Tuesday, April 17, 2012

How I paint cabinets : Part 1

First of all I should start off by sharing my thoughts on painting kitchen cabinets , and painting over wood in general.
 First of all I love painted kitchens , for me and only me a wood kitchen doesn't interest me at all. I think this may be because I have seen so so many wood kitchens growing up, fake wood, aka laminate cabinets of all colors and styles, stained oak , and my nemesis natural or golden oak , it says 1989 to me, and I want nothing of 1989 in my kitchen. I was 16 in 1989 and I want nothing in my decor that reminds of that time. Wooden heart shelves , golden oak , dusty rose none of it . 
 I don't think wood should be held to a higher level than paint grade wood.
I heard some great advice many years ago that wood is just a building material , why not paint it ?? well there is no reason not to go ahead and paint it . 

this photo was taken five years after these cabinets were painted and they still looked great.

Actually I like wood very much , in fact wood floors are my very favourite , but for me wood on wood is not for me. Ok we get it , I'm not a big fan of wood cabinetry. Actually on Khloe and Lamar I quite like their kitchen cabinets , black stained wood cabinets. 

I would love to have sat down with our designer at the home design center when I was going through the selection process and choose all the bells and whistles and finishes that my heart desires. But I fear the upgrades would have been plenty and way out of whack with our spending plan. 
Instead of upgrading things like finish for our kitchen or adding crown molding , I opted to make sure to go ahead with extra tall cabinets , pot drawers , a few re-organizations of layout were things I thought were necessary to do ahead of time. Crown molding could be added later, valance and brackets could be added later and a back splash too all later later. 
So I wanted a painted kitchen, a grey kitchen. My thoughts are if you choose a real wood door with a profile you like that is classic then you can paint them what ever you like. 

I have been getting some questions about my painting cabinets like , Latex of oil? Roller or sprayer?
what kind of primer?
So I will go through step by step how I do it. ( this is the third kitchen I will be painting so I have a little experience to go by)

 First of all remove the doors from the boxes and remove the hardware and set aside. I am starting with one managable section of the kitchen , I have 30 plus doors so having the, all off and dealing with them might be a little crazy time. These things take time.

 I bagged up all the hardware to keep it all together .
 I then took them out to the garage and used the orbital sander with fine sand paper I roughed them up , making sure there was no gloss left. After sanding them while wearing a mask I vacuumed off the dust.
 After vacuuming the dust off I rubbed them down with this liquid sandpaper.(Although for the laundry room cabinets I skipped the sanding all together just using the liquid sandpaper primer and then paint, which is fine for an area like the laundry room that will not get used nearly as much as a kitchen, once the paint has cured it is quite durable)
 I used a roller and brush to coat the doors with Zinsser 123 high adhesion primer. A little goes a long way . A nice even coat is what I do.
 Then we wait .....and wait, well your supposed to wait a week before painting but I almost never wait that long. I will wait over night to flip them and then prime the front side. After this coat has dried it would be a good time to add any black board paint to the inset of the inside of the door if you like. I like a hidden chalkboard they are great for things like phone numbers and such.
I decided not to finish the center of the backside of the drawer as it will not be seen, see how glossy it is compared to the sanded area.
 You can see there is no room for 30 plus doors to be completed in here .

That completes part one , this is the most important part for sure, skimping on these steps can lead to a lot of wasted time and a chipping finish .
I want to mention that professionally sprayed doors are beautiful but can be pricey , there is some info out there that it costs $20 per door but I believe that information is incorrect. I have heard $20 per side , so $40 per door that would run me about $1300 approx , ouch... The thing about a sprayed lacquered finish is that it can CHIP, its not unbreakable. The nice thing about painting the cabinets yourself is that if they need a touch up , it is an easy job for you to do yourself, touching up a sprayed cabinet might be a little more challenging and you may need to re-spray.

I do not use oil paint and never use melamine , although most paint stores or counter people will tell you melamine, I don't use oil paint because it is messy and takes a long time to dry. I have had great success with latex paint. Its all the prep that makes the difference.
More to come a little later with part two.

PART 2  click here 

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