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5 Cabinet Painting Tips From Professional Cabinet Painters

Cabinet painting is an often overlooked but important aspect of home decor. It holds just as much importance as painting the walls. Not only does it give your home a fresh look, but it also has practical benefits. Hiring professional cabinet painters can safeguard your home from everyday wear, tear, and environmental damage. Plus, it makes maintenance a breeze as a new coat of paint makes cabinets more resistant to stains and easier to clean.

Painting cabinets can greatly enhance the appearance of a room, giving it a modern and stylish feel that aligns with current trends or your personal preferences. This simple update can significantly improve the overall attractiveness of your kitchen or bathroom, and it’s a cost-effective alternative to a complete renovation.

Moreover, it can significantly raise the value of your property and make it more attractive to prospective buyers, resulting in a higher sale price.

At Koehn Painting, we understand that while tackling a painting project yourself might seem appealing, nothing compares to the professional touch we provide. Our team of experienced painters is equipped with the right skills and tools to deliver impeccable, long-lasting results. We pride ourselves on transforming your cabinets with a flawless and durable finish that makes them look brand new, ensuring satisfaction that stands the test of time.

If you’re looking to improve your home’s decor, whether it’s through cabinet painting, interior or exterior painting, or even wood staining for added protection, hiring a professional service is the way to go.

Contact us here if you would like to find the best painting contractor for your residential or commercial painting needs.

5 Tips From the Best Cabinet Painters

In this blog article, we have gathered 13 invaluable cabinet painting tips from the best cabinet painters at Koehn Painting, who have transformed countless cabinets into stunning focal points of homes.  But first, the basics of cabinet painting. 

Understanding the Basics of Cabinet Painting

A man carefully painting a cabinet with a small brush, showcasing professional cabinet painters.
Cabinet painters specialize in refinishing and painting various types of cabinetry.

There are several different types of cabinets, and each one requires specific treatment and finishing. Here is a list of the most commonly found cabinet types and the first recommendations about the suitable products to use:

  • Wood cabinets: When renewing wood cabinets, you need to select a paint that guarantees strong adherence and comprehensive coverage. Options like oil-based, latex, or alkyd paints are ideal choices. Before painting, wood surfaces require thorough sanding to roughen them up, ensuring the paint adheres firmly. Additionally, applying a quality primer is an indispensable step, especially for untreated wood, to block excessive absorption of paint and lay the foundation for a smooth, even finish. When dealing with wood veneer cabinets, it is essential to handle the sanding process delicately to safeguard the thin layer of wood. Before sanding, any areas that need repair may need to be treated with wood glue. When it comes to painting, both oil-based and latex options can be used, but it is crucial to use a high-quality primer to ensure that the paint adheres well and lasts.
  • MDF (Medium-Density Fiberboard) cabinets: They demand careful sealing, particularly at the edges, to protect against moisture absorption which can cause swelling. For this reason, an oil-based primer is recommended to establish a solid, non-reactive base. Following this preparatory step, a top coat of latex paint can be applied over the primer, offering a finish that combines ease of use with long-term durability. 
  • Laminate cabinets: This kind of cabinets is particularly challenging to update with paint due to their slick, non-porous surfaces. To ensure a successful adhesion, it’s recommended to use a primer or paint specifically formulated for laminate.  Sanding the surface is a delicate step—enough to rough it up for the primer to grip, but with care to avoid sanding through the laminate itself, preserving the integrity of the material.
  • Metal cabinets: In this case, you need to select a paint that can effectively bond to metallic surfaces, with options including oil-based or specially formulated latex paints for metal. Additionally, preparing the surface through thorough cleaning and sanding is essential to remove any old finish or rust. Applying a metal-specific primer not only enhances the paint’s adhesion but also serves to protect against future rust, ensuring a smooth and enduring finish.

With that out of the way, let’s dive into some tips from Wichita Kansas’ best cabinet painters:

1. Choice of Finish

For long-lasting and simple-to-maintain cabinets, professional cabinet painters such as Koehn suggest choosing a semi-gloss or satin finish. These finishes are washable and resilient and can endure daily use and abuse in a kitchen. A glossy finish is also a viable choice if you prefer a reflective and shiny appearance. However, it is important to note that these finishes can accentuate any flaws or imperfections on your cabinets.

On the other hand, it’s best to avoid flat or eggshell finishes for your kitchen cabinets. These are less durable and can be more challenging to clean.

2. Application Techniques

When it comes to applying paint, spraying is one of the best techniques to use. It gives you a smooth finish without any brush marks. Remember to focus on paneled doors and intricate areas to make sure the paint is evenly applied. Using high-quality brushes and rollers can also improve the overall quality of the finish.

By considering both the type of paint and the finish, as well as following these tips for application, you’ll be able to select the best paint for your kitchen cabinets and achieve a beautiful and long-lasting result.

3. Color: Trends and Selection

For customers looking to update their kitchen cabinets with paint, here’s a breakdown of both trendy and classic color choices

  • Blues: Forecasted to dominate the decade, blues offer a calming presence in any kitchen.
  • Greens: Continuing their rise, greens reflect the growing desire for natural elements indoors. 
  • Warm Neutrals: The shift from cool grays to warmer tones like beiges and soft grays is noticeable. 
  • Creamy and Off-Whites: Always classic, these colors lend a sophisticated yet inviting feel to your kitchen.

