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A fresh coat of paint on cupboards can transform a kitchen and costs far less than replacing old cabinets. In this video, learn step-by-step how-to paint kitchen cabinets to make them look brand new.

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Woman talkingHi. I'm interior designer Tracy Metro and welcome to the Dunn-Edwards paints “how-to paint” video series. Now a fresh coat of paint on cupboards can transform a kitchen and what's great is that it costs far less than replacing old kitchen cabinets, but before you decide to repaint them examine the condition of them to see if it's even worth your time and if they're going to look good. Once you repaint it see if the cabinets appear damaged from years and years of use or they're made of a lesser quality material such as a particle board that can warp or rot unfortunately, not even a good paint job can fix them. On the other hand if you've got great solid wood cabinets they can be greatly improved with just some elbow grease and a fresh new coat of paint. In this video I'm going to show you step-by-step how to paint kitchen cabinets and make them look brand spankin new. Plus, I'll show you a few tips and tricks to make the job even easier already.
Woman preparing the room for paintingSo, step number one is to remove everything from the kitchen and when I say everything I mean everything, from inside the cabinets, from on the counter and from the drawers. And then what you need to do is remove and unscrew any hardware such as drawer poles or doorknobs and then put them in a marked Ziploc baggie so that nothing gets misplaced during the makeover.
Woman talking about her tipNow here's a Tracy's tip for you- in case you're afraid that you're going to forget where certain knobs or poles go it's so easy, all you have to do is take a photograph with your cell phone that way if you're confused at the end all you have to do is consult the photo and you know exactly where stuff belongs, this has definitely saved me before.
Woman removing knobs and doorsNext unscrew the door knobs and remove the cupboard doors by taking the screws out of the hinges and pulling the doors off the frame, again, place any hardware in a marked baggie.
Prepping cabinets for paintHere's another Tracy's tip- make sure to number the cabinets and doors so that you know which doors belong to which cabinets. Simply take a small piece of painters tape and mark the cabinet and door with the exact same number and then stick one piece of tape with the number on it on the door where the hinge goes, and the other piece inside the cabinet.

Now this is also a good time to assess the hardware that holds the cupboards together, any screws hinges or braces that look old and tired should definitely be replaced after the cupboards are repainted. Then use a sponge or soft cloth and some TSP or some crud cutter to remove any dirt or stains on the cabinets. Lastly wipe down the cupboards with water and let them dry completely. So how do the cupboards look to the naked eye? Are there scratches, scuffs or even gouges? Well any professional painter will tell you that to have a great looking paint job means you have to start with a completely smooth surface. So now is the time to patch any blemishes scratches or dents by filling them with a patching compound. Simply apply the patching material to the damaged area of the cabinet and then using a putty knife scrape away any excess patching compound, then let the compound completely dry.

Replacing hardwareWell at this point you'll need to decide if you want to keep the original hardware or if you want to mix things up. Well if you want to change out the hardware it's more than likely not going to fit in the exact same holes that currently exist you might need different size screw holes or holes that are closer together or further apart, so you'll need to fill the existing holes with patching compound and drill new ones before painting. Now since we absolutely love these classic circa 1970s handles we're definitely going to stick with these babies, they are pretty groovy. The next step is to rough up your wood cabinet surfaces with sandpaper using a 120 grit or finer sandpaper. Then lightly rub of all of the areas that you intend to paint, this will help the primer and paint adhere better. Now if your cabinets are made of a melamine veneer or they're finished with a really hard coating, when you sand them make sure you use a very very fine sandpaper because if you use a really rough sandpaper it's going to scratch, and you'll see it when you paint. Make sure that you also prime them really well so that the paint adheres.
Sanding cabinetsNow here's a Tracy's tip for you- I got a lot of tips for you, when sanding always sand with the grain never go across the grain or against the grain or worse in a circular motion, as moving in the wrong direction will only cause scuff marks which will ultimately show when your is paint up and pay special attention to the areas where patching compound was applied sand just enough that the filled spots are flush with the rest of the cabinets. Lastly wipe everything down with a damp rag to remove any dust or debris that collected from sanding.
Taping cabinetsNext if you want your coat of paint to adhere evenly to the wood and if you want the paint job to last a long time and frankly who wouldn't? You're going to want to apply a good-quality primer before you paint. Now I'm using Dunn-Edwards Ultra Grip premium multi-purpose primer, but before you start priming you're going to want to tape off the areas that yet actually don't want painted. So you need to start by taping around the inside edges of the cabinets and the drawers, of course, assuming that you don't want the paint to bleed to the inside, and be sure to tape around the sealing edges or walls where the cupboards meet. Now if you notice I've put plastic wrap down on the kitchen counter because I want to protect it from getting painted, also I'm lifting it up onto the backsplash and tape it down to protect that as well.
Priming cabinetsWell, now that the taping is finished all I need to do is prime it. Using a mini roller cover apply a coat of primer and then use a paint brush to gently roll out the area. You want the primer to have a smooth and an even finish, then you just allow the primer to dry. Well now comes the fun part the painting.
Woman painting cabinetsAnd we're starting on the inside of the cabinets first. And then we'll paint the cabinet frame areas and we're doing something really, really fun, see most people paint the inside of their cabinets white or cream and that's just so boring, but we're going to jazz it up. We're using a bold color on the inside and I've chosen Dunn-Edwards Arboretum which is this stunning greenish bluish aqua color that is going to look so stylish every time they go in to get a dish or a bowl. Next paint the cupboard doors, use a mini roller cover to apply the paint on the large areas and then use a brush to feather out those areas so that you have a smooth and an even finish. Feathering out eliminates visible roller sippel and brush strokes, which of course makes the paint job look very, very professional. And we've chosen Dunn-Edwards mint chiffon as our cabinet faced door color, and to make the doors really stand out we plan on doing some detailing on the holding using Dunn-Edwards arboretum which ties in to the inside of the cabinets, this is going to look so gorgeous. Now here's a little reminder for you, be sure to paint the door edges, cabinet edges and drawer edges along with the backside. Let the paint dry completely on all the doors drawers and cabinet frames, the first coat of paint should be given at least four hours to dry before applying another coat. So, do you need a second coat of paint? Yeah, you probably do because the second coat of paint can be the difference between a job looking pretty good and a job looking extremely professional. Once the second coat has dried you can add any detail painting that you like, so we're letting the cabinets tell us how they want to be painted. Since this molding right here is different from the rest of the cabinet it's pretty much saying, “Tracy paint me a different color”, well of course I'm going to oblige by taping it off and painting it with Dunn-Edwards Arboretum which is actually our inside color. So, what's especially lovely about this detail is that we're able to create stripes without actually having to paint little stripes which can be really difficult in this kind of an application.
Shots of cabinetsOnce the paint is completely dry, install the handles and other hardware and reattach all cupboard doors and drawers. Doesn't this kitchen look absolutely spectacular? I mean think about it, all we did was repaint the kitchen cabinets. It's pretty amazing what you can do with a little bit of elbow grease and a can of paint.
Dunn-Edwards buildingIf you have any questions or you just need some help, head on over to your neighborhood Dunn-Edwards paint store. And for all of us here at Dunn-Edwards paints, I'm Tracy Metro. Thanks for watching and happy painting you.
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