How Kitchen Cabinets Are Repainted to Look Brand New

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Following is a transcript of the video.

Rachel Mongillo: I’m Rachel Mongillo, owner of Furniture Rescues. Today, we’re getting ready to start a kitchen cabinet project. We are going to be painting all the surfaces and creating an entire new look. Walking into this kitchen, the first thing I noticed was the outdated honey-color cabinets. She’s getting ready to sell, and it would make so much more of an impact for a buyer to see a fresh white kitchen. And that’s where we’re going to help her.

So, the first step of this process is the part where we need to be the most organized. We give every door and drawer front a number, and there’s a coordinating baggie that has numbers on it, and all the screws, all the hardware, all the hinges, and parts go in each of those baggies. This is important, because when they go back up, everything needs to match. So, once all of the baggies are identified, now all of our doors and drawer fronts are off, and we have what we call a naked kitchen. Now we have to protect all the contents and all the surfaces of the kitchen. Now we’re ready to do the work. So, now our surfaces are prepped and it’s time to clean, sand, and scrape. Let’s get these cabinets ready for primer. The important part about sanding before anything, even primer, is that you’re slightly opening the pores of the wood so that when the primer is applied, it sticks. Your kitchen is your biggest asset in your home, and you don’t want to skip on primer. In the beginning, one of the most common mistakes that happens when priming your cabinets, if you don’t use the correct primer, you can deal with an issue called bleed-through, especially with some of the wood types that start out as cherry or walnut or dark. Over time, you’ll get pink lines in your completed project, because the stain was able to come through and penetrate through the primer. So, at this point, the cabinets are primed, and they’re a washy white. Here comes the fun part. We get to add the color. Nine out of 10 of our kitchen projects, people are selecting a white, but that can be a really overwhelming experience, because there are so many whites out there. So it’s important to take into consideration your countertops, your floors, backsplash, and any other colors in the room. That’s why we always advise that painting the kitchen cabinets comes last. The painting should always be the final piece of the puzzle in a kitchen renovation.

Kitchens take a lot of abuse. There’s grease, there’s hands, there’s cooking. They need some really serious coatings to be successful. So when you’re choosing your kitchen cabinet paint, it’s really important that you do your research and choose a quality product. We like to use something that has scrubbable properties in it, and you want something that is going to be durable over time. Any products that advertise a “quick fix” or “you don’t need to sand and prep” are not products you want to put in your kitchen. So, in theory, it’s a great idea to DIY your cabinets, but be wary of products that offer no sanding, chalk-based paints. These are things you want to stay away from. So, the roller we like to use is a nap roller. Using a roller, you’re able to have a lot more control over your lines, whereas a paintbrush, with the numerous bristles, are going to show up, and that makes both the sanding-between-coat process more difficult and also your finish not as smooth. It’s also important, when choosing your paint, if you have the option to do a satin finish, that’s going to give you the most sheen, not shine, and it will be the most forgiving for cleanup. If you’re using a bright white finish, sometimes you can use up to four coats of paint, but most times, in most cases with a soft white, you can get away with two to three coats.

Over time, in the summer months and the winter months, as the weather changes, the wood panels on your cabinet doors are going to expand and contract. Caulking plays an important role in making sure that not only you see gaps in your cabinets, but also that you don’t deal with cracking when the weather changes. It is important to caulk where the walls or seams of the ceiling meet your cabinet doors.

It’s also important to fill in any gaps, because you don’t notice things in a wood kitchen, but when it’s white, you see everything. So caulking is a little tricky, but it’s a very important step. So, as the caulk fills in the gap, you’ll notice it’s oozing out a little bit. As that happens, to keep it smooth, the best tool you can use is your finger.

These cabinets are in great condition, but a lot of times there’s either damage or dings or we change the hardware spacing, and that’s where we require wood filler. So, the wood filler is applied with a spackle tool, and you just take a series of steps to make sure everything’s fully impacted in the hole or divot so that no shrinkage happens over time. When the doors and drawers leave the kitchen, they come to…



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