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Painting Kitchen Cabinets

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Painting Kitchen Cabinets

Most people would love to replace their kitchen cabinets, and even if they aren't dingy from years of use, it may just be time to refresh the decor of your kitchen. Painting your cabinets can be a very inexpensive yet effective alternative to freshen your living space.

Painting your kitchen cabinets can be far less expensive than replacing them and is something you can easily do yourself. You can paint your cabinets for as little as $100 while replacing them could cost thousands of dollars.

One of the first questions that often comes up is the type of paint to use such as whether to use oil-based or water-based paint. You'll find experts recommending one or the other because each has its advantages. In the past, oil-based (also referred to as alkyd-based) paints were the hands-down favorites. The oils took longer to dry resulting in a smoother brush-stroke-free finish, and formed a much harder film that didn't stick in humid weather. On the other hand, latex paints (or water-based paints) dried quickly leaving visible brush strokes and would cause cabinets to stick a bit in humid weather. However, times have changed and so have paints. First, latex paints have improved dramatically. Waterborne and acrylic technologies have made these paints much stronger and smoother leveling while at the same time, environmental laws caused oil-based paints to lose much of their former qualities. Moreover, oil-based paints yellow relatively quickly while water-based paints have excellent color retention. Considering new super paints such as the new Benjamin Moore Aura or the Advance, which uses revolutionary new waterborne resins and colorants, the choice is really clear. These paints perform far better than their oil-based counterparts and are the recommended choice for painting kitchen cabinets.

For a truly professional-looking job, you can use the Hedrix Acrylic Enamel - keep in mind that this paint must be sprayed and requires expert knowledge (note: if using acrylic enamel you would need slightly different directions than included in this article). This is the type of paint a professional cabinet refinisher would use. You can choose spray paint for a convenient way to achieve a professional spray smooth finish on your cabinets - MyPerfectColor offers just about every color in custom spray paint. But regardless of the paint type, be sure to use high-quality paint because your cabinets will need to stand up to constant use and repeated cleaning.

Choose a color that compliments the colors already in your kitchen. Take your floor, wall color, and appliance into consideration. If you want your cabinets to blend in, choose a color that matches your walls. But if you want your cabinets to stand out, then choose a bold color such as a shade 3 to 4-times darker than your walls, or a color that compliments your existing colors. See popular kitchen colors for design inspiration.

When you are ready to paint, the first thing to do is to remove all the cupboard doors and the drawers and hardware to begin to prepare the area for painting. You need to make sure the surfaces are clean and free of any stains, grease, and dirt. You'll also need to degloss any shiny surfaces with 150-grit sandpaper. Wipe it down with a tack cloth or damp rags to remove the sanding dust.

Fill dents and holes with a non-shrinking wood filler and sand it smooth after it dries. A high-performance wood filler will dry the hardest and hold up best but is more expensive. Tape off the edges with painter tape.

Once the surface is clean, dull and smooth, you should prime the cabinets with one coat of a high-quality 100 percent acrylic primer. This will ensure the surface is uniformly sealed and bonded to the old paint or finish. Let it dry for 2 to 4 hours and you ready for the top coat.

We recommend the Benjamin Moore Advance in a satin or shinier finish, or for a more professional spray smooth finish, use custom spray paint.


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