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Six Steps to Painting Kitchen Cabinets the Right Way

by Greg Keefer

For many homeowners, the kitchen is the highlight of the home. The tempting smells of cooking food, home cooks exercising culinary expertise, and guests sharing experiences all happen in this small, but energetic, room. However, along with all of the good things that happen in the kitchen, the room can take a beating. Grease splatters, dingers, and scuff marks end up on the cabinets from seemingly inexplicable sources.

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From time to time, you may need to re-paint your kitchen cabinets. When it's past touch-up time or a soapy rag, but you don't want to strip your cabinets to bare wood, here's what to do.

Six Steps to Painting Kitchen Cabinets

  • Clean the Cabinet Surfaces: Scrub the cabinets until they're free of all grease, stains, and grime. The foundation you prepare for the paint makes all of the difference when it comes to the finished product. Rinse off any chemicals or soap you used with clean water.
  • Fill in the Dingers: Use wood putty designed to fill in holes and scratches. When it's dry, lightly sand the surface until dried putty is flush with the surface.
  • Sand the Cabinets: Light grit sandpaper roughs the surface so paint will adhere to it. Sand remaining stains and resistant grime, so these discolorations won't show through the new paint. Remove all sanding dust.
  • Primer: Paint on primer manufactured for the specific type of paint you're using. Skip the primer if you're painting kitchen cabinets with the original color.
  • Sand the Surfaces Again: Use light sandpaper to rough up the dried primer and assist paint in adhering to it. Wipe off the dust with a damp paper towel or treated dust rag.
  • Use Quality Paint: Use a good brush, and apply a thin coat of paint. Lightly brush the dried first coat with fine grit sandpaper, and remove the dust. Apply the second coat of paint, and let it dry.

Follow these steps when painting kitchen cabinets, and you'll soon realize: the process takes a little time and effort, but the results are worth it.


About the Author

Greg Keefer has been a do-it-yourselfer with lots of experience in how to do things right and how to do them wrong. He enjoys sharing his experience with the hope of helping others to

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