Mistakes to Avoid When Painting Kitchen Cabinets

Wed Jun 12 2019

Are you tired of your one-note, all-white kitchen? Or maybe you moved into an older home and the cabinets need an update. Whatever the reason, you’ll love the way fresh paint can totally reinvent the look of your space.

However, keep in mind that taking on a kitchen cabinet DIY is not without its risks. Check out these common mistakes you should try to avoid when painting your kitchen cabinets:

1. Rushing the Project

Painting cabinets is a big project, and rushing through it will only result in a frustrating experience and a noticeable DIY paint job. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to tackle every part of the task, and add time to re-do inevitable mistakes along the way. Most cabinet painting projects take at least 4-7 days to complete.

2. Having Unrealistic Expectations

Even professional cabinet painters know not every step turns out exactly like you envisioned. Wood has a way of showing its character, flaws and all. Expect the wood grain to show through and produce some grooves and unevenness, no matter how many times you sand it down.

3. Not Cleaning the Wood

You may consider yourself a neat freak, or at least a clean person. But even then, you’ll want to make sure you thoroughly clean the cabinets right before starting your project. Use your usual cleaner, plus a grease remover, for good measure.

4. Not Sanding Completely

A fresh coat of paint won’t stick to your cabinets if you don’t sand them down before you begin. Use medium-grade sandpaper (around 150- to 200-grit) and buff all surfaces where the paint will touch. You don’t need to spend all day sanding, but give every part of the cabinet a once-over to ensure you end up with an even paint job.

5. Forgetting Where Parts Go

Painting cabinets involves many steps and lots of small parts. Do yourself a favor and stay organized by labeling every piece as you take it off, then you’ll know exactly where it goes when you’re done. Write with a permanent marker on masking tape, then stick it to the hinges and doors as you remove them.

6. Installing Doors Before Paint Dries

After all your hard work, don’t ruin the paint job by trying to install the cabinets before they’re dry. Many homeowners rush this step because they’re eager to see how the cabinets look, but it’s worth waiting the extra day or two to make sure the paint is totally cured and dry. Your paint is done drying when it is no longer sticky to the touch.

7. Picking the Wrong Color

Picking paint colors can be agonizing, especially for something as important as your kitchen cabinets. Make sure you truly love the color you’re considering and paint one full cabinet as a test run before diving all the way in. Observe the color in your kitchen at every time of day to ensure confidence in your paint choice. This extra step is totally worth it!

Get More Tips from Real Estate Elevated

Follow these tips to ensure your DIY paint process goes as smoothly as possible. When the job is done, you can be proud of yourself for what you’ve accomplished and enjoy your kitchen for years to come. If you’re looking for more home renovation tips, Real Estate Elevated can help—just sign up for one of our courses in a city near you!

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