How to Properly Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets | Ask This Old House
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 Published On Nov 15, 2021

In this video, Ask This Old House painting expert Mauro Henrique shows host Kevin O’Connor the proper way to paint cabinets for a new, updated look.

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Kevin O'Connor meets expert painter Mauro Henrique back at the shop to tackle a kitchen cabinet painting project. Mauro plants to show Kevin how to prep the cabinet, prime it, and coat it with a durable paint designed for the job. And while the two are working on just one cabinet, they discuss how to scale the project for much larger projects.

Skill: ⅕
Cost: Less than $100, depending on the number of cabinets
Time: A weekend, depending on the number of cabinets

Shopping list:
Degreaser spray []
Latex primer []
Water-based trim and cabinet enamel paint []
Roller sleeves []

Screwdriver/screw gun []
Permanent marker []
Rags []
Foam sanding block []
Tack cloth []
Paint tray []
Paintbrush []
Mini paint roller []

How To Properly Paint Kitchen Cabinets
1. Start by using the screwdriver or screw gun and removing the drawer pulls, doorknobs, drawer fronts, and doors. Be sure to mark each drawer front and door with a marker to prevent mixing up the doors. The best place for this mark is behind the hinge location.
2. Clean the cabinet by spraying it with a degreaser solution and wiping it down with a rag. This removes all the oils and grease that could prevent a perfect finish.
3. Use a foam sanding block to scuff the surfaces of the cabinet, drawers, and doors. This is a light sanding meant to give the primer something to adhere to, so don’t sand to the bare wood. Use a tack cloth to remove the sanding dust before moving on.
4. Pour some primer into the paint tray and load the roller and brush. Using the brush along the edges and tight spots, and the roller on the large, flat surfaces, coat the cabinet, doors, and drawer fronts with a coat of primer. While you’re allowing the primer to dry, wash your brush and roller sleeve, and pour the excess primer back into the can before washing the paint tray.
5. Pour some trim and cabinet enamel paint into the paint tray and load the brush and roller with paint. Use the brush to cut in along the edges, push paint into the corners, and leave out roller strokes. Use the roller to apply enamel paint to the large flat surface where possible. Cover the rush and roller with plastic bags to prevent them from hardening while you wait for the first coat to dry.
6. Apply a second coat to the cabinet. This coat should provide a perfect, consistent finish without any thin or light areas where wood might show through.
7. Once the second coat dries, reattach the door and drawer fronts. Enjoy the fact that you’ve given your kitchen cabinets a fresh new look without investing a lot of time or money.

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About Ask This Old House TV:
From the makers of This Old House, America’s first and most trusted home improvement show, Ask This Old House answers the steady stream of home improvement questions asked by viewers across the United States. Covering topics from landscaping to electrical to HVAC and plumbing to painting and more. Ask This Old House features the experts from This Old House, including general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, landscape contractor Jenn Nawada, master carpenter Norm Abram, and host Kevin O’Connor. Ask This Old House helps you protect and preserve your greatest investment—your home.

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How to Properly Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets | Ask This Old House

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