Ok so there are probably hundreds of ways to paint your kitchen cabinets but we set out to find the best way to paint our cabinets without a paint sprayer (we didn’t want to invest in a professional one and just don’t have the space to set it up right anyway) and to get the best possible “hard”(non tacky) finish that would last.
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We had quite a few trial and errors so I have a few tips at the end for you to help minimize those. I’m going to try and word this as best as I can. We used tips from several sites but gained a ton of information from Young House Love.
To start, don’t plan on painting your entire kitchen cabinets in a weekend. It very likely won’t happen. Get your patience pants on and let’s get started.
I’m not going to go through every step like take off the doors, take of the hardware…
- We prepped the cabinets (doors and faces) by sanding with 150 grit sandpaper. I did buy a sander for this after doing 1/2 of one door and for $44 it was worth it!
- We also used a deglosser after sanding and cleaning. This is an extra step but we wanted to do anything we could to ensure a great finish. We used whatever Home Depot had.
- To paint you can make up stands with nails and wood or just buy some cheap plastic painters pyramid stands, which is what we ended up doing because they were smaller and just all around easier to use.
- Primer – for the doors we used Zinsser BIN spray primer and rolled on the Zinsser BIN primer for the frames using a small foam roller (spraying in the kitchen would have been a mess!)
- The fronts of our doors had slight gaps around the raised “frame” so we filled those with some caulking. A little bit of a pain but I didn’t want any weird paint gaps. We did not do this to the back of the doors, just the fronts.
- After primer and caulking they got a light (hand) sanding with 220 grit sandpaper, then it was time to start the first coat of paint.
- We used Benjamin Moore Advance Satin paint in Dove White. It’s an Alkyd water based paint that dries beautifully hard and smooth and is perfect for cabinets. If you live in the Phoenix area the only place I found that carried it is the Ace Hardware store on Scottsdale Rd and Pinnacle Peak. A gallon was enough for our kitchen (it’s pricey so that’s good!) The paint brush (after trying a few not cheap brushes) that worked great for us was the Wooster White China Bristle brush found at Home Depot. We got 2 different sizes.
- The Benjamin Moore Advance paint takes 16 hours to cure between coats (this is where your patience pants come in to play). The best way I can describe to apply it is to put it on fairly thick, lightly brush the paint until it’s even and then let it sit and do it’s thing. It will smooth out as it dries.
You may be able to pick out a few brush strokes but once you get the hang of it you should get a really, really nice finish.
- Another light hand sanding with 220 grit sandpaper and the 2nd coat of Benjamin Moore Advance.
- Turn the cabinets over and do it all again. So for just the paint you have at least 64 hours and that’s if you have enough space to do all the doors/frames at once. Fun right?!
But seriously, we are very, very pleased with the final outcome and you’d be hard pressed to tell that 1. the cabinets are brushed and not sprayed and 2. that it’s not a “professional” job. They are not tacky at all to the touch and just have a really nice finish.
You can see more before/afters here
Please let me know if anything is confusing or if you have any questions! I’m happy to answer them. I know the turmoil of trying to decide what to do with your kitchen cabinets 😉