Paint-Grade Cabinet Doors – Which Woods Paint Best & Which Woods To Avoid?

Painted-Cabinet-Doors

Paint-Grade-Cabinet-Doors-–-Which-Woods-Paint-Best-Which-Woods-To-Avoid

 

Paint-brush-adobe-15

Many folks searching the internet for Poplar Cabinets or Paint-Grade Cabinet Doors find our website, Cabinetdoors.com, and ask questions about painting cabinet doors. After explaining the pros and cons of painting a cabinet door, we decided to add the question-and-answer to our Blog.

Because we manufacture kitchen cabinet doors, and have built many ten’s of thousands of paint grade cabinet doors, we have acquired significant experience with the different wood types. Some wood types paint well and some not so well. Usually if we are told that the cabinet door is going to be painted, and the wood requested will not paint well, we can offer a suggestion that another wood type might be a better candidate for painting.

Most Popular Woods Used On Paint Grade Cabinet Doors

The woods typically used by professionals on their paint-grade cabinet doors are the tighter-grained woods like Poplar, Soft Maple, Alder, Pine, Birch, Hard Maple, and MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard). The woods we offer can be seen here.

Woods like Oak are rarely painted because of the “Orange peel” look the open grain causes.
If an open grain wood like Oak is the only choice you have, it is recommended that the grain be filled with Drywall putty, Bondo, or a similar thick sealer then sanded to a smooth surface before painting.

The prices for the recommended paint-grade woods run from Poplar (cheapest), Soft Maple, Alder, Pine, Birch, and Hard Maple being the most expensive. Birch Wood is actually the same wood most pull out shelves are constructed with.

Each of these woods have their own advantages and disadvantages, but there are a few practices that will apply to whichever wood type is chosen to paint.

  • The first is the “prep-prep-prep” rule. That means that every hour spent preparing the cabinet door for painting saves two hours in repainting.
  • The second is the 5-F’s rule. This rule is “Fine Finishers Finish Firewood First”. It simply means that experimenting with your finish on scrap wood can prevent ruining a door with a failed finishing attempt.
  • The third is always break all sharp edges with fine sandpaper before painting. Sharp edges will not hold paint and will give the dried paint an unpainted spot to absorb moisture.
  • The forth is to keep in mind that all wood types will expand and contract with changes in humidity. The paint will slow these humidity-caused wood movements, but no paint is totally moisture-proof, and paint will not stop the movements. This humidity-movement of wood presents another potential issue for the painted cabinet door. When the paint dries, it will no longer have the elasticity to move with the wood; so it will crack, usually along the glue joints where the Stiles & Rails join.
  • The fifth relates to the hardness of the paint-grade wood. The softer the wood, the more easily it will dent, if hit with a pot or frying pan. The dent in the wood may be slight and hardly noticeable, but dried paint doesn’t dent without cracking. The weakest link in any painted cabinet door is not the door. Regardless of the wood type used, the weakest link is always the paint.
  • The sixth practice covers the method of application of the paint. The desired look from painting a cabinet door is usually a high gloss finish, similar to the finish on a piano. A finish of this quality will certainly require a highly experienced finishing professional, and a dust-free spray booth. This doesn’t mean you can’t achieve an excellent finish, but it does mean you won’t get this piano-finish with a paint brush in your driveway. To get a professional looking finish you will need to spray-on the paint. Not from a Krylon can, but from an compressed-air, or airless, spray painting system.

Blame The Grain

Wood that is used to paint for cabinets or other purposes typically features tight grained wood species.  These are woods such as maple, poplar, pine, and others.  The tight surface of the wood provides a good surface for the paint to be applied to and covers the natural ripples and texture in the wood. Open grained wood as more prominent grain which has rougher texture.  To look good when painted these open grained woods need to be covered with filler to have that smooth look when painted.

Soft Maple & Poplar

Soft maple and poplar are common for the door panels, end frames, and face frames in cabinet doors. This is because they are workable and keeps cost down. Many carpenters and cabinet makers find that poplar can dent easily and tends to absorb more paint than other species. Other tight grained woods are easier to work with and paint yet are more costly and sometimes have limited availability.  Some homeowners choose hard maple yet there is greater likelihood of humidity causing the wood to move slightly.

MDF & Cabinetry

The frames and end faces can be built from medium density fiberboard (MDF).  It can also be used for door panels, however it can be difficult to finish.  Due to the difficulty to finish MDF other varieties of wood are preferred for stiles and rails. MDF is used for larger sections as it is dimensionally stable. Other options for larger sections are birch plywood and prefinished plywood.

Which Woods Are Best For Paint-Grade Kitchen Cabinet Doors?

Here is a brief summary of our experience with the various paint-grade woods. Like just about everything in life the world is full of opinions, yet there is some consensus on which are the best types of wood that is best for painted cabinets.  Wood that is tight grained but also workable produce long lasting durable cabinet doors. Whichever wood is preferred just about everyone agrees that the surface of the wood needs to be prepared first.  This is done by applying shellac and filler to knots and rough spots so there isn’t any bleed through. Sharp corners should also be sanded so they will hold paint better.  Here are some of the types of wood that are best for painted cabinet doors.

