Sunday, February 21, 2010

painting cabinets 101

after my kitchen remodel was featured on design sponge, i received a lot of questions on the painting cabinet process.

Q:  are the cabinet doors the original or were those replaced? did you have tons of holes in the cabinet frame and doors from the original hinge? did you fill them will a wood putty or something?  and most important! what hinges did you replace them with/ where did they come from!?  - kristen

great questions!  i did keep the original cabinet doors. this is the basic step-by-step painting process i used:

1.  remove all the cabinet doors, drawers, and hardware.  be sure to use a good screw driver to prevent stripping any screw heads.

2.  fill old holes and crevices with wood putty using a putty knife.  allow putty to completely dry before moving on to the next step.


3.  sand down all wood surfaces with a fine grade sandpaper.  you may want to invest in an orbital sander to make this step more time efficient.

4.  clean all surfaces to eliminate all dust and prepare to paint.

5. apply a very good coat of primer.  i think i actually did 2 coats of oil primer. oil primer is somewhat of a pain to work with but i knew it would adhere to the wood. find someone knowledgable in your paint department to help direct you to a good primer for this type of application.

6. apply 2 coats of paint.  i have found it better to do a couple of thin coats rather than one heavy coat.  if you apply too much paint it will start to drip in which you inevitably will have to sand down later. 

7. once paint is dry, attach new hardware.

now about those hinges:

the hinges were a tricky part of my remodel that i posted on briefly here.

i ended up converting to a partially concealed hinge from an exterior hinge.  the problem was that the new hinges added 1/8" in width to each of the cabinet doors to where they wouldn't fully close.

i found my hinges at locks and pulls in kansas city. they told me there was no way to prevent shaving down the doors unless i stayed with an exterior hinge (and i could not find a halfway decent looking exterior hinge anywhere). i ended up going with the hinges i liked and called in rob and his brother, john, for help.  they had to shave a little off each door in order for the doors to close properly.

i will be honest with you, painting kitchen cabinets is a HUGE task.  i thought the whole process would never end ... but it did and the end results are so worth it!  remember, your kitchen is a highly visible and used space and a room where you are certain to get a good return in resale value.  keep your eye on the prize!

a special thanks to my photographer friend, angela, for taking this "after" photo!


Chelsea said...

Very helpful.

But, dude - look at my cabinets: HERE.

What the HELL am I going to about those indentations or cutouts (whatever you want to call them)?

Lexanne said...

i gotcha.

if you like the look of the flat doors like mine, you could always get new doors ... still will be more cost effective than ripping out all of your cabinets.

i do think that paint will transform your cabinet doors as they are. have you seen this kitchen?

Chelsea said...

The difference is amazing. You're right, the paint does improve the look immensely. Hmmm...processing...processing....