10 Pitfalls to avoid when painting your kitchen cabinets

Many people who are looking for a cost effective way to update their homes or just feel like a change, turn to DIY. There are thousands of “how to” websites and DIY projects online. You can look up almost anything you need to know on the internet and get tips and inspiration on how to transform your home in a few quick, easy steps. There are also an amazing array of product and paints out there to help you achieve the look you want. DIY has never been easier. But nobody is perfect and we all make mistakes.

Transforming your kitchen is a big job, and before you tackle any major kitchen cabinet painting in Calgary  home project it is a good idea to visit your local paint expert and get some advice.


Here are 10 pitfalls and common mistakes that you want to avoid.

1.         Unrealistic expectations

Newly painted kitchen cabinets are great. They uplift your home and bring a bit of colour into your life. But don’t have unrealistic expectations, your cabinets are probably not going to look as good as new and they aren’t going to be totally smooth. If the cabinets have a visible grain, paint is not going to hide it. If you’re determined to get rid of the grain you need to fill it with putty, but this is a time consuming and challenging exercise.

2.         Not giving yourself enough time

Painting your kitchen cabinets is not a Saturday afternoon project, or even a weekend one. You need to give yourself enough time to do the job properly. If you rush your kitchen cabinet painting project, you will be disappointed with the end result. Depending on the size of your kitchen, it will probably realistically take you a week or more to complete the project.

3.         Trying to paint the cabinets without first removing the doors and drawers

Painting the doors and drawers of your kitchen cabinets in situ is possible, but it’s not easy and it’s not recommended. Take the time to remove the doors, drawers and hardware (hinges, screws, handles, decorative additions) from the cabinets. Don’t be tempted to paint over the hinges and handles because the paint will almost immediately chip, flake off and ruin your makeover.

4.         Not labelling the doors and drawers

When you remove the doors and drawers, you need to label the back of each one with a number or position so that you can easily put them back in the right place.

5.         Bad preparation

You need to clean your cabinets properly or the new paint will not adhere to the surface. Your best option is to use a degreaser like TSP (trisodium phosphate).

6.         Not sanding the cabinets

Even if your cabinets still look good you need to sand them to roughen the surface so that the new paint has something to adhere to.

7.         Not cleaning the surfaces properly after sanding

When you finish sanding thoroughly clean all the surfaces before you paint. Just a few specks of dust can ruin your look.

8.         Not taking the time to prime

Priming is a critical step. You might not notice any problems at first but if you don’t prime, within a few weeks or months, knots in the wood will bleed through your paint, ruining all your hard work.

9.         Choosing cheap paint

You get what you pay for. It’s as simple as that. The cheaper the paint, the cheaper the finished product will look. If you want your kitchen makeover to look good and last for years, you need to buy good quality paint. Quality paint is also easier to work with and gives you a smoother finish.

10.       Rushing the reassembly

Painting your kitchen cabinets is a big project, it takes time and commitment, and you don’t want to stumble at the final hurdle. Wait for the paint to cure before you reassemble your cabinets and reattach your hardware.


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