One of the most important things that you might need to do when you’re refurbishing your kitchen is to paint your kitchen cabinets. But this task can be a lengthy one; it will take you time, patience, and you can also expect to make a mess out of it.

If you want to paint a kitchen cabinet or another wooden element in your kitchen, then you’re probably aware that you might need to sand it first. However, that’s not always the case – you can paint cabinets without sanding. In this article, we’ll show you how to paint kitchen cabinets without sanding.

Sanding can be a messy procedure. Nobody wants to be covered by the sanding dust; not only is it irritable for your breathing system, but it also contains carcinogenic elements. Painting your cabinets doesn’t have to be this lengthy, complicated procedure.

Let’s take a look at how to paint kitchen cabinets without sanding.

Before You Start

tools-1 How to paint kitchen cabinets without sanding

There are a couple of things you’ll need before you start:

  • Grease-cutting cleaner
  • Scrubbing sponge
  • Wash cloth
  • Liquid deglosser
  • Screwdriver
  • Paint brush
  • Silver spray paint
  • Paint roller
  • White cabinet
  • Enamel
  • Painter’s tape
  • Thumbtacks

Make sure you have all the materials before you start. Now let’s start taking a look at how to paint kitchen cabinets without sanding.

Step 1: Clean the Cabinets

tsp-2 How to paint kitchen cabinets without sanding

The first thing you’ll want to do is clean your cabinet thoroughly. Start with a cloth, and remove and dirt, dust, and grime. To do that, you’ll need a grease cleaner which will help you get rid of the grease easier. A great solution for this is trisodium phosphate (TSP), which is a cheap and effective cleaning chemical.

Any grease, dirt, and dust on the cabinet will make it harder for the paint to stick to the cabinet. Take a look at the exterior as well as the interior – you’ll want to make sure there is absolutely no such residue on your cabinet before you start painting. Don’t forget to focus on the corners, which is where the dirt tends to make its way.

Step 2: Protect Your Countertops

cover-counter-top How to paint kitchen cabinets without sanding

For that, you can use rosin paper – it’s a cheap and effective protective element that will protect your countertop from any potential spills. You’ll get a lot of the paper for cheap, and you’ll have plenty available for the future.

Make sure you add another layer of this paper in case you think that just one layer will not be enough. It should be, though.

Step 3: Remove Cabinet Doors and Drawers

remove How to paint kitchen cabinets without sanding

According to Cabinet Painting Calgary, the next thing you’ll want to make sure of is to remove the cabinet doors and drawers. This way, you’ll be able to not only paint easier, but you’ll also be able to access the corners better, especially on the interior.

This might seem like a redundant task but trust me, it’ll be at least a couple times easier after you do this. You might want to move the doors into a separate room, especially if you don’t have a lot of space in your kitchen. A bit of trial and error will be required, as some cabinets have a complicated hinge system.

Step 4: Remove the Grease

clean-grease How to paint kitchen cabinets without sanding

If you haven’t done this yet, then now is the time to do it. Even the best of paints won’t stick to a cabinet that’s full of grease. Use TSP that you have already used before for cleaning the cabinet. You’ll find that another cleaning cycle this time will expose some parts of the cabinet that were full of grease.

Step 5: Apply the Liquid Deglosser

deglosser How to paint kitchen cabinets without sanding

Glossy cabinets are difficult to paint if they have gloss all over the surface. The paint just won’t stick. Normally, we would do this with sanding, but this article wouldn’t be called How to paint kitchen cabinets without sanding if we weren’t able to give you an alternative here.

Here’s how to do it: use liquid deglosser to get rid of the varnish on top of the cabinet. This will make the paint stick onto the cabinet better later on. Use a washcloth and wipe each cabinet with the deglosser to remove the varnish.

Step 6: Apply the Cabinet Enamel

enamel How to paint kitchen cabinets without sanding

We’ve shown you how to paint kitchen cabinets without sanding, but what about without applying a primer? Everyone will tell you that you need to apply the primer, but is that really the case?

You will only need a primer for drastic color changes, wooden surfaces, or glossy finishes. In other cases, you’ll be able to get away with using the cabinet enamel. The surface will be receptive of the color this way as well, and you’ll get a smooth, satin finish nonetheless. It’s a great step if your cabinets haven’t been painted in a while.

Get started with the door. Apply the white cabinet enamel on the doors. Then, insert thumbtacks and flip the cabinet over. This will help you paint the other side of the cabinet as well.

Remember to use different brush sizes. With a large roller, you’ll want to cover the large surfaces, while you will need smaller brushes to cover corners and paint the detailed parts of the cabinet.

Step 7: Start Painting

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Now you can finally start painting your cabinet with a new color. Check twice if everything is prepared for you to start painting: the edges should be taped off, the floor is covered, as well as the countertop, and that the enamel has been applied.

You’ll want to start painting the inside edges of the cabinet and the openings. Then you can move onto the sides of the cabinet and move onto the frame fronts. Working that way will allow you to cover any areas you might have missed later on, and you’ll be able to correct the drippings as well.

Insert Thumbtacks

Insert thumbtacks in each corner of the door, and you’ll make it easier for yourself to turn the cabinet over and start painting on the other side as well.

Spray Paint Hardware

spray How to paint kitchen cabinets without sanding

Take off the hardware, it will be easier to paint. You’ll also want to spray paint the hardware, especially if it hasn’t received any treatment for some time. Take the silver spray paint and start painting the hardware. Worn out hardware will ruin the final look of the cabinet.

Use a Fine Brush to Paint Molding

Some cabinets will have molding in the front, which will be slightly harder to paint. In that case, you’ll want to use a fine brush to paint the molding.

Use the Roller to Paint the Front, Drawers, Shelves

roller How to paint kitchen cabinets without sanding

Larger surface areas will be much easier to paint with a roller than with a brush. You won’t take that long if you use a roller, and you’ll cover the details with a brush later on.

Apply a Second Coat if Needed

Some cabinets will require you to add another layer of paint and let it dry. In fact, almost every cabinet will need another layer – this will make the cabinet fresher and you’ll also want to use a roller and a brush to complete the second layer.

Reattach Everything

reattach How to paint kitchen cabinets without sanding

Now let the paint dry for some time. After the paint has dried, then you’ll want to start re-attaching the drawers and the doors onto the cabinet. You’ll need to use a power drill or a screwdriver to get the job done.

Finally, you can start rehanging the cabinet and get everything back in order. Hopefully, the cabinet now looks brand new.

This is how to paint kitchen cabinets without sanding. There is no science, you’ll only need to buy the proper tools for the job.

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