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Sanding before painting helps keep the surface smooth.
Courtesy of JoAnne Liebeler's Do It Herself

Cleaning and Sanding

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.

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