How to Paint Oak Cabinets!

Most modern and sub modern kitchens these days have oak cabinets.  Instead of spending $1000s of dollars in new cabinets, give this a try.  PS-  Greys are the trend now in kitchen cabinets,  But white is classic and goes with anything!  Enjoy!

STEP BY STEP HOW TO PREP AND PAINT OAK CABINETS:

  1. wash down all doors, drawers and facings with warm soapy water, rinse and dry
  2. use TSP (following manufacturers instructions)  You can buy it on Amazon.  The TSP will clean any remaining grease and help remove some of the shine.
  3. remove doors and drawer fronts, and all hardware. Identify each door and drawer so that you know where each goes when it’s time to reinstall.
  4. fill holes if you are changing out handles. I switched from handles to knobs so I only filled one hole on each door. On the lower doors I filled the lower hole, on the upper doors I filled the upper hole. I used Elmer’s wood filler. (hint: put a piece of Scotch Blue Painter’s Tape on the inside of the hole to keep the putting from going all the way through)  Let dry, lightly sand.
  5. tape inside edge of all doors and drawer fronts. (I did not paint the inside of my cabinets.)
  6. lightly sand doors and drawer fronts to remove any sheen. I used 220 grit sand paper. I did the doors and drawer fronts outside. Make sure to wipe off ALL dust from sanding.
  7. lightly sand the front facings and ends of cabinets.  I never emptied my cabinets, however I had some small cheap garbage bags that I used to cover up my contents.  After I finished sanding, I removed the plastic and threw it away.  Wipe down all dust. (Not Pictured Below)
  8. tape off any areas that will be too difficult to keep paint from splattering.  (I taped the edge where my counter top meets the front of the counter.  See pictures) I always use ScotchBlue Painters Tape.
  9. I used oil based primer as a base for all wood surfaces.  I used a sprayer from Harbor Freight. (outdoors) for doors and drawer fronts.  (please follow all safety precautions using an approved respirator and safety goggles) I used a small foam roller for the front facings. Two coats of primer, lightly sanding in between coats. I used an “in-between coats”  sponge sandpaper.  Allow paint to dry thoroughly before moving ahead on any of these paint steps. I allowed 24 hours in between EVERY coat. I did not tape any front facings. Using a foam roller helps the paint not to get inside the cabinets.  UPDATE: I now use a Fine Finish Sprayer from HomeRight.
  10. Spray (outdoors) doors and drawer fronts with latex paint. I used Dutch Boy Refresh (quart)   Semi-gloss in Sweetened White.
  11. Use a small foam roller to paint the facings and ends of cabinets. Again, I let this coat dry 24 hours. All in all, I did about 4 light coats on the doors and drawer fronts with my sprayer. I did three light coats (foam roller) on all the facings and cabinet ends.
  12. Allow all wood surfaces to fully cure before reinstalling. I waited about two weeks, storing the doors and drawer fronts indoors while they cured.
  13. Install all hardware and reinstall all doors and drawer fronts in their original places.

prepping cabinets

oak cabinets
5) tape inside edge of all doors and drawer fronts. (I did not paint the inside of my cabinets.)
sanding oak cabinets
6) lightly sand doors and drawer fronts to remove any sheen. I used 220 grit sand paper. I did the doors and drawer fronts outside. Make sure to wipe off ALL dust from sanding.
oak cabinets (taping)
8) tape off any areas that will be too difficult to keep paint from splattering.  (I taped the edge where my counter top meets the front of the counter.)   I always use Scotch Blue Painter’s Tape

prime oak cabinets

9) I used oil based primer as a base for all wood surfaces.  I used a sprayer from Harbor Freight. (outdoors) for doors and drawer fronts.
easy paint tip
I used a small foam roller for the front facings. Two coats of primer, lightly sanding in between coats. I only bought one little tray for this job, so using a plastic bag allowed me to reuse it without cleaning it with mineral spirits.
Allow paint to dry thoroughly before moving ahead on any of these paint steps. I allowed 24 hours in between EVERY coat.

priming oak cabinets

I did not tape any front facings. Using a foam roller helps the paint not to get inside the cabinets.

 

spray painting oak cabinets

10) Spray (outdoors) doors and drawer fronts with latex paint. I used Dutch Boy Refresh Semi-gloss in Sweetened White. My sprayer was from Harbor Freight.
100_6499
EDITED TO ADD:  This is the air compressor I used. It was a little too small, but it’s what my budget could afford. I suggest a larger compressor if you don’t want to have to wait for your compressor to catch up.  This one pretty much ran all the time I was spraying.

A more affordable and easy to use option is a HomeRight Finish Max Fine Finish Sprayer

 

white oak cabinets

12) Allow all wood surfaces to fully cure before reinstalling. I waited about two weeks, storing the doors and drawer fronts indoors while they cured.

 

oak cabinets get new paint

white (oak) cabinets

spray paint hinges

oak cabinets painted white

painted vinyl floor

All Done!
Thank you to My Repurposed Life and Gail Wilson!