How To Get a Cabinet Finish Like a Pro: 8 Steps To a Professional Cabinet Paint Job

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Do you have a kitchen or bathroom cabinets that needs an upgrade but doesn’t know how to do it yourself? It can seem overwhelming at first – after all, painting like a professional takes precision and skill. But with the right approach and preparation, achieving a beautiful cabinet finish is quite accessible. This blog post will provide you with 8 steps to creating a professional cabinet painting /refinishing job. You’ll be amazed by the results!

Step 1: Assess Cost and Time

Before starting any project, it’s important to consider the cost and time commitment. Cabinet refacing and painting are no different. Hiring a cabinet refinishing San Diego professional to do the job will cost more than doing it yourself, but it will also take less time. Specialty cabinet paints, primer, and topcoat can quickly add up in price, while sanding, priming, and painting doors is an involved process that should not be rushed. Taking the proper steps to weigh the potential of cabinet refinishing within a given budget before proceeding with the project is essential for achieving an outstanding cabinet paint job. If you’re confident in your painting abilities and have the time to spare, painting your old cabinets can be a great option. Just be sure to research and take the proper precautions before getting started.

Step 2: Inspect your Cabinets

If you want to give your kitchen a new look, cabinet refinishing is a great option. Cabinet refinishing is where the cabinet doors and drawers are sanded down and then repainted. This can be done by a cabinet refinishing San Diego professional or as a do-it-yourself project. The second step to a professional cabinet paint job is to examine your existing kitchen cabinets. Adding new paint to your kitchen cabinets is inexpensive to give them a fresh, modern look without needing a complete kitchen remodel.

However, not all cabinet doors and drawers are equally paint-worthy. If the veneer is peeling or the woodwork warped, you might better replace those elements. Additionally, different types of cabinets will require different types of paint to achieve optimal results. Wood, wood laminate, veneer, fiberboard, and even metal cabinets can easily be repainted. Plastic laminate and thermofoil cabinets might require special paints and techniques more conducive to paint adhesion, however. If in doubt, test a paint sample in an inconspicuous area or even remove a door and bring it into a paint store for inspection.

Step 3: Setting up the Area

Before starting your cabinet refinishing San Diego project, you must take a few prep steps to ensure the process goes smoothly. First, clear off all countertops and surfaces in the kitchen where you’ll be working. This gives you plenty of space to move around and paint without worrying about accidentally getting paint on other surfaces. Next, give the entire room a thorough dusting. This will help prevent particles in the air from settling on the wet paint and ruining your project. Finally, cover any areas you don’t want to be painted with brown builder’s paper or plastic tarps. This includes the backsplash, counters, and floor. Now you’re ready to start painting! Just be sure to take some safety precautions to avoid unnecessary exposure to paint vapors. Keep windows and doors open, use fans to keep the air moving, and ventilate the area often for at least three days after painting. And don’t forget to take breaks while painting as well!

Step 4: Dismantle Doors and Hardware

This gives you access to all surfaces of your kitchen and bathroom cabinets, so you can make sure every nook and cranny is covered with paint. Starting at one end of the kitchen, use a drill or screwdriver to remove the cabinet hinges, doors, drawers, and hardware. If you’re painting only the door fronts, you do not need to remove the sides. 

Dismantle Doors and Hardware

NUMBER THE DOORS AS YOU TAKE THEM OFF! Otherwise, it will be a mess because not all doors are created equal. To avoid losing the hardware for each door, put it on the shelf each door came on or placed each in a small bag labeled with the corresponding cabinet number.

Step 5: Use Liquid Sand Paper

In the past, you had to expend a lot of time and effort to clean and prep a surface before being able to paint it. However, M-1 Paint Gloss Remover has made this process much easier. This product is a “liquid sandpaper” that cleans and deglosses the surface, meaning that you won’t have to break your back scrubbing or sanding anymore. This step is important because it will help to give your cabinets a nice, smooth finish. Once you have applied the liquid sandpaper, you will need to let it dry for a few hours before you can paint. Whether you’re trying to update your cabinet’s look or make some minor repairs, M-1 Paint Gloss Remover is a game-changer.

Step 6: Choosing Your Paint and Tools

Which Paint Should I Use for Cabinets?

