Refacing and Painting Kitchen Cabinets

If you have decided that your kitchen has a good layout, functions well, and that refacing to painted cabinets is right for you, let’s look at guidance on how to go about it.

First, refacing to painted is much less costly than refacing to wood colors, because considerably less detailed work is required.. You simply replace the doors and paint the main parts of the cabinets to match. The new factory painted cabinet doors will have a very high quality finish that would rival an automotive or appliance finish . In the reface, the old doors and drawer fronts are removed, hinge holes and any dents or blemishes are filled and sanded. For filler Polyfil in a squeeze tube works very well.

Now to paint the existing cabinets. First and most important, there are a lot of new paints now on the market that are made to supposedly to give you that high quality factory finish. They come under a lot of different names such as Melamine, cabinet teck and others. Does it work? Yes somewhat. But my experience with these show that you do not need those kind of paints for this application. They can be quite expensive, time consuming and very difficult to apply and sometimes simply do not work. In fact I do have a past customer that used this high grade paint an their kitchen, they had over 100 hours into what should have been a 10 hour job and 3 months later you can peel the finish off with your finger nail. Leave those high tec paints to the professional painters or to someone who has had past experience with them and proven their worth.

I prefer the KISS method. (Keep It Simple Stupid) ,,,Quickly wipe the cabinets down with TSP or paint thinner to get rid of any grease build up, then prime with an oil base primer, next step is to finish paint with a semigloss latex paint. Before applying the 2nd coat of finish paint, sand lightly to assure the final coat comes out smooth. The semigloss latex paint will be very easy to apply and clean up. Equally important it will be very easy to do future touch ups.

An additional tip, get a sample color of your doors and have the paint supplier computer match the Semigloss latex paint to the new door color, very easily with the technology currently available.

Now you are all set, have your door supplier arrive and install the new doors, with new handles and hidden hinges….done. You now have a hugely transformed kitchen.

So a quick recap the painting procedures

-#1 fill holes and blemishes with POLYFILL and sand them smooth

-#2 wipe down cabinets with TSP or PAINT THINNER

-#3 prime with OIL BASED PRIMER (or Hi quality latex sealer or primer)

-#4 after dry sand lightly with 220 SAND PAPER to smooth up

-#5 apply computer matched to the new door color SEMI GLOSS LATEX

-#6 sand lightly and then apply final coat of semi latex paint

Good luck on your kitchen or bathroom cabinet transformation.

This article was written by Jim Lawrence of They have designers in your area every week doing professional designs and quotes.

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