8 Most Common Mistakes to Avoid When Painting Kitchen Cabinets

Paint jobs are never finished until the cabinets are painted.

Whether you’re looking to replace your worn-out kitchen cabinets or just want to give your existing cabinets a fresh coat of paint, it’s important to follow these tips to avoid some of the most common mistakes when painting kitchen cabinets.

1) Don’t underestimate how long it will take


Wall, Furniture, Design, Apartment, Room

It’s almost inevitable that you’ll underestimate how long it will take you to paint your kitchen cabinets.

There are so many variables that could lengthen or shorten your painting time,

including…but not limited to:

type of primer (oil-based vs. water-based),

size of room,

number of coats required for coverage and even weather conditions (the hotter it is outside, the more paint will dry on its own).

To avoid any unexpected disasters when painting cabinets, use a tape measure and a calendar.

Draw out each cabinet panel on your calendar with a pencil and then assign yourself a specific day/time frame in which you can tackle that panel.

2) Don’t start painting with the top cabinets open


Ginsburgconstruction Kitchen 3

Paint can splatter and drip down on your cabinet doors and drawers, so it’s important to close them before you begin.

This will keep paint from damaging or discoloring cabinets.

Next, protect woodwork by masking off areas with tape or plastic sheeting.

Pay special attention to sharp corners, which are vulnerable to drips that become nearly impossible to remove later on.

Also, moving any kitchen fixtures away from walls is a good idea.

Removing wall sconces and other items will allow you access for painting under and around them more easily later on.

3) Don’t skip the prep work

Whether you’re painting your own cabinets or hiring a pro, it’s important to prep your kitchen cabinet surfaces properly.

The last thing you want is for paint to chip off after just a few months, and uneven finish or peeling paint certainly doesn’t scream chef-quality.

The best thing to do is give yourself plenty of time—we recommend at least two weeks—and cover every surface with either masking tape or painter’s tape (painter’s tape has more give).

For extra protection and longevity, prime all surfaces with quality primer before applying your final coat of paint.

4) Don’t leave them uncovered if you can help it

This is one of those instances where a little preparation goes a long way.

You’ll want to do as much prep work as possible before applying your new coat of paint.

If you have bare wood, sand it down and wipe it clean with a tack cloth.

(If you don’t know what that is, learn how to use one here.)

If your cabinets are made from particle board, cover it with contact paper—otherwise known as painter’s tape.

This will make sure any drips or spills on your cabinet fronts won’t be permanent stains.

5) Don’t forget about the doors and hardware


Door, Window, Wooden, Blue, Entrance

Before you even think about painting, make sure all your kitchen doors and hardware are in working order.

If you’re painting with a budget in mind, consider swapping out your existing cabinet hardware for new pulls or knobs that match your cabinets and paint colors.

You can also change the color of your door hinges so they coordinate with your brand-new handles—that way, everything on both sides of a door will match nicely when it’s time to hang it back up again.

If you don’t want to spend money on new hardware and aren’t confident enough in your skills yet, repainting knobs or hinges is easy if you follow these simple steps .

6) Don’t paint near heat sources

7) Don’t forget about ventilation, either

8) Get everything else done before you start painting cabinets!

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