When you reach up to open a cabinet to grab a plate or coffee mug, does your heart sink just a little? Maybe it’s time to brighten up your kitchen by painting your cabinets.
For most people, painting existing cabinets is a better option than replacing them.
Replacement is a daunting task, especially if you’re living in the house during the process. From demo work through the finish, you’ll have to live without your kitchen for two or three weeks.
Buying new cabinets costs about three times as much as repainting old ones – and that’s just the cost of the cabinets. Meeting with a designer and paying the contractors to do the installation will add substantially more to the total.
If you’re satisfied with how your kitchen operates – the location of the doors and drawers, for example – then repainting is definitely the way to go.
If you hire professionals, the process starts with removing the cabinet doors, which are prepped and painted at the shop. The cabinet bases are left in place and brush painted.
It’s not a very invasive process. You can carry on with normal life with minimal inconvenience. You’ll have to clear off your countertops when the doors are removed and re-installed, but you don’t have to empty your cabinets. From start to finish, it’s usually four or five days.
Colors and Paint Choices
Make sure you pick colors that are not too trendy, because it’s not something like a bedroom wall where you can easily repaint it.
If your kitchen gets a lot of sunlight, pick a color that’s not going to fade. Pick a color that can be touched up without standing out as a different tone.
Stewart Painting recommends a line of latex paints called Advance by Benjamin Moore. It’s a non-blocking product, which means the doors won’t stick to the base when you close them.
Oil paints may yellow over time and can be brittle, leading to cracks on the corners of a cabinet. Latex paint will contract and expand with the panels.
Sprayed finishes are popular and have the same look as cabinets in million-dollar homes, or cabinets you see in Kitchen and Bath stores. The most common and affordable approach is a combination of sprayed doors and brushed frames. Eventually, you’ll want to do a little touch-up. Touch up of worn areas can always be done in the future which is not an option with factory finished cabinets
Do-it-Yourself or Hire the Pros?
Painting cabinets is a big project if you want to do it yourself, but it can be done if you’re meticulous and patient. Do a door or two at a time, then do the cabinet bases over a different weekend.
As with all painting projects, preparation is key. Cabinets need to be thoroughly cleaned (maybe another reason to leave it to the pros?) to get rid of grease and dust, which keep paint from adhering in spots.
While you’re at it, this a great time to change the knobs and hinges. Hardware stores have a huge variety to meet your style and budget. New hardware will help bring your kitchen into a new era.