Kitchen cabinets are something that everyone has, and are integral, in fact to the design of the house itself. Because these are the most used feature in the house (besides maybe the stairs), they are built to last, especially if you live in an older home. However, kitchen cabinet styles have changed over the years and many have become obviously outdated. A good way to change the look and feel of your kitchen is by painting the cabinets.
Kitchen cabinets are one of the most expensive items in home remodelling. Cabinetry costs more than replacing the kitchen furniture in many cases. If you can afford the expense, there are a wide variety of designs and styles available to update your cabinets. You can add extras like a kitchen island, lazy susan, or built – in appliance centers.
If replacing the cabinetry is too expensive for your budget, refacing is a less expensive alternative. Refacing involves replacing only the cabinet doors and exposed wood areas of the cabinets. The insides are left as they are to save money on the job. Painting is the least expensive option and can give the room new life. The job can be easily done over a long weekend with the right preparation.
You will need to decide if you will paint the entire cabinet, inside and out, or just the outside and the doors. To save time, consider leaving the inside of the cabinet alone, you won’t be able to tell the difference.
Preparing The Cabinets
Start by removing all hardware from the cabinets and remove the doors. Mark the doors, so you will remember which door goes on which cabinet. This will save you time and prevent aggravation later. Protect the countertops and floor with drop cloths, old bed sheets or plastic sheeting. These can be taped in place, especially on the floors. If you will be replacing the flooring, paint the cabinets first.
Clean the cabinets thoroughly before painting. This is important. Grease and oils from cooking will prevent the paint from adhering properly. You could end up with an uneven color. A wood cleaner with orange oil works well for breaking down grease residue. Be sure to let the surface dry thoroughly
before you begin to apply the primer.
Primer is an important step in the process. It provides a smooth, even surface for the paint to adhere properly. Use a roller for larger areas and a brush for small areas. Be sure to
coat all areas, including the underside of the cabinets. Consider using sawhorses for priming and painting the doors, for an easier time and a more even coverage.
Allow the primer to dry thoroughly before you begin to paint. Overnight is generally sufficient for the primer to dry. Apply the paint in thin coats. It’s better to apply a few thin coats than to use one thick coat. Allow twentyfour hours between coats for the paint to dry completely. Sand with a fine grit sandpaper between coats.
When the paint has dried completely, you are ready to put the doors back on and replace the hardware. Consider updating the hardware to match your new look. Door handles and hinges are inexpensive and can make a big difference in the look of the room.
Choosing Paint for Kitchen Cabinets
Don’t skimp on the paint. Use high quality paint that is right for the surface being covered. This will be different for wood or metal cabinets. If you’re not sure, ask for help at the paint store.
In general, you will want to use enamel paint. You have a few choices in the finish. Gloss, semi gloss or satin finishes are most commonly used. The higher the gloss, the stronger the finish and the easier it will be to clean. If you want less shine, consider the semi gloss finish.
Safety When Painting
Be sure to paint in a well ventilated room. Do the job when the weather is warm enough and leave the windows open. Wear long pants and a long sleeve shirt to protect your skin from the paint. Plastic gloves can be worn to protect the skin on your hands.
Tips for Choosing a Kitchen Paint Color
The beauty of a painted kitchen is in the vast availability of color options. Some paint companies even offer color matching so you can supply a color sample from any item or picture and have the shade duplicated as paint.
If you’re looking for color inspiration try using a classic cream or white scheme for traditional kitchens. Country kitchens work well with vintage reds, blues or greens, while contemporary kitchens look great with modern grays or sandy taupes.
The truly adventurous can try a modern twist on a traditional look; dark lower cabinets with light uppers. A lime green, royal blue or cherry red looks great on lower cabinets when offset with bright white uppers, while charcoal grey or dark brown works well with a lighter shade of the same color on the upper doors.