Painted kitchen cabinets may look super simple on Pinterest – imagine, just a few coats of a new color and your kitchen will be spruced up in no time! In reality, painting kitchen cabinets is a project that definitely has many potential pitfalls.
If the idea of painting kitchen cabinets seems scary to you, contact Colorful Remedies for a free quote. We will refinish, paint and seal your cabinets in our spray shop and reinstall into your home.
1. You have unrealistic expectations.
Painted cabinets look lovely, but they aren't going to look totally smooth. "If the cabinets have a visible open grain, the grooves are going to show through the paint," warns Don Fahrbach, president of professional painting company PNP Craftsmen in New York City. "Even if it wasn't super obvious when the wood was just stained, it's going to be more evident once the paint dries." You can fill the grain with putty, but that can be time-intensive and challenging to get just right.
2. You don't allow yourself enough time.
"This isn't a lazy Sunday project," says Sherry Petersik, who, along with her husband, chronicled kitchen painting projects on her popular blog Young House Love. She says people often think it's a weekend job, but it takes at least four to seven days when you build in the proper prep time (and snack breaks, of course).
3. You don't clean the wood before painting.
"No matter how clean you think your kitchen is, you need to wipe everything down with a grease remover," says Fahrbach. Otherwise, when you add a water-based paint to an oil-covered door, the paint won't stick. He recommends a paint-prep degreaser called TSP, and a non-scratch delicate scrub sponge for stuck on spots.
4. You don't remove the doors and drawers.
This is a crucial first step: Take all the doors off, pull the drawers out and remove the hardware knobs and hinges. Some people try to save time by painting everything — hinges and all — while they're still in place, but that it's not a long-term fix. Your cabinets and hardware will begin to chip and show signs of wear within a month, or even immediately.
5. You skip labeling where your doors, drawers and hardware go.
Because what once was hung up will need to go back in the same place, it's worth using numbered labels to help you remember where everything goes.
6. You skip sanding.
Even if your cabinets are in near-perfect condition, you still have to sand them so the paint will stick.
7. Your cabinets aren't dust-free before you paint.
Vacuum up any debris before you even think of dipping that brush in paint. Just a few pieces of dust can ruin the look: "You'll get a gritty finish and it'll look like you painted over sand," says Fahrbach. "To fix it, you'll have to sand it and repaint it all over again."
8. You don't elevate cabinets before painting.
If you don't prop up your cabinets prior to painting, you risk missing edges and corners.
9. You don't use paint primer.
It's tempting to skip this step, but consider this: "Your finished kitchen could look amazing then, three weeks or three months later, knots in the wood can start to bleed through your paint," warns Petersik. Use a stain-blocking primer and you won't get surprise blotches as the paint cures.
10. You paint the cabinets' surfaces in the wrong order.
Don't just jump right in: You should start by painting the back of the doors instead of the front. Why? Because if you flip the door too soon and the paint smudges, it will at least face the inside of the cabinet.
11. You pick the wrong color.
Of course, there's no right or wrong color for your own kitchen. But for cabinets, it's important you get it right the first time. Our Color Consultant can help find the perfect color for your kitchen.
12. You choose the wrong paint.
You need to choose a high-quality paint that has a smooth finish and is kitchen-friendly. While it may cost be a bit more than some other paints on the shelf, it's worth it.
13. You rush to put cabinets back.
Yes, it's super annoying to wait days for paint to cure. But if you accidentally smudge the paint, you have to sand the door and repaint it (a hard truth any woman who's rushed to leave the nail salon surely understands). "As much as it kills me to stare at the doors on the floor drying, I'd much rather wait than jump the gun," Petersik says.
As you can see, Cabinet Refinishing is not an easy task. Contact the Colorful Remedies team to make sure that the hassle and stress of repainting kitchen cabinets is in the hands of our experts!
Article adapted from GoodHousekeeping.com