7 Steps to Properly Painting Kitchen Cabinets

1. Dismantle the Doors!

In an attempt to save time, you may be inclined to leave cabinet doors attached to the frame, but great results come with attention to detail! Removing the doors provides you easy access to account for every edge of the door saves clean-up time by preventing drip. A bonus: you’ll reduce your chances of bumping into the doors as they dry by keeping them out of the way.


2. Prep, Prep, Prep!

The goal is to bring your vision to life. Doing this takes patience and attention to detail; don’t jump right into painting! For long-term results, make sure you take the necessary steps to prepare the cabinets.

i) Sand the surfaces
ii) Fill in any cracks/uneven areas with wood filler. Allow it to dry!
iii) Remove all dust and debris using a damp or lint-free tack cloth

Following these steps is a crucial factor in achieving your vision; while they may be doable individually, it may be beneficial to hire a professional for more detailed cabinetry.


3. Label the Hardware and Doors

Everything should return to its place! Regardless of how many doors you’re working with, dismantling them can make you forget which door goes where. To prevent this and make assembly a breeze, label the doors and collect all hardware in a matching labelled bag corresponding to the door.


4. Be generous with the Paint!

Chipping paint can tarnish the whole look of the room. Especially in a central location, it’s important to create a surface durable enough to survive frequent use. Instead of applying one thick layer of paint, ensure to apply multiple thin layers to avoid quick chipping. Patience is key here; it’s worth it to wait the recommended drying time between coats for optimal results.


5. Always Prime the Surface

No matter the start state of the door, wooden or previously painted, applying a primer will provide a surface for the new paint to stand out! Especially for smoother surfaces, adding primer creates traction for the new paint to better adhere to the door. Be wary of the primer you decide to use - older cabinetry likely has been painted with an oil-based paint. Modern paint is
latex-based, which when applied to oil-based paint will slowly peel off. If you are working with oil-based paint, ensure to use an oil-based primer before applying new latex paint onto the surface.

6. Choose the Right Paint Finish

As a frequently used-surface, it is optimal to use a finish that makes cleaning the cabinets easier for you. Finishes that are slightly shinier will create an easy-to-wipe surface on top of making the colour pop! Avoid using matter finishes instead of a semi-gloss or satin. The Benjamin Moore ® ADVANCE Interior Paint is a premium quality, waterborne alkyd paint that offers incredibly durable finish ideal for doors, trims and cabinetry. To top it off, Benjamin Moore ® also offers the INSL-X Cabinet Coat, a superb choice for refurbishing not only your kitchen, but bathroom, shelving, furniture, trim and crown moulding, or any surface in need of an ultra-smooth finish and lasting beauty.


7. Patience Pays Off

Although your freshly-painted cabinets may dry within the first few hours, it can take days to complete the curing process. Paint will be more susceptible to marks and chips before they’re fully cured to a hard, durable surface. Refrain from reassembling the doors before 48 hours after completing painting. When you do reattach them, try not to slam or scrape the doors for the first week to ensure the curing process has completed, leaving the cabinets lastin until your next refurbishing!