How To Paint Unfinished Cabinets

Can A Paint Sprayer Be Used To Paint Cabinets

How To Paint Cabinets

Many people ask, Can a paint sprayer be used to paint unfinished cabinets? Ultimately, the answer depends on the type of cabinet you want to paint. In most cases, you can use a sprayer. The sprayer is ideal for painting cabinets because it produces a more even, smooth finish than a roller. Moreover, spray guns are much faster than brushes. However, a small learning curve is involved in painting cabinets with a paint sprayer. Until you master this skill, we recommend practicing on a piece of wood first. This will prevent drips and ensure consistency.

Before you start painting your cabinets, it is best to remove the drawers and doors from them. You can do this in the garage. Before painting, you should use a degreaser to clean the surface. Use this in areas where you touch the cabinets frequently. If you have raised grain, wiping lightly with a cloth will remove the raised grain. Finally, use a quality primer coat before applying paint to the unfinished cabinets.

What Is A Tack Cloth

What is a Tack Cloth? Basically, a piece of cloth used for tacking is treated with varnish or beeswax. This treatment can be water- or solvent-based some are even harmful to the environment. However, using a clean cloth for tacking is necessary, as the sticky residue left by tack can make your hands sticky. A good substitute for tack cloth is a piece of cotton cloth cut into small pieces and dipped in turpentine or warm water. Once this piece is dry, roll it into a ball and paint it yellow.

A Tack Cloth is available in two types: synthetic and nonwoven. Synthetic tack cloths are made from synthetic materials and have the same high-quality properties as their natural counterparts. They trap and remove surface particulates and are compatible with most paints and other surface finishes. In addition, these cloths are individually wrapped, which makes them easy to store and use. This is why they are so popular.

Thirteen: Prep Doors & Drawers

Find a large flat area and repeat Steps 7-12 on your doors and drawer faces. The sanding blocks I recommended are also for this step since an orbital sander wont get into the door detail.

While using your Drydex, I recommend using a smaller putty knife to get into the detail, if your door or drawer has routed areas.This is the step where the two optional items on the Materials List come into play- the air compressor and the Kilz Spray Primer. After sanding in between coats it is faster to spray the details with the air compressor to remove dust . If you already happen to own one, its convenient- but it isnt necessary to go out and buy one for this project.

Additionally, if you have a space for spraying primer and proper ventilation, it is much quicker to use the cans of spray primer on your doors and drawers. We happened to have access to a professional spray booth, so we brought the drawers and doors there and sprayed the primer on. It definitely got the details better than a brush. It was so much faster, but more costly as we went through at least a dozen cans of spray. As with any project make sure you are wearing a safety mask when spraying with aerosol!

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Why Not Use Chalk Paint

I had been putting off this project for way too long. My toughest decision was what kind of paint to use. You know I am a huge fan of chalk paint and it seemed so much easier with the no prep idea behind chalk paint. However, I chose the latex enamel in the Satin finish and I could not be happier. The finish is so smooth and the enamel makes it durable and so easy to clean. The prep needed was well worth the end result, and there was no need to wax or seal the paint after, as would have been needed with chalk paint. That will make touch-ups so easy. Plus, you really want to have a smooth, grease and grime-free surface to paint on anyway!

I hope that you found this helpful! Maybe youll be inspired to get started on that kitchen update youve been putting off?

UPDATE: How have my cabinets held up after three years??

See for yourself HERE!

You might also enjoy seeing how I painted the kitchen in our new house using the exact same method, except this required two coats of primer since the cabinets were so dark:

See how it looks now HERE!

And heres what else I paint around here:

Fourteen: Caulk All Cracks And Detail

How to Paint Unfinished Cabinets

My biggest mistake when we did the project was that I saved this step for last. Five years later, the paint never yellowed, but the caulking did. Learn from my mistake, make sure to caulk before doing the final coat of paint!

I should also mention that this step isnt required. Wood expands and contracts, which may cause the caulk to crack. After speaking with a local custom cabinet maker, they dont caulk all of the seams for this reason.

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How Difficult Is It To Paint Kitchen Cabinets

It mostly depends on your kitchen cabinets and your experience level when it comes to home improvement painting.

Wood-laminate, metal, and wood cabinets are easier to paint than other cabinet materials. Some materials need specific paints and processes to get the paint to stick to them. Plastic-laminate cabinets are a good example of this.

Cabinets with flat front doors and drawer faces are easy to paint, unlike ones that have more detailed work like raised edges or fancy architectural features. If your cabinet doors and drawers are too damaged to repair, its best to buy unfinished cabinets and paint them.

