Once you are ready to paint, there are a few things to do to get ready. Painting cupboards is a process. First, make sure that the cabinets are clean. Give them a good wash and make sure that they are free of any dirt or in the case of kitchen cabinets, grease free. We recommend using blue Dawn dish soap because it breaks down greasy residue well. Before painting, make sure that your cabinets are dry. Remove the doors and drawers. Numbering them will make putting them back in the right place much easier. Check the drawers and doors for any scratches or dings that need to be filled or sanded out. Remove hardware. Whether you start with the doors or the built in portion is up to you, but it is recommended to finish what you start with before going on to the next step. Example, if you start painting cabinet boxes, paint the first coat on all of them before starting drawers or doors or proceeding to a second coat “just to see what it will look like.” This will ensure that you are painting the same way all the way through. Keep your paint covered when it is not being used, it does thicken quickly if left opened. Most surfaces will take two to three coats depending on the type of surface that you are painting, original color of the cabinetry and color that you are painting it. Some people do not like the thickness of the paint and find it different from other paint they have worked with. It is different from traditional paint and with a little practice you should not have an issue. You can add a little water if needed. I do recommend adding a little water to your paint if you need to apply a third coat.
After you have painted your cabinets and they have completely dried, you can distress them if you want, add a color wash, do a light sanding on the painted surface to get a smoother look or complete whatever look or texture you choose. If you do sanding of any kind, use a very damp rag to remove sanding residue.
It is now time to seal your cabinets. Whether you choose Annie Sloan lacquer or her soft wax is up to you. Please keep in mind that you cannot mix the two. If you used a dark or black wax to achieve a certain look, then you must stick with wax. Both lacquer and wax are durable choices, it is all about the look you want to achieve.Two coats of lacquer should be applied. The second coat needs to be applied two to three hours after the first coat has dried. If you choose to wax, you will need to apply 2-3 coats of wax. Each coat needs to dry in between applications.
Once everything has dried, put on your hardware, hang the doors and put in your drawers! This is a project that can be completed over a weekend for most kitchens or bathrooms.
**Please note that this is not a complete outline of the process, but a basic overview of what painting cabinets will look like. Depending on the amount of cabinets, the technique you choose, repairs that need to be done, etc your project may be very different. Untreated cabinets may need one coat of a water based primer. You can test a section for bleed through prior to painting. If you are not sure that the paint will adhere to your cabinet surface, paint a small section. Most surfaces do not need priming or sanding, but there are exceptions.