Do you have an outdated Kitchen or Bathroom that you’d like to bring into the 21st century? Painting them is the best and easiest way to do that. Although painting cabinets is a very labor intensive process and can take a bit of time to do, it is soooo worth it! I painted my kitchen and bathroom this last year (kitchen pics below) and I’ve never felt so accomplished as I did when I stood back and looked at what a difference it made in our home. Took them from dark and dreary to fresh and bright. Although I’ve been a painter for years I think it’s possible for anyone to do it if they follow these simple steps below.
- Remove all cabinet doors, drawers and hardware. I recommend prepping and painting both sides of your cabinet doors so that when you’re done and open your cabinets you’re never reminded of the old finish that you so badly wanted to get rid of. Note: Make sure to label all hinges so that they go back onto the same doors they came off of. You’ll thank me later!
- Clean all cabinets well with TSP. I recommend Fusion TSP because it does not require rinsing or wearing gloves and it doesn’t interfere with paint adhesion. Please make sure if you’re not using Fusion TSP that you rinse your cabinets off before moving to the next step. After TSP dries throughly you’re ready for the next step. Usually within 30mins to 1 hr.
- Scuff Sand all surfaces. I use the Fusion Sanding Pad which is 220 grit. If you use regular sand paper or a sander you can use 150-220 grit. This is simply putting micro scratches in the surface of the cabinets giving the paint something to stick to. If you’re unsure of how to do this you can watch a video here. Sanding always sounds daunting but I promise it’s really not that hard!
- Rinse – Use plain water to wipe all the saw dust off your surfaces. Allow surfaces to throughly dry 30 mins to 1 hr. Should be dry to the touch.
- Primer/Bonding Agent – Not all surfaces require a primer or bonding agent like Ultra Grip. See the chart below to determine what you surface needs. Please note that bleed thru happens when you paint over certain types of wood. For example mahogany, cherry, oak and pine with knots. For those types of wood a primer is definitely recommended. Zinsser Bin Shellac Primer is the only primer I’ve used that has 100% of the time prevented bleed thru. If you’re going from dark to light and would like to reduce the number of coats of paint needed you can always apply 2 coats of Zinsser Bin Shellac Primer. Allow about 45mins to 1 hr between coats of Primer and before moving on to the next step. Please note that when using Zinsser Bin Shellac Primer, which you can purchase at your local hardware store, I recommend using a Fusion Microfiber Roller and an inexpensive brush to apply. If you want to clean your roller and brush you’ll need to have ammonia on hand. Brushes have to be soaked in 50% ammonia and 50% water to clean. If you’re cabinets have been previously chalk painted and waxed please go here to see how to remove wax and prepare your surface for Fusion.
- Paint away!! Depending on your project and the color that you’re using it may take multiple coats for full coverage. Allow 4-8 hours between coats for best results. I recommend using the Fusion Microfiber Roller which gives you a sprayed on looking finish with no brush strokes and one of the Staalmeester Brushes. I used the Staalmeester #18 Pointed Sash Brush for edges and crevices I could not get with my roller.
- To Seal or Not to Seal – Fusion has a built in top coat and doesn’t require sealing. Once cured, which takes approximately 21 days, the finish is stain proof, waterproof, rock hard and super durable. But, since cabinets get used daily and take a lot of abuse I recommend using a Sealer over your paint to make cleaning them and keeping them clean long term much easier. For lighter colors I recommend Fusion Tough Coat. You can watch a video here that shows you how easy it is to apply. For darker color I recommend Fusion Natural Stain & Finishing Oil. Watch a video here on how to apply. Tough Coat can tend to look cloudy or streaky over darker colors unless applied very carefully. Allow 24 hours after painting to apply top coats.
Here’s a larger before and after of my Kitchen Cabinets which I painted in Raw Silk with the Island in Pebble. I used a total of 6-1/2 pints on this project. I did these about a year ago and they’ve been cleaned, scrubbed and jumped on by our dog with no issues at all. They still look as good as the day I did them. If you’re unsure of how much paint you need to buy for your cabinet project feel free to reach out here. I’m happy to give you some guidance.
Happy Cabinet Painting!