Painting Cabinets for a Makeover

Saving your kitchen or bath cabinets and painting them could be an option when considering a makeover of your kitchen or bathroom.  Not only will you be saving some money but you’ll also extend the useful life of your cabinets and save the environment from the waste of tossing them out. I’ll offer some advice to help you decide if painting cabinets you have is a good choice, how it’s done, and what finishes work well.

First, if your cabinets are broken beyond repair, your layout is very poor or you really don’t like the look of the style of the doors then your cabinets should be replaced.  Also, if your cabinets have a very heavy exposed open grain detail, then it’s likely they won’t look good if painted.  However, if your cabinets are solid, made of oak, maple or are painted and you like the layout, then your cabinets can be painted.  If your layout needs some tweaking, maybe adding an island or swapping out a cook top for a free-standing range, then now’s the time to make those layout changes and then paint everything to match.  New crown trim and light rail moldings can be added to take the basic box look out of the design and add more detail prior to painting.  Knob holes can be filled on drawer faces and handles can be added if desired.  So if your cabinets are in good sound condition and  “ they have good bones” then you could make minor modifications and plan a cabinet painting project.

Next, it’s time to make a plan for a large amount of space to set up for painting cabinets and components.  Typically this can be completed in a two car garage or in an unfinished basement.  The doors and drawer faces get removed and everything gets numbered so it can be returned to the correct cabinet box after the re-paint.  All of the components then get degreased with a cleaner like Krud cutter.  Next they are lightly sanded and set up for priming.  A full wet coat of primer is applied and set to cure.  The primer is then wet-sanded till smooth.  Two full coats of premium water borne paint is applied and set to cure.  If you are considering a glaze (thinned down accent or antiquing color like a brown mocha or latte color) then the cabinets can be hand glazed and wiped for the desired affect.  If you choose glazing, then the glaze will need to be top coated with a clear protective finish which is sprayed on.  Similarly, the cabinet boxes can be hand painted or sprayed on site, (some of the prep on the boxes would be to fill the nail holes on the trim and caulk gaps and cracks where it makes sense).

Turvey cabs

“Doors & Drawers Set-Up for Painting”

Turvey Cabs2

“Cabinet Boxes Drying”

Lastly, the components get assembled and new hardware can be installed to finish off the makeover.  Some colors I like are the cream colored paint jobs with the mocha glaze as shown below.  The glaze “hangs-up” nicely on the oak wood grain.  Also shown is a black painted island to add contrast and coordinating cream colored granite with black accents.

Not all cabinets are good candidates for painting but if they are and if color schemes are properly selected painting cabinets during a kitchen makeover offers the best return of any type of kitchen renovation project with nearly 95% return on investment.

If you have any other questions about cabinet painting or would like to get started on a project with us, give me a call at (908) 713-1584 or submit a contact form here and I’ll be happy to help!

Nienstadt for Blog

“Completed Painted Cabinets”