces. Wood primer only works on bare wood, not painted.

    Some paints specifically for furniture do not require a primer; this is clearly mentioned on the disc. If you’re still unsure, take a photo of the door (or the door itself) and visit your nearest home improvement store or interior design center for advice.

    What type of kitchen cabinet paint is best?

    Again, it depends on the type of door and the desired finish. The safest option for laminates is to purchase special general purpose coatings designed for wood, melamine and MDF. Any wood or eggshell interior paint is suitable for painted and wooden kitchen doors.

    Chalk paint is suitable for kitchen cabinets, but a finish usually needs to be covered with wax or varnish to clean the surface.

    Protek’s Becky Rackstraw advises: “A new color requires several coats. Take your time and allow each coat to dry completely.”

    blue kitchen island with patterned bricks and planters

    Image credit: Chris Snook/Future PLC

    Best Tips for Painting Kitchen Furniture

    Take your time, this is not a Sunday afternoon switchover project. It’s tempting to apply a thick, quick coat, but even the slightest rubbing will peel the paint and you’ll regret it.

    • Leave paint in thin coats for at least 5 to 7 days, lightly sanding and dusting between coats.
    • Please be patient and allow the primer to dry for at least 4 hours and all other coats to dry for 24 hours.
    • Apply at least two coats of colored paint, more if you want a solid finish.
    • Fine foam rollers create a modern, smooth finish, while brushes leave a more rustic, retro impression.
    The kitchen has pink walls, white subway tiles and dark green cabinets

    Photo credit: Lizzie Orm

    Can you paint any cabinets?

    Most specialty cabinet coatings are suitable for use on all types of wood and acrylic cabinets. However, it is important to remember that surfaces that are not solid wood, such as stainless steel, vinyl or laminate, are more difficult to paint because the paint will crack or peel. If you decide to paint laminate cabinets, you will need to use a special adhesive primer before painting.

    The trick to painting cabinets is in the prep phase. Ideally, cabinets should be sanded before painting so the new paint will stick well. If the cabinets are in contact with wood, no sanding is required. If your cabinets are factory finished, lightly sand them with sandpaper or 120-grit sandpaper.

    Are you ready to paint?

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