Painting & Decorating

Repainting Cabinets

Kitchen cabinets cost a lot to replace. However, the change most people want is purely cosmetic. Therefore you can save a small fortune and radically improve your tired old kitchen by simply repainting the cabinet doors.

Preparing to repaint cabinets

cabinet doorPreparation is everything. You really should remove the cabinet doors and take off handles. Now you need to strip the old finish off them. This can be done with either a heat gun of paint stripping solution. If you use this follow the instructions carefully and wear protective gloves. Once the paint has been stripped comes perhaps the most important job. You MUST sand down the wooden cabinet doors with wet and dry paper to give yourself a smooth base for the paint. I suggest using 60 grade ‘wet and dry’ abrasive paper followed by 100 grade. Finally wipe the surface free of dust with a cloth soaked in a little water (or use tack cloth, a cheese cloth impregnated with beeswax).

Choosing colours for repainting kitchen cabinets

There are no rules to follow. Just remember that you will have to live with it. If you are unsure about colour schemes take a look in some magazines or even a local store that sells kitchens. You will find plenty of ideas.

Whatever colour you choose, the critical thing is getting a really professional finish. You have already done your preparation well, so it is time to get the paint out.

Most kitchens are finished with high gloss effects, and this is actually the easiest thing to achieve. Standard gloss paint is grat but some paint manufacturers also make paint especually for kitchen cabinets.

Use a standard natural-bristle paintbrush to apply the paint over the wood surface. Apply the paint thinly, brushing along the grain rather than across it. Take your time to cover it all and allow the first coat to dry thoroughly. Now use 100 grade wet and dry paper to smooth the surface and again remove dust with your tack cloth. Then apply a second coat of paint to the cabinet doors. This is essential. 2 coats are the minimum requirement to get the depth and quality of finish a kitchen cabinet requires. 3 coats of paint would be even better.

You want to protect against knocks and scratches, so once the final coat of paint is dry smooth with 120 grade wet and dry paper and then seal with a few layers of polyeurathene varnish, always sanding and allowing drying time between each coat.

Finally, buff to a high shine with a lambswool buffing pad. This can be attached to a drill head or sanding tool to make the job easier and quicker.You can now re-attach the handles and put your doors back onto the kitchen cabinets.You might want to consider swapping the old handles for new ones for an even greater effect.

As you can see, repainting cabinets is not too difficult and the results can be tremendous.

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