Painting Cabinets and Cabinetry

This story covers the proper sequence and steps for painting cabinets.

Painting Cabinetry

Painting built-in cabinetry and bookcases is a time-consuming job because of the many surfaces. Paint built-ins after you've painted the wall.

Remove adjustable shelves and paint them first so they'll be dry when you're ready to reinstall them. If possible, paint them in another room to get them out of your way, and support their edges with nails driven into predrilled holes in the ends. That way, you don't have to wait for one surface to dry before painting the other one. Be sure to remove the shelf supports before you paint the inside of the cabinet.

You can paint the cabinet doors either on or off the cabinet, but removing them makes painting easier. Remove the hardware from both the cabinet and the doors.

If you prefer to leave the doors on, as shown here, you probably won't need to paint the interior of the cabinets. If you do, paint them from the inside out as shown in the illustration at right.

Remove drawer hardware and stand the drawers on their backs. Paint the fronts and leading edges, but don't paint any other part of the drawer or the tracks inside the cabinet. For cabinets with fixed shelving, paint them in the order shown at right.

Prestart Checklist

Time
From 1 to 2 days, depending on size of cabinet installation and your skill level and experience

Tools
Screwdriver, pliers, paintbrushes, rollers

Skills
Preparing and painting wood cabinetry

Prep
Clean, repair, and sand surfaces

Materials
Sandpaper, primer, paint

Painting cabinets: Step 1

Prepare the cabinets as you would any other surface, cleaning mildewed spots and washing the entire surface to remove dirt and grease. Repair or replace damaged wood and cover any surface you want protected.

Painting cabinets: Step 2

Since paint won't stick to glossy surfaces, scuff-sand them with 150-grit sandpaper or use a commercial deglossing agent. Apply the deglosser in sections small enough that you can paint them within an hour. Applying paint within an hour after the deglosser will give you better adhesion.

Painting cabinets: Step 3

Open the cabinet doors and paint the reverse side with a brush, holding the door open with your free hand. Paint the interior of all the cabinet doors, and leave them open.

Painting cabinets: Step 4

While the inside faces of the doors are drying, paint the front edge of the shelving and the cabinet frame.

Painting cabinets: Step 5

When the front faces of the doors are dry, close them and paint the stiles and rails of the frame, always painting the longest piece of the structure last to avoid crossed brush strokes.

Painting cabinets: Step 6

Paint the sides and other open areas of the cabinets. You can speed this application with a roller, but if you do, back-brush the rolled paint to level it and make its surface consistent with the rest of the unit.

Painting cabinets: Step 7

If you're painting the back wall under the wall cabinets, cut in the edges first, just as you would any other wall.

Painting cabinets: Step 8

While the cut-in edges are still wet, fill in the remainder of the wall. You can use a roller here without going to the trouble of back-brushing, but you may find it more convenient to apply the paint with a 7-inch or smaller roller.

Painting with the doors removed: Step 1

Using a cordless drill or manual screwdriver, remove the hinges from the frame and door. Set the doors aside in the areas where you plan to paint them.

Painting with the doors removed: Step 2

f you're painting the inside of the cabinets, follow the order illustrated on page 2. If you're not painting the interiors, paint the face frame with a trim brush.

Painting with the doors removed: Step 3

Support the doors in a fashion that will make painting them as easy as possible. Paint the contours first, then roll the paint on the faces of the doors and back-brush.


Comments (1)
8590980582
Add your comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Register | Log In
One Hour or Less

Three simple projects to cross off of your to-do list -- just print these instructions and begin!


ADVERTISER