When attempting a beautiful finished cabinet paint project, there are a few things a homeowner needs to keep in mind and properly sanding your cabinets and doors is a must to get it right the first time. Cabinet painting is a very detailed system. Homeowners looking to undertake these types of projects should take the information in this article to be prepared for what it takes to produce beautifully finished cabinets.
Painting your kitchen cabinets is not like painting the walls or doors of your house. You must follow a system. The first part of that system is to remove any hardware. Next is to properly clean your cabinets and then fill in any holes or grains that will show up in your finished product. The worst thing that can happen is to do everything right, and not cover holes or grain, so you have to start all over again.
This article is about how to achieve a smooth finish, and that starts with sanding your cabinets. Depending on what cabinets you have, whether they are oak or redwood, you need to choose the correct sandpaper grit. The two different grits homeowners should have on hand are 150-grit and 220-grit sandpaper.
Going with a grit coarser than 150 will start to dig into your wood and those scratches will show up when you paint your cabinets and the scratches are really bad then you need to fill them in and start the process over again. Never go below 150 grit sandpaper. Some people will suggest 120 grit sandpaper, but that is incorrect and should never be considered for your cabinet painting project.
You’ll start by sanding with 150-grit sandpaper first, because that’s what will penetrate the caulk or other paint that’s on your cabinets to give your primer something to adhere to, too. When painting your cabinets, you don’t need to sand the wood. Sanding down to the wood is only necessary if you are going to stain your cabinets a new color or to give them a fresh look.
Most people think that you need to sand your cabinets down to the wood to paint them, but that’s not true. Also, the purpose of sanding your cabinets is to remove the gloss sealer that is now on your cabinets. Gloss Sealant is made to repel or create a poor bond for grease, oil, dirt, and paint. Once you have finished sanding your cabinets, make sure they are very dull and free of scratches.
After you’ve sanded down the first level of protection on your cabinets, you’re now ready to remove any leftover dust. If there is dust that was not removed, the dust once primed will give its own sandpaper feel and your finish will not be smooth. It’s best to clean cabinets with a damp rag once you think you’ve removed all of the sanding dust. Let the cabinets dry for a few minutes and repeat the wiping process with a damp rag or towel.
You are now ready to prime your cabinets. After the primer has dried properly, it usually takes 4-24 hours, depending on the primer you used and the manufacturer’s recommendations. This is when you put away the 150 grit sandpaper, you don’t need it anymore. Once your cabinets are primed, you will need to use 220 grit or finer sandpaper. Sand the cabinets smooth because the primer usually has a texture of its own. You are going to lightly sand the primer. You’re not trying to sand the cabinets hard, because you don’t want to sand the primer and have to re-prime the stained areas of the cabinets.
Repeat the dust extraction process. Use microfiber cloths to remove dust, then use damp rags or towels to remove any remaining dust. The next step is to paint your cabinets with the first coat of premium paint. Let the paint dry and sand your cabinets again between each coat of paint. You want to apply a minimum of 2 coats of paint.