There is no better way to rapidly update your kitchen than by investing in cabinet painting. No doubt about it. But, it pays to do the process right, with no cut corners or skipped steps.
Attention to detail and utilizing a consistent, tried-and-true process is essential. Otherwise you can run into poor paint performance, wasted time, wasted money, and downright disappointing results. Nobody wants that, especially in the hardworking heart of your home!
We turned to the best pros we know, and asked them for their top kitchen cabinet painting tips, then compiled our favorites right here. Who are those pros, you ask? Well, they’re none other than our very own Webfoot cabinet painting team, right here in Bend. They do some Seriously amazing work!
You can’t feel your way through the steps - you’ve got to know them, trust them, and have each one fully mapped out. For us, the steps include: labeling all doors, drawers, and components, set up and mask the environment, fill imperfections, scuff, clean, caulk if needed, prime, sand, paint, check work, paint, and clean up.
After the prep step (see above), paint a test patch and look for the dreaded fisheye effect. These tiny little craters that form after the paint is applied can be linked back to a number of issues, but it’s always some form of surface contamination. It may be an old product that was once applied that you had no idea was even there. Catching it early is key! If fisheye appears, you’ve got to revisit your cleaning and prep steps.
A lot of novice painters think that priming is more of a finish step, coming right before the topcoat. When you’re building a high-quality paint finish, however, sanding AFTER priming is an invaluable way to catch and remove any imperfections.
Feeling confident in that prep, priming, and sanding technique? Don’t get cocky and only apply one finish coat, even if it looks like it covered well. You need a strong top layer for the best long-term performance and aesthetic value. Pour yourself another coffee, take a deep breath, and get back to work.
If painted cabinets aren’t really your thing, maybe retoning is a better option for you, building a new finish over the existing one. The results can be stunning, but the process is very labor-intensive. You need to build layer upon layer of THIN coats to avoid lacquer buildup. In fact, for some projects, our team has applied 15 coats to achieve just the right look.
Disassembly is essential, and reassembly can be tricky! Don’t get too confident and assume it’ll all make sense when you put it back together. Taking a few extra moments to label doors, drawers, faces, and which hinges and pulls go where will really make your life easier later.
Ready for a bonus tip? Hire a professional cabinet painter! A lot of well-intentioned tutorials are available to help you paint your cabinets in a weekend, but in reality, your kitchen deserves better. And so do you. DIY-level paint jobs typically just don’t last, leaving you with a messy, expensive repair on your hands. Investing in professional cabinet painting services will pay you back in the long run 10x over.
Have a question? Let us know! We’re here to help.