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How to Paint Old Kitchen Cabinets (page 2 of 2)

Learn how to give your kitchen a whole new look by painting your old wood cabinets.

More in Painting

  • Time

    Weekend

  • Price Range

    $100 - $250

  • Difficulty

    Moderate to Hard

Here's How You Do It:

Step 5: Apply the Primer

Use a good-quality 3-inch brush to apply an even coat of primer-sealer to all surfaces to ensure a well-bonded finish coat. Primer-sealers also reduce the need to sand and deglaze old finishes before repainting. Another advantage to a primer-sealer is that it provides a good base for semi-gloss, water-based paint. High-gloss enamel paint was once the preferred finish for kitchen cabinets because it resists stains and water and is easily cleaned, but today’s water-based finishes are easier to work with and provide an equally durable finish.

Step 6: Apply Semi-Gloss Latex Paint

Start by painting the inside edges and openings of the face frames, then the outer cabinet sides, and finally the face frame fronts. This allows you to work quickly in the less critical areas, and enables you to see and correct any drips or smudges on the most visible areas.

Next, paint the cabinet doors and drawer fronts, along with any separate wood pieces or moldings. If these parts have raised or routed features, be sure to flow the paint into crevices and corners, but don’t allow it to accumulate in these spots.

Always apply paint in thin, light coats, but be sure to cover all areas. Thin coats leave fewer visible brushstrokes and dry more quickly. Don’t lay the finish on thickly and don’t overwork the brush — too many brush strokes will create air bubbles in the finish, leaving bumps and pits when it dries.

Allow the paint to dry for at least four hours between coats. When dry, resand all surfaces lightly to prepare them for the second coat, wipe away all sanding dust with a tack cloth, then repaint. Two coats of quality paint are usually all that is necessary, but you may want to add a third coat because kitchen cabinets take lots of punishment from cooking heat and day-to-day use, and wood surfaces need all the protection they can get.

apply coat of high quality semi gloss latex paint

Step 7: Mark the Placement of the Hardware

If you are attaching a new hardware in a different place than the original, use a combination square to mark the placement of the hardware on doors and drawer fronts. Slide the marker to measurements and mark with a pencil.

mark placement of hardware on doors and drawers

Step 8: Pre-Drill Then Attach Hardware

Center the spring punch on the mark, pull back and release. Then pre-drill all the holes marked by the spring punch.

Insert the hardware screws from the back and tighten into the handle with a screwdriver.

tighten handle with  screwdriver
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