Face Your Kitchen
Your Guide to Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

How To Paint Custom Kitchen Cabinets

by Marshall McCauley
Face Your Kitchen Columnist

You can avoid the high cost of new kitchen cabinets by simply reconditioning your existing cabinetry. With some simple sanding and finishing tools, you can paint your old cabinets to look like new.

Basic Steps to Painting Custom Kitchen Cabinets

  1. Leaving the cabinet boxes in place, remove all of the cabinet doors, drawers, and hardware. Label the doors and drawers in an inconspicuous place so that you can correctly reinstall them on their original cabinet boxes once the painting is complete.
  2. Prepare the cabinet parts for painting. While previously painted cabinets may only require a light sanding before refinishing, keep in mind that cabinets covered in a lacquered clear coat may need to be chemically stripped before you can paint them. If you bring one of your cabinet doors to your local paint store, they should be able to recommend the best way to prep your cabinets for painting.
  3. If your cabinets are in poor condition, then you may need to coat them with a stain blocking primer before applying the finish paint. If noticeable areas of your cabinets have dents or chips in them, then prior to painting you can apply a wood filler to create a smoother painting surface.
  4. When selecting a paint for the cabinets, choose a finish that complements the aesthetic of your kitchen. You can create custom looking kitchen cabinets by using special glazes and painting techniques, which can make your cabinets look aged and unique. Be sure to paint some sample boards before painting the actual cabinetry, this way you can practice your techniques and see a sample of the final color.
  5. Once the paint is completely dry, you can select and install some new door pulls and drawer handles that match the finished cabinets. Reinstall the drawers and doors onto their original cabinet boxes and you are done.

When painting your kitchen cabinets, the quality of your finished project depends on you, so work carefully, stay organized, and strive for the best possible results.

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