Painting your cabinets is a great way to give them a fresh look. But with all the different types of paint out there, it can be tough to know which one to use. Here’s a quick guide to help you choose the right paint for your cabinets: 

Oil-based paint is a good option if you’re looking for a natural look. It’s easy to apply and gives a smooth finish. However, it takes longer to dry, so you’ll need patience if you go this route. 

For a more modern look, consider using glossy paint. It’s easy to clean and makes the colors pop. Just be aware that it can show fingerprints and smudges more easily than other types of paint. 

Looking for something durable? Latex paint is a good choice. It’s scratch-resistant and can withstand some wear and tear. Plus, it dries quickly, so you won’t have to wait long to use your cabinets again. 

No matter what type of paint you choose, follow the directions on the can carefully. And always test the paint on a small cabinet area first to ensure you’re happy with the color and finish.

Should I paint my cabinets with a brush or with spray paint?

If you’re considering whether to spray or brush on your paint finish, we recommend going with the latter. Although a sprayed-on finish is smoother, there’s a bit of a learning curve to doing it properly. You’ll also need to rent the spraying equipment, which can get expensive.

Instead, we suggest using high-quality brushes. Invest in a good, square brush 3-4 inches wide. This will help you quickly paint large, flat surfaces. You should also get an angled brush 2.5-3 inches wide to help you paint corners and door frames in one pass. If you’re using latex paint, apply it with a synthetic bristle brush. For oil-based paint, use a natural bristle brush.

Step 7: Primer and Paint Application

Before painting your cabinet, add a primer layer to ensure that the paint adheres properly. Start with the backs of each door and line them up on the two-by-fours and let them dry before flipping them over. Build up the surface by adding multiple thin layers of paint with a flock foam mini roller, taking care not to leave too many brush strokes, which can create small bumps and bubbles in the coat. To further prep for painting, lightly sand all surfaces with fine sandpaper and wipe away any dust before applying a second coat. Allow around 4 hours between coats for best results. With this method, you’ll surely have an even, quality finish on your cabinet.

Step 8: Reassemble Everything

Now that you’ve finished the entire renovation, it’s time for the grand reveal. Returning everything back to its proper place is easy: start by reattaching the drawers and doors to their hinges and hardware with a drill or screwdriver. Give each screw an extra turn to make sure it stays in place! Once they’re all tightened, slide the drawers back in place, so they fit snugly against the cabinet walls. Now stand back and admire your hard work – you’ve given your cabinets an entirely new look.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is it cheaper to refinish cabinets or replace them?

Cabinet refinishing in San Diego can be a great way to save money on kitchen renovations. Cabinet replacement can be costly, so refinishing existing cabinets can be a budget-friendly option. Refinishing cabinets involves stripping the existing finish, sanding the surface, and applying a new finish. This can be done by a professional or as a do-it-yourself project. If you refinish your cabinets, it is important to follow the proper steps and use the right products to ensure a durable and long-lasting finish.

What happens if I don’t sand cabinets before painting?

Cabinet refinishing in San Diego can transform an outdated kitchen or bathroom into a modern space. But, skipping important preparation steps such as sanding beforehand can have severe consequences. The paint may not adhere to the surface properly without sanding and could start chipping off shortly after painting. Furthermore, if you don’t prep the cabinets correctly first, your paint job could look blotchy and uneven due to underlying wood grain or grooves that were missed when not sanded. It’s critical for Cabinet refinishing projects in San Diego to pay attention to exact details like prepping surfaces before the painting begins—which means always sanding first!

Does painting wood cabinets decrease value?

You might think that painting wood cabinets would decrease the value of your home, but you would be wrong. Painting wood cabinets can increase the value of your home by making it more modern and up-to-date. This is a simple and relatively inexpensive way to update your kitchen without replacing all your cabinets.

Though it may seem daunting, painting your cabinets like a professional isn’t as difficult as you might think. With the right tools and instruction, anyone can achieve a beautiful and long-lasting cabinet finish. By following these 8 steps, you’ll be on your way to getting the kitchen of your dreams. And if you’re still not feeling confident about tackling this project on your own, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Contact Lifetime Custom Painting Inc. today, and we’ll help you turn those old cabinets into something beautiful.We would be more than happy to provide you with a free estimate.

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