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DIY Mistakes to Avoid When Painting Kitchen Cabinets

Starting a DIY journey to revamp your kitchen cabinets with a fresh coat of paint can be rewarding. However, the flawless finish you seek can be riddled with pitfalls that can compromise the entire project.

In this article, we’ll explore the essential “dos” and “don’ts” to ensure your DIY cabinet painting venture results in a stunning transformation without making the common mistakes that can cause your cabinets to look less than fab.

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Common Kitchen Cabinet Painting Mistakes

Let’s jump into the seven kitchen cabinet painting mistakes for a stunning new kitchen.

1. Not Removing the Doors

This kitchen cabinet painting mistake can cause a myriad of issues. First, this tends to lead to a lot of drips or extra paint buildup that looks anything but professional.

Second, it tends to be much messier since splatters and drips from the open doors can make their way onto surfaces you didn’t intend on painting.

Instead, invest in some folding saw horses where you can lay your cabinet doors for priming and painting. This also ensures no one touches or bumps them while they are drying.

2. Skipping the Prep Work

Trust us, you’ll want to do all the prep work to avoid this big kitchen cabinet painting mistake. Although a lot of prep needs to happen, such as sanding, stripping, cleaning, wiping, and priming, it is the most crucial step to achieving a flawless outcome.

Failure to do the prep work is when you’ll have chipping paint, uneven textures, and an overall poorly executed paint job. To make your life much easier, we have an entire how-to guide to start you on your kitchen cabinet preparation journey to ensure your hard work pays off.

3. Not Labeling Hardware and Doors

You’ve taken all the doors off, done all the proper preparations, painted everything, and now it’s time to put the doors and hardware back on. But do you remember where it all goes? While it may seem obvious, depending on the layout or number of kitchen cabinets, it can get a bit confusing.

To avoid the confusion and hours of cabinet door roulette, label your hardware and doors so you know exactly where they go so the reinstall is a breeze.

4. Not Protecting Countertops and Appliances

One of the biggest kitchen cabinet painting mistakes is not fully protecting your countertops and appliances. You are saving your sanity by taking a small amount of time to cover these surfaces.

Even if you’re extremely careful, paint splatters happen, so be proactive and cover any surface you don’t want the paint to touch. You can purchase some painter’s drop cloths or even use old sheets and towels. Either way, you’ll be thanking your future self.

5. Applying Too Thick of Layers

No matter what you’re painting, doing so in thick layers will cause unevenness in textures and a far from professional appearance. But worse, this kitchen cabinet painting mistake will cause the cabinets to chip and peel.

By applying multiple thin layers of paint, you will achieve a highly professional-looking paint job with a beautiful, even texture and, best of all, a massive reduction in any peeling or chipping.

6. Not Using a Premium Primer

When it comes down to it, the paint you choose will be just as good as the primer you decide to pair it with. You want to let your paint shine with a top-of-the-line primer. A premium primer gives you a smoother finish, which in turn helps prevent fading and chipping.

If you need advice on picking a primer, we have got you covered with the top 5 kitchen cabinet primers to help avoid this DIY painter mistake.

7. Picking the Wrong Paint Finish

Lastly, you’ll want to make sure you pick the right finish for your paint. To avoid this kitchen cabinet painting mistake, choose a gloss or semi-gloss paint. Choosing this finish gives a professional look, is easy to clean, is resistant to moisture, and is more durable than matte paint.

After all, this is your kitchen, so mess happens. With glossy paints, it’s as simple as taking a damp cloth to clean up any spill or splatter without worrying about stains. Wondering what paint to choose? Here, we have the best paint for kitchen cabinets to remove guesswork!

kitchen cabinet painting mistakes

Frequently Asked Questions About Kitchen Cabinet Painting Mistakes

How can I prevent brush strokes from showing on my cabinets?

You’ll need to choose the right type of paintbrush per the paint you’re using for your kitchen cabinets and apply the paint in thin, even layers, one at a time.

If you want an even more flawless look, you may want to look into different cabinet paint sprayers that can achieve this look.

Why is the cabinet paint not adhering well?

The paint isn’t adhering to the surface because the surface was not adequately prepared. Any leftover finish, dust, or debris will cause a blotchy appearance. If this does happen, you’ll need to clean off what you can, sand, clean, and start again.

Why is my kitchen cabinet paint not drying properly?

If you’re having issues with the paint on your kitchen cabinets not drying or taking a long time to dry, it’s most likely the humidity level in the area. You can always add dehumidifiers or fans to the room to keep the process moving.

How can I fix minor scratches or damage that have occurred on my painted kitchen cabinets?

To fix minor damage, lightly sand the area and touch it up using the same paint. Always keep some extra paint just in case this does happen.

kitchen cabinet painting mistakes

You’re Ready to Paint Those Cabinets!

Successfully painting kitchen cabinets requires careful attention to detail and adherence to best practices. Avoiding common mistakes such as improper surface preparation, applying paint layers that are too thick, and neglecting to use high-quality materials ensures a professional and long-lasting finish.

Now that you have learned the 7 kitchen cabinet painting mistakes, let’s take on just how to paint kitchen cabinets for a home reno you’ll be proud of!