*This blog post is sponsored by Sherwin Williams but reflects my personal opinions about all products and colors.*
If you’ve been following along with my kitchen renovation on Instagram, you know we’re well on our way to wrapping things up!
So far, we’ve painted the countertops to look like marble, installed a farmhouse sink, added a tile backsplash, and now we’ve just completed phase one of the cabinets!
Painting the cabinets was one of the more daunting tasks on the list, but to be totally honest, even though it was time and labor intensive, it wasn’t too difficult!
You just need to prep well, follow the right steps, and take things in phases.
I have a lot of cabinets in my kitchen area, so I split the job up into 4 sections which automatically made it more manageable for me.
Let’s jump into why and dig into the steps now, shall we?
HOW TO PAINT YOUR CABINETS LIKE THE PROS WITH SHERWIN WILLIAMS EMERALD URETHANE TRIM ENAMEL
First things first, research depending on the look you want, the materials you’re planning to use, and what your current cabinets are made out of.
Take a minute to measure your hardware holes too. You want to measure from the center of one hole to the center of the next if you currently have pulls.
My cabinets were wooden with a coat of paint and had 3.75″ hardware holes.
This determined what kind of primer I needed to use, and the hardware measurements helped me determine if I wanted to keep the same size or fill my holes and find new.
These initial steps will help you plan accordingly as you dive in.
Now let’s dig into the details.
STEP 1: GATHER YOUR MATERIALS
After you know what you’re working with, it’s time to gather your materials.
Here’s what I used…
- Bulls Eye Primer
- Sherwin Williams Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel, Color: SW Pure White 7005, Finish: Satin
- Cabinet Door Knobs
- Cabinet Drawer Pulls
- Plastic Wood
And here are the tools you need…
- HART Tools Drill
- HART Tools Orbital Sander
- Yattich Paint Sprayer
- Foam Paint Rollers
- Wooster Paint Brushes
- Plastic Tarps
- Hardware Guide
STEP 2: DISASSEMBLE YOUR CABINETS & FILL YOUR HARDWARE HOLES IF NEEDED
This is as simple as it sounds! Simply take all your cabinet hardware off, take your cabinet doors off their hinges, and remove the hinges from the cabinets.
Don’t forget to remove your drawer faces, too. They’re usually just screwed on!
Make note of which cabinet door and drawer belongs where, and the same goes for the hinges! This will make reassembly much easier. You’ll even want to note which hinge goes at the top and which belongs at the bottom. That way, you won’t have to adjust as much when you reinstall.
I wrote on painters tape to tell me which door belonged where and kept my labeled hinges in plastic bags noting the cabinet they belonged to. Once I painted or primed my door, I stuck the tape to the tarp on which they were drying. This helped me keep track of everything!
If you’re planning to purchase a different size of hardware for your doors and drawers, this is where you would fill your hardware holes with a plastic wood.
If you’re using the same size hardware or keeping your existing hardware, just leave them as is.
STEP 3: SAND THEM DOWN
Also a simple step! Just take your cabinet doors and drawers and lightly sand them down.
I did skip this step for my cabinets. They didn’t have a top coat on them, were in great condition, and didn’t have layers of paint or stain on them, so I left them as is.
I tested a door first with primer and paint to make sure they were going to work! If you’re considering skipping this step, I highly recommend testing out a door first!
You can use an electric sander or fine-grit sandpaper to do the job.
You don’t need to completely remove the finish. You’re just giving your primer something to bond to with this step.
If you filled your hardware holes, make sure you sand those down until they’re flush with the wood.
STEP 4: PRIME
Once your doors and drawers are sanded, it’s time to prime! The primer I used is made to adhere to wood and other materials.
Depending on what your cabinets are made of, you might need to purchase a special primer.
This includes the cabinet boxes! Don’t forget about those!
STEP 5: PAINT
Allow your primer to dry completely, then you can start painting.
I would brush on the paint, then lay it off with my roller to minimize brush strokes. And the finish I got with the Sherwin Williams Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel is perfection.
Not the mention… the color (SW Pure White 7005) is my favorite cabinet white and worked so well in our kitchen! It’s a neutral bright white.
Once I was done with the frame, I moved on to the doors and drawers.
For this step, I used my paint sprayer.
I tarped my garage, wore a mask, and prepped for overspray. Then I got to work!
In the most professional way, I propped my doors and drawers up on paint cans to spray them horizontally, and it worked great for me. I started with the backs, then laid them flat to dry on pieces of scrap wood to elevate them off the ground.
Because it’s winter, I let mine dry in my basement to control the temperature and keep them away from debris in the garage.
Once they were totally dry, I moved on to the fronts. I sprayed a thicker coat on the fronts and sprayed around all the sides during this step as well so I could get a nice smooth finish.
I usually recommend 2 total coats for cabinets, but I went heavy-handed on my first coat and was so in love with the coverage and finish that I’m stopping there for now
I know I can always add a second coat if I feel I need it! Did I mention I’m so impressed with the coverage of this paint? They said I would need fewer coats, and they were right.
This was also probably because I was taking my cabinets from cream to white! If your cabinets are a different color or darker wood, you will definitely need more than one coat.
Lay them out to dry (elevated again so the edges aren’t touching the ground). And lay them horizontally so your paint doesn’t drip or pool as it dries.
Once you have 2 coats (or however many coats you need) on and they look like you want them to, allow them to dry completely, then move on to the next step.
By the way, I am not adding a top coat because of the durability of the paint I’m using! It’s highly durable, resists yellowing and stains, and is perfect for areas that get cleaned frequently like kitchen cabinets!
STEP 6: ADD YOUR HARDWARE
Now it’s time to add your hardware! If you’re using the same hardware or even the same size hardware, this is simple. Just screw them into place!
If you’re changing up the sizing, grab one of these hardware templates to help you determine where to drill your holes.
Trust me, they make your life way easier! Just grab your drill and a drill bit and drill holes for your new hardware. Then assemble!
For your cabinet drawer faces, you’ll likely have to reattach them to the frame before you add your hardware.
Note: The longer screws are for the drawers, and the shorter screws are for the doors.
STEP 7: REASSEMBLE YOUR DOORS AND DRAWERS
Once your hardware is on, put your hinges back on their corresponding doors and reattach!
Adjust your hinges as needed, if needed. If you kept them organized for each door, this should be minimal.
Then step back and admire all your hard work!
I was able to paint this first phase of cabinets in 5 days.
Completely worth it if you ask me!