How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets | DIY Tutorial For Refinishing Cabinetry

1. Remove the hardware and hinges and clean the surfaces thoroughly. Bob Miano of DeGeorge Custom Cabinetry recommends using a clean, soft rag or T-shirt and mineral spirits or TSP (trisodium phosphate). Don't just wipe them down — give them a good scrub to remove old oils, waxes and grime. This is a crucial step. "Paint is a very forgiving material, but the one thing it refuses to abide is a dirty, greasy surface," says Philip Storey of Redhill Painting. 

2. Lightly sand the painting surfaces to open the finish surfaces. If there are any dents or grooves in the cabinetry, you may want to fill them in with a good wood filler first. After sanding, use a clean cloth to remove any sanding dust. 

3. Prime the cabinets with a stain-blocking primer designed for glossy surfaces. 

4. Finish the cabinets with at least two coats of the paint you've chosen. Let the paint dry thoroughly and lightly sand between coats. 

5. After everything has dried thoroughly, put your cabinets back together. "Be sure to keep everything organized," says Thompson. "Have a system for remembering the positioning of your cabinet doors."
Choosing the best paint for cabinets. If you're not working with a professional, look for paint at a local, reputable paint supply store, where the staff can help you pick the right product for your cabinets. Choose a paint that can stand up to repeated washing and is nonblocking, so it won't stick to itself when the cabinet doors are closed. 

Also, know that dark colors tend to show imperfections in the paint and cabinetry much more than light colors do — and, contrary to popular belief, they usually highlight dirt more, too.

Having trouble choosing a color? Check out these kitchen cabinetry palettes.

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