Refinishing Bathroom Cabinetry for a Fresh Look

If your bathroom cabinets are in good shape but in need of a change, painting them can be an inexpensive update. However, it’s important to prepare the surface for painting to ensure you get a professional-looking result that lasts. If your bathroom cabinets are made of a material other than wood (melamine or thermofoil, for example), the process will differ but the results should still be satisfactory.

The best way to start is by removing the doors, drawers and hardware. Next, thoroughly clean the faces of the cabinet boxes and both sides of the cabinets, including shelves and trim, with a product that removes dirt and grease, such as trisodium phosphate (TSP). Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the packaging, using water in a bucket as directed. Wear rubber gloves and protective goggles to protect yourself from the TSP’s fumes. After the cabinetry is thoroughly cleaned, sand the surfaces with 220-grit sandpaper to smooth and prep them for painting.

If you’re moving from a dark color to a light color, or from oil-based to latex paint, prime the cabinetry before painting it. A quality STIX(r) waterborne bonding primer will provide the best results and will help the paint adhere to the cabinets. Apply the primer with a large brush or 4″ roller to the entire face of the cabinet box and both sides of the cabinets, ensuring an even coat. Allow to dry completely before proceeding.

Once the primer is dry, sand it again with 220-grit sandpaper and lightly wipe down with a tack cloth to remove any dust particles. If you’re going from a light color to a darker color, this step is especially important because the lighter shade can show through the dark stain and make the cabinetry appear dull.

You may need to apply a second coat of primer, depending on the original finish and the brand of paint you’re using. A second coat of primer will also help minimize the appearance of brush marks.

To apply the final coat of paint, use a high-quality satin or semi-gloss acrylic latex in your chosen color. Paint the flat areas of the cabinets with a synthetic-bristle brush, and apply the paint in the direction of the wood grain.

When you’re done, let the paint dry for a few days before returning the cabinet hardware and reinstalling them. Depending on the type of paint used, you may need to use a polyurethane topcoat to provide a durable protective seal for your new kitchen cabinets. If this is the case, be sure to consult your paint store for a recommendation on the best topcoat for your specific situation. Generally, oil-based polyurethanes are necessary for protecting stained finishes on furniture but aren’t usually needed for painted surfaces like wood cabinets. Water-based polyurethanes can be used on both wood and melamine surfaces, but they are typically less durable than an oil-based product. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for application and drying times.

If you’re ready to upgrade the cabinetry in your home with either refinishing or refacing, contact the best cabinet refinishing company Tampa, FL no other than Elite Cabinet Coatings today. We can schedule a free consultation to determine which option is best for you and get the process started.