Painting old kitchen cabinets in white using a roller

Chicago Home and Lifestyles – Painting your kitchen cabinets

Painting old kitchen cabinets in white using a roller

Looking for an inexpensive way to spruce up your kitchen? Painting your cabinets can transform the entire room. Whether you go for crisp white or perhaps a trendy sage green it can really make a big difference without emptying your bank account. But you do need to plan correctly and avoid some common mistakes to get a good outcome.

First, don’t underestimate the length of time this project will take. From prepping to letting paint dry in between coats, it can take a while. Plan to spend at least a weekend or more (likely an entire week) doing a good job.

Second, remove the doors. It will prevent drips while allowing you to paint every surface of the cabinet, inside and out. Also, having the doors lined up in the basement or garage will keep the kitchen open during your project. 

Third, prep the doors. You will need to sand the doors and fill in any cracks with wood filler and let dry completely before painting. Use a damp cloth to remove any dust or particles left behind. You want a smooth surface for the paint. If you really think sanding is not necessary, you must clean the wood thoroughly. Any grease or grime will not allow the paint to properly adhere. 

Fourth, if you are not changing the hardware, make sure to label it. Even if you don’t have a lot of cabinets, it can be confusing later trying to match up the hardware. Number each door and bag the hardware individually numbering each bag to correspond with the door number. 

Fifth, prime your cabinets before painting. Many older cabinets have oil-based paint. Painting over with latex without priming would be a disaster, paint peeling off within weeks. Use an oil-based primer first. But even latex painted cabinets should be primed. It will give your new paint a better chance to adhere properly.

Lastly, let the cabinets dry long enough. The paint may feel dry to the touch after only a few hours, but it takes at least 48 hours for it to cure to a hard durable surface. So, don’t reattach hardware or rehang before then. Also, be careful about the next week or so not to bang or scrape the surface as the paint is still a little vulnerable.

Are you ready to tackle this project? With a little planning and forethought you can really transform your kitchen for a relatively small amount of time, effort and money!

Kathleen Weaver-Zech and Dean’s Team Chicago