Priming and Painting Kitchen Cabinets: The Right Way
LESLIE: Bernadette in Delaware has a painting question. What can we do for you?
BERNADETTE: We are about to paint our cabinets.
BERNADETTE: They’re a wood and a fake material of some sort.
LESLIE: (chuckling) OK.
BERNADETTE: And I would like to know how do I go about preparing and priming and painting to get a reasonable result?
LESLIE: And the fake material is a laminate. Is that on the doors?
BERNADETTE: Yes. It’s on the panel of the door. The outside of the door is real wood, I believe – oak – but the center panel does not appear to be real wood.
TOM: You think it may be a veneer?
BERNADETTE: I do.
TOM: Same advice.
LESLIE: Yeah, you really want to make sure, first, that you start off with a very clean surface. So, do everything …
LESLIE: … you can to get rid of all the grease. Do everything to make them as clean as possible. This way you make sure everything really adheres. Then you want to take off …
BERNADETTE: OK. Something like a TSP?
LESLIE: TSP is an excellent preparatory product. It’s wonderful …
LESLIE: … for cleaning wall surfaces. Even sometimes in a kitchen situation, when you’re dealing with a lot of grease, TSP will do the trick but sometimes you might need like an orange cleanser; something to get rid of the grease. But try the TSP first because that generally does the trick.
LESLIE: Then what you want to do is take off all the cabinet doors and I would leave the hinges either on the back of the door or inside the cabinet itself. Leave them attached on one place and make sure you label …
LESLIE: … everything, because you want to know exactly …
LESLIE: … where everything goes back. Do the same with the drawer fronts as well.
BERNADETTE: Very well.
LESLIE: Then you want to prime everything. Make sure you prime it well and let the primer really dry. Then you want to put a topcoat paint on there that is – I would go for a glossy paint so it’s easier to clean and you want to make sure that it’s, you know, good for kitchens but you want a good, high-quality, high-gloss paint.
BERNADETTE: Very well. For the primer, could I use something like KILZ? Just any normal wood primer?
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. You can use KILZ, you can use Bin, you can use Zinsser. Those are all excellent primers.
BERNADETTE: All excellent primers. OK. Then I would want a high-quality gloss paint.
BERNADETTE: And do I need to …
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) And I think gloss will be the best.
BERNADETTE: OK. Very well. And also, do I need to seal that with anything or is, actually, the gloss paint a sealer all in itself?
TOM: The paint itself will be your last coat and that will do a real good job and because it’s glossy it’ll be easy for you to clean it.
BERNADETTE: I appreciate it so much. Thank you.
LESLIE: You’re so welcome.
TOM: Bernadette, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: You know what? If she does it on a not-humid day, she’ll have a better shot of everything sticking.