Can I Paint My Cabinets Instead of Replacing?

 Can I Paint My Cabinets Instead of Replacing?

Nothing is easier, quicker, or more economical than painting cabinets instead of replacing them. Painting your cabinets can change the overall look of your Kitchen and make it look more modern. When you repaint, you can easily replace the hardware and knobs to add a nice new accent touch. Also, repainting is only about 10%-20% the cost of replacing your cabinets. If you repaint your cabinets, typically that increases the life expectancy by 5-6 years. Subsequently, you can always paint just one more coat to refresh the cabinets.

So how do you go about this project?
Most wooden cabinets have already been stained and sealed with a glossy polyurethane. So the first step is to remove the gloss. You can do that by either sanding it off (which can be messy and time consuming), or by using a de-glossing liquid that breaks down the gloss. One last possible method (which we highly recommend) would be to seal the cabinets directly with a pigmented shellac with something such as a Zinsser BIN product. This method is probably the least time-consuming and least messy.

A pigmented shellac is similar to a primer; it is designed to stick to glossy surfaces like cabinets while simultaneously changing the color. It also dries very quickly (about 45 minutes or less) which means that multiple coats can be applied in quick succession. Typically this shellac turns into a plain white hue, but you can also tint the pigmented shellac if you want to change the cabinets to a darker color.

After 2-3 coats of the shellac are applied, you can apply a finish coat of oil-based, acrylic/latex paint, or a pre-catalyzed lacquer. We like to use the pre-cat. lacquers, as it has a smoother finish which will give the cabinets a more factory-finished look. Using lacquers requires special equipment and is not recommended for homeowners without experience. (If you do decide to spray oil or lacquer, make sure you turn off all gas utilities).

Chism Brothers Painting provides custom painting and finishing of kitchen cabinetry in La Jolla, Del Mar, Rancho Santa Fee, and other San Diego communities. If you have any questions, or would like help with this project, give Chism Brothers a call at 858-454-3850.

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