If you’re planning to repaint your kitchen cabinets, you’ll want to make sure you get a smooth finish. This can be tricky if you’ve never done it before. This blog post will show you how to achieve a smooth finish when painting your kitchen cabinets.
A kitchen makeover could be overwhelming the first time you take on this type of DIY project, but repainting kitchen cabinets is not as difficult as many homeowners make it out to be. Instead of wasting time and money, we will provide you with actionable tips to help you achieve a smooth finish on your cabinets that you can be proud of.
We’ll also provide some tips on making the process easier for you. So, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced painter, read on for helpful advice!
5 Steps To Get A Smooth Finish When Painting Kitchen Cabinets
One of the best ways to enhance the look of your kitchen is to paint your cabinets. A fresh coat of paint can transform tired, outdated cabinets into a sleek, modern focal point. In addition to updating the look of your kitchen, painting cabinets can also protect them from damage and wear.
Instead of spending thousands of dollars buying and installing new kitchen cabinets, you can get a great look with just a few hundred dollars and a weekend of work.
Repainting kitchen cabinets can improve the value of your home and give new life to your old kitchen cabinets.
While it’s not the most challenging DIY home improvement job, painting kitchen cabinets does require you to pay special attention to how you apply the primer and paint to avoid streaks as the paint dries. Let’s look at some of my best pro tips that you can use to get a smooth finish when painting your kitchen cabinets today!
1. Always Sand Cabinets Before Painting
One of the most critical steps of prep work in painting cabinets is to sand them before you start painting. Doing this will scuff up the surface of your kitchen cabinets so primer and paint can adhere to the surface.
Plus, sanding will let you skip stripping the cabinets by roughing up the topcoat that most cabinet doors and boxes have so your paint will adhere to the cabinet surfaces.
This makes the end product look amazing. Sanding also helps your kitchen cabinets look great for years to come.
I recommend using 120-grit sandpaper to rough up the cabinets before priming. I typically use sandpaper and a sanding block instead of an electric sander to avoid damaging cabinet doors. However, if you are working on oak kitchen cabinets, then you may want to use an electric sander to save time.
Once you’ve sanded your cabinets, wipe them down with a damp cloth to remove any sanding dust and other debris.
It can be difficult to remember when you should sand the cabinet doors and boxes when repainting your cabinets, so here is a quick overview:
- Sand all surfaces that you want to paint with 120-grit sand paper.
- Sand all surfaces with 280-grit sand paper once each coat of primer and paint has dried.
Never skip sanding down the cabinets before painting since this step will help you a lot in the long run. You don’t have to sand the cabinets down to the wood, but just enough to scuff up the surface for the primer and paint to adhere as much as possible.
2. Apply 2 Coats Of Primer
After you’ve sanded your cabinets and removed any dust particles, it’s time to apply primer. I recommend using a high-quality latex primer designed for use on cabinets since this type of primer is easy to use and helps cabinets stand up to normal wear and tear those kitchen cabinets endure with regular use.
Primer is an important part for repainting your kitchen cabinets because the primer will help cover the previous color, help the new layer of paint look better, and the primer helps the layers of paint adhere to the surfaces. This will ensure your kitchen cabinets looks great for years to come!
Before applying the primer, make sure to stir it thoroughly to evenly mixed. Once you’ve stirred the primer, use a paintbrush or roller to apply an even coat of primer to all surfaces of your kitchen cabinets.
Allow the first coat of primer to dry completely before applying a second coat. I typically wait about an hour before applying the second coat of primer. Just check that the primer is not sticky to the touch. I like to lightly sand the first layer before applying the second coat of primer to ensure I remove all streaks or drips.
I always use a foam roller when on cabinets, so I use the roller on the first and second coats of primer. This reduces the chances of streaks or imperfections showing in the final product.
3. Use Foam Rollers Whenever Possible
When painting your kitchen cabinets, I recommend using a foam paint roller. Foam rollers help avoid streaks and leave the smoothest finish possible when painting your cabinets by hand.
To use a foam roller, simply dip it into the paint or primer and then roll it onto the surface of your cabinet doors. Make sure to apply an even coat of paint or primer and work in small sections so the paint does not dry before you can smooth it out.
When needed, I like to use a high-quality paint brush to get primer and paint in the decorative areas of kitchen cabinets. If you have to use a paintbrush, make sure you use long strokes to reduce streaks, and try to follow up all paintbrush strokes with a foam roller to feather out imperfections.
4. Use High-Quality Paint & Primer
Painting your kitchen cabinets is a great way to improve the look of your home over a weekend. Plus, painting kitchen cabinets can save you thousands of dollars compared to replacing the cabinets.
