If you're looking to update your kitchen cabinets in an affordable, fun way, painting them yourself is a great option. Do-it-Yourself (DIY) projects are a fun and rewarding way to save money on home remodels. These projects can help you learn a lot of new skills and embrace your inner creative genius.
Even some of the most straightforward DIY projects have challenges. For example, painting laminate kitchen cabinets requires a lot of patience and the right materials. Laminate takes a bit of knowledge to work with, and it requires some special attention for the project to be successful.
If you're planning to paint the laminate cabinets in your kitchen, read on for step-by-step directions for accomplishing the project without any hitches.
Laminate is different from traditional wood and is a common material for cabinets and other furniture. Laminate is a form of synthetic wood. It is made up of synthetic materials layered together and covered with a layer of printed material designed to look like wood. The top layer attaches to a medium-density fiber (MDF) or high-density fiber (HDF) made up of synthetic materials. The laminate cabinet is created when the front, core and back pieces attach together.
While some cabinets use a staining process, laminate gives you the option to paint your laminate cabinets virtually any color you like. If you need help deciding colors for your laminate kitchen cabinets, know that any color is an option.
Neutral colors will never go out of style, white is a common choice for contemporary styles, and bright colors like red, yellow, and blue are great options to make a statement. Brown cabinets are another great option, as they create a warm and inviting atmosphere for your kitchen.
You need to take some extra steps when painting your laminate cabinets for the paint to stick to its shiny finish. A special laminate primer is necessary, as well as oil- or latex-based paint. Oil and latex paints will stick to the laminate cabinets better than acrylic-based paint.
Before you begin, takean inventory of the materials you'll need to complete the project. If you're a regular DIY-er, you likely already have many of these materials lying around the house.But, if you're low on supplies or a beginner, here's a helpful list you can take to the store to make shopping easier:
Once you've collected all the items needed for your project, set aside some time to begin preparations. Here are the steps you'll need to follow:
Preparation is just asnecessary as the actual process of painting your laminate cabinets. To ensure a flawless paint job, follow these prepping steps:
Laminate cabinets have a slick surface. Lightly sanding your laminate cabinets with fine sandpaper, such as 180-grit sandpaper, will create a rough surface that will help the primer adhere easier. Because the top layer of laminate cabinets is so thin, you need to take care to lightly and gently sand them.
Also,make sure you don't sand in the same place for long. Doing so may result in thin spots on your cabinets. You want to sand the cabinets just long enough to create some dust and a slight texture on the surface. Wear a face or dust mask during this process. When you're done, vacuum up excess dust, and wipe the door surfaces with your cleaning cloths.
Because laminate cabinets are often finishedwith glossysurfaces, paint tends to slip off the material.Therefore, laminate cabinets need a special primer that is formulated especially to adhere to their surface. If you don't prime your cabinets with the special primer, it's almost guaranteed that the paint won't stick to the laminate.
After lightly sanding your cabinets, prime your cabinet doors and drawer fronts with a laminate primer before painting to create a surface the paint can adhere to. This primer is typically found at any home improvement store or online. To prime your cabinet doors, make sure your room is well-ventilated, and follow these steps:
It's advised that you let the primer cure overnight before starting the next step for the best results.
Once your primer is completely dry, gently sand the primed surface. This step helps create a smooth base, free of fine paint lines and air bubbles. It also gives your cabinet doors a subtle texture, whichhelps the paint adhere to the surface. Follow these steps to sand your kitchen cabinets:
Just like the primer, take note of what paint you purchase for your cabinets. Make sure youare buying laminate paint, as it is specially blended for laminated materials.You also want to make sure the paint you choose is compatible with your primer. If your cabinets have dings or scratches, consider opting for a satin finish over a glossy finish, assatinfinishes tend tohidethe damaged areasbetter than glossy ones. As always, before painting, make sure your room is well-ventilated. Then,follow these steps:
Let everything dry, and reapply the color if needed. Be prepared toapply multiple coats of paint to achieve your desired result.Allow the paint to completely dry between coats, which may take longer than you're typically used to due to the glossy surfaces of laminate cabinets. If possible, give the cabinets a week to dry fully before reattaching the hardware and reinstalling them in your kitchen if you detached your cabinets during painting.
Renovating any aspect of your kitchen takes careful thought and practice, including painting laminate kitchen cabinets. In addition to the above practices, there are some other useful tips and tricks you can implement into your painting process:
Once your project is finished and your cabinet doors and drawer fronts are completely dry, reattach your cabinet hardware, install your cabinet doors and drawers, and enjoy your freshly painted cabinets!
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