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Painting and Refinishing Kitchen Cabinets


Removing Hardware and Prepping Cabinets for Sanding

The first task is to choose a color for you cabinets in which many homeowners struggle with. There are so many colors to choose from but if you stick with the basics you will be able to pick a color that compliments your furnishings such as counter-tops and appliances. You may want to start with neutral colors on the color palette such as whites and tans. A common color I use is white dove, almond wisp, or revere pewter. White dove is soft, elegant, classic and shows very well in any kitchen regardless of design makeup. This color compliments black, white laminate appliances and stainless steel.

Once the color is chosen, then we will have to decide on brand of paint. I recommend choosing a premium paint such as Sherwin Williams Duration or Emerald series. In Benjamin Moore that would be comparable to Regal Select or Aura. Cabinets take a beating daily so you would want to select a premium paint that's durable with high washability and cures well to the surface.

Cabinets painted with Sherwin Williams White Dove Satin Finish

Secondly, you would have to choose a good quality primer. I recommend Zissiner Coverstain which is oil based because of its durability. It can be a little messy but Odorless Mineral Spirits eases the cleanup process. Another option would be Zissiner 123 which is a water based primer. In my opinion oil based primer goes on thin and doesn't mask wood grain when you topcoat. So now that you have picked out all the products you need for your kitchen cabinet transformation - lets proceed on to getting our hands dirty.

Remove all kitchen cabinet hardware such as hinges and handles from doors and drawers. You may want to label each door and drawer so all holes lines up properly for installation. Afterwards, I sand with 120 grit sandpaper to de-gloss surface area. This will allow primer to grip the surface. Before priming you would need to wipe down cabinets with mineral spirits to remove all dust particles. After wiping down cabinets use cheesecloth to remove remaining dust particles not visible to the eye. You then should have a clean smooth surface that's ready for priming.

Apply primer thin and usually one coat should do just fine. After priming, caulk all seams and gaps if any. After caulking allow at least two hours before applying topcoat. This time will allow primer and caulk to fully cure to surface area. I prefer to use a 3 inch roller that is lint free such as Purdy white dove and a 2 inch angled sash brush to reach areas your roller can't. Be sure to apply paint in coats rather than one generous amount. You want to allow at least one hour dry time between coats. I usually sand with 220 grit sandpaper between coats. Most homeowner make the mistake of installing cabinets to early which can leave finger prints in your final finish. Patience is Key! Afterwards reinstall cabinets and new hardware. Hope this post helps. If you have questions please feel free to contact us at or

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