Kitchen Cabinet Painting Guide
Painting your kitchen cabinets is a great way to update them. It is inexpensive, quick, and not that difficult. There are a number of techniques that you can use to add a unique look to your cabinets and give your kitchen a custom feel. With various types of paints, faux finishes, and special wood moldings you can totally transform your old cabinets in a weekend or less for under one hundred dollars.
That is a great value any way you look at it.
Choosing a Color to Paint Kitchen Cabinets
Whether you have new, unfinished cabinets or want to repaint the ones that are in your kitchen, it can sometimes be challenging to decide what color you should use for the project. Luckily, there is a large spectrum of colors out there, so many that it’s hard to mess it up. But if you want a bit of guidance along the way then here are some tips to help you choose your colors.
Think in Themes
One great way to choose a color for painting kitchen cabinets is to think about the theme that already exists. For instance, if you are going with a country theme then you could benefit from lighter kitchen cabinets like white, yellow or even a tan color that resembles natural wood.
If you have a traditional kitchen then darker colors are often the order of the day. In this case, you could go with a dark cherry, brown or even black color to give it the depth you’re going for. But if you have a retro kitchen then you could consider some bright colors like red, blue or green.
Look at Your Surroundings
If you don’t have a specific theme then you could consider working with what’s already in the space. For instance, if you have dark countertops then you might consider a lighter cabinet color to help them pop. Or if you want your lighter countertops to be the star then you could paint your cabinets a darker color.
Also, you could consider thinking of your decorative elements. For instance, if you have a retro kitchen with black countertops and red accents then you might paint the countertops white to make your accents stand out.
Consider Color Blocking
If you’re having a difficult time making up your mind when then you could also consider color blocking. This means that you paint your cabinets in two different colors. Typically, when you take this route, you will paint the upper cabinets a lighter color than the lower ones.
In this case, the lower cabinet color tends to match your countertop color so that there’s some unity in the space. Taking this route allows you to bring extra life into the space while simultaneously offering more color options.
Choosing a color for your kitchen cabinets is just one of many fun aspects of developing your space. So whip out the color wheel, look at your surroundings then have a ball choosing the perfect color for your cabinets.
Decide on a Color
Take a good look around your kitchen. What colors do you see?
Unless you are going to be repainting your entire kitchen you will probably want to use a complementary color on the cabinets.
Some colors to consider are:
- White is a classic color for kitchen cabinets. It brightens the kitchen and it looks great. It can show dirt very easily.
- Black is a color that you can see more and more in cabinets. It can give your kitchen a contemporary look but it also looks great in a country kitchen. Black will show ships in the paint very easily.
- Red is a cheerful color that gives a retro 1940s look to kitchens. It can be too intense for some people.
- Green is a soothing color and soft sage green cabinets look great for a cottage look. It is unusual for cabinets, although gaining in popularity.
- Blue shades also bring a cottage feel to a kitchen.
When you are deciding on a color you may also want to consider updating drawer pulls and hinges for a completely new look.
Plain Paint or Faux Finish?
The next thing to decide on is the finished look you want. You can paint your cabinets or you can use several techniques to give them a faux finish.
Some faux and special finishes to consider are:
- chippy paint
- wood grain
- trompe l’oeil
You will need to decide before you begin which finish you want to use. While faux finishes may look intricate and difficult they are quite simple.
By painting and using undercoats, glazes, and paints in layers you develop the final look over time. A good instruction book in great help for this.
Imagine being able to have deco cabinets with tortoiseshell insets, pink marble trim, or any other material you can think of. You can create a denim look, a canvas look, or any number of fabrics as well. Many brands of paint have created paints and glazes, especially for this process, can to help make it easier. Ralph Lauren Paints and Behr come to mind.
Change the Look with Wood Trim
Change the look of your cabinets completely by adding wood trim or wooden appliqués to the doors.
In order to do this, you will use a product like liquid nails to apply the trim after your cabinet is cleaned and sanded. This is an inexpensive and really easy way to get a custom look.
The wooden appliqués add a vintage charm to kitchen cabinets. They come in many designs and sizes and can give your kitchen a Victorian feel like a craftsman hand carved your cabinet doors.
Guide for Painting Kitchen Cabinets
The first step for the cabinet refacing is the cleaning of the cabinet. This step determines the whole result, so you should perform it very carefully. First, you need to remove all doors from the cabinets and mark them according to their position. If they have glass inside, you should cover it in order to prevent some damages.
The cleaning must be done in several steps. First, you need to remove all residues like fingerprints, grime or grease. You can remove the finish and the old color from the dry and clean door by using special chemicals together with some fine sandpaper.
The sanding of the cabinets is a time-consuming and important job. You need to make sure that all remains from the old colors are removed completely. This is easier for big flat surfaces but harder to achieve for all kinds of ornaments. If you fail in this step, the result of the re-painting will not be satisfying because the color will not stick perfectly on the wooden surface.
Before you start coloring your cabinets, you need to apply the primer. The primer saves the underlying wood and is responsible for a better sticking of the color. Especially for kitchen furniture, a primer is absolutely necessary. According to the instructions of the primer, you may need to apply it several times.
There are different types of primers depending on the underlying material and the color that you want to use. In general, for an oil-based color, an oil-based primer is recommended. If you are not sure, you should contact your local do-it-yourself store. The primer should be applied only in rooms with good ventilation or in the open garage. Before you apply the color, the primer needs to dry.
After the primer, you should paint your cabinet with the new colors. Depending on the color and the type of wood, you may need to paint your cabinets several times. It is important not to apply too much color at once. Although the results when using a brush are very nice, you can obtain better results using a pneumatic sprayer.
For the best result, you can remove some surface irregularities with a very fine sandpaper before you apply the next coat. It is better to paint several times thin films and use the sandpaper than making a big film at once. After the last coat, you need to apply a finish.
The finish has several functions. It protects the surface, the color, and the wood from environmental issues and makes your cabinets shinier. Afterward, you can enjoy the result of your cabinet refacing – your new good-looking, shiny kitchen.
Heart of the Home
The kitchen is the heart of the home. While few people have large amounts of money to spend on kitchen remodels most people can easily afford to update their cabinets in this way.
Be imaginative and let your creativity flow. If you don’t like it you can always paint over it.
Our articles on this topic:
- Discount Kitchen Cabinets
- How to Hang Kitchen Cabinet
- Painting Kitchen Cabinets
- Kitchen Cabinets Plan
- Installing Kitchen Cabinet Yourself
- Kitchen Cabinet