Step 9: Prep, Prime, and Sand Doors and Drawers

sanding a freshly primed and painted door with a sanding sponge
Photo: Brian Wilder
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The strategy for prepping and painting doors, drawers, and shelves is the same as on the cabinets, except that all the work is done on a table to reduce the chance of drips, runs, and sags. Paneled doors pose some special challenges; here's Dee's approach.

Follow the same prep sequence as for cabinets—clean with deglosser, fill the holes, sand, vac, and tack—and the same priming sequence: in this case, two coats of brushing putty. Smooth the flat surfaces on the panel and the frame with a random-orbit sander. On bevels or profiles, apply elbow grease and a medium-grit sanding sponge. Spackle and sand any dents.

Pro tip: When priming or painting paneled doors, brush in the following sequence to get the best-looking surface in the least amount of time: start with the area around the panel, then do the main field of the panel, then finish with the stiles and rails around the edges. As you go, wipe up any paint that ends up on adjacent dry surfaces. This eliminates the chance of lap marks.
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    Tools List

    • drill
      Drill-driver
    • paint scraper
      Paint scraper
    • putty knife
      Putty knife
    • shop vacuum
      Shop vacuum with drywall-dust filter
    • random orbit sander
      Random-orbit sander
    • chisel-tip paintbrush
      2½-in. chisel-tip with nylon-polyester bristles
    • eye goggles
      Goggles
    • dual cartridge respirator
      Respirator (fitted with organic-vapor cartridges)
    • rubber gloves
      Chemical-resistant rubber gloves (long-sleeve style)

    Shopping List

    1. Low-tack painter's tape

    2. Rosin paper

    3. 0.5-mil plastic sheet

    4. Tack cloth

    5. Liquid deglosser and abrasive pad

    6. Lint-free rags

    7. 100-grit silicon-carbide sandpaper

    8. Two-part polyester wood filler or autobody filler to fill dings or screw holes

    9. 220-grit silicon-carbide sandpaper to smooth primer between coats

    10. 280-grit silicon-carbide sandpaper to smooth paint between coats

    11. Sanding sponges, medium- and fine-grit12. Vinyl spackle

    13. Oil-based primer for use on smooth surfaces or tight-grained woods (cherry, maple, birch); or
    14. Brushing putty to prime and fill open-grained woods (oak, ash, hickory)

    15. Oil-based spray primer for touch-up

    16. Siliconized acrylic-latex caulk

    17. Oil-based paint Easier to clean and more durable than water-based, which softens when ex­posed to heat or oil.