Saturday, June 20, 2009

How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen cabinets suffer more damage than any other furniture because of the tough conditions they are used in - dry and hot air because of the oven, then high humidity when steaming vegetables or boiling water. Kitchen hands are usually covered with grease, meat and butter that leave their imprints on cabinets. Thus it’s no wonder cabinets need refreshing often. If you think it’s time to do this stick to the following steps:

1. Preparation:
Make sure all cabinet surfaces are clean and free of food residue. To do this you need to remove the doors (they would be easier for cleaning) and lay them down so you can clean them. Use a rag and all-purpose cleaner, then wait until they are dry.

2. Remove old finishes:
Get at least a 150 grit sandpaper and sand the cabinets. You don’t need to take down much - a few passes over all surfaces are enough. It is a very important step as sanding will allow the primer to bite and hold onto the surface better and prolong the life of the paint job.

3. Primer
After sanding it’s time to apply the primer. Primer makes a better bond with wood than paint alone does, hence increases the quality of paint job; moreover, applying primer greatly decreases the possibility of chipping and peeling. Choosing primer depends on the type of paint you are going to use. Oil-based paints go with interior oil-based primer, while latex paint combines with shellac based primer. Both primers have strong odour so apply them in a room with good ventilation. Shellac based primers dry relatively quick so make sure you are ready to work without breaks when applying them.

4. Painting
It might have been exhausting to sand and primer, but you can be sure you’ve made a great foundation for the paint. There are two ways you can apply paint in home conditions: using a pneumatic sprayer or a paint brush. The sprayer creates a smooth and flawless finish, but if you don’t have one - go for a 2,5 - 3″ brush. If you use a brush make several thin coats; a single thick coat is no good - it is less durable and is more likely to have flaws. To make a really good finish after applying the first coat wait until dry and sand it very lightly with 400 grit sandpaper. This will ensure a perfect bond between coats. Usually 2 coats are enough but if you feel you need a third one (for woods with heavier grain) - go for it.

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