How to Refinish Your Kitchen Cabinets in Paint–Step by Step

kitchen cabinet repaint

How to Refinish Your Kitchen Cabinets in Paint–Step by Step

Thinking about updating your kitchen in Omaha, Nebraska? Giving your kitchen cabinets a quick makeover is the easiest way of refreshing your cooking space. Kitchen cabinet refinishing is the best alternative to replacing your cabinets, which can be very expensive and time-consuming.

If your current cabinets are outdated but are still in good physical condition, you can quickly refresh their look with a few materials and a bit of elbow grease. However, if you’re new to woodwork refinishing, I must mention that it can be quite a laborious and challenging task.

In fact, if you’re considering selling your home anytime soon, or are expecting super-quality results, you should consider hiring a cabinet refinishing expert for that final professional touch. However, if you still want to take the DIY route, below is a step-by-step guide on how to go about it.

1. Label Every Door and Drawer

After assembling all the necessary materials (paint, primer, paint brushes, rollers, paint buckets, drop cloths, painters’ tape etc.) label all your kitchen cabinets and drawers before you take them down. Preferably, you should draw a rough layout of your kitchen to make reassembling your cabinets easier. This might seem unnecessary, but if you fail to label, it can get quite confusing and very time-consuming to remember the right place for each piece when replacing them.

2. Remove Doors and Drawers

Carefully remove the doors and the drawers so as not to damage them. Based on their design, a simple screwdriver might help you remove the hinges. Be sure to remove the handles and hardware as well –you don’t want to mess them up with paint. It’s always best to install these back in the same place they came from, so you may want to number them for ease of identification.

3. Give everything a quick wipe.

Once you’ve labeled and taken down everything, you need to give your cabinet doors, drawers, frames and boxes a good cleaning. Even if they look clean and unstained, you still need to wipe them thoroughly –accumulated grease can be invisible sometimes. Use a sponge or a clean cloth soaked in a degreaser to clean all the surfaces that will require painting.

4. Fill in the Gaps

This is important if your cabinets have holes where there shouldn’t be, or if you want to cover up the wood grain –apply a filler material to smooth out these surfaces. Minor dents and cracks can also benefit from the filling process. This will ensure the refinished cabinets look smooth and new.

5. Sand the cabinets

This is probably the most difficult part. Once the filler material has dried completely, sand the cabinet doors, drawers and frames using medium grit sandpaper or a handheld electric sander if you can get one. Sanding removes debris and dirt and roughens the surface for easy adherence of the primer and paint. Sanding also smoothens out any raising parts that can make painting difficult. Once you’re done, wipe down everything with a damp cloth.

6. Prime the Surfaces

Before you open that paint can, you first need to prime all your surfaces. A good quality primer will create a suitable surface for paint to better adhere to. Additionally, applying a primer can help you cover up some stains and blemishes that could otherwise bleed through your paint.

7. Paint

Now here comes the fun part. Once the primer has dried completely, it’s now time to apply the paint. We recommend using a roller for flat wide surfaces such as cabinet door faces and then using a brush for small, sharp or grooved surfaces such as frames and door edges.

Take your time to cover every area and ensure the coat is even. If you need to apply a second coat for a finer finish, make sure that the first coat is completely dry and give it a light sanding before applying the second coat.

8. Reassemble Doors and Hardware

Once you’re satisfied with your paint job, allow enough time for the cabinets to completely dry before reassembling them. Consult your layout drawing or numbering to easily identify where each piece is supposed to go. If your handles and drawer pulls are rusty or dated, we recommend buying new ones for a complete new shiny look.

Bottom line

Refinishing your kitchen cabinetry is a cost-effective process and can transform your cooking space at very little cost. If I didn’t mention it, patience is very important on such a project –so take your time and don’t cut corners. If all these sounds intimidating, you should probably stick to hiring a professional painter to have it done for you.

Don’t want to do it yourself? Schedule an estimate with us to see how we can refresh the look of your kitchen cabinets.