Painting & Finish Work
Step 13: Prep your Paint & Paint Sprayer
Step 14. Painting Cabinet Boxes with Sprayer
Important Tip: Paint small areas and tough angles first! An example of a tough area is the back of the face frame inside of the cabinet. It’s always easier to fill in a large flat area than to risk overcoating tough to reach spots. Remember- if you overcoat that means you have to sand again :) Those awkward angles also become even more difficult to paint if you’re avoiding already wet surfaces. Move the sprayer continuously with smooth, long strokes. The nozzle of the sprayer can be rotated for horizontal or vertical strokes, depending on the direction of the surface you’re painting. This video from the manufacturer gives a demonstration of the proper technique. We did two coats on the cabinet boxes, with plenty of drying time between.
Step 15. Setting Up Doors and Drawers and Spraying
The doors must be set up in an upright position for spraying. We created a “spray booth” of sorts in our basement by putting a drop cloth over our bench and putting a piece of scrap drywall behind it. We started with the backs and sprayed with the technique described above.
After allowing for drying time, we sprayed the second coat. We then flipped the doors and repeated the process with two coats. We then repeated the process on the drawers, opting to paint both the outside and interior. Your cabinet doors and drawers may end up requiring more than two coats- but we feel that two is the minimum. After all of our priming, two coats were more than enough for us!
After everything was dry, we rehung our doors and replaced our drawers. It was the moment of truth- I could have cried with happiness (but I’m a little dramatic)!
Step 16. Finish Work
I am the resident finish worker/perfectionist, so this was all my domain.
After the paint dries, I don’t really recommend sanding. I tried on a test piece, and it really dulled the paint and made it appear unfinished. If you really feel that you must, go with the highest grit possible.
As for a top/clear protective coat- I leave the choice up to you. I’m still in the decision-making process. I have done some test pieces and applied regular poly to one and polyacrylic to another, and I am waiting to see how they age. If they yellow, it will be a no go. So far the cabinets are holding up perfectly, so I’m not being rushed into a decision. I did, however, apply polyacrylic to the flat surfaces inside the cabinets- I don’t really care about yellowing in there- it’s more important to me to protect the shelves.
Even with the most well-thought-out project, you will have errors and cracks. At the very end of the project, just a few days ago, I went around with caulk and applied a nice bead to all joints and edges and any places that I felt needed it. It pays to be meticulous! I really feel that this level of perfectionism is what ultimately gave the project a truly professional look.
To see more photos, visit our Kitchen Reveal Post!
Update/Warning: a little bottle of lemon essential oil was left on the shelf above the command center. It sweated or leaked and ate through all of the finish, including the primer, and turned it into a gummy mess. What I took away from that- don’t use citrus cleaners on this finish! I recommend just wiping down with a slightly damp cloth as needed.
So that is it! I’m sure there will be things I missed, and questions, so fire away! I will update this post periodically, check the comments, and I will also link to related tutorials for the rest of the kitchen project. I believe the materials list at the top is complete, as well as the links throughout.
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Make sure to check the comments of this post- as there may be great tips and tricks recommended!
Update 9/20: I have disabled the comments on this post due to volume of repeat questions. If you have any question at all about this project, chances are that it is answered either in the comments of this post, in the ebook, or in my follow-up Kitchen Cabinets FAQs post. You will probably find the answer quicker than I can get back to you! If you have checked the resources and comments but still cannot find the answer, feel free to send me an email, and I will do my best to help you out as I am able!
Phew! Now that this is all over I’m going to sit down and enjoy it with a big ol’ cup of coffee. :)