DIY Cabinet repaints are very reasonable Because with a contractor it is one of the most expensive remodeling projects that can be performed, and cabinet replacement can account for nearly 40% of the cost. A cabinet measuring 10 x 12 feet can easily exceed $5,000, and the quality of the new cabinet may be lower than the replacement cabinet. On the other hand, some new paintings will greatly help transform existing cabinets, and the price is only a small part of its price. The cost of cabinet refacing (painting) should not exceed $200, plus a weekend or two of your time.

DIY Cabinet Repaint Is Possible?

However, before you go to the paint shop, check if you can revive the closet. Even the highest quality cabinet paint job cannot revive inexpensive cabinets that have deteriorated over time. Thin veneers can peel off or stratify, chipboard cabinets and shelves can bend or break, and hanging rails can come loose. If you want to solve these problems, it is better to replace the cabinet. Assuming everything is in a good state and working in good condition, then do DIY cabinet repaint.

Choose the Right Paint

  • Purchase supplies that suit your cabinet type: solid wood, metal, or laminate.
  • Check the paint label on the can for specific steps.
  • Wooden cabinets are great for DIY cabinet repaint, but you can paint any surface that might be scratched by sandpaper.
  • Laminated cabinets require special adhesive primers. The laminate should be in good condition for the best results.
  • Choose high-quality paint. Special furniture paint can be used to make the surface smooth, but any high-quality paint can be used.
  • Make sure the paint is acrylic and not vinyl. Latex acrylic paint is durable and easy to clean.
  • For latex paint, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on curing time.
  • A gloss finish makes the cabinet shiny, but it can show a lot of mistakes or dings. Semi-gloss or satin finishes are typically used in the kitchen. Some leveling coatings can be challenging to clean.

DIY Cabinet Repaint

Remove Cabinet Doors and Drawers

Remove the cabinet doors and drawers, and remove all handles, latches, knobs, and other hardware from these parts. Put the hardware and screws in a plastic bag inside the cabinet so that you can easily find them when you are ready to assemble. When removing the door, please number each door and its corresponding position. Please do not mix them. Otherwise, when you reinstall the hinges, they may not align properly. If you only want to paint the drawer’s front, you do not need to remove the attached slide. If you need to remove a slide, please also mark the slide and its location.

Clean the Cabinets

Clean all surfaces with a TSP cleaner to remove grease and dirt.

Cabinet touch-up, Repair Holes, Dents or Gouges

If there are holes or chisels in the locker, you need to fill them. If you use new hardware of different sizes from the original hardware, you need to fill the holes in the old hardware before painting. Apply tape to the back of the cabinet door repair under these holes. Then fill the holes with wood putty. Wipe off the surplus with a damp cloth. Then squeeze about 3/4 inch of hardener from the tube. Stir with a putty knife, sprinkle in the holes and dents, and apply a little bit.

Cover surrounding areas and sand

Cover countertops, equipment, and other areas you want to protect. It is convenient to apply masking tape to the wall along the edge of the cabinet. Polish everything with medium sandpaper to help the cabinet paint adhere to the surface. Fold the sandpaper to get into the detailed areas of the doors and drawers and the corners of the frame.

Apply Primer-Sealer

Apply primer sealant evenly on all surfaces to obtain a tightly bonded surface. Primer sealants also reduce the need to polish and fade old paint before recoating. Another advantage of primer sealant is that it provides an excellent foundation for water-based semi-gloss paints. Smooth enamel paint used to be the preferred finish for kitchen cabinets because it is stain-resistant, waterproof, and easy to clean. Still, today’s water-based finishes are easy to handle and have the same durability.

Apply the Paint

First spray on the inside edges and panel openings, then on the outside of the cabinet, and finally on the panel’s front. This allows you to work swiftly in the less critical areas and view and correct spots and gaps in the most visible areas.

Then paint the front of the cabinet doors and drawers and the individual wooden blocks and decorative strips. If these parts have raised or arranged features, be sure to pour paint into the gaps and corners, but do not let the paint build up in these areas.

Always apply paint in a thin layer, but make sure it covers the entire area. Thin hands can reduce visible strokes and dry faster. Do not use thick coatings or overload the brushes. If the stroke is too much, bubbles will be generated in the finish and will remain uneven when dry.

Let the paint dry for at least 4 hours between paintings. After drying, lightly sand all surfaces to prepare a second coat, then use a damp cloth to remove all abrasive dust and reapply. Usually, two layers of high-quality paint are enough. Still, three layers are added because some cabinets will suffer a lot of punishment for cooking and daily use, and the wooden surface needs as much protection as possible, so it is recommended to do so.

Mark the Placement of the Hardware

If you want to install the new hardware in a location other than the original, use the combo squares to mark the location of the hardware in front of the doors and drawers. Run the marker over the measurements and mark it with a pencil.

Pre-drill and connect the hardware

Align the spring punch with the mark, pull it back and then release it. Then pre-drill all holes marked with the spring punch. Insert the hardware screw from behind and use a screwdriver to tighten it onto the handle.