Step 1: Prep the Room

Kitchen Cabinet Prep the room
Photograph: Kolin Smith
«»
Cover the countertop adjacent to the cabinets with rosin paper and painter's tape. Cover the backsplash with 0.5-millimeter plastic.

Flag each cabinet door or drawer and its corresponding opening with matching numbered pieces of tape so you'll know which piece goes where. Remove all pulls and knobs, and then unscrew hinges from both the cabinet boxes and the doors. Pull out the drawers and, if possible, unscrew the fronts.

Using a sponge and the appropriate cleanser, wipe down the doors, drawer fronts, and cabinet frames wherever you plan to paint.

Tip: If you're reusing your old hinges, also flag the paired hinges with their doors and location for easier reinstallation.
Ask TOH users about Kitchen Cabinets

Contribute to This Story Below

    Tools List

    • putty knife
      Putty Knife to fill holes and dings

    • drill
      Drill/Driver

    • paintbrush
      2½-Inch Nylon-Polyester Paintbrush with chisel-tip bristles (have two, for switching from primer to paint)

    • paint sprayer
      Airless Paint Sprayer (optional; rents for $75 a day)

    • Phillips screwdriver
      Screwdriver

    Shopping List

    1. Paint Oil-based or 100 percent acrylic latex paint specially formulated for cabinetry applications or high-traffic areas. You will need about a gallon per coat on a bank of four upper and lower cabinets.

    2. Primer to fill the wood grain and to create a smooth surface for the final coat. Look for ones labeled "high build" and "sandable." If your cabinets are laminates, not wood, get a "sealer" primer for smooth surfaces that can't be sanded.

    3. Rosin Paper to cover and protect countertops

    4. 0.5 mm Plastic to cover the backsplash and surrounding areas 5. Painter's Tape

    6. Scrubbing Sponge

    7. TSP Substitute or Degreaser to remove built-up residue

    8. Wood Putty to fill old hardware holes

    9. 100-Grit and 220-Grit Sandpaper

    10. Tack Cloths to wipe the sanding dust off the cabinets between coats

    11. Fine-Grit Sanding Sponge to smooth the primer on the trim

    12. Cup Hooks to hang the doors while they dry