Should I paint my own cabinets?

Kitchen renovations are the most popular type of home renovations done by homeowners. The kitchen is considered the hub of the house and it’s where people spend a lot of their time at home. Because it’s one of the most popular and used rooms in the house, a kitchen renovation has one of the best returns on investment compared to other home renovations. Everyone wants to have a modern, upgraded kitchen!

The cabinets make the kitchen.

The biggest component of the kitchen is the kitchen cabinets. They are hugely responsible for how a kitchen functions and how a kitchen looks. If your cabinets are worn out and dated, the entire space will look worn out and dated.

That said, the kitchen cabinets will also be the most expensive item on your kitchen renovation list. Brand-new cabinetry can cost tens of thousands of dollars. High-end custom cabinetry for larger kitchens can have price tags well over $100,000. Obviously, not every homeowner that wants a new kitchen can afford this kind of upgrade.

Cabinet painting is the cost-effective alternative.

When it comes to sprucing up the kitchen, the most cost-effective option is cabinet painting. Calgary homeowners can completely rejuvenate the look of the room without having to go into debt paying for an all-new cabinet replacement. If the cabinets are in good shape and you like the layout of the kitchen, you can have your cabinets refinished.

Experienced and professional cabinet painters in Calgary like New Look Cabinets and Interiors can take your old drab kitchen and turn it into something new. Alternatively, you can attempt to paint your cabinets yourself.

Should I paint my own cabinets?

Like any DIY projects, there are pros and cons to doing it yourself vs. hiring a professional. Here are some pros of painting your own kitchen cabinets.

Pros of DIY cabinet painting.

  • You can do it on your own time and won’t have to worry about scheduling conflicts.
  • You can save money in labour. Like all home renovations, the bulk of your bill is for labour.
  • This project can drastically change the look of the kitchen and you can use the savings on another upgrade in the room or home.

Unfortunately, there are more cons to DIY cabinet painting. Calgary homeowners should be made aware of the difficulty of the job and everything that is required to do it right.

Cons of DIY cabinet painting.

You need skills and equipment:

The biggest con of DIY cabinet painting is not achieving a professional finish. Let’s face it, even the most avid DIYer will not have the same skills and experience as a professional painter. More than that, you will not have the same equipment at your disposal. Cabinet painters like New Look Cabinets have a spray centre and shop where they paint cabinet doors and drawers. They do not hand-paint cabinets, leaving brush strokes and streaks. To avoid that, you’ll need a spray gun, a space to paint and you’ll need to know how to use it too. This technique and equipment are what is needed to get a professional look that lasts

Cabinet painting in Calgary is time-consuming.

Cabinet painting is one of the most time-consuming DIY projects. Everything must be removed including drawer fronts, doors, knobs, hinges and all other hardware. When removing everything, you should take the time to label each component, so you remember where it goes back. Then you’ll have to sand each surface, prime it, tape it and paint it. In some cases, you might need a second coat. As mentioned above, if you don’t have a spray paint gun, you might be left with a brush-stroke finish. Once it’s dry, you’ll have to do everything in reverse to put it all together again.

While you’re working on your cabinet painting project, your kitchen will be more-or-less out of commission. Wouldn’t you rather leave this chore to a team of seasoned professionals?

The wrong paint will chip and crack.

Even if you do an expert job, if you don’t have the right paint it will crack, and chip sooner than you think. An amateur paint job will never be as durable as a professional cabinet painting job. Professional cabinet painters will know how to properly prepare the surface for refinishing. They’ll also use the most effective primers and paints for a long-lasting finish. The skills, knowledge and application are not something you could buy at a box store.

Not all cabinets can be refinished.

Unfortunately, not all kitchen cabinets can be painted. If your cabinet doors and drawers are warped, water damaged or have suffered other damage, they might need a replacement. Though a fresh coat of paint can spruce them up, their damage will show through sooner than later. Also, some laminated cabinets will look bad if they are painted.

If your cabinet boxes are in disrepair or doors noticeably cracked or damaged, a paint job will do nothing to fix that. In the most drastic cases, a full replacement is necessary. Otherwise, you could consider cabinet refacing. This is when you keep the cabinet boxes but remove and completely replace the doors, drawer fronts and veneer the side panels.

How to paint kitchen cabinets.

If you’ve weighed out all the pros and cons and still want to paint your own kitchen cabinets, follow these tips for cabinet painting. Calgary homeowners can achieve good results if they can rent or purchase a spray paint gun over using brushes. Here are some step-by-step instructions for cabinet painting.

  1. Take apart the cabinets: The first step is to take off all cabinet doors and drawers off the cabinets. If you want to protect their contents, remove everything that’s inside the cabinets and store them in a different room in the house. Then take off all the hardware. Remember to label everything so you know how to put it all back together later!


  1. Put down paint sheets: Protect your floors and countertops by putting down paper or plastic. You can use painters’ tape around the edges and to keep paper/plastic in place throughout the project.


  1. Prepare the surfaces: The better you prepare, the better your results will be. Start by giving your cabinets, doors and drawers a deep clean with TSP to take off grease, fingerprints and dirt. Once you’ve cleaned every inch, fill in any dings or blemishes in with wood putty. After it dries, sand your kitchen cabinet surfaces thoroughly. Make sure you sand along the grain.


  1. Clean everything thoroughly. After sanding, you’ll have to clean all the surfaces again to remove the sawdust off. Use a vacuum first and then wipe it down with a damp cloth.


  1. Apply the primer. Using a primer can give optimal results as it helps the finishing coat of paint adhere to the surface. Start at the corners and edges and work your way in. If you’re using a brush, brush with the grain.


  1. Sand again. After everything is primed and dry, you’ll have to sand it all down again with a fine sandpaper. You need to sand between each coat. You also need to wipe everything down after each coat to ensure the best finish.


  1. Paint the cabinets. Finally, it’s time to apply the first coat of paint. If you’re using a brush or a mini foam roller, start at the corners and edges and then roll it into the main surface of the door or drawer front. Go with the grain, use thing coats of paint to reduce drips. If using a spray gun, learn how to spray paint kitchen cabinets.


  1. Put everything back together. Once the paint on the cabinets has cured (one or two days), it’s time to reassemble. Use your labels to make sure everything goes back in place properly. Start with the cabinet doors, then drawers and finally put on the knobs and pulls.

Hiring a professional cabinet painter.

If this all seems like too much of an undertaking, you can save yourself the time and headache by hiring a professional cabinet painter. New Look Cabinets specializes in cabinet painting. Calgary homeowners can trust that their kitchen renovation will be done professionally and at a fraction of the time compared to a time-consuming DIY job.

Contact New Look Cabinets & Interiors!  


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