Author Topic: DIY Cabinet Painting  (Read 973 times)

SimpleCycle

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DIY Cabinet Painting
« on: September 04, 2018, 01:16:02 PM »
We have light maple cabinets in our kitchen, which are definitely dated at this point.  Apparently they are easier to paint than oak, but it seems like a pretty big undertaking.  Has anyone done this themselves?  Tips or lessons learned?

nereo

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Re: DIY Cabinet Painting
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2018, 04:52:59 PM »
We have light maple cabinets in our kitchen, which are definitely dated at this point.  Apparently they are easier to paint than oak, but it seems like a pretty big undertaking.  Has anyone done this themselves?  Tips or lessons learned?

My first reaction is "DON'T DO IT!!!"  assuming they aren't painted already I'd sand, sand, and then refinish. Maple is not cheap and is beautiful on tis own.  Unless its' marred somehow please don't paint.

Ok - with that out of hte way, I've painted cabinets, and it is time consuming and a pain (and can take you longer than resurfacing).
STep 1: remove all hardware and use a good degreaser
Step 2: Sand, extensively, moving up through the grits from 80 to 150 or so
Step 3: Wipe down with mineral spirits
Step 4: Primer coat (and let dry)
Step 5: First coat of paint
Step 6: Sand with 150/180
Step 7: Paint coat #2.  Wait 24 hours.
Step 8: Polyurethane top-coat x2.
Step 9: Wait several days before use as paint cures.  Paint may dry in 24 hours but it takes up to 30 days to cure

The last set of cabinets I painted was for a relatively small 120 sqft kitchen, and my father and I spent ~30 hours cleaning, sanding and prepping.  Each coat of paint took about 2 hours to apply (5 total: primer, two color coats and the polyurethane).  After each coat we had to wait several hours (usually we just waited until the next day).
This project took us over a full week of on-again-off-again work with 2 people working together.

Hope that gives you some perspective.  It's a fairly simple project to undertake, but it is a very lengthy and labor-intensive project if you want it to look professional and to be durable.

lthenderson

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Re: DIY Cabinet Painting
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2018, 05:37:20 PM »
I've done it and like the poster above, it was EXTREMELY time consuming. It wasn't my favorite DIY project I've done by a long shot.


Papa bear

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Re: DIY Cabinet Painting
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2018, 05:56:49 PM »
Agree with the first poster - this is all about prep work.  Sanding and cleaning takes most of the time.

A sprayer will give a better look, then foam roller, then brush.  I've brushed it for rentals, but I don't think I'd do that for my own residence.


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FernFree

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Re: DIY Cabinet Painting
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2018, 06:25:08 PM »
"Step 1: remove all hardware and use a good degreaser"

Can you give some examples of degreasers?

nereo

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Re: DIY Cabinet Painting
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2018, 06:43:14 PM »
For wood i’d Use murphy’s Oil soap, diluted following the bottle instructions and 00 steel wool

SimpleCycle

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Re: DIY Cabinet Painting
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2018, 08:48:22 PM »
We have light maple cabinets in our kitchen, which are definitely dated at this point.  Apparently they are easier to paint than oak, but it seems like a pretty big undertaking.  Has anyone done this themselves?  Tips or lessons learned?

My first reaction is "DON'T DO IT!!!"  assuming they aren't painted already I'd sand, sand, and then refinish. Maple is not cheap and is beautiful on tis own.  Unless its' marred somehow please don't paint.

Ok - with that out of hte way, I've painted cabinets, and it is time consuming and a pain (and can take you longer than resurfacing).
STep 1: remove all hardware and use a good degreaser
Step 2: Sand, extensively, moving up through the grits from 80 to 150 or so
Step 3: Wipe down with mineral spirits
Step 4: Primer coat (and let dry)
Step 5: First coat of paint
Step 6: Sand with 150/180
Step 7: Paint coat #2.  Wait 24 hours.
Step 8: Polyurethane top-coat x2.
Step 9: Wait several days before use as paint cures.  Paint may dry in 24 hours but it takes up to 30 days to cure

The last set of cabinets I painted was for a relatively small 120 sqft kitchen, and my father and I spent ~30 hours cleaning, sanding and prepping.  Each coat of paint took about 2 hours to apply (5 total: primer, two color coats and the polyurethane).  After each coat we had to wait several hours (usually we just waited until the next day).
This project took us over a full week of on-again-off-again work with 2 people working together.

Hope that gives you some perspective.  It's a fairly simple project to undertake, but it is a very lengthy and labor-intensive project if you want it to look professional and to be durable.

Thanks, this is very helpful.

My impression was simple but prep-intensive and time consuming, so you've confirmed that.  How do you handle paint cure time?  30 days is what is quoted for Benjamin Moore Advance paint, and that's a long time to not use the kitchen.

