In order to fully customize their space, many homeowners have turned to painting their cabinets. Some have turned to pre-painted cabinet doors from companies such as 27estore, while others have decided to go the DIY route and paint their cabinets themselves. Before laying down a fresh coat of paint, however, preparing the surface by cleaning and sanding is important. 

Add a New Coat of Paint, or Remove the Old One First?

Some cabinets have already been painted once or twice before, and the decision to remove paint should not be taken lightly. Unless there are signs of significant peeling, cracking, or other imperfections, most painted cabinets should simply have another layer added. 

All that needs to be done is a quick clean and a light sanding of the existing paint with medium grit for real wood and fine grit for MDF, laminate, and steel. This will help the primer adhere and prepare the surface for painting. 

If the paint needs to be removed, tread carefully, as certain methods may damage the material. In the case of real wood, medium-grit sandpaper works great for removing paint. MDF and laminate require a fine-grit sandpaper that is less likely to damage the outer layer. Only remove as much paint as is necessary to achieve a level surface. 

Chemical strippers should only be used as a last resort or to remove paint from steel cabinets. Carefully read and follow the manufacturer's instructions regarding which materials it can be used on. 

No matter which method you use, ensure the cabinets are clean and dry before adding a new layer of paint. 

Cabinet Materials and Their Needs

Not all cabinetry is alike, and no two homes are identical. For those who have recently moved in, it is a good idea to examine the cabinets closely to identify what they are made of. Each material requires a different approach to preparation. 

Real Wood 

Sanding real wood cabinets is fairly straightforward. Be sure and clean the cabinets with a damp cloth followed by a dry one immediately after. Once cleaned, begin by sanding the cabinets with medium grit sandpaper. For the best results, sand with the grain rather than in circles. 

Remove any layers of finish currently on the wood while being careful not to damage the beauty of the wood grain beneath. Once the top layer has been removed, a quick pass with fine grit will smooth it out. 

MDF and Laminate

These cabinet materials require more caution because the outer layer of both can quickly degrade under heavy sanding. Always use fine-grit sandpaper and work in slow circles with minimal pressure. Don’t sand for too long–only sand just enough to even out the surface to prepare it for priming. 

Stainless Steel

Never sand stainless steel unless you’re preparing an existing coat of paint for primer. Otherwise, the sandpaper will leave unsightly scratch marks and grooves that may show through the paint. 

Final Prep for Painting

Some people prefer to hang cabinet doors to paint them to save time on drying and adding layers. For those who don’t mind an extra step or don’t have the room to hang their cabinets, simply place your cabinet doors on drop cloths and ensure they are completely clean and dry. 

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Next, apply a layer of primer and allow it to dry. Once the primer is dry, give it one more gentle sanding and wipe to prepare the primer to accept the paint. Priming not only helps paint to stick, but it also provides an additional layer of protection from the humid environment of the kitchen. 

Is DIY Too Much to Handle? Consider Purchasing Colored Cabinetry

At 27estore, we believe that making a dream kitchen a reality should be as easy as clicking a mouse. Our online store contains a large variety of high-quality cabinetry, including painted real wood veneer, wood grain veneer, extremely durable HPL, and metal cabinetry. 

No matter which style of cabinetry you prefer, 27estore has what you need. Examine our entire line of cabinetry and accessories today and see how we can ship your dream kitchen directly to your door–at reasonable prices!