  • Poplar, for years has been the paint-grade wood of choice for furniture makers and cabinet shops. It has Soft Maple as a competitor because Poplar tends to be more labor intensive to sand and finish, but Soft Maple is more expensive. Poplar has a tendency to “fuzz-up” during sanding, and if any of the fuzz is missed before painting, it certainly is never missed after painting. Both woods tend to be absorbent and require more sealer or more paint that harder woods. The finish obtained on Poplar and Soft Maple is excellent, and both woods remain the most popular paint-grade woods.
  • Soft Maple rivals Poplar as the wood of choice by Custom Cabinet Shops for their Paint-Grade Cabinet Door jobs. Both are low cost. Both are available over most of the country. It sands easier than Alder and it doesn’t “fuzz-up” like Alder or Poplar while sanding, and it sands faster. It doesn’t absorb sealer quite as much as Poplar and finishes very smooth, and doesn’t telegraph it’s grain through the paint, like Pine.
  • Alder makes a good paintable cabinet door but tends to absorb primer at a high rate and is among the “softer” of the hardwoods. It grows in the Northwest and may not be available in all parts of the country and it is more expensive. Painted Alder is used more in the West, where it is more available, than other parts of the country, and it gives an excellent painted finish look.
  • Pine is available everywhere and is widely painted in furniture applications. It is reasonably inexpensive and is carried by all lumber yards and Big Box Stores. Furniture grade Pine is different from Frame grade Pine, like framing 2×6’s. Frame Grade Pine is typically not kiln dried to the 7-9% moisture levels required of furniture Grade woods. While Pine paints well the prominent grain can “telegraph” its texture through the painted surface, and knots and pitch pockets may bleed through the paint.
  • Birch is an excellent wood for painting and is starting to be carried by the Big Box Stores. Birch plywood is also available as 9-ply in 5’x5′ and 4’x8′ sheets. Birch is harder than Alder, Pine, and Soft Maple, so it will stand up better to “Kid abuse” than the softer woods. It does tend to be more expensive but will require less sealer or primer than the softer woods.
  • Hard Maple is the best wood available for paint-grade cabinet doors. Unfortunately, It’s also the most expensive of the paint-grade woods costing about 2 1/2 times the price of Soft Maple. Because “color” is not an inspection criteria under the National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA), heartwood and mineral are not considered defects and lumber buyers purchasing the highest grades still receive some of this off-color maple. Because of this, cabinet door manufacturers often have Hard Maple with dark heartwood, or mineral streaks, which they have sorted out. Custom Cabinet Shops that purchase our doors depend on the cabinet doors for the overall appearance of their cabinets, so door manufactures cannot use this off-color Hard Maple for Select Maple Cabinet Doors. If we have a sufficient stock, we will use this off-color Hard Maple for our Paint Grade doors if it is requested by the customer, and we will make the substitution at no additional cost. When painted, off-color Hard Maple requires less primer, sands smoother, and is significantly harder that any of the standard paint-grade woods we offer.
  • Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) is an engineered wood product formed by breaking down hardwood or softwood residuals into wood fibers. MDF is used as the panel in all of our Recessed Panel Paint-Grade Cabinet Doors, and is used as the Raised Panel in some of our Raised Panel doors. MDF paints well and it is a good idea to coat all sides of the finished piece in order to seal in the urea-formaldehyde. Formaldehyde resins are commonly used to bind MDF together, and testing has consistently revealed that MDF products emit urea-formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds that pose health risks at sufficient concentrations, for at least several months after manufacture. Most cabinet and furniture manufacturers have been using MDF for several decades and the risks of Formaldehyde resin emissions, when the products are painted is considered negligible.

Thank you for reading “Paint-Grade Cabinet Doors – Which Woods Paint Best & Which Woods To Avoid?”. Stay tuned for more from the expert cabinet door manufacturers at CabinetDoors.Com. Return to CabinetDoors.Com/Blog

Visit the Cabinetdoors.com website to get cabinet door prices.

How To Remodel Your Kitchen With Unfinished Replacement Cabinet Doors

Giving your kitchen a complete face-lift has never been easier. The internet has opened the door for home-owners to purchase quality of Custom Kitchen Cabinet Doors, factory-direct and online.The days of being forced to buy new cabinet doors retail from hardware stores are over. Continue reading

Custom Cabinet Doors 101 – step-by-step Kitchen cabinet door replacement


Custom Cabinet Doors 101 – step-by-step Kitchen cabinet door replacement

This video will explain how to find and order Custom Cabinet Doors online, factory-direct, and at 50% below retail prices. Continue reading

Glass Frame Cabinet Doors…How they are made, how to order, and how the frame is machined to allow glass to be easily installed

This video explains how glass frames are made as well as how to order them online and how the frame is machined to allow glass to be easily installed.

If video above doesn’t open, Click here for the video…

This video will explain the difference between standard cabinet doors and Glass Ready cabinet doors. Continue reading

Best woods to use in Cabinet Doors Part-1 With Video


This video covers the woods most often used for cabinet doors, and can be seen by clicking here.

The first four of these most popular woods are Alder, Oak, Maple, and Paint Grade.

