Before following the kitchen painting tips provided here, you must prepare the kitchen by storing all small appliances, clearing everything off the counters and emptying all the cabinets. Move chairs, tables and any other pieces of furniture into the garage or another room. Cover the floors and counters with rosin paper and apply plastic sheeting to windows, large appliances, and the backsplash as well as the doorways to prevent fumes and dust from spreading to other rooms in the home. Mask off the cabinets to prevent paint from getting on them. Prepare a table so you can paint the shelves, drawers and doors.
Tip from the Pros: A successful paint job in the kitchen requires meticulous surface preparation. Clean the cabinets thoroughly to remove any stuck on food, smoke residue and oils left behind by hands. The paint will not stick to the surfaces if they are dirty.
Step 2 -- Removing Shelves, Drawers and Doors
Remove all doors by detaching the hinge screws. Label each piece of hardware with a piece of tape with a number on it working from the left side to the right side and from the top to the bottom. Put numbers on the bottom of all drawers and on the ends of all shelves. Place the shelving hardware in a zippered plastic bag and set it aside. Use the worktable to remove all hinges and drawer pulls. Copy the number you wrote on the tape to the wood underneath one hinge. Cover the number with a piece of tape.
Step 3 -- Cleaning Every Surface with Deglosser
Make sure the windows are open for ventilation and use safety goggles and gloves. Dip an abrasive pad in liquid deglosser and scrub the shelves, drawers, doors and frames. Use a rag to collect any deglosser that drips. Before the deglosser has a chance to evaporate, remove the residue with another rag dampened with deglosser.
Step 4 -- Filling All the Holes
If you are placing the hardware in a different position, use auto body filler or polyester wood to fill in any existing screw holes. These products set quickly, so mix small batches at a time. Dee recommends using a ratio of a glob of filler approximately the size of a golf ball to a glob of hardener approximately the size of a pea. Overfill all holes by a small amount because the filler will shrink. After it has a chance to set, use a paint scraper to remove any excess. If it hardens before you have a chance to remove the excess, use sandpaper to make the surface smooth.
Step 5 -- Sanding Wood Surfaces
Use 100-grit sandpaper to sand all wood surfaces. After sanding, vacuum the inside and outside surfaces of each cabinet and wipe them using a tack cloth to collect any small bits of debris that can adhere to the paint and mar the finish. If the cabinets are oak, sand by hand because a sanding block or power sander will not get into the cracks in the open grain.
Tip from the Pros:Unfold the tack cloth until it is one layer thick and crumple it into a ball to achieve a larger surface for collecting dust.
Step 6 -- Priming the Cabinets
For synthetic materials, cherry, maple or other tight-grained wood, use an oil based primer that dries slowly. This type of primer will sink into hickory, mahogany, ash, oak and other open-grained woods. Brushing putty, is a thick oil-based coating that will fill the open grain and prime the wood at the same time. Use a high quality brush with nylon-polyester bristles and use a new brush for each coat. Because the primer will not create a smooth surface when it dries, you will have to sand the surface to make it smooth.
Start at the top and aply the brushing putty or primer across the surface before tipping off by brushing over the wet surface with the grain. Use one stroke to tip off from the top to the bottom. Let the primer dry for one day. If you have to use brushing putty, you will have to apply a second coat on the following day and allow one more day for it to dry. Use 220-grit sandpaper and a random-orbit sander to smooth the surfaces. Use a sanding sponge with medium grit to sand profiled surfaces. Make sure all surfaces are completely smooth before moving to the next step.
Tip from the Pros: Apply primer by following the structure of the door or cabinet. Where horizontal and vertical pieces come together, apply primer to the horizontal piece first and overlap slightly onto the vertical piece. Paint the vertical piece before the overlapped portion dries. In places where a vertical piece butts into a horizontal piece, paint the vertical piece first.
Step 7 -- Filling the Dents and Caulking the Seams
Apply latex caulk to any open seams. Move the caulking tube towards you and use a damp finger to smooth the caulk. Use vinyl spackle to fill dings, scratches and dents and smooth it with a putty knie. After the caulk dries for approximately one hour, use 220-grit sandpaper to smooth the surface, vacuum up debris and finish by wiping with tack cloth. Use a can of spray on oil-based primer that dries fast to prime the spackle and any areas where primer has burned through. Allow it to sit for an hour before sanding with 280-grit sandpaper. Vacuum debris off the surfaces and wipe them down with a tack cloth.
Tip from the Pros: Make sure the hole in the caulking tip is approximately the size of a pencil point. Slice the tip at an angle.
Step 8 -- Painting the Cabinets
Paint from the top towards the bottom by brushing across the grain and finish by tipping off in the direction of the grain. Use a smooth mini roller to apply paint inside the cabinets. Use 280-grit sandpaper to sand the surfaces, vacuum up the debris and wipe the surface with tack cloth. Use a new brush to apply the final coat of paint. After the paint is dry, reinstall the shelf hangers.
Tip from the Pros: Brushes will leave dust in the paint, so pour the paint out of the original can into a separate container. Pour any leftover paint through a strainer back into the can after you are finished.
Step 9 -- Prepping, Priming and Sanding Drawers and Doors
Use the same method you used on the cabinets but do the work on a table to eliminate runs and drips. You will face some unique challenges when painting paneled doors.
Clean the surfaces with deglosser, fill any holes, sand the surfaces, vacuum and wipe down with tack paper to prepare a paneled door. Apply two coats of brushing putty to begin the priming process. Use a random orbit sander to smooth flat surfaces. Use a sanding sponge with medium grit to smooth profiles and bevels. Spackle any dents and sand the surface until smooth.
Tip from the Pros: Use the following sequence when applying paint and primer to a paneled door to speed up the process. Work on the area surrounding the panel before working on the main field of each panel and then finish with areas around the edges. Clean up any paint that splashes onto adjacent surfaces that are dry. This will minimize lap marks.
Step 10 -- Spot Priming
Vacuum and tack all surfaces before applying a fast-drying spray on primer to any areas of bare wood where the primer is burned through and any spots with spackle. Let sit for 60 minutes before you sand the surface smooth.
Step 11 -- Applying Finish Coats
Use a vacuum and tack paper to eliminate all dust before applying the final coat. Tip off in the direction of the grain. After the first coat is dry, hand sand all profiles and power sand all flat areas. Remove the dust with a vacuum and tack paper before applying the last coat.
Tip from the Pros: Move the brush towards the outside edges to prevent dripping. When painting the corners, scrape excess paint off the brush and move the brush in the direction away from corners. If any paint drips onto a dry area, remove it immediately.
Step 12 -- Between Coats, Hang up Cabinets to Allow Them to Dry
It is difficult to paint cabinet doors quickly and achieve a perfect result. One way to avoid runs is to keep surfaces flat and paint one side at a time. That requires waiting 48 hours total for the paint to dry. Here is a way to paint both sides on the same day.
Drill two holes into the top edge of upper cabinet doors or into the bottom edge of lower cabinet doors and screw in two screw hooks. Paint the outside face of the door. Allow to dry flat for 60 minutes and then tilt the door up and hang onto a drywall screw. Pant the other side of the door.
After painting, hang the door by the hooks on a wire clothes hanger. Hang from a clothing rod or a curtain rod until the paint is dry.
Step 13 -- Replacing the Drawers, Doors and Hardware
After the final coat of paint is dry, replace the shelves. Uncover the number you put on the door and install the knobs and hinges before replacing it in the proper cabinet. Attach the original drawer pulls or replace them with new ones and replace the drawers in the appropriate openings.
We hope this helps you with your kitchen project. We are happy to help if you have any questions.