Updating the hardware and the colour of your kitchen is a super easy and cost effective way to give your kitchen a boost.
Don't be scared! Its easier than you think to paint your kitchen and the formulas available these days are excellent and give a very professional finish. With a bit of patience and by following our step by step guide, anyone can do it. If you are going to paint, we suggest also updating your hardware. Combined with the new colour, stylish new handles and pulls will massively change the vibe of your kitchen.
Step 1 - Remove handles and fill holes
Take off your current handles and pulls. These should unscrew from the back of the cabinet. Don't let the existing hole positions stop you from changing your hardware. Its really easy to fill them and you will NEVER know they were there.
We advise using a 2-part wood filler. Mix according to instructions and fill the holes from the front and the back smoothing flat. Wait until dry and then using a fine sandpaper, to sand the filler to the same level as your door. We always recommend Ronseal 2 Part Wood Filler as it dries in 30 minutes and sands down super smooth.
TOP TIP: When filling your holes, ensure you leave the filler slightly raised. This avoids any sinking that can occur when it dries meaning you don't get any dips. If you forgot that part and ended up with it slightly sunk? No problem, just fill again.
Step 2 -Cleaning & Sanding
The boring but crucial part to getting a professional finish. Whatever the material of your kitchen, the surface needs to have good grip to allow the paint to go on smoothly and stay on. Grease and dirt are the enemy, so give your kitchen a thorough clean first with warm soapy water. Be sure to rinse off any residue.
Then give all surfaces a sand with a fine sandpaper. We find using a sandpaper block easiest when you are dealing with panels. Sanding the cabinets creates a 'key' to allow the paint to stick. Brush off the sanding residue completely with a dry cloth.
Removing door?: Painting any surface vertically is going to be more of a challenge. If you can, we advise to take off the doors and pull out the drawers. Painting these flat will help avoid any drips.
Step 3 - Tape it up.
This may be controversial but we only masking taped up certain areas while on others we used a tiny art paintbrush to get right to the edge. The reason being is that masking tape is best pulled off when the paint is slightly wet, otherwise it can stick to the paint and make it hard to pull off. However, when you have multiple layers to paint, it becomes tricky and who wants to keep taping up again and again? So we used a combination. Also, if paint does gets on walls, floors or tiles, we found it can be easily be cleaned off so don't worry if you get a little messy.
Step 4 - Primer
The type of Primer you need will depend of the material of your cabinets. We used Tikkurila Helmi Pohjamaali Base Cover which is a water based durable primer for interior wood and furniture - a good all rounder.
Apply Primer and wait for it to dry. Check the instructions. Our primer advised 2 hours which was plenty but if you have lots of grooves in your kitchen, you might want to leave it a bit longer.
Step 5 - Choose your paint
You need to choose the right paint. There are many paints out there formulated for kitchen cabinets. Most are available in set colours but some can be mixed. We went on a recommendation from our local Decorators Merchant and chose Tikkurila Helmi 10 which is a water based furniture paint in a matt finish. This brand can be tinted any colour you like. You've probably been dreaming of your new kitchen so will have a good idea of the colour you are after but think about the finish too. Going for gloss, satin or matt will make a big difference to the overall look.
Step 6 - Paint
We've made it to the fun part but what to use - a brush or roller? We have a panelled kitchen so we used a brush for the inset groove of the panel and then a lint free mini roller for the flats (plus a small art paintbrush to get to some edges). If you have completely smooth kitchen cabinets, we would advise the roller. The biggest tip here is to go for multiple thin layer. Yes, it takes more time and yes, you have to wait for each layer to dry BUT the last thing you want is drips and blobs ruining your look. We promise that it will be worth it. We did at least 3 thin layers as we had a bold colour.
SANDING BETWEEN LAYERS? Sounds like a faff but is it needed? We only sanded when we had a visible drip or marks (such as a hair - very annoying!) as it removes it before painting another layer.
Step 7 - Drying time
Probably the hardest part but its worth noting that while your paint will be touch dry after a few hours, it will take at least 2 days to fully 'cure' and harden so its best to keep away and hands off for as long as you can! We left all the cupboard drawers and doors off until they had 48 hours cure time before we reattached them.
Step 8 - New hardware install
After your kitchen is reassembled and you are swooning over it, its going to get even better! Obviously we love our range of handles and pulls and we say, don't just go with standard bland hardware. Choose something that adds personality and uniqueness to your kitchen, like the perfect jewellery to finish off your outfit. Once you have chosen your handles and the finish, its time to install.
If you are installing handles, measure the distance between the centre holes in your handles and finding the centre point of your cabinet, ensure you mark the holes correctly (this is time to triple check your work!) Always measure each handle individually as handmade items can vary very, very slightly. Once you have marked your holes, drill your holes using an electric drill. Keep your drill as level as possible.
TOP TIP: Use a scrap piece of wood behind the cabinet and drill into this - it will stop any splinters around the holes on the back of your cabinets.
Then simply screw on your handles and knobs. Stand back, pat yourself on the back and admire your stunning new kitchen!
Step 9 - Final notes
Keep your pot of paint around for a while! We were super meticulous (so we thought) but we still found a few speckled areas that we needed to touch up after we thought we were 'finished'. Its also worth noting that reattaching doors can create a few scuffs which were easily covered with a flick of paint. Its all part of the journey so don't be put off. The results are better than we ever thought and if we can do it, anyone can.