Painting Kitchen Cabinets: How to Paint Kitchen Cupboards and Tips for Choosing Paint Colors

Painting Kitchen Cabinets: How to Paint Kitchen Cupboards and Tips for Choosing Paint Colors

Whether you’re considering painting your cabinets because you don’t have the budget to finance new ones or you’re just a fan of painted kitchens, paint is a great way to update your space for two reasons:

  1. Paint is inexpensive
  2. Paint is easy to change

Painted kitchens are attractive due to their combination of freshness and nostalgia. Hand painted kitchens have country charm, but at the same time they can easily be updated for trendy color schemes.

If you are selling your home, painting the cabinets is a great investment for an outdated kitchen. Kitchens are a major selling feature and painting cabinets can quickly add value without the expense or mess of a remodelling job.

Tips for Choosing a Kitchen Paint Color

The beauty of a painted kitchen is in the vast availability of color options. Some paint companies even offer color matching so you can supply a color sample from any item or picture and have the shade duplicated as paint.

If you’re looking for color inspiration try using a classic cream or white scheme for traditional kitchens. Country kitchens work well with vintage reds, blues or greens, while contemporary kitchens look great with modern grays or sandy taupes.

The truly adventurous can try a modern twist on a traditional look; dark lower cabinets with light uppers. A lime green, royal blue or cherry red looks great on lower cabinets when offset with bright white uppers, while charcoal grey or dark brown works well with a lighter shade of the same color on the upper doors.

Take color cues from magazines, flooring, countertops or accent tiles. Since paint is easy to change there’s no reason to be shy when choosing a color. This is an opportunity to make a bold choice without the risk.

How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets

It is important to select the right paint for job. Not all cabinet materials are good candidates for painting, but with the right tools and proper application nearly any kitchen can receive a paint makeover.

Using the right paint for your project is important in ensuring the durability of the painted finish. After prepping your surface apply primer to the frame and doors. Primer will help the paint adhere better and without it the paint is more likely to chip or wear off.

  • Follow these steps to create durable and beautiful painted finish:
  • Remove cabinet doors and handles before painting.
  • Strip wooden cabinets that are varnished or stained in a well ventilated space.
  • Clean doors with TSP or other appropriate cleaner for the material you’re working on.
  • Apply multi-surface primer or primer designed for specifically for wood, melamine or metal.
  • Gently sand primed surface and dust off before applying paint.
  • Use several thin coats of paint rather than one or two thick coats.
  • Always paint in a well ventilated space.
  • Choose your paint based on the material or finish of your cabinets; stained wood, painted wood, melamine or metal.
  • Paint several coats of semi or high gloss paint either in a lacquer or acrylic lacquer product for wood cabinets; choose specialized paint for melamine or metal. Allow paint to dry between applications. A smooth finish can be obtained by spraying, while using a brush creates a more handcrafted quality.

Maintenance of Painted Cabinets

You may need to occasionally touch up paint in areas that are subject to heavy wear and tear, but painted surfaces typically stand up well to everyday use and cleaning.

Gentle cleaning with water or a mild detergent should remove most stains or spills. Avoid abrasive cleaners or ‘magic erasers’ as they will dull the finish and require a fresh application of paint to restore.

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