‘Transform’ your kitchen by painting cabinets – step-by-step guide

Angel Adoree shares her tips for painting walls

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Renovating a kitchen can be expensive, especially if ripping an old one out and replacing it from scratch. With people’s budgets tighter than ever, turning to DIYing can help to save lots of money. One way to make a huge difference in the kitchen is by painting the kitchen cabinets, which can easily be done by following a few steps.

The experts said the best way to achieve a “professional” and “long-lasting” finish is to take your time. They explained: “First, lay dust sheets to protect the area in which you’re painting. Cabinet doors are easier to paint (and it’ll help to avoid drips) if they’re horizontal.

“Therefore, take the cabinet doors off the unit, remove the hardware (hinges and door knobs/handles) and lay flat. Clean the doors with sugar soap and a sponge to remove grease and dirt.

“Wipe off any residue with a cloth and warm water and allow it to dry. Then, fill in any cracks or dents with a multi-purpose filler and sand light once dry.”

To help the paint grip the surface, lightly sand the door all over with fine sandpaper before wiping away the dust with a damp cloth and allowing it to try.

The experts then recommend running masking tape along the wall at the edge of the cabinet to avoid getting paint on the walls and to help you get a “crisp finish”.

The pros added: “Depending on the surface type and colour you’re painting on top of, you may need to apply a primer to your cabinet doors first, make sure to allow it to dry.

“Now you’re ready to apply the first coat of paint. Using a natural brush, take your time cutting in to all the nooks. Use a small roller to apply an even coverage of paint over the rest of the door. A roller will help to achieve a smooth finish and will avoid visible brush strokes.”

Once dry, use a fine sandpaper to smooth over any bobbles or drips, gently wipe clean and allow it to fully dry. DIYers will then need to apply a second coat of paint, following all of the above steps once more to achieve a flawless finish.

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Checkatrade experts noted: “Reattach your door knobs or handles and reattach the doors to the units. Another way to update your kitchen cabinets is to spray paint them.”

To start with, remove the cabinet doors and set them down in your work area, making sure they do not get messy. It may be worth labelling the door so you know which cabinet they belong to.

Next, clean the cabinet doors and the cabinets with sugar soap and a lint-free cloth to remove any grease or dirt.

The experts said: “This is a really important step to make sure you get a good finish. Use masking tape and protective sheeting to shield any areas that are not to be painted. For example, the inside of the cabinets, walls, floor, ceiling, worktops, cooker hood and appliances.

“Using a brush to apply the primer and paint to the cabinet frames, sides and trim will avoid the need for protective sheeting, therefore saving you time.

“At this stage, you can repair any holes or dents with an appropriate filler and putty knife. Once dry, sand all the areas you wish to paint. You’re aiming to scuff the surface up a little to take off the shine. Clean away the dust with a damp cloth.”

Once dry, this means you are ready to apply a light coat of primer to the cabinets and door fronts, either using a brush or a spray gun. 

Checkatrade recommended using a brush for the primer, leaving it to dry for the recommended time.

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DIYers will then need to wipe the surface clean and apply a second coat of primer. Once dry, it is time to prepare and fill the paint sprayer according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

The experts added: “Wearing a mask, spray the door edges first. “Next, spray any detail on the doors. 

“Then, keeping the nozzle of the spray gun 10 to 12 inches from the surface of the cabinet door, sweep your whole arm back and forth to apply a light coat of paint to the entire door. Any drops can be touched up gently with a paintbrush while the paint is still wet. 

“Allow to dry overnight before giving the doors a second coat. The whole process will need to be repeated on the other side of the door once the first side is dry.”

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