Painting kitchen cabinets can involve paint brushes, rollers, or even a sprayer. Brushes and rollers are easier to start using, but you need to use them carefully so you dont leave streaks or other marks. Sprayers are a little more difficult, but once you get used to them, you can paint more quickly and better.

Most professional painters have a space they dedicate to painting cabinets. They have an area that can get paint everywhere, large worktables, and other tools and materials. If you dont have anything like this, you can put boards on top of buckets and drop cloths around the area. Its best not to use sprayers outside because the wind can send paint everywhere.

Prime And Paint The Doors And Drawers

Priming and painting the doors and drawers is the final step in painting your kitchen cabinets. Make sure to use a high-quality primer and paint, as this will ensure a smooth, durable finish.

An important step is to label each section to make re-assembly that much easier.

To prime the doors and drawers, use a small brush to apply the primer to all edges and surfaces. Once the primer is dry, paint the doors and drawers using a small brush or roller. For best results, paint in thin, even coats and allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next.

If you choose to paint the shelves, you will first remove them from the cabinets and lay them flat on a work surface. Apply primer to all surfaces of the shelves, then paint them using a small brush or roller. Allow the primer and paint to dry completely before reattaching the shelves to the cabinets.

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The Best Paint Finish For Kitchen Cabinets

The best finish for kitchen cabinets is usually a durable paint that can withstand moisture and humidity. In most cases, a semi-gloss or high-gloss paint is the best option, as it can resist staining and scratches.

However, if you are looking for a more subtle finish, satin or eggshell paint may be a better option. When choosing a paint finish, be sure to pick one that is specifically designed for use on cabinets.

Tools And Materials Use To Paint Unfinished Kitchen Cabinets

How to Properly Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets | Ask This Old House

There are many types of paints. You should choose paint that has a high quality. You should choose paint that is durable. You should choose paint that is easy to clean. You should choose paint that is easy to apply. You should choose a paint that is water-based. You should choose paint that is non-toxic.

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Two: Remove Everything From The Room

I mean everything. There will be a lot of dust created! You will want to completely clean out your cabinets, junk drawers, everything. This was a good opportunity for me to employ some tough-love and get rid of the kitchen utensils and items that have never been used. This process alone can take you quite a while, depending on how disorganized you are .

Top Tips For Priming And Painting Unfinished Cabinet Doors

Have you recently been considering investing in unfinished cabinet doors, or unfinished wood drawer fronts?

Before installing the same, numerous homeowners choose to have them nicely primed and painted. They may even choose to go ahead with unique effects for the unfinished cabinet doors, such as stains and grains.

Using the paint, it becomes possible to create a highly customized look for the cabinet doors or drawer fronts. One has a choice at outsourcing the paint job in entirety. Alternately, one has a choice at painting the unfinished cabinet doors and drawer fronts by oneself. DIY is a nice way to go ahead with the processes, and here, we present the top tips for the same. Let us start with priming:


Priming the unfinished cabinet doors well, before painting them, is important. So, a DIY enthusiast should use only a quality primer coat for the processes.

For this kind of project, in particular, a high adhesion primer would deliver the best results. Then, one should apply a light coat, apply the primer uniformly, and use minimum brush strokes. Keeping the brush strokes flat is likely to deliver the best results. This also helps prevent clumping, when one applies paint over the primer.

Similarly, one must give time for the primer to dry before one applies finish paint over it.


When youre done applying the primer coat and after it dries, check the doors, visually. Then, check them manually to ensure that there are no drips or clumps over the surface.

Recommended Reading: Front Door Paint Colors Pictures

Reattach Screws And Hardware

Its time to reattach or connect all your equipment. At the point when the last layer of paint is dry, you can fit your hardware to its original place. Or maybe you can opt new one. As the brand-new cabinet might look good in new hardware. Since your cabinets are painted, consider adding rack liners. A few liners are brightening and convenient for storage.

Tight the screw openings and try to conveniently connect the handles to the drawer cabinet. It will give sleek look to the new furniture. finally, place the painted cabinet to its new spot and adjust it with the new setting.

Initially, you might think prepping, priming, and painting is a hard stone to crack, but when you will follow these steps, you will fall in love with the process and the final result will not only be eye pleasant but also full of the hard work, dedication, and memories that you invested in your desire cabinets.

Like with most canvas painting jobs, simply be mindful to secure your surfaces and the cover/concealing tape any household items or cabinetry that you would prefer not to be painted.

Voila! With a little bit of greasing of your hands and probably with aid of your one or two friends, you will be completing your task with ease. You might think, it will consume a lot of time, but the deal will be completed in lesser than 2 days.