Alder
Alder grows in Oregon, Washington and into British Columbia. Although Alder is classified as a hardwood it is softer than Oak and Maple.

Alder use is more common in the western states but is becoming more popular and more available in the central and eastern states.

Red Alder tends to be a light tan to reddish brown and there is no visible distinction between heartwood and sapwood. The overall grain pattern and appearance is similar to Birch, though slightly redder than Birch

Alders grain is generally straight, with a moderately fine, uniform texture.

It has excellent finishing properties but care is needed when staining. Like Maple, Alder requires proper wood sealing to prevent a blotchy finish. It is becoming very popular in the cabinet industry.

Oak
The Oaks are divided into Red Oaks and White Oaks. The names don’t indicate color as the White Oaks tend to be grayer in color, while the Red Oaks vary from reddish brown to wheat color. White oak is commonly used in whisky barrels, wet environments, and cargo truck flooring while Red Oaks are used in furniture and cabinets.

The heartwood in Red Oak is a light to medium brown, commonly with a reddish cast. Sapwood is nearly white to light brown, depending mainly on the growth region.

Red Oak is sub-divided into three growing regions; Southern, Appalachian, and Northern. Because of the climate the southern oaks grow the fastest and the northern oaks the slowest. The slower growth and cooler climate makes the northern oaks superior as a furniture wood.

We use the best-of-the-best Red Oak which is sustainably grown in the private forests of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and northern Wisconsin, and color-sorted to our specifications.

Maple
Unlike most other hardwoods, the sapwood of Hard Maple lumber is most commonly used rather than its heartwood. Sapwood color ranges from nearly white, to an off-white cream color. Our Select Maple is color-sorted and only the white sapwood is used in our cabinet doors.
The heartwood tends to be a darker reddish brown and is seldom used in cabinets.

The grain in Maple is generally straight, with a fine, even texture.

Maple finishes to an attractive light color with polyurethane alone. Because Maple is a tight, closed grain wood, it requires experience to stain without looking blotchy.

Visit our website to vies, price, and order hundreds of Cabinet Door styles online.

How CabinetDoors.Com makes Reliable Paint-Grade Cabinet Doors

CabinetDoors.Com makes reliable Paint-Grade Cabinet Doors. Click this video to see how we make them.

 

Any wood can be painted, but when painting cabinet doors understanding the properties of woods can make the difference between a successful project and a disappointment.

Over 90% of the problems with wood involve moisture. The reason that statement is true is that “wood always remains hygroscopic”. It responds to changes in relative humidity. That means that wood will shed moisture as relative humidity drops and it will regain moisture when relative humidity increases.

The fact that wood always remains hygroscopic is critical when choosing a wood type to be painted.

Understanding that all woods will shed water when humidity goes down is to also understand that when any wood sheds water the wood shrinks. And, when any wood regains water as the humidity increases, that wood expands.

While that statement is true with all woods, not all woods react with the same amount of expansion or contraction.

Hickory, Maple, and Beech have the highest rates of dimensional change with humidity fluctuations while Cedar, Alder, and Redwood are among the lowest.

The reason why wood expanding or contracting in painted cabinet doors is a problem is that as the wood expands the paint doesn’t. Once the paint dries it becomes brittle and cannot change dimensions with the wood.

So, once the paint becomes brittle, when the humidity changes and the wood reacts by changing dimensions, the paint will crack, usually where the cabinet door’s panel meets the frame.

Even woods that react less to humidity changes will have movement sufficient to crack the paint.

For that reason most cabinet doors designed to be painted have the panel made of Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF).

MDF has a reduced response to humidity changes and is much less likely to cause the problems to painted doors.

Although MDF is a nearly perfect material for the panels in painted doors, it has one drawback that prevents it’s use in the door’s frame. MDF is susceptible to chipping on the edges when struck with a hard object like a frying pan.

When used as panels, the edges of the MDF are protected within the frame, so this chipping problem is not an issue with MDF panels.

However if the MDF were to be used as frame components, the edges would be exposed and, therefore susceptible to chipping.

The solution to designing a reliable Paint-Grade cabinet door has been to place an MDF panel within a wood frame.

Woods like Poplar and Alder won’t chip, take paint well, and have low dimensional reactions to humidity changes.

These woods are the ideal choice for a Paint-Grade cabinet door frame and MDF is perfect for the panel.

Unfinished Cabinet Doors : How to recognize top quality

Shopping Unfinished Cabinet Doors online has a hidden question; How to recognize top quality?

The large cabinet door manufacturing companies make and supply new cabinet doors to the home building and furniture industry. These are the volume buyers of cabinet doors and they buy the doors unfinished.

There is a significant difference in quality between the large and small manufacturers of cabinet doors that is mostly attributed to economies-of-scale and investment in computerized machinery. The larger manufacturers are able to demand higher quality raw materials because of their purchasing power while smaller manufacturers just don’t spend enough. Computerized machinery investment results in exacting sizing tolerances and sanding processes that produce consistently stain-ready products. Modern computerized machinery, with multi-million dollar investments, is simply beyond the means of smaller manufacturers.