By including these trendy colors and timeless options in your kitchen cabinet painting project, you can achieve a fashionable and contemporary look. Whether you want to make a bold statement or go for a more traditional makeover, these colors will significantly enrich the overall appeal and value of your home.

When selecting a color for your cabinets, there are a few important factors to consider. 

  • Versatility: Choose a color that complements a wide range of décor styles and adapts well to different lighting conditions.
  • Harmony: Ensure the cabinet color harmonizes with existing elements such as countertops, backsplashes, and flooring.
  • Visual Impact: Consider how the cabinet color will impact the kitchen’s overall aesthetic. Lighter creams can brighten a space, while warmer tones add richness and depth.

When selecting paint colors, it’s necessary to view swatches in the actual environment where they will be applied. This guarantees that the color interacts as expected with both natural and artificial lighting and with the kitchen’s fixed elements. Choosing the right cream paint color can transform your kitchen into a timeless, warm, and inviting space

4. Tools and Materials

Cabinet painting is a transformative project that can refresh your kitchen, but it requires the right tools and materials for a successful outcome. To paint kitchen cabinets, you will need:

  • Painter’s Tape: Used for creating sharp, clean lines and protecting surfaces that should not be painted. It ensures that paint does not bleed into areas such as hinges, countertops, or walls that are adjacent to the cabinets.
  • Paintbrushes: Ideal for detailed areas and small sections, brushes help achieve precision with paint application. Use high-quality synthetic bristles for water-based paints to avoid water absorption, which can cause swelling.
  • Foam Rollers: Best for covering large flat surfaces quickly, rollers provide a more uniform application than brushes. Opt for a roller with a fine nap to achieve a smooth finish without texture marks. For your DIY project, a four-inch foam roller is the suggested size.
  • Sprayers: Sprayers offer the most professional finish, delivering a smooth and even coat, especially beneficial for cabinets with detailed designs or hard-to-reach areas. They are efficient in paint usage, provide excellent coverage, and can significantly speed up the painting process compared to brushes and rollers.
  • Sandpaper: An important tool for preparing the cabinet surface, sandpaper is used to achieve a smooth foundation for the paint to stick to. In particular, you will need:
    • 60-Grit Sandpaper (Coarse): Coarse sandpaper is employed in the initial stages of sanding to strip away old finishes and roughen the surface for better primer adherence. Its aggressive abrasiveness is effective in removing substantial surface material quickly.
    • 360-Grit Sandpaper (Fine): Fine sandpaper is used for the final sanding pass to smooth the surface after the initial coarse sanding. It prepares the surface for priming by removing minor imperfections and creating a finely textured surface that enhances paint grip.
    • Sanding Block or Orbital Sander: Tools used to hold the sandpaper and apply even pressure during the sanding process. A sanding block is suitable for manual sanding, while an orbital sander is an electric tool that provides rapid, uniform sanding over large surface areas, improving efficiency and consistency in surface preparation.
  • Wood Filler: In the case of wood cabinets, this compound is used to fill nicks, scratches, or holes in wood surfaces. Wood filler ensures a smooth, uniform surface by repairing imperfections prior to sanding and painting.
  • All-surface Primer: A foundational coating applied to the cleaned and sanded cabinets. Primer serves multiple purposes: it improves paint adhesion, increases paint durability, blocks stains, and helps to ensure a uniform appearance of the topcoat.
  • Trisodium phosphate (TSP) heavy-duty degreaser: A chemical cleaning agent that effectively removes grease, grime, and residue from cabinet surfaces. Essential for preparing the surface for sanding and priming by ensuring it is free of contaminants that could impair paint adhesion.
  • Drop Cloths: Protective fabrics laid on the floor and over countertops and appliances. Drop cloths catch spills and splatters of paint, protecting underlying surfaces from damage during the painting process.
  • Paint: Choose between oil-based, latex, or alkyd, depending on the durability and finish you desire. Oil-based paints are known for their durability and ease of cleaning. However, they do have a longer drying time and can emit a strong odor. On the other hand, water-based (latex) paints dry faster and are more eco-friendly

They may require more coats to achieve the desired result, but they are a great option for those looking for a quicker drying time and a paint that is better for the environment.

For each tool and material, proper usage is key. Always clean and prepare surfaces thoroughly before painting, apply primer to provide paint adhesion, and choose the appropriate applicator based on the cabinet’s material and the type of paint. Ensuring a well-ventilated space and taking safety precautions when using sprayers are also essential for a successful and safe cabinet painting project.

