Bored with your kitchen? You don’t need to spend a fortune having a new one fitted… A quick coat of paint to your cabinets can really lift your kitchen and make it feel like a whole new room. Once you have done this basic paint job, you can decoupage your kitchen doors, or add a touch of glamour to your kitchen cabinets with some trusty sticky back plastic
You will need
- Sugar soap
- Fine grade sand paper
- Good quality paint brushes
- Good quality oil based wood paint or specialist melamine paint
- Door handles (optional)
Step one – Prepare yourself
This doesn’t just mean making sure you have the right materials. It also means making sure you have enough time to do the job properly. This isn’t a job to be done in one day. You’ll need to allow a few days to make sure that you have enough time to let the paint dry thoroughly between coats. For more info on making over your kitchen
Step two – Prepare the doors
Remove the doors and drawer fronts from the units and then remove all the fittings (handles and hinges) from the doors.
TIP: don’t forget to store all fitting and screws in a safe place so that you don’t lose them!
Step three – Prepare the surfaces
Preparation is all with any kind of painting. It’s worth investing the time to make sure you thoroughly prepare your doors before you launch into painting.
First a quick wash down with sugar soap to get rid of any greasy buildups. Then a quick rub down with a fine grade sand paper. You’re not trying to remove the paint, just rough up the surface little to create a ‘key’.
A ‘key’ is simply a roughened surface that your primer can adhere to. Don’t use too rough a sandpaper (60-120 grit is fine). If you dgo too deep into the surface you’ll have problems with the final finish.
If you’re working with melamine doors, you still need to create a ‘key’ before applying a specialist melamine primer (see below).
If you’re painting waxed pine doors you may want to take them to a local specialist paint stripper. The problem with wax is that it can be so ingrained that even when you think the paint has gone on well, it starts to peel as it dries. Professional paint strippers will dip the doors into a large tank of acid which will make sure that any traces of wax are removed, even from intricate mouldings.
Step four – Prime the doors
Wipe the doors down removing all traces of dust etc. Use masking tape to protect any areas you don’t want to paint such as edges etc.
Prime and undercoat your doors. If you’ve dipped your doors, or are painting onto bare wood, you need to use a primer to create a good base coat. Then apply a coat of undercoat.
If your doors are melamine you may want to use a specialist melamine primer. (available from all good DIY stores).
If however you’re just repainting doors you can get away with using a good quality undercoat. Choose an undercoat similar in colour to your chosen topcoat colour. This is will save time and help you to achieve a clean finish.
Step six – Start painting
Paint a thin first coat and leave to dry thoroughly. It’s better to apply several thin coats as long as you leave them to dry thoroughly in between. This creates a better, tougher finished product. It’s very tempting to just slap on a really thick coat thinking that you’ll save time but in fact you run the risk of the paint chipping off really quickly.
Give the doors a quick rub with very fine grade sandpaper between coats to make sure your surfaces are really smooth and that the next coat really adheres to previous coats. But do make sure it is very fine grade and that you don’t rub too hard as otherwise you’ll just remove all your hard work!
Step seven – get creative
Using these basic techniques you can create all sorts of original designs for your kitchen.
Try decoupaging your door – Using any paper you like, you can create a really unusual theme for your kitchen. How to decoupage kitchen cabinets
Add glamour to your kitchen with a little bit of sticky back plastic (and it’s a really fast and inexpensive way of updating your kitchen cabinets).
How about blackboard paint? Go for sleek minimalism that doubles as a family fun.
Try adding interest with quirky handles. Keep the background simple and add a little twist to stamp your personality on your kitchen.