The Internet has made it possible for the DIY home-owner to purchase cabinet doors without buying from a retail chain, but the Internet has also removed the quality assurance that the Retail chain has in place. A flashy website doesn’t guarantee a quality cabinet door, and most large cabinet door manufacturers don’t have flashy websites. In fact, most of the flashy websites don’t even make the doors they sell. They are just middlemen that forward web orders to manufacturers and collect a commission on the sale.

Western Cabinet Doors, Inc is one of the largest manufacturers of cabinet doors in the United States with modern machinery and the buying power to demand high quality raw materials. In the 1996 they launched www.cabinetdoors.com where DIY home-owners could purchase top-quality online with factory-direct pricing.

In 1996 cabinetdoors.com was the only website offering cabinet doors. Today there are hundreds of sites, but most don’t actually make doors. Many buy doors from us and some even buy doors from other sites that buy from us. As you can imagine, the more middlemen in the chain, the higher the price to the end user.

Do your research on the internet and compare prices with cabinetdoors.com. Not only will cabinetdoors.com ship you the highest quality available, you will also pay a lower price. Delivery is a consideration also. We have a manufacturing time of seven-to-tan days and shipping is Fedex.

Take the guesswork out of your DIY project. Use the highest quality doors from the highest rated manufacturer on the web. Cabinetdoors.com has a Better Business Bureau rating of A+ and a 97% customer approval rating.

The Top-13 Unfinished Cabinet Door Styles can be viewed, priced, and ordered here.

Cabinet Door Replacement: The steps from ordering to job completion (long post)

Now that you have made the decision to remodel or reface your kitchen, there are a few steps critical to realizing your goal of making the kitchen the show-place of your home.

Cabinet Door Replacement: The steps from ordering to job completion.

Now that you have made the decision to remodel or reface your kitchen, there are a few steps critical to realizing your goal of making the kitchen the show-place of your home.

An outline of these steps follow and are explained in detail below the outline.
1. Determine whether you want stained or painted cabinets and doors.
2. Select the replacement cabinet door style.
3. Select the wood type for your project.
4. Measure your cabinet openings and calculate the door and drawer front sizes.
5. Select the manufacturer and order your new cabinet doors and drawer fronts.
6. Prepare the cabinet boxes for the new finish.
7. Finish your new doors and fronts to match your refinished cabinet boxes.
8. Hang the new doors and attach the new drawer fronts.

Now, lets go into detail on each of these points.

1. Determine whether you want stained or painted cabinets and doors.
The decision on whether to re-stain or paint has two factors. Removing existing stain and lacquer requires several steps and is more time-consuming than prepping the cabinet boxes to be painted.
This is really a personal opinion issue and it all comes down to a trade-off between the look you are after, the time you are willing to spend, and the amount you wish to spend.
2. Select the replacement cabinet door style.
This step is actually fairly quick and easy. A visit to the local Home Depot will give you an idea of the door types available. For a larger selection Google cabinet door manufactures. The Google search will return mostly websites operated by resellers or middlemen, but you will see a few actual factory-direct manufacturers.
The oldest web supplier, and one of the largest cabinet door manufacturers in America is CabinetDoors.Com.
The factory-direct web suppliers will save you from 30% to 50% off the retail chains and offer much quicker delivery. Keep in mind that the retail chains don’t make the doors they sell, they buy them from the same manufacturers you will find on the internet, increase the price, and sell them to you.
Another step in the door selection process is to select the hinges you will use. Modern hinges are a world apart from the hinges of yesterday. Most are hidden and well made, with a few actually made in America. The Blum line of hinges are made in America and are used by the majority of Custom Cabinet Makers across the country.
The advantage of selecting the hinges while ordering the cabinet doors is that you can have the new doors bored for the hinges and avoid the danger of a drilling error. The web manufacturer will also offer the hinges at a comparable price as the retail chains, but give you a higher quality hinge made in America.

3. Select the wood type for your project.
If you are staining the doors you will want the doors made of the same wood as your cabinets. So the stained boxes and the stained doors will match.
If you are painting then order the cabinet doors in Paint-Grade. Paint-Grade doors will be made of materials that take paint best. Usually this means the doors frame will be made of Poplar and the doors panel will be made of Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF).
MDF paints well and is more dimensionally stable than wood, so it is less affected by humidity swings. Because MDF is slightly brittle it is not usually used to make the doors frames, but for the panels it is superior.
A little information about staining difficult woods might help avoid some problems. Maple and Alder are not easy woods to stain because these woods have variable density across each board. This variable density causes the less dense areas to absorb more stain than the harder areas causing a blotched look. Although it is beyond the scope of this article to cover wood dyes, those wishing to stain Maple would be wise to research wood dyes.

4. Measure your cabinet openings and calculate the door and drawer front sizes.
When measuring for new or replacement kitchen cabinet doors, the type of hinge you intend to use will influence the door sizes.
If you plan to use your existing hinges simply measure your existing cabinet doors and order doors of the same sizes. Be sure to order your doors with an outside edge that your existing hinges will fit. If you wish to have us supply the hinges we will insure that the hinges you receive will fit the doors you order.
If you plan to use our Top-Quality, Blum Inserta, Clip-top hinges with 1/2-inch overlay, your hinges will ship with your order.

