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Painting Kitchen Cabinetry: Seven Steps for a Do-It-Yourself Budget

by Greg Keefer

Painted kitchen cabinetry inevitably pick up stains and scuff marks. Grease, soap, and those impossible-to-identify substances always seem to find their way onto the wood right where the marks are the most noticeable. When you can see the grime, it's time to paint your cabinets.

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The do-it-yourself homeowner can put on a professional looking paint job without hiring a painter. Here's how:

  1. Remove the drawers, hardware, and doors: Pull out the drawers to disengage them. Unscrew the hinges and door catches.
  2. Clean everything:Paint won't bond with dirty or greasy surfaces. Use a strong household cleaner and a stiff bristle brush. Allow all surfaces to dry overnight. This step is more important than most DIYs realize.
  3. Fill in the hardware holes: Press filler putty into any stripped mounting holes that need it, as well as into dents and dingers on the wood surfaces. Let the putty dry, and, then, sand it off flush with the wood.
  4. Mask off surrounding surfaces: Painting kitchen cabinetry always leads to over-splash or accidental brushing. Painters' masking tape won't hurt other surfaces and saves a lot of clean-up work later.
  5. Prime everything: Apply a good primer to the fronts and backs of the kitchen cabinets, drawer faces, and frames.
  6. Paint the surfaces: Use good paint and avoid basement bargain-priced brands due to the lack of color consistency and poor quality. The wood may take two or three coats before the cabinetry looks crisp and clean. Ensure adequate drying time between coats of paint or wrinkling may result. It's better to allow too much time, rather than not enough.
  7. Re-install the hardware and doors.: Replace worn-looking or bent hinges. Screw the drawer pulls or knobs back into place.

Painting kitchen cabinetry is easy. Just give yourself enough time to do the job right.


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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