5. Maintenance 

Once the cabinet painting is done, you need to work on the maintenance of the freshly painted kitchen space. This requires a systematic approach to cleaning. First of all, you need mild, non-abrasive detergents. Here’s a more technical exploration of why this maintenance step is important: 

  • Preservation of Paint Quality: Regular cleaning prevents the accumulation of dirt, oils, and other contaminants that can degrade the paint over time. By using non-abrasive cleaners, you avoid scratching or dulling the paint surface, which is especially vital for maintaining high-gloss and semi-gloss finishes that can show imperfections more readily.
  • Chemical Composition: Opt for pH-neutral cleaners that are specifically formulated to be gentle on painted surfaces. These cleaners effectively remove grime without disrupting the chemical structure of the paint, thereby preventing discoloration and chemical erosion of the finish.
  • Application Technique: When applying the detergent, soft cleaning cloths or sponges are recommended. Avoid using abrasive pads or scrub brushes, as they can create tiny scratches on the paint, eventually making it look dull and leading to peeling. To effectively lift dirt without damaging the paint, use a gentle, circular cleaning motion and avoid applying too much pressure.
  • Frequency of Cleaning:  It should be tailored to how often it is used and the amount of exposure to cooking vapors and grease. If your kitchen is frequently used, it is recommended to wipe down cabinet surfaces on a weekly basis. This will help prevent the accumulation of substances that can stick to the paint and become harder to remove over time.
  • Immediate Attention to Spills: Spills and splatters should be cleaned up promptly to prevent staining. Prolonged exposure to acids (like those found in tomato sauce or citrus splashes) and oils can seep into even well-sealed paint layers, creating stains that are difficult to remove and may degrade the paint prematurely.
  • Protective Measures: Consider the use of cabinet liners or clear, removable films in high-use areas. These can provide a physical barrier against wear and tear, particularly in places prone to frequent contact, like utensil drawers and spice cabinet shelves.

Performing regular maintenance on your cabinets is important for preserving their beauty and has cost-effective benefits. By taking the time to maintain your cabinets, you can enhance their functionality and keep your kitchen environment clean and hygienic.

Contact us here if you would like to find the best professional cabinet painters for your residential or commercial painting needs.

Why You Should Hire Professional Cabinet Painting Professionals for Your Kitchen Cabinets

Hiring professional cabinet painting experts for your kitchen renovation has many benefits that go beyond just improving the appearance. With their precision and expertise, professional cabinet painters can guarantee that your cabinetry will not only look flawless but also last for a long time.

Here are seven reasons why you should consider professional cabinet painting services for your kitchen makeover

A man carefully painting a cabinet with a small brush, showcasing professional cabinet painters.
Professional cabinet painters always ensure precise and high-quality finishes on every project.
  • Expertise and Precision: Unlike the average DIY enthusiast, cabinet painter experts have access to specialized techniques and tools that are not readily available to everyone. This allows them to create a superior finish that truly improves the overall look of your kitchen.
  • Durability: Cabinet painters understand the significance of thorough surface preparation in ensuring a long-lasting paint job. This meticulous process involves cleaning, sanding, and priming to guarantee proper adhesion of the paint and prevent common issues like chipping, peeling, and fading.
  • Time and Efficiency: Save time and avoid the troubles of a DIY project by hiring kitchen cabinet painters. With their efficient approach, they will take care of the entire project from beginning to end
  • High-Quality Materials: When it comes to painting cabinets, professional painters know that using high-quality materials is key. Regular paints just won’t hold up in a busy kitchen, so they opt for top-notch paints specifically designed for cabinetry that can withstand wear and tear.
  • Customization: Professional painters have an advantage in offering a wider selection of products and techniques. This means they can provide you with more options to personalize your space according to your exact preferences. Whether you desire a sleek high-gloss finish, a precise color match, or a distinctive textural effect, professionals are equipped to deliver a customized outcome that truly reflects your unique style.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Contrary to intuition, opting for professional cabinet painting can actually save you money in the long term. Professionals possess the expertise to complete the job accurately from the start, thereby minimizing the chances of costly repairs or rework caused by application mistakes that often happen with less skilled painters.
  • Increased Home Value: As mentioned above, a professionally painted closet can enhance the value of your home. It not only enhances the visual appeal but also improves the functionality of the cabinets. This is especially useful if you are thinking of selling your home, as it makes your property more attractive to potential buyers.

In summary, professional cabinet painting services offer a hassle-free way to transform your kitchen with high-quality results that DIY methods cannot match. By choosing experienced cabinet painters, you ensure that your kitchen makeover is not only beautiful but also a valuable investment in your home’s future.

Looking for Professional Cabinet Painters? Choose Koehn Painting

A hand using a spray gun to apply paint on a wooden cabinet, demonstrating professional cabinet painting.
Professional cabinet painting services can transform the look of your kitchen.

When it comes to giving your kitchen a professional transformation, choosing the right professional cabinet painters is critical. At Koehn Painting, our team of skilled experts specializes in top-quality cabinet painting services that not only enhance the beauty of your space but also improve its longevity and functionality. 

Our team at Koehn Painting is dedicated to providing you with a top-notch kitchen makeover that will impress you. We pay close attention to every detail, use only the finest materials, and prioritize your satisfaction. When you choose us, you can trust that your kitchen will receive an outstanding transformation that will make it the focal point of your home.

Discover the Koehn Painting difference  – contact us today for a free estimate and step into a vibrant, freshly painted home! 

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