To insure your new doors are perfectly sized for use with our hinges, the door size measurements are figured as follows:
On single doors simply measure the cabinet’s opening size and add 1-inch to both the width and height. For instance, if the cabinet opening size is 12-inches wide and 24-inches high, the door size will be 13 x 25.

On wider cabinets with two doors (butting in the center), measure the width of the opening, add 1-inch, then divide by 2.
Height is figured the same as for single doors. Just add 1-inch to the opening.
For instance, if the opening is 28 inches wide and 30 inches high, each door width would be 28 + 1 = 29 divided by 2 = 14 1/2-inches wide.

Our Blum hinges have plus/minus 2 millimeters of adjustment which will allow enough side adjustment to have a gap of up to 1/8-inch between the butting doors. If you live in a high humidity climate you may want to subtract an additional 1/16″ from the width of your Butt Doors.

So, don’t be intimidated into thinking it’s difficult to figure door sized from openings. Just take the measurements and order the door style of your choice…of give us a call and we’ll talk you through the entire process.

5. Select the manufacturer and order your new cabinet doors and drawer fronts.
The internet has made it possible to find sources for the do-it-yourself re-modeler to buy custom sizes of cabinet doors.

The majority of Cabinet Door Websites don’t actually make the doors they sell, and because they need to make a profit, they price the doors on their website higher than you will pay if you can find the actual manufacturer.

Way back in the mid 1990′s Western Cabinet Doors, Inc launched the first website offering custom sized cabinet doors on the internet. Western Cabinet Doors is a large manufacturer of Cabinet Doors, supplying hundreds of styles of doors to thousands of Home Builders, Custom Cabinet Shops, and Furniture Manufactures across the United States.

Today you can purchase their products on CabinetDoors.Com and choose from hundreds of door styles in dozens of wood types. You cab browse all the cabinet door possibilities and price your new doors by entering your custom sizes and choosing your wood. Even the cost of Fedex shipping to your home is shown before you enter your credit card.

Compare the prices of other websites and the big-box stores to ours. Not only will you save 30% to 50% but you will get the same quality and guarantee we supply to luxury home builders across the country.

Our quality is superior, our product is made in the United States, and our production time is between 7-and-10 days.

Whether you want traditional cabinet doors, mitered doors, Raised Panel doors, or specialty doors, we make the largest selection in the industry and we have been supplying thousands of users for over 35 years.

Cabinetdoors.com is not just a website re-marketing cabinet doors, we are the manufacturer and we stand behind our product.

6. Prepare the cabinet boxes for the new finish.
Cleaning, sanding, and painting:
While painting existing cabinets is much easier and faster than staining, there are still some critical steps that are necessary to obtaining a professional finish.
Here are some tried and true rules of thumb that relate to painting Kitchen Cabinet Doors.

* The first is the “prep-prep-prep” rule. That means that every hour spent preparing the cabinet box or cabinet door for painting saves two hours in repainting.

* The second is the 5-F’s rule. This rule is “Fine Finishers Finish Firewood First”. It simply means that experimenting with your finish on scrap wood can prevent ruining a door with a failed finishing attempt.

* The third is always break all sharp edges with fine sandpaper before painting. Sharp edges will not hold paint and will give the dried paint an unpainted spot to absorb moisture.

* The forth is to keep in mind that all wood types will expand and contract with changes in humidity. The paint will slow these humidity-caused wood movements, but no paint is totally moisture-proof, and paint will not stop the movements. This humidity-movement of wood presents another potential issue for the painted cabinet door. When the paint dries, it will no longer have the elasticity to move with the wood; so it will crack, usually along the glue joints where the Stiles & Rails join.

* The fifth relates to the hardness of the paint-grade wood. The softer the wood, the more easily it will dent, if hit with a pot or frying pan. The dent in the wood may be slight and hardly noticeable, but dried paint doesn’t dent without cracking. The weakest link in any painted cabinet door is not the door. Regardless of the wood type used, the weakest link is always the paint.

* The sixth practice covers the method of application of the paint. The desired look from painting a cabinet door is usually a high gloss finish, similar to the finish on a piano. A finish of this quality will certainly require a highly experienced finishing professional, and a dust-free spray booth. This doesn’t mean you can’t achieve an excellent finish, but it does mean you won’t get this piano-finish with a paint brush in your driveway. To get a professional looking finish you will need to spray-on the paint. Not from a Krylon can, but from an compressed-air, or airless, spray painting system.

Now for the step-by-step process I’ve learned through years of both success and a few failures.

 

Lets get started by working through the process step-by-step.

This process covers both the cabinet boxes and the cabinet doors. Because the doors are more critical these instructions focus mostly on doors, but apply to the boxes as well.
Lay the door on a flat surface and lightly sand the door with a flexible-foam sanding sponge (I like the 3M sanding block sponges best) or 220-grit sandpaper. Be sure to sand “with the wood grain” on the front, back, and sides.

Remove any residual grit with a clean cloth (tack cloth is best) or a vacuum.

Next comes what is probably the most important step in the entire process. Sealing and priming the wood.