I'm trying to weigh the total PITA aspect vs. "updating" the look of our main floor.  The main floor is open concept and the kitchen cabinetry features prominently in the look of our home.  I got quotes for having it done professionally that are totally insane ($4k-$6k), so I know it's a labor intensive undertaking.  It's something we know would help with resale if we decided to sell, and something we also want for living here, but I'm just not sure it's worth it.

nereo

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Re: DIY Cabinet Painting
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2018, 05:17:15 AM »
Quote
My impression was simple but prep-intensive and time consuming, so you've confirmed that.  How do you handle paint cure time?  30 days is what is quoted for Benjamin Moore Advance paint, and that's a long time to not use the kitchen.

I kept the doors off the cabinets for several weeks.  It's harder if you are painting the inside of the boxes; then you have no choice but to not use them.  If thats' the case you probably need to put up some bakers racks or smoething similar to put the most-used items.

But yes, this is a time consuming update.  In contrast, resurfacing the cabinets (keeping the wood look) can be done completely in 48 hours.  Your call.

nereo

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Re: DIY Cabinet Painting
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2018, 07:19:29 AM »
came up with a better idea - assuming the cabinets are structurally sound, go on Craigslist and see if you can sell them.  Solid wood maple cabinets should fetch a reasonable price.
Then, use the sale to buy some cabinets of your choice.
You'll spend less time installing new cabinets than you will painting the exisiting ones.

Just my 2˘...


AMandM

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Re: DIY Cabinet Painting
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2018, 08:59:26 AM »
came up with a better idea - assuming the cabinets are structurally sound, go on Craigslist and see if you can sell them.  Solid wood maple cabinets should fetch a reasonable price.
Then, use the sale to buy some cabinets of your choice.
You'll spend less time installing new cabinets than you will painting the exisiting ones.

Just my 2˘...
Surely you can't sell a kitchen full of cabinets at a price that will allow you to buy new the same kitchen full of cabinets of equal quality. I mean, people buy cabinets off Craigslist because it's a cheap way to redo a kitchen.

familyandfarming

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Re: DIY Cabinet Painting
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2018, 01:10:03 PM »
I painted my cabinets in my large kitchen and am very pleased with the results! A couple of hints: I only worked on one "section" at a time. An example would be a section of cabinets (top to bottom) to the left of the refrigerator. That way you have a feeling of accomplishment and you can keep track of all of the hardware! I spread this project out over several weeks. It's not a race! You want a quality job!

Second:If planning on a dark cabinet color, have the primer tinted the same as the dark paint color. Lastly, use the BEST paint (Benjamin Moore) and brushes! The longer you let the paint dry in between coats, the better! By the way, I also painted my tile back splash. It was 1970's ugly. I painted a primer and let it dry for one full week. I then painted a white oil-based Rustoleum with a foam roller. I give it a roll-over once a year. It also looks fantastic! (I am a retired high school art teacher with massive painting skills!)

The cost savings were tremendous AND I was able to splurge on nice drawer pulls (Restoration Hardware) and knobs (Anthropology). I am pleased every time I walk into my kitchen and open a door or drawer. Good luck!

FINate

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Re: DIY Cabinet Painting
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2018, 01:55:11 PM »
We recently painted cabinets. What a PITA. They were very grimy and discolored. We figured it was worth a shot painting as we didn't want to replace if avoidable.

Agree that it's all about the prep work.

We used TSP (nasty stuff) and a chemical sander (also nasty) as the surfaces were smooth, just needed to rough the existing finish. I can't stress this enough: Use the proper respirator, eye protection, and gloves!

We had a tight schedule to worth with so it was a bit of a rush job. Took two people two long days to get the face done - thankfully the boxes were in decent shape. Took three coats of BM Enamel paint. They look painted, but not bad and way better than before.

Faced with a similar situation again I think I would splurge for a HVLP paint sprayer and set up a temporary painting area in the backyard using sheets of plastic. That, or I'd seriously consider just replacing the cabinets.

Rivertop

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Re: DIY Cabinet Painting
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2018, 09:54:00 PM »
I am in the middle of painting the kitchen and bathroom cabinets in our Airbnb. The prep is defnitely the most time consuming, and I've really tried to not cut corners on it. I haven't been able to devote entire days to it, so it's been slow going. I started priming today and primed the frames and a few of the doors. I'm hoping to get the priming finished tomorrow, sand and do a first coat of paint on Saturday, another on Sunday and the final coat on Monday. Then I have to start on the walls. We've only blocked out until October 3rd, so I'm hopeful it will all be done before then. I used a lot of the information I found in this post on Kitchn: https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-paint-wood-kitchen-cabinets-with-white-paint-248186.

I used TSP to clean the cabinets, gloves and a mask have been my bestest friends, INSL-X dries way too fast in this Texas humidity (I had read that somewhere and ignored it), and sanding is a giant pain.

Dicey

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Re: DIY Cabinet Painting
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2018, 11:02:27 PM »
This has been covered extensively in previous threads. Too bad the search feature is so sub-par here.

These are some excellent posts on the topic over at The Frugal Girl. Great pictures, easy to search site.

Cranky

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Re: DIY Cabinet Painting
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2018, 08:58:19 AM »
I think there are also some good tutorials at Young House Love.