Update Kitchen Cabinets With Paint
Give your kitchen an economical facelift by updating old, worn cabinets. Simply apply a fresh coat of paint and get new hardware to make your kitchen look new again.
To get started, visit your local True Value hardware store for all the tools, products and expert advice you need to get this easy kitchen makeover started then follow the steps below.
Step 1. Plan It
Before you start, spend some time planning what you want your kitchen to look like. Consider refinishing cabinets and either applying a new shade of stain or painting them. Updating dark cabinets to a lighter, brighter color can lighten your kitchen and give the illusion of more space.
To create a modern look, consider combining a solid color palette of light blue, bright red and other brilliant hues to complement your stainless steel appliances. You can pair this color scheme with a neutral accent color like white, brown, black or metallic as a finishing touch to your kitchen's décor.
Step 2. Swap out Cabinet Hardware
Switching old cabinet hardware for new is an easy remodeling step that can add impact to your kitchen makeover. Just make sure the new hardware matches your kitchen's décor.
For example, if your design scheme features a floral motif, install flower-shaped knobs. Granite or marble countertops and backsplashes match well with granite or marble knobs. If you have stainless steel appliances, consider stainless steel hardware. Is there an abundance of copper in your kitchen? Try copper knobs and hinges.
Want to go modern? Use sleek, minimalist hardware such as chrome pull bars. A country kitchen can really pop with cast-iron hardware.
- Match knobs and hinges. For example, if you buy new stainless steel knobs, also get stainless steel hinges.
Step 3. Remove Old Hardware and Prepare Area
Using a screwdriver, remove all old cabinet hardware, handles, knobs and closures. You don't have to remove the cabinet doors to re-paint them, so leave them on their hinges if you're not going to replace them. However, it is easier to paint the cabinet's façade with the doors off. You can paint the hinges to match the cabinets or mask them with painter's tape to keep them as they are.
Place old newspapers on the countertops to protect them from paint drips and spills. If you're painting the bottom cabinets, place newspapers or canvas drop cloths on the floor as well.
Step 4. Clean and Prepare Cabinets
Use trisodium phosphate (TSP) to thoroughly clean and prepare all surfaces you're going to paint. Mix TSP powder and water according to manufacturer's instructions. Use this solution and a sponge to wash all surfaces of the cabinets including the doors, cabinet façades and the front and sides.
- Use TSP as directed by the manufacturer. TSP can corrode metal and damage finished wood. Be sure to wear protective eyewear, clothing and rubber gloves.
Once the cabinets have been washed and dried completely, sand with coarse-grit sandpaper until the cabinet finish is dull. This will give a rough texture to the surfaces so the primer and paint can better adhere.
Step 5. Prime Cabinets
Apply primer, which can be found at your local True Value hardware store, to the front and back of the doors with a roller. Then prime the cabinet façade. If you plan to paint the underside of the cabinet, you should prime it now. Use a small paint brush to reach any areas the roller won't fit, including the hinges if you'll be painting them.
- Don't prime or paint the doors when they're closed – you'll risk ruining the paint before it dries or having the doors stick to the cabinet façade. Instead, hold the doors open with the tip of your finger. Open them all the way when you're finished priming and allow them to dry overnight.
- The fumes from paint and primer can be strong, so be sure to open windows or doors for proper ventilation. A fan will help ventilation by pushing or pulling the fumes outside.
- If you need to use a ladder, make sure it's properly positioned and stable before you climb.
- Keep all painting materials and equipment away from children and pets.
Step 6. Paint Cabinets
Once the primer has dried, it's time to paint the cabinets. Using the same method you used to prime, apply the first coat of paint. Cabinets must withstand a lot of wear and tear, so choose a durable paint such as True Value EasyCare® paint. Make sure you leave the cabinet doors open and allow the paint to dry overnight. Apply the final coat the next day.
- Before applying the final coat of paint, use fine-grit sandpaper to sand any bubbles that may have formed in the first coat of paint. Be sure to use a very gentle touch so you don't remove too much paint.
- Since you saw where the roller couldn't reach when priming the cabinets, do the brushwork in these areas first when painting. Then follow with the roller.
- Treat the cabinets with care for the next few weeks – even though they're dry, the paint can still be scratched.
Step 7. Clean Up
While the final coat is drying, pour some water into a coffee can or similar container and let your brushes or rollers soak overnight. Place the roller sleeve in a plastic zipper storage bag and remove as much air as possible before closing it. Throw away the roller sleeve and tray liner. Pick up drop cloths and newspaper from your floors and countertops. Pour excess paint back into the can and close it tightly.
- Some states don't allow you to pour used paint thinner down the drain, so be aware of local regulations for its disposal.
Congratulations. You now have "new" kitchen cabinets without the cost. For every home improvement project, head to your local True Value hardware store for all the tools, products and expert advice you need to start right.
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