The priming coat, is also called a sealing coat, or a Sealing indicating coat. These are essentially the same thing. It’s purpose is to seal the wood so that the final paint will adhere evenly and also make it easy to spot uneven areas in the wood while it’s still easy to correct the blemish. Primer can be applied by brush or roller. I like to use a roller for the bigger areas followed by a good quality brush for smoothing and painting the finer details on the cabinet doors. You won’t need the $25 brush but don’t get the $1 brush either. Expect to pay $6-$10 for a good, fine-bristle brush. Try not to get paint all over the brush, dipping only about 1/2″ to 1″ into the paint is best. Also, between coats you can place the brush in a plastic bag to keep it from drying out, and avoid cleaning it until the end of each day.

Any hardware or paint store will have a wide selection of sealer/primer and paint for your doors. Be sure and match the primer with the paint you plan to use. If you are going to use latex (water based) paint, use a latex primer. If using an oil based paint, use an oil based primer. Also try to use a primer with a drying time of 30 minutes or less. White primer works best because it will show the uneven areas of the door better. This allows you to spot (and correct) the areas that need filling before painting.

Once the first coat of primer is dry you will be able to see some small, uneven areas, scratches, or dents in the wood. Now it’s time for the filler. This is the most important step in obtaining that perfect painted finish.

All hardwoods have voids, which cannot be seen until it is primed. I use a filler to fill all of these spots. The two types of filler I’ve used with success are Bondo 907 Glazing and Spot Putty and Elmer’s Wood Filler Max White. The Bondo putty works best, mainly because it is an orange color than makes it easier to see where you have filled. The Elmer’s is white. Fillers must be sanded smooth after drying and then sealed with primer before painting to prevent the color from bleeding through.

After filling, sand the filled areas (use the 3M sponge to keep your fingers from sanding dips in the filled areas), wipe the dust off, and apply one last primer coat.

When the primer has dried, give the doors a light sanding and wipe them clean of any dust. If the final inspection doesn’t show any unfilled scratches or small voids, you are ready to paint.

Now comes the actual painting, which is actually the easiest phase of the project. But without going through the priming-sanding-filling-priming process, there would be little chance of obtaining a truly great painted cabinet door.

Using the same technique you used with the primer–roller for the large areas, and paint brush to smooth and paint the smaller and detailed areas–apply your paint to the doors.

There is no need to sand between paint coats but it is a good idea to insure there is no dried paint on the brush that could work its way into your finish on the following coats.

Although the finish may look good after one coat of paint, two coats are normally applied to assure durability of the finish. Just follow the directions on your paint (and primer) and follow the drying time recommendations.

Here is a link to the CabinetDoors.Com Blog where you will find several other posts on finding, sizing, ordering, painting, and staining Unfinished Replacement Kitchen Cabinet Doors.

7. Finish your new doors and fronts to match your refinished cabinet boxes.
Stripping and re-staining:
Because new raw-wood cabinet doors won’t require any stripping and only minimal touch-up sanding, most of the refinishing work is avoided.
To start the staining process I prefer minwax. Minwax makes a good selection of stains which are super easy to apply. Once you have selected your stain choice just follow the directions on the can. Stains are forgiving so don’t worry about a disaster. A tip is to stain the backs of a few drawer fronts first. This allows you to experiment in an area that won’t be seen.
After the staining is completed it’s time to apply the lacquer. Again Minwax offers a large selection. Minwax Polyurethane is a good choice to go over the Minwax stains. Another tip; use the Polyurethane from a can and not the spray cans. The caned Polyurethane covers much better and makes a mush smoother finish.
It’s important when finishing the doors to apply equal Polyurethane to all sides of the doors. Unequal coverage will result in uneven moisture absorption or loss and will contribute to future warping.

8. Hang the new doors and attach the new drawer fronts.
The process of hanging the cabinet doors is actually straight forward. I’ve found it useful to attach a straight piece of wood to the bottom of the cabinet to rest the door on while aligning the hinge mounting bracket for drilling. Just clamp the straight edge so the door bottom will extend 1/2-inch below the cabinet opening. Using a long straight edge will insure all the doors are perfectly aligned.

Here is a useful video showing the hanging of canceled hinge cabinet doors.

Kitchen Cabinet Doors Only : How to Buy online and stain or paint them

Replacing your Cabinet Doors is a relatively quick project that will make a dramatic change in the overall look of your kitchen. New kitchen cabinet doors that are Made in America offer durability and reliability that will last generations.

Buying only the unfinished cabinet doors gives you almost unlimited options toward obtaining the finish and overall look you are seeking.

The internet allows end users to place their own orders factory-direct, cut out the middleman’s profit, receive American Made Quality, and save 30% under the big-box retail store price.

When you are ready to compare prices and quality on replacement kitchen cabinet doors, visit the big-box retailer then visit www.cabinetdoors.com. Now you can actually see the middleman and retail markup and you can actually keep those markups yourself.

Cabinetdoors.com is the web sales division of Western Cabinet Doors. A company 35+ years manufacturing cabinet doors and an A+ Better Business Bureau Rating.

