5 Mistakes Homeowners Make When Repainting Their Kitchen Cabinets

Updated: Oct 15, 2020

5 Mistakes Homeowners Make When Repainting Their Kitchen Cabinets

When you know you want your kitchen to look more beautiful and modern, but your budget can’t afford a $25k kitchen remodel at the moment, it’s time to think about repainting those kitchen cabinets. With a little effort and careful attention to detail, you can have a more modern and attractive kitchen you like and admire without the high price tag.

But many beginners make the mistake of picking up a paintbrush far too soon in the repainting process. Before you pick a color and pop the lid off the first gallon, let’s walk through the top 5 biggest mistakes homeowners make when repainting their kitchen cabinets so you get better results in less time and without the headaches of do-overs and problem solving.

1. Clear and cover your counters and appliances. You do not want the hassle of removing paint splatters and spills from your sink, countertop, or stove. The additional time, regret, and expense of restoring damaged items and surfaces will make this step seem like a piece of cake in hindsight. Rosin or brown builder’s paper is inexpensive and easy to tear and tape into place for fast prep time and cleanup.

2. Get out your drill and remove hardware (hinges, handles, etc.), doors, and drawer fronts first… and in an orderly fashion. Unless the drawer is one solid piece in older kitchens, newer kitchen drawer designs allow the removal of the drawer front with minimal effort. As you remove each piece, label it by number and keep a simple schematic or labeled drawing of your hardware, doors, and drawers. This removes guesswork and prevents awkward, time consuming efforts later trying to put everything back together. This is especially true in older homes and kitchens where the room might not be exactly square and not all pieces are uniform.

3. Clean surfaces thoroughly, especially grease. This may likely require a degreaser. Follow instructions carefully and dry the cleaned surface before painting. Without degreasing, paint may not fully adhere, or it may show the grease through the paint.

4. Sand carefully, but not too much. A fine grit sanding sponge is likely all that is necessary for your paint to adhere well, unless a significant blemish requires filler that must be sanded smooth and then touched up with a fine-grain sanding.

5. Speaking of sanding: When you’re cleaning up the dust, vacuuming isn’t enough. You need to use a tack cloth, and you need to unfold it all the way and bunch it up to make it truly gather up all the fine particles. Pulling a tack cloth right out of the package and wiping it across a layer of dust will not do the job.

The effort and time you’ve invested preparing to repaint your kitchen cabinets will make all the difference in how beautifully they turn out. And remember: Allow plenty of time for the painting process itself, and allow ample drying time to ensure your hard work is never wasted effort.

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