As you know, I have been itching to paint my kitchen cabinets for a few YEARS now.
And as I know, some of you feel very strongly about keeping wood nice and woody. (I’ve heard you. Seriously, I have. No need to tell me again.)
My cabinets would have been white years ago, but I respect this guy’s opinion more than anyone else’s and he’s not crazy about the idea. Actually, he’s just not crazy about the chaos that it will cause our family for the few weeks it will take me to paint!
But assuming he warms up to the idea this year (come on babe!), I thought it would be fun to share with you the best tips from some of the best DIY bloggers, on all the best ways to paint your kitchen cabinets. Best. I felt like I needed to say the word one more time for good measure.
So let’s get to it! Here is a list of cabinet painting tips from my favorite DIY bloggers:
Spraying your doors and drawer fronts will save a ton of time! If you don’t want to invest in a paint sprayer you can certainly just use the roller and brush method, or you could spray paint them with cans of spray paint like Not Just a Housewife! If you want to invest in a paint sprayer, here are some of the paint sprayers that were recommended:
- Wagner Power Painter This painter received very mixed reviews. Some DIY’ers had success with it, others felt that it was difficult to regulate the spray flow resulting in speckled/splattered results. At around $100, it’s by far the most affordable option which is appealing to me and might be worth the try!
- Graco Magnum X5 Airless One DIY’er in the group owns and LOVES this sprayer. It also appears to have very positive reviews online. However it is more pricey at around $300.
- TrueCoat Plus Paint Sprayer This one was recommended for large expansive paint jobs and is reported to be very powerful. It was compared to a fire hose so might not be the best for small furniture jobs ;). It runs around $250.
- Earlex HV5500 Spray Station No one in the group had actually tried this sprayer but had heard good things about it from other DIY’ers. It is currently priced around $320 and the reviews I read online gave it 4 out of 5 stars.
The kind of primer and paint you use does indeed make a HUGE difference in your outcome. Oil based paints leave a wonderful finish but are harsher on your lungs, the environment, and your paint sprayer. There are pros and cons to all paints and everyone seemed to have their personal preferences so take all recommendations with a grain of salt. Here are the list of tried and true favorites:
- Zinsser 123 water based and Zinnser Stain Cover oil based primers seemed to come out on top. I have personally used both, and I prefer the oil based for it’s factory-like smoothness but the smell is STRONG. In fact, I just used this last night in the (very drafty) basement to prime some shelves for the bathroom and the entire house still smells. The 123 has mixed reviews on furniture/cabinets. You have to wait a long time for the paint to cure if you really want to do it right.
- Sherwin Williams Adhesion Primer This latex primer prevents the need to sand and sticks well to glossy surfaces. One DIY’er said that it is her go to primer for cabinets, built ins and furniture.
- STIX Waterborne Binding Primer Again, no one in the group had actually tried this primer but the description sounds similar to the Sherwin Williams Adhesion Primer. It is an acrylic/urethane primer and is supposed to adhere well to even the toughest and glossiest of surfaces. It cures in low temperatures, is said to dry with a “hard film”, and can be easily cleaned up with soap and water. I definitely will be trying it out in the future.
- Benjamin Moore Advance It’s new and people are really excited about it! I haven’t used it yet, but I’ve heard very good things. It is supposed to give you the best of everything. The washability and ease of a latex with the durability and smoothness of an oil-based paint. It contains a synthetic oil so mimics all the things we’ve come to love in an oil-based paint!
- Benjamin Moore Impervo It dries with a nice hard shell that several of the DIY’ers appreciated. It does require mineral spirits clean up that isn’t as convenient.
- Sherwin Williams ProClassic The water based ProClassic cures as hard as an oil based paint, and I’m told it goes on beautifully with either a roller or brush.
- Purdy Everyone seems to agree that your Purdy brushes are worth the investment. There are differing views on what sizes are best for which projects but if you’re looking for a quality set of brushes that will withstand the years, invest in some Purdy brushes.
- Small foam or small nap roller DIY bloggers seem to have many different favorite brands of rollers. I have used the Shur-Line trim roller on furniture before (recommended by Marian) with good results. I’ve also used several foam rollers on furniture and I’ve been happy with most. You don’t want to use a large paint roller for your cabinets or furniture and you want the nap on the roller (furriness) to be minimal for smooth results.
- If draping plastic everywhere is impractical or intimidating, it was suggested to brush paint your surround and island with primer and then use a paint sprayer for the doors and drawer fronts. Many also suggested that after everything is primed, use a roller/brush to apply your paint for the most even control.
- A few suggested priming and painting the surround/island yourself but contacting a professional to paint your doors and drawer fronts for you. This way you can ensure a professional finish on the most noticeable part of your cabinets without all the DIY work involved.
For some fantastic posts that give you step by step instructions on painting cabinets check out the following:
- How to Paint Your Cabinets (like a pro) by Evolution Style
- Painting Our Kitchen Cabinets by Beneath My Heart
- Painted Cabinets Revealed & a Video Tutorial by Miss Mustard Seed