How To Stretch Your Kitchen Remodel Budget By Repainting Your Cabinets

21 February 2017
 Categories: , Articles

When remodeling your kitchen, upgrading your appliances can add value to your home, but it also can take a chunk out of your remodeling budget. By refinishing and painting your kitchen cabinets, you can give your kitchen a new look at a minimal cost. Here are instructions to help you complete this project with your kitchen cabinets.

Disassemble the Cabinets

The first step to preparing your cabinets for repainting is to remove the hardware, such as handles and knob-pulls, then remove the doors from the cabinets. Place the hardware for each door into a separate plastic bag and place the bag inside each cabinet where it was removed from. This will help you to remember where each hardware piece goes when you reassemble your cabinets.

Also, keep the doors arranged in order so you remember which door connects onto each cabinet. This can help you prevent mixing up the doors and having them fit poorly onto their hinges. You can also place numbered stickers onto the doors and cabinets to help you match them up when you have finished painting your cabinets.

Clean and Repair the Cabinets

It is important to clean the surfaces of all the cabinets you intend to repaint, as they can collect grease and other residues from food cooking. Oil and other cooking residues can create a slippery surface for the paint and it won't properly adhere onto the cabinets. If your cabinets are wooden, use a solution of trisodium phosphate and water, which will cut through and remove any grease. Use a plastic scrubbing sponge to help clean the cabinets and make sure you clean in any grooves and detailing with a toothbrush.

Repair any water damage on your cabinets by sanding down the warped surfaces to make them smooth to match surrounding surfaces. Then, fill in any cracks, holes, or other damaged voids with wood filler. Push the wood filler into the damage with a putty knife or your finger, then smooth its surface to match the surrounding cabinet surface.

If your kitchen cabinets are made of laminate, it is necessary to use a stronger cleaner that contains xylol to remove residues and prepare the surface for paint. Be sure to wear protective gloves and a respirator, and open your windows and doors if you are cleaning the cabinets indoors. The xylol cleaner creates harmful and flammable fumes that can ignite and also cause harm to your lungs if you breathe them in, so it is better if you complete this cleaning process outside.

Prepare the Surfaces

Now you can sand down the surface of your wood cabinets with a medium-grit sandpaper to remove any peeling lacquer or old paint that may have been previously applied onto your cabinets. It is not necessary to remove all the paint or finish to expose the bare wood, as you can paint directly over existing finish. Be sure to sand along the grain of the wood to prevent damaging the wood surface. 

For laminate cabinets, sand their surfaces with a 150-grit sandpaper to create a rough surface to allow the primer and paint to adhere. Wipe them down again with your xylol cleaner to remove all remaining dust and other residues, remembering to ensure there is plenty of ventilation. 

Apply the Primer and Paint

The best method of applying primer and paint onto your cabinets is with the use of a paint sprayer. You can rent a good one at a local tool and equipment rental company. Painting with a brush or a paint roller will work but can lead to bubbles, runs, and uneven application in the painted surface.

For wood cabinets, apply a sealant primer to prepare them for painting. A primer that seals the wood helps the layer of paint to adhere better. Then, once the primer has dried, apply a latex semi-gloss paint, using a couple coats to get even coverage.

For laminate cabinets, apply a bonding primer onto the cabinets, then let it dry for two to three days. After that time, lightly sand the surface of the primer with 220 grit sandpaper, being careful to not sand off too much of the primer. Last, apply a latex semi-gloss paint.

Use these instructions to help you refinish your kitchen cabinets, then rehang the doors, hardware, and insert the drawers. Or, if you feel you cannot do this project yourself, contact a kitchen remodeling company, such as Kitchen & Bath Decor & More, that can help you.