Visit our company Blog to read dozens of articles on Kitchen Refacing, painting kitchen cabinet doors, which woods paint best and which to avoid when painting cabinet doors, and finishing with lacquer or polyurethane.

Cabinet Refacing: A complete How-To

Cabinet Refacing is the low-cost alternative to replacing your existing Kitchen Cabinets with new.

The advantages vs. disadvantages are these.

* Refacing is considerably less expensive, especially if you do the work yourself.

* Refacing is less disruptive.

Counter tops and plumbing are often re-usable.

The kitchen is still usable during the process.

* Existing cabinet boxes are often in excellent shape and higher quality than new.

* Refacing usually requires refinishing the boxes and replacing the cabinet doors.

* Refacing offers a larger selection of cabinet doors, several hundred styles.

New cabinets typically offer a dozen or less door styles.

* Refacing supplies and doors are available online from several sources.

* New cabinets give more design options.

* New cabinets make the kitchen an unusable space.

Existing cabinet demolition is messy, noisy, and destructive to flooring.

 

The process covers the prep of the existing cabinets, followed by the finishing of the boxes and new unfinished cabinet doors.

To process and paint your existing boxes and new cabinet doors, follow these steps.

First the rules to follow to avoid disappointment.

* The first is the “prep-prep-prep” rule. That means that every hour spent preparing the cabinet door for painting saves two hours in repainting.

* The second is the 5-F’s rule. This rule is “Fine Finishers Finish Firewood First”. It simply means that experimenting with your finish on scrap wood can prevent ruining a door with a failed finishing attempt.

* The third is always break all sharp edges with fine sandpaper before painting. Sharp edges will not hold paint and will give the dried paint an unpainted spot to absorb moisture.

* The forth is to keep in mind that all wood types will expand and contract with changes in humidity. The paint will slow these humidity-caused wood movements, but no paint is totally moisture-proof, and paint will not stop the movements. This humidity-movement of wood presents another potential issue for the painted cabinet door. When the paint dries, it will no longer have the elasticity to move with the wood; so it will crack, usually along the glue joints where the Stiles & Rails join.

* The fifth relates to the hardness of the paint-grade wood. The softer the wood, the more easily it will dent, if hit with a pot or frying pan. The dent in the wood may be slight and hardly noticeable, but dried paint doesn’t dent without cracking. The weakest link in any painted cabinet door is not the door. Regardless of the wood type used, the weakest link is always the paint.

* The sixth practice covers the method of application of the paint. The desired look from painting a cabinet door is usually a high gloss finish, similar to the finish on a piano. A finish of this quality will certainly require a highly experienced finishing professional, and a dust-free spray booth. This doesn’t mean you can’t achieve an excellent finish, but it does mean you won’t get this piano-finish with a paint brush in your driveway. To get a professional looking finish you will need to spray-on the paint. Not from a Krylon can, but from an compressed-air, or airless, spray painting system.

Now for the step-by-step process I’ve learned through years of both success and a few failures.

Lets get started and work through the process step-by-step.

For the boxes clean the cabinets thoroughly. Any grease remaining on the surfaces will interfere with refinishing.

TSP is the preferred product for this job, as it will not only clean and remove even heavy grease deposits, but with a strong enough concentration can even dull and etch the paint so that it is ready to be primed.

Lightly sand any rough areas of bubbled or peeling paint or varnish, and then sand all surfaces until they are smooth and even. Take your time with this step—the results will be well worth the extra effort.

When done sanding, wipe the wood with a damp cloth (to remove all dust particles) and let dry. If the finish you are working with is an oil base product, you may dampen a cloth with mineral spirits or paint thinner, rather than water, which will allow it to dry much more rapidly.

Remove any residual grit with a clean cloth (tack cloth is best) or a vacuum.

Next comes what is probably the most important step in the entire process. Sealing and priming the wood.

The priming coat, is also called a sealing coat, or a Sealing indicating coat. These are essentially the same thing. It’s purpose is to seal the wood so that the final paint will adhere evenly and also make it easy to spot uneven areas in the wood while it’s still easy to correct the blemish. Primer can be applied by brush or roller. I like to use a roller for the bigger areas followed by a good quality brush for smoothing and painting the finer details on the cabinet doors. You won’t need the $25 brush but don’t get the $1 brush either. Expect to pay $6-$10 for a good, fine-bristle brush. Try not to get paint all over the brush, dipping only about 1/2″ to 1″ into the paint is best. Also, between coats you can place the brush in a plastic bag to keep it from drying out, and avoid cleaning it until the end of each day.

Any hardware or paint store will have a wide selection of sealer/primer and paint for your doors. Be sure and match the primer with the paint you plan to use. If you are going to use latex (water based) paint, use a latex primer. If using an oil based paint, use an oil based primer. Also try to use a primer with a drying time of 30 minutes or less. White primer works best because it will show the uneven areas of the door better. This allows you to spot (and correct) the areas that need filling before painting

Once the first coat of primer is dry you will be able to see some small, uneven areas, scratches, or dents in the wood. Now it’s time for the filler. This is the most important step in obtaining that perfect painted finish.

