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Fall in Love with Your Kitchen Cabinets

Follow these steps to paint them to perfection

Not feeling the creative magic in your kitchen? Try refreshing your cabinets. If you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars, invest your time instead and give your cabinets a new coat of paint. Nothing changes the flavor of a kitchen faster than new color on the doors and drawers.

Follow these steps for cleaning, priming and painting, and you’ll have cabinets so pretty, your guests will think you hired a pro. 

Step One: Clean

Clean the cabinets thoroughly to ensure that primer and paint will stick. Following manufacturer’s instructions, use TSP (tri-sodium phosphate) or TSP substitute to rid cabinets of dirt and grease that has inevitably built up over the years. Then rinse with water and dry with a clean rag.

If your cabinets are glossy, lightly scuff and de-gloss them using a fine grit sandpaper (120). Now you’re ready to prime!   

Step Two: Prime

Using an oil-based primer is important because the wicking properties in oil-based primers help paint stick better. Apply a thin coat of primer. Once the primer is dry, you might need to gently re-sand the cabinets with a very fine grit sandpaper to make sure they’re smooth.

Step Three: Paint

Apply two to three coats of paint using a mini foam roller. Follow the direction of the wood grain if you’re painting wood cabinets. Use a paintbrush to coat any intricate spots on your cabinet doors. Before the paint dries, roll over brushstrokes with the roller and use a paintbrush or small sponge brush to smooth out paint that has built up along the cabinet edges. Let paint dry after each coat.

Do you want a shiny finish? Paint your cabinets with two coats of eggshell sheen paint and then build sheen by applying one to two coats of water-based polyurethane.

For an added boost, get new hardware. Voilà. Your cabinets are alive once more!

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