For A Clean Bright Look You Cant Go Wrong With White

How To Paint Your Cabinets Like a PRO! in 2020

Advises Berkeley, California-based interior designer Gustave Carlson : I like my cabinets to blend with the room color. White creates a quiet backdrop for the rooms activities . Opting for a fresh coat of white paint? See more architects picks in 10 Easy Pieces: Architects White Paint Picks for Kitchen Cabinets.

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Are There Benefits To Using A High Quality Brush

There are many advantages to using a high-quality brush when painting your kitchen cabinets. These include a smooth finish and minimal brush marks. If you plan to use a spray gun, you can use one with a nozzle to get a finer finish. However, youll have to sand the cabinets beforehand. This process can be quite time-consuming and you can easily end up smudging the paint. Moreover, youll have to sand the cabinet doors again if you accidentally smudge the paint. Using a high-quality brush can save you a lot of time in the long run.

If youre looking for a quality brush, there are several options to choose from. A high-quality angled paintbrush is the best option for painting moldings, trim and sharp corners. Its slanted shape is beneficial for dipping into crevices. Another good quality brush is the Wooster Shortcut Angle Sash Brush. It features angled bristles with a flexible handle.


Painting Unfinished Cabinets: The Final Touches

Once the cabinets dried thoroughly, I added drawer pulls that I found on eBay and coordinating knobs. The replica drawer pulls were too brown for my taste, so I tapped them lightly with a brush and gold paint.

Finally, since the doors and drawers of the Project Source cabinets do not have soft close hinges or drawer slides, I added small felt bumper pads to all four corners of the drawers and the opening edges of the cabinet doors.

For high-use areas like a kitchen or bath, I would probably swap out the existing hinges and slides for the soft close version. In our laundry, the bumpers are sufficient.

After I installed the cabinets, I added the side panels and painted them to match. The countertops were made with 2X8 Douglas Fir boards, glued and sanded, but that is a tutorial for another day.

Nearly three months later, the new still hasnt worn off for me. I love that we have storage in the laundry/office now, and seeing this room finished makes me so happy.

If you have any questions, please drop them in the comments.

PS: Heres a pretty pin so you can save this post for later.

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The Magic Number 2 To 25

Drop the roller: to get the best finish on painted cabinets, use a two- to two-and-a-half-inch fine bristle brush instead, which can get in the small corners and details. Or, if you must use a roller, find a mini one that will fit handily on smaller surfaces, then go over with a brush to eliminate roller marks and get into any tiny spaces.

For more foolproof painting tips, see Remodeling 101: 12 Essential Tips for the Perfect Paint Job.

Optional: Paint The Bottom Of The Cabinet

How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets – DIY Network

To add a shelf over our machines in the laundry room, we had to raise our cabinets almost flushed with the ceiling. And, because of that, it was necessary to paint the bottom of the cabinets.

The cabinets are finished underneath with the same melamine thats inside. Because the paint does not stick to this finish, you have to use an adhesion promoter. I was fascinated by this product, and once I applied it, the paint gripped over the cabinet just as it did on. the unfinished areas.

Pro Tip: Spray the adhesion promoter in a well-ventilated area.

Once all the cabinet pieces are dry, you can put the doors back and install the cabinets on the wall.

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Painting Unfinished Cabinets: The Short Version

  • Remove the doors and drawers.
  • Sand the frames, drawers, and doors until they are smooth
  • Sand lightly to knock down the raised grain. Touch up the bare spots, and sand them after the primer is dry.
  • Paint first coat
  • Paint second coat
  • Sand gently and touch up paint as necessary. For dark shades, a third coat might be necessary.
  • Add hardware and bumper pads or soft-close hinges and slides.
  • After installation, add the side panels and paint them to match.
  • Should Drawer Slides Be Removed Before Painting

    To paint unfinished cabinets, you first need to remove all cabinet parts, including doors and drawer slides. Before painting, label all hardware, including hinges and drawer slides. This will help you reassemble them properly once they have dried. Ensure all hardware pieces are secure and labeled to prevent snagging while painting. Also, remove any loose paint, which could be a sign of a damaged hinge.

    Before you begin painting your cabinets, you will want to remove any cabinet doors and drawers. This is the best way to get an even coating of paint without worrying about missing sections. You should also remove hardware on drawers and doors because they can get stuck in the paint. You should also label the inside of the cabinets so you can easily find them later. You can also mark each drawer and door separately to ensure that you have the right color.

    Before you start painting your cabinet components, you will need to remove the drawer slides and door hinges. This will help you get a clean surface for the paint and avoid smudges. After that, you should use a new clean paintbrush to apply the paint. Use a latex paint, while oil-based paints require a stiffer brush. Always follow the wood grain to get the most even appearance. Finally, remember to wipe off all cabinet doors to prevent paint buildup.

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