Can you paint kitchen cupboards?

If your cupboards are looking old or are in need of a refresh, you might be wondering if you can paint kitchen cupboards. The quick answer is yes, most likely. However, not all kinds of cupboards can be painted. And there are a few guidelines when doing the job to keep in mind to ensure the results come out as you expect.

Types of cupboards NOT to paint

For most options, you can paint kitchen cupboards without serious risks. However, there are a couple types that are challenging to paint.

Heavily damaged cupboards

This can refer either to the condition of the cupboards themselves–having broken pieces etc–or the condition of the paint. Like with other surfaces, kitchen cupboards need to be prepared properly for the paint to adhere properly. Chipped or warped surfaces can still be painted, but you are unlikely to get the results you expect.

Plastic laminate cupboards

Plastic laminate doesn’t take to paint very easily. Because of this, the paint may not stick to certain plastic laminate cupboards. You may still have the option to paint them with special paints like the Dulux Renovation Range of products.  It may be possible to remove the laminate before painting as well, which can greatly improve the final paint job. Before going all-in on the painting process, you may want to test the paint on a small area to ensure it will work as expected.

The Painting Process

Like with most surfaces, prep work is extremely important when painting kitchen cupboards. Depending on the surface you have you may need extra steps or special paints, but generally the basic process follows these steps:

1. Remove the cupboard doors

While you may be tempted to paint around the doors to avoid removing them, it’s extremely difficult to maneuver around them. In the long run, it will be easier, less stressful, and faster to unscrew the doors. You can then paint them separately while they are unattached later on.

2. Thoroughly clean cupboards

Next you’ll need to thoroughly clean any surface that you’ll be painting. A good cleaner to use is a powerful degreaser. A degreaser will remove grease stains that can inhibit paint. This should be a deep cleaning process, as you’ll want the surfaces as clean as possible before the next steps.

3. Sand the surfaces

A light sanding of the surfaces will help the paint adhere better and provide a better final result. During the sanding, you should remove any chipped or damaged paint from the previous paint job. The goal is to have a flat and smooth surface. Once you’ve completed the sanding, be sure to wipe away and/or vacuum any dust.

4. Put primer on the cupboard

Primers and sealants help protect the surface along with helping the paint to stick better and last longer. With certain types of wood, you may not necessarily need to add primer. You can still choose to use a wood primer to reduce the chances of stains or to possibly extend the life of the new paint job if you’d like. It’s also helpful for unfinished wood.

5. Apply the paint

Now that the surface is properly prepared, you can go ahead and start painting. Usually, you’ll want to apply the paint using a roller and long, smooth strokes. You may need to apply multiple coats of paint depending on what colour and material you are painting. Don’t forget to paint the doors either! Once you’ve finished painting, allow the paint to dry.

6. Reinstall the cupboard doors

After the paint is dry you can rehang the cupboard doors to finish the job.

Need some help with a renovation project?

If you need help with a renovation project like painting kitchen cupboards or even a whole kitchen remodel, the Nexus team can help. We’re experienced with general maintenance along with painting, rental upgrades, and much more. Give us a ring or contact us today if you’d like help with your next project.