9 Things to Know Before Painting Cabinets

When we did our laundry room makeover, I thought that building the shelf or hanging the wallpaper would be the most challenging part of the design plan. I was surprised that painting the cabinets was actually the part that gave me the biggest headaches.

I love the look of painted cabinets and now that I’ve learned some lessons, I’m ready to tackle the rest of the painted cabinets we have in this house. That is, as soon as I finish our front door makeover.

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9 Things I Learned Painting My Cabinets

Buy some sawhorses – This is a garage/workshop must have if you like doing any sort of home projects or even crafting. They are perfect to stage your cabinets on when you are prepping them and painting them. I use these on my projects, I love the lower table.

Cabinets sawhorse

Scrape off excess paint – If you have old or layered paint on your cabinets, take the time to scrape it off. It will make your finished product look great and help your primer and paint stick.

cabinets scraper

Sand them down – Also another important step that shouldn’t be skipped. I sand them really well before I put on primer and then gently with a fine sandpaper once the primer is dry.

Use a good primer, maybe twice – I love Killz primer. It’s worth it to put a layer of this on even if your paint includes a primer in it. Especially on cabinets that are going to get a lot of use.

Invest in paint – This was my biggest mistake in our laundry room makeover, I used crappy paint. If I had to do it over again, I would have had my paint store color match the crappy paint and used a higher quality brand. It’s worth the time and the money.

Use foam brushes – On cabinets, if you are hand painting them, you want to use foam brushes so you eliminate brush marks. I like having a few different sizes, like in this package. If you want to get super fancy, use a sprayer. This is ideal for bigger projects but for the four doors in my laundry room, brushes were fine.

Have a small bowl or cup nearby to keep all the loose screws – Painting your cabinets isn’t a one day project so it’s nice to be able to keep all the screws and hardware in one central location so you have it once you are ready to reinstall.

cabinets storage cup

Painters tape is your friend – Use painters tape to mark off what cabinet door go where (very important thing to keep track of) and it to measure and mark drill holes for the new pulls. Very important to GO SLOW when you are drilling into your doors. Using light pressure and taking your time will make sure that your doors don’t split or crack when you drill through them.

cabinets labeled

Load up on patience – Take your time and do it right. Trust me it will be worth it.

laundry room makeover_shelf 2 no logo

Cabinets 9 things to know

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