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Here's Help with Painting
Old Wooden Cabinets

Painting wooden cabinets doesn't require high levels of skill, but it can be a messy, tedious project. These can be cabinets in your bath, hall, kitchen or elsewhere - wherever they are. But be careful. It can also turn out to be less than you wanted if you don't follow some simple steps and precautions.

Consider the following tips:

  • If you have a breathing problem or are pregnant, this is not a good idea at this time. The potential health problems are too numerous to list. Don't do it.
  • Ventilation is very important through the entire process. It will cut down on the possibility of a health problem, and it may also reduce the risk of fire. Some paints are flammable, so do be careful.
  • Cover your surfaces whenever and wherever possible, particularly in the kitchen. Cover the counter-tops, and everything on them. This will also help prevent them from getting damaged as well.
  • Remove the shine on any varnished wood first. Use a product called TSP. You can find it at most hardware stores and home improvement centers. Wear rubber gloves at all times while handling TSP and follow the directions carefully.
  • Decide in advance whether you'll just paint the doors and face frames or whether you'll paint the insides of the cabinets as well. While it's a lot more work to do the interiors too, it will look much more like a professional job when done if you do. It's a tough job, but you'll either live with the results for many years to come, or it will help you resell your home down the road.
  • Remove everything including all handles, hinges and the cabinet doors themselves. Don't try to paint them while they are hanging on the cabinet frame. Cover the painting area with drop cloths. Place the doors on blocks, making sure they are lying horizontally. This will eliminate droplets of paint from gathering along the bottom of the door. Be sure to set up in an area that is free from dust and airborne dirt.
  • To reuse the hardware, clean it overnight by soaking it in paint remover. Buff it lightly with steel wool or rub it with metal polish (the kind that leaves a protective film) to restore its lustre.
  • Prepare the doors by filling in any minor surface problems, holes, dents. Sand all surfaces. If you have any significant scratches, use a medium-grit sandpaper. Turn to a fine-grain sandpaper to do all of the finishing sanding.
  • Painting the stiles should be done after you first cover all countertops and other surfaces with masking tape or painter's tape. Paint the framing pieces with long, smooth strokes. Begin in the hard to reach areas and work out. Paint the inside before you start on the outside.
  • Use a primer on all surfaces, and preferably one that is mixed close to the color you are using with the paint itself. For rough surfaces, consider two coats of primer. You can use a roller for many of the surfaces, but you'll need a brush for part of it.
  • Choose a paint that works for you. There are two types of paint: acrylic and oil-base. Each have their benefits and drawbacks. Acrylic (water-base) paint is much easier to use and easier to clean up. However, it doesn't leave as hard a surface for doors that will undoubtedly get a lot of use. It also does not have the sheen or glossy finish that you can get with oil-base. However, oil-base paints are tougher to use and cleanup problems can really be a bear.
  • Buy enough for two coats, plus. You're always going to want to have some paint left over for touch ups as matching paint exactly is practically impossible from one can to another. Apply your first coat of paint exactly as you did the primer. If it doesn't cover adequately, put on a second coat after sufficient drying time. In some cases, you might also consider applying a sealer.
  • Reattach hardware after all of the paint is completely dry and hardened.
  • A list of what you'll need: Scrapers, sandpaper, blocks for hand-sanding or an electric sander, wood putty, a screwdriver, paintbrushes, rollers, masking or painter's tape, drop cloths or newspaper, paint remover, fine steel wool.

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PAINTING KITCHEN CABINETS - PAINT CABINETS - PAINTING CABINETS TIPS - IDEAS FOR PAINTING CABINETS - CABINETRY - DECORATING TIPS - INTERIOR REDESIGN TRAINING - HOME STAGING TRAINING