Face Your Kitchen
Your Guide to Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

Can painting cupboard doors save you money?

by Shannon Lee
Face Your Kitchen Columnist

Painting cupboard doors on your own might seem like a great way to save money. But before you pick up that brush, think long and hard about the materials required, the work you will face and the time you will spend. Then decide how much money you are really saving.

Painting cupboard doors: materials and tools

Painting those doors takes much more than a bucket of paint and a brush. Here's what you will need to make this do-it-yourself project happen:

  1. Tools to remove the doors and put them back on, including screwdriver, hammer and drill
  2. Hardware to replace the old hinges and knobs if necessary
  3. Drop cloth and rags
  4. Sandpaper
  5. Wood filler or other substance to fill holes if necessary
  6. Putty knife
  7. Paintbrushes and small rollers
  8. Paint in the color you prefer
  9. Primer
  10. Finish or top coat if needed

These are the most basic items required -- you could also need tools other than those listed here. If you must remove layers of paint before you start your new paint job, that involves a whole host of other items, such as paint thinner, scrapers and even more rags.

Finding these items at a discount store might save you plenty of cash; you could get the job done for less than $100. But that doesn't account for top-notch materials, unexpected surprises or your valuable time.

How much is your time worth?

The process of painting cupboard doors starts with cleaning the doors, then preparing them to accept the paint. Removing the doors and cleaning them could take several hours. Removing previous layers of paint, roughing the wood up with sandpaper, fixing those little holes and dents, or applying primer can add a few days to the project.

Then the real work starts. Most cabinets will need more than one coat of paint, and that means ample time to dry between coatings. What you thought might be a weekend project has now turned into at least a week, and the finish line isn't in sight yet. And keep in mind: Once the painting is done, you might have new hardware to install.

If painting cupboard doors seems like it's going to be a serious undertaking, you might actually save money by going with a professional contractor. The shorter period of time it takes to do the job, the peace of mind that it's done correctly and the freedom of keeping your time as your own are great reasons to let the pros handle the work. If you're looking for a good licensed, bonded and insured* contractor in your area, this site provides access to a network of pre-screened professionals.

*See terms and conditions: http://www.streetcertified.com/about/Terms.jsp

About the Author
Shannon Lee has written professionally for two decades on a wide variety of topics, including medical and health issues, home repair, education and relationships.

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