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Painting the cabinets is an inexpensive way to refresh your kitchen and increase the value of your home. However, it’s not a job for the faint of heart! This DIY project requires patience, time and attention to detail. There are a number of potential pitfalls that you need to be aware of. The following are the mistakes you want to avoid when painting your kitchen cabinets.

  • Not setting aside enough time: Painting kitchen cabinets takes between 4 to 7 days. This is not a weekend project! You’ll require time for disassembly, preparation, paint application, drying time and reassembly.
  • Not removing the doors and drawers: If you attempt to paint kitchen cabinets without disassembling them, you’ll find yourself frustrated by the time and care it takes to carefully cut-in around hinges, knobs and edges. Instead, remove cabinet doors, hinges and knobs with a drill. Lift drawers out of the slider tracks and store the screws in plastic bags to avoid loss.
  • Not labelling doors and drawers: If you skip this step, reassembly becomes a challenge! Write a number inside of the hinge hole for each door and tape over it. Unscrew each wood drawer front and mark a number on the backside. Write the same number on the bottom of each drawer. Write the exact location of each piece (above sink, left of fridge, below corner, etc) so there’ll be no guessing where to return it. Consider drawing a rough map that shows the location of each piece.
  • Not cleaning the doors/frames: Grease from cooking, food particles and residue of household cleaners can be found on kitchen cabinets. These substances will cause adhesion problems when you prime and paint. Even if they look clean, wipe them down with a grease-cutting dish soap or a commercial degreaser. Use a non-scratch scrub sponge for difficult spots. Carefully rinse the cabinets after scrubbing.
  • Not sanding: Always sand with a 150 to 200 grit sandpaper before priming. This removes the finish and dulls the surface so that the primer will adhere well. Sand between coats of paint with a 220 to 320 grit sandpaper to get a smooth finish. An electric sander gets the job done quickly.
  • Not removing sanding dust: Dust and debris contaminate and ruin the paint finish of kitchen cabinets. After sanding, wipe the surface with a tack cloth, use the forced air from a compressor or utilize a shop vac to remove dust.
  • Not elevating cabinets before painting: Prop the cabinets up prior to painting or you risk missing edges and corners.
  • Remodelling the kitchen after painting the cabinets: To avoid damaging newly painted cabinetry, remove and replace countertops and backsplash tiles, refinish the floor and install new appliances before you begin painting.
  • Using the wrong paint and primer: If you want a smooth finish that will withstand a kitchen environment, use a quality paint and primer. If you’re painting wood cabinets, Benjamin Moore’s INSL-X Blockout Primer has great adhesion that provides the proper foundation for any finish, ensuring a smooth finish and helping to mask minor imperfections. If you’re painting laminate cabinets, consider Benjamin Moore’s Fresh Start® High-Hiding All Purpose Primer. It’s the choice of professionals. Finish with Benjamin Moore’s ADVANCE® interior paint.
  • Not protecting your kitchen: Cabinet painting is messy! Take the time to carefully cover your floor, appliances, and countertops with plastic sheeting or heavy-duty floor paper.
  • Not spraying your cabinets: Though cabinets can be painted with a brush and or roller, spraying produces a superior finish. It also reduces painting time by ½! Paint stores often rent professional sprayers.
  • Not letting the paint dry long enough: Don’t get impatient! Read and follow the suggested drying time on your primer and paint labels. If you apply the next coat too soon, the paint will bubble. If you reassemble the cabinets too soon you can cause smudging.

Avoid these common mistakes and painting your kitchen cabinets can be a rewarding task with a great outcome. Your refreshed cabinets will transform your room and breathe new life into a dated kitchen.

Thinking of painting your kitchen cabinets? Need help finding the best primer and paint? Call Calgary’s independent paint and blinds store West Hillhurst Paint + Design at (403) 270-9696 or email at kyle@westhillhurstpaint.com. Our knowledgeable professional design associates provide high-quality paint and stain, a wide selection of blinds, advice for home projects and excellent service. We carry Benjamin Moore products. Call for a consultation today!

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