Tuesday 1 June 2021

Which paint to choose for your kitchen cabinets and how to apply it.


So you have made your decision to transform your kitchen by painting your kitchen cupboards and you have decided on the color and style, you can read my article Do you want to transform your kitchen, but you don’t know where to start - paint your kitchen cabinets! You have done all your prep.work you can read my article What not to do before painting your kitchen cabinets!  and you are now ready to buy your paint and get on with it! But first you need to decide whether you will use chalk paint or water-based enamel paints.

Let’s talk a little about chalk paint. There are many brands of chalk paint on the market. My personal favorite is the Frenchic, Al Fresco range. This is a durable, weatherproof, UV resistant chalk paint specifically developed for exterior and interior use. Frenchic Al Fresco is self-priming, self-sealing, self-levelling with a slight sheen, so the best thing is, you don’t need to prime your cabinets first and you don’t need to seal the paint with a varnish. But if you do like to have a satin sheen on your cabinets then you can add a couple of coats of satin finish varnish for that extra sheen. I do recommend however a coat of primer on mdf and laminate cupboards first as it helps the paint to stick to these difficult surfaces. 


If you decide to use a chalk paint which is not weather proof then keep in mind that you should really prime the cabinets first and you definitely need to seal them with a good quality varnish after painting. A gloss finish varnish will give your cabinets a strong, glossy sheen, but it will highlight any flaws that the cabinets may have. Satin finish varnishes are usually the best choice for kitchens. A mat finish varnish is often times difficult to clean so I don’t recommend it.


Water-based enamel paints is one of my favorite choices of paint for kitchen cabinets and my personal favorite is TITANLUX Esmalte Ecologico which is available in mat, satin or gloss finishes. TITANLUX is an ecological, water-soluble, multi-adhesive paint with high quality protection from the first coat and prevents the appearance of mold, does not turn yellow and its color remains stable. Again we don’t need to prime the surface first but I do recommend using a primer for MDF or laminate surfaces. The gloss version is highly durable as is the satin. Again I don’t recommend a mat finish. This paint does not need to be sealed with a varnish but if you do want extra protection you can apply a couple of coats of a good quality varnish.

 Step 1:

Assess the condition of your cabinets.

Surfaces that are already painted can be painted again if the existing paint is in good condition. If not, then the old paint will need to be removed. Stripping products are available that make this process easy. Simply apply with a brush, wait for the stripper to react with the old paint and then use a plastic scraper to peel it away. Once dry, remove the last of the paint with sandpaper.

Step 2:

Paint your cabinets.

The following directions are for applying with a brush and roller (DIY-friendly).

Step 1: Paint the inside of the cabinets

If you’re painting the inside of the cabinets, start at the back and work towards the front. Use a brush to get into corners and detailed areas. It’s important to use even strokes.

Step 2: Paint the cabinet frames

Using a high-quality brush for the smaller areas and a foam roller for larger surfaces use even strokes with the brush and then finish the stroke back into the wet paint and feather out the edges. After the surface is painted and with the brush now almost dry, lightly go over the section you have just painted with vertical strokes to ensure an even coating, stopping on an upward stroke. This is called ‘laying off’.

Step 3: Paint the doors and drawers

Follow the same technique as for the frames.

Step 4: Apply further coats of paint

Apply further coats of paint to get the coverage you desire. You may need to apply up to four coats.

Step 5. Apply varnish

If you decide you want extra protection then once the paint has completely cured then we can apply a couple of coats of varnish you can read my article here How to protect your painted furniture! Varnish vs wax.

 Would you like to get more inspiration or tips on DIY, crafts, etc. come join our Facebook group A little paint and a lot of love we would love to see you there.


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