• Screwdriver or drill
• Ziptop plastic bags, pencil, and paper
• Work tables or sawhorses
• Rubber gloves
• Trisodium phosphate (TSP) cleaner
• Bucket of water
• Wood putty (if necessary)
• Small putty knife
• 150-grit sandpaper
• Vacuum cleaner
• Cotton rags
• Painter’s tape
• Drop cloths
• 4- to 6-inch paint roller with foam roller cover and paint tray, or spray gun
• Paintbrush (if necessary)
• Plastic sheeting and scrap wood (if using spray gun)
• 220-grit wet/dry sandpaper
• Tape measure
• Drawer pull jig (if necessary)
• New pull and hinges
1. Take out any items from your cabinets that you want to protect from dust or paint. Remove all the hardware with a screwdriver or drill. If you’re reusing the hinges or pulls, store them in ziptop plastic bags with a note indicating where each one came from. Set up some tables or sawhorses in an open area with good ventilation and bring all your doors and drawers to that location. This will be the painting headquarters for the doors and drawers.
2. Wearing rubber gloves, thoroughly clean the surface you’re going to paint with a TSP solution (follow instructions on the box), which will slightly etch the surface. Rinse thoroughly with a wrung-out sponge and allow the surfaces to dry. If you’re going to install new hardware that won’t use the same screw holes, fill in the old holes with wood putty. Once dry, lightly sand the surfaces with 150-grit sandpaper, and then vacuum to remove the dust. Wipe any residual dust off with a slightly damp cloth. Then mask the surfaces around the cabinet boxes with painter’s tape and cover the floors and counters with drop cloths.
3. Start with a coat of primer/sealer. If you’re painting the cabinets a color other than white, ask the paint store to tint the primer to match the topcoat. That way, you might be able to get by with just one finish coat. Otherwise, you’ll most likely need two coats of paint over the white primer. You can choose to paint only the faces of the cabinet boxes, as shown, or the interior as well. Use a brush if you paint the interiors.
4. Paint one side of the doors and the edges. While that side dries, paint the drawer faces; then paint the other side of the doors and edges. Allow the surfaces to dry overnight, and then lightly sand everything you painted with 220-grit wet/dry sandpaper. Vacuum the surfaces, wipe them with a cloth, and apply a second coat.
1. A jig is a template that ensures the holes you are drilling are consistent and evenly placed. Measure to find the center of the drawer face, and then use a pencil to mark the spot(s) the jig indicates for your style of pull. It will have holes for pulls of various widths.
Drill pilot holes before screwing the drawer pulls into place from the inside.
2. To install new hinges, lay the door face down on a sturdy work surface. The top hinge should go one hinge-length down from the top of the door (or the top of the lipped section of the door, if there is a lip). Put the hinge in place on the back of the door, and mark the holes with a pencil. Do the same for the bottom hinge.
Use the drill to make pilot holes where you’ve made your marks, and then screw the hinges to the door.
3. Position the door on the cabinet so that it will open in the right direction. Line it up so it’s centered over the opening. Then line up the hinges over the cabinet frame, mark the holes with the pencil, and drill pilot holes. Screw in the top hinge first and then the bottom one.
From JoAnne Liebeler's Do It Herself
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