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Brush & Roll Painting Pro Tips


How to Prep Kitchen Cabinets for Painting in Omaha, NE

How to Prep Kitchen Cabinets for Painting in Omaha, NE

Is it finally time to update your kitchen cabinets and create your dream kitchen space? Taking on this project is a big deal, and you'll want to make sure you're ready! It's always best to hire a professional when it comes to painting and home-related projects, but you can always make things run smoother when you do your share of paint prep and due diligence. 

Painting kitchen cabinets can be a tricky, time-consuming task, but like any painting project, it is all about proper surface preparation. If you have an upcoming kitchen cabinet painting project, we have some prep tips to make your work more efficient, quick, and flawless. Read on to see how to prepare your kitchen for kitchen cabinet painting.


Kitchen with oak wood cabinets

Take Down The Doors And Drawers

Painting directly over everything can be quite tempting, but this option will give you a harder time, and the results could be unflattering. You will have a hard time sanding and painting the inner edges of your cabinet doors and around hinges and hardware. But don't worry—removing the cabinet doors and drawers is relatively easy!

When taking down your drawers and doors, be sure to label them properly to make reassembly much easier. Go ahead and remove all the hinges, drawer pulls, handles, and other hardware, and label them as well.


Surface Preparation

When surface preparation is done poorly, you eventually end up with adhesion problems, which means that you will have to strip off the paint to get it right. It is essential to follow the correct preparation procedures to have excellent-looking and durable painted cabinets in the end. Important surface prep processes include cleaning, sanding, and priming.  



There are plenty of products available to clean your cabinets before painting. These include denatured alcohol, liquid de-glosser, trisodium phosphate (TSP), and de-greaser. For heavy grease, use denatured alcohol as it cuts through tough stains and grease. This product does not leave residue behind once it evaporates, unlike TSP. When using denatured alcohol, wear protective gloves.

If your cabinets are not greasy, use Dawn dish soap to get rid of dirt and stains. Stained cabinets protected with a lacquer finish should be sanded off or de-glossed with a de-glossing agent. Removing the lacquer finish allows the primer and paints to bond well.

Kitchen with white walls and cabinets


Never prime or paint your kitchen cabinets before cleaning and sanding them thoroughly. Sanding ensures that the protective lacquer finish does not prevent the primer and paint from bonding well. When prepping multiple kitchen cabinets for paint, it is advisable to use an electric sander. Sanding manually may take a long time and won't be as effective as an electric sander.

To remove a lacquer finish from the surface, 120 and 150 sandpaper grit is ideal. Sanding between primer coats will require 220 grit. Before you begin painting, ensure that you remove any sanding dust on the surface using a tack cloth or a damp rag. If possible, sanding should be done far away from the painting area.


Caulking and Priming

Some cabinet doors, especially those with recessed panels, may require caulking to conceal any cracks that may be noticeable after painting. White paintable caulking is the most ideal caulk as it dries quickly. To avoid ruining your caulk, remove any sanding dust from the cracks you will be caulking. Once you are done with the caulk, choose the best primer to prevent stains. Oil-based primer or shellac primer is the best to use when preparing your kitchen cabinets for painting.


The Bottom Line 

Thorough preparation is the best way to achieve a high-quality, beautiful, and durable paint job. These tips can help you make your cabinet prep for painting much easier. However, if you need any professional help with cabinet painting in Omaha, NE, our team at Brush & Roll Painting can help. We have years of experience and a long list of happy clients! 


At Brush & Roll Painting, we know that home painting is a serious investment. We also believe that any paint job is only as good as the prep. If you want a quality paint job that will stand the test of time, give us a call at (402) 932-9764 or schedule an estimate online.