Step 6: Brush on the Finish Color

Brush on the finish color kitchen cabinet
Photograph: Kolin Smith
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Use a new chisel-tipped paintbrush to apply the finish color. Beginning on the back of the doors and drawer fronts, brush on the paint, going with the grain. Paint the panels first; then work your way out to the rails and stiles. Apply a thin coating to avoid drips and uneven coverage.

While the doors and drawers are drying, keep them perfectly flat to allow the paint to level off. Meanwhile, paint the cabinet boxes and face frames.

Once the doors and drawers are dry to the touch, flip them over and coat the face, again working from the interior panel out to the rails and stiles. Let them sit flat until they're dry to the touch. Then hang them to dry for another 2 hours before applying the second coat.
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    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