All hardwoods have voids, which cannot be seen until it is primed. I use a filler to fill all of these spots. The two types of filler I’ve used with success are Bondo 907 Glazing and Spot Putty and Elmer’s Wood Filler Max White. The Bondo putty works best, mainly because it is an orange color than makes it easier to see where you have filled. The Elmer’s is white. Fillers must be sanded smooth after drying and then sealed with primer before painting to prevent the color from bleeding through.

After filling, sand the filled areas (use the 3M sponge to keep your fingers from sanding dips in the filled areas), wipe the dust off, and apply one last primer coat.

When the primer has dried, give the doors a light sanding and wipe them clean of any dust. If the final inspection doesn’t show any unfilled scratches or small voids, you are ready to paint.

Now comes the actual painting, which is actually the easiest phase of the project. But without going through the priming-sanding-filling-priming process, there would be little chance of obtaining a truly great painted cabinet door.

Using the same technique you used with the primer–roller for the large areas, and paint brush to smooth and paint the smaller and detailed areas–apply your paint to the doors.

There is no need to sand between paint coats but it is a good idea to insure there is no dried paint on the brush that could work its way into your finish on the following coats.

Although the finish may look good after one coat of paint, two coats are normally applied to assure durability of the finish. Just follow the directions on your paint (and primer) and follow the drying time recommendations.

Unfinished Cabinet Doors are available online and the oldest and largest manufacturer of custom cabinet doors on the web is CabinetDoors.Com. We have 35 years of experience, a Better Business Bureau rating of A+, the highest customer reviews online, and several hundred door styles.

All door styles can be priced online and any door styles in any wood type can be ordered factory direct and manufactured and shipped in 7-to-10 days.

How to complete inter-coat sanding steps when painting Cabinet Doors

Sanding between paint of lacquer coats can help insure a great looking finish on your painted or stained kitchen cabinet doors.

Here is a link to a video from the Woodworking Network explaining the proper sanding method between coats. (for more of the Chemcraft finishing videos click here).

We’ve talked about the importance of primer and sanding steps in several prior posts and this video from Chemcraft is another vote about the necessity of these steps.

Here are some additional links covering finishing steps in more detail.

The six rules for painting replacement kitchen cabinet doors

Paint grade cabinet doors: Which woods paint best and which woods to avoid

How to finish paint-grade cabinet doors and get a finish you can be proud of

How to paint unfinished wood and not screw it up + Links to dozens of web posts

How a do-it-yourselfer can stain and finish replacement kitchen cabinet doors

 

Browse our other CabinetDoors.Com Blog posts.

See and price our cabinet door selections on the Cabinetdoors.com manufacturers website.

The six rules for painting replacement kitchen cabinet doors

Here are some tried and true rules of thumb that relate to painting Kitchen Cabinet Doors.

* The first is the “prep-prep-prep” rule. That means that every hour spent preparing the cabinet door for painting saves two hours in repainting.

* The second is the 5-F’s rule. This rule is “Fine Finishers Finish Firewood First”. It simply means that experimenting with your finish on scrap wood can prevent ruining a door with a failed finishing attempt.

* The third is always break all sharp edges with fine sandpaper before painting. Sharp edges will not hold paint and will give the dried paint an unpainted spot to absorb moisture.

* The forth is to keep in mind that all wood types will expand and contract with changes in humidity. The paint will slow these humidity-caused wood movements, but no paint is totally moisture-proof, and paint will not stop the movements. This humidity-movement of wood presents another potential issue for the painted cabinet door. When the paint dries, it will no longer have the elasticity to move with the wood; so it will crack, usually along the glue joints where the Stiles & Rails join.

* The fifth relates to the hardness of the paint-grade wood. The softer the wood, the more easily it will dent, if hit with a pot or frying pan. The dent in the wood may be slight and hardly noticeable, but dried paint doesn’t dent without cracking. The weakest link in any painted cabinet door is not the door. Regardless of the wood type used, the weakest link is always the paint.

* The sixth practice covers the method of application of the paint. The desired look from painting a cabinet door is usually a high gloss finish, similar to the finish on a piano. A finish of this quality will certainly require a highly experienced finishing professional, and a dust-free spray booth. This doesn’t mean you can’t achieve an excellent finish, but it does mean you won’t get this piano-finish with a paint brush in your driveway. To get a professional looking finish you will need to spray-on the paint. Not from a Krylon can, but from an compressed-air, or airless, spray painting system.

Now for the step-by-step process I’ve learned through years of both success and a few failures.

Lets get started by working through the process step-by-step.

Lay the door on a flat surface and lightly sand the door with a flexible-foam sanding sponge (I like the 3M sanding block sponges best) or 220-grit sandpaper. Be sure to sand “with the wood grain” on the front, back, and sides.

Remove any residual grit with a clean cloth (tack cloth is best) or a vacuum.

Next comes what is probably the most important step in the entire process. Sealing and priming the wood.

The priming coat, is also called a sealing coat, or a Sealing indicating coat. These are essentially the same thing. It’s purpose is to seal the wood so that the final paint will adhere evenly and also make it easy to spot uneven areas in the wood while it’s still easy to correct the blemish. Primer can be applied by brush or roller