With the average costs of a kitchen renovation at about $25,000 and a full overhaul running up around $50,000, painting kitchen cabinets yourself can make good financial sense. While it’s not the same as a reno, repainting your cabinets can update the look of the kitchen in the short-term while you work on saving up for the real reno.
But painting the kitchen cabinets isn’t like painting the walls. Before you start, filling holes and cracks in walls is a relatively easy fix. But if the wood of your kitchen cabinets is cracked, warped or badly chipped, it may need to be replaced.
Choosing Colours for Painting Your Kitchen Cabinets
At least as much as any room, you have lots of leeway for paint colours in the kitchen. While most kitchens tend to stay lighter and brighter, the recent trend to two-tone kitchens offers the option of using colour combinations too. Houzz recommends Benjamin Moore’s North Sea for lower cabinets and their Meadow Mist for uppers.
How to Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets
1. Protect the kitchen
Cover floors, furniture, and appliances with drop cloths, paper and/or cardboard so paint doesn’t get on them.
2. Take apart cabinets and drawers
Take the facings off drawers and remove cabinet doors. Remove the hardware, including handles, pulls, hinges, latches and knobs. Mark where the doors and drawers came from on inside surfaces of each and keep the hardware organized.
3. Clean all the surfaces to be painted
Kitchen cabinets take a beating from spills and grease. This job deserves a proper cleaner (dish detergent would do) and a strong sponge.
Use a fine grit paper to sand all the surfaces to be painted. Make sure to thoroughly wipe the surfaces clean after sanding. You’re just trying to prepare the finish for the coats of paint, so no need to sand it clean to the bare wood.
5. Prime the surfaces
Apply a coat of paint primer to the painting surfaces. An oil-based or shellac-based primer will help stop the old surface from showing through.
6. Sand between coats
Lightly sand the surfaces with a fine grit paper between coats of primer and paint.
7. Apply a top coat
This is your kitchen. Like we said, kitchen surfaces are exposed to more than their fair share of dirt, grease, steam and spaghetti sauce. If you will ever use a premium paint, like Benjamin Moore Advance, now’s the time.
8. Apply a second coat
The second coat will ensure consistent paint colour and offer added protection for your cabinets and drawers.
9. Install your ‘new’ cabinet doors and drawers!
After the paint has dried thoroughly, replace the handles and knobs, and reinstall the doors and drawers. If you want to make your mini-reno look even more like a full one, look for new cabinet hardware. It’s amazing the difference a different style of knobs and handles will make.
For more advice on painting kitchen cabinets, drop into your nearest The Paint People location.