Since you are saving lots of money when painting your kitchen cabinets, you should invest in high-quality paint and primer. Your kitchen cabinets are constantly opened and shut, so you need a paint and primer that will stand up to constant use.
One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make when painting their kitchen cabinets is that they use cheap paint and primer.
Don’t do this- spend the extra $100 to get paint and primer that will stand up to the wear and tear, plus high-quality paint and primer dry more consistently for a better look when you’re done.
Always use the best type of paint you can afford for the DIY project to ensure your cabinets have a smooth surface once they are fully dry. The best paint on the market will stand up for years to come, and this type of paint looks great when dried.
I recommend using a semi-gloss or gloss paint for kitchen cabinets since these finishes are easier to clean than flat or eggshell paints.
However, if you prefer a matte finish, you can use that as well. Just keep in mind that it may be more challenging to clean than a higher sheen paint finish.
5. Use Thin Layers Of Paint
When painting your kitchen cabinets, it’s important to use thin layers of paint. This may mean that you have to apply more coats of paint than you would if you were painting walls, but trust me- it’s worth the extra time and effort.
Using thin layers of paint helps to avoid drips and runs in the paint, plus it gives you a better chance of getting an even coat of paint on all surfaces. When applying the paint, use long strokes, so there are no visible brushstrokes in the final product.
As I mentioned earlier, I recommend using a foam roller whenever possible to help avoid streaks and give you a smooth finish. If you do use a roller, make sure to brush over lightly.
Common Questions Homeowners Have About Painting Cabinets
You’re not alone if you’re planning to give your kitchen a facelift by painting your cabinets. A fresh coat of paint can transform tired, dated cabinetry into a beautiful focal point that breathes new life into your kitchen.
But before you pick up a brush, you should know a few things. Here are answers to some common questions homeowners have when painting cabinets.
How Do I Prevent Brush Marks When Painting Cabinets?
One of the best ways to avoid brush marks when painting cabinets is to use a foam roller. Foam rollers help apply an even coat of paint, and they’re less likely to drip than traditional paintbrushes.
Always keep a wet edge when using a paintbrush on cabinets to avoid streaks or strokes from appearing on your cabinets.
If you have to use a paintbrush, make sure you use long strokes and follow up all brushstrokes with a foam roller to feather out any imperfections. Once dried, you can also lightly sand after each layer of paint and primer to remove any paint strokes to get the best-looking kitchen cabinets after you are done painting.
Are Foam Rollers Suitable For Painting Cabinets?
Foam rollers are great for painting cabinets! They help to apply an even coat of paint, and they’re less likely to drip than traditional paintbrushes.
I always recommend using a foam roller whenever possible when painting kitchen cabinets. However, if you do have to use a paintbrush, make sure you use long strokes and follow up all brushstrokes with a foam roller to feather out any imperfections. Once dried, you can also lightly sand after each layer of paint and primer to remove any paint strokes.
Should I Sand Between Coats Of Paint On Cabinets?
You don’t necessarily need to sand between coats of paint on cabinets, but lightly sanding after each layer of paint and primer can help to remove any paint strokes for a smoother finish.
This is especially important if you use semi-gloss or gloss paint for the cabinets since this level of sheen shows brush strokes that you will need to address to get great-looking cabinets.
If you do sand between coats, make sure you use 280-grit sandpaper, so you don’t damage the layer of paint or primer. Once you’re finished painting and sanding, wipe down your cabinets with a damp cloth to remove any dust or debris before applying the final coat of paint.
What Kind Of Paint Is Most Durable For Kitchen Cabinets?
I recommend using semi-gloss or gloss paint for kitchen cabinets since this level of sheen is more durable and easier to clean than flat paint. Unlike other types of finish, semi-gloss paint helps make the cabinets pop and can make your kitchen look more prominent.
Plus, semi-gloss paint stands up to grease and dirt. In addition, semi-gloss paint is easy to clean, so you will be able to keep your cabinets looking great for years to come.
If you choose semi-gloss latex paint, you will need to use a latex primer before applying the first coat of paint. This will ensure the paint adheres to the surface and prevents the paint from chipping.
Wrapping Up How To Get A Smooth Finish When Painting Kitchen Cabinets
Now that you know how to get a smooth finish when painting kitchen cabinets, it’s time to gather your supplies and get started!
Remember to use a foam roller whenever possible, keep a wet edge, and sand between coats for the best results. And be sure to choose semi-gloss or gloss paint for the most durable and easy-to-clean finish.
With these tips in mind, you’ll be on your way to painting beautiful kitchen cabinets that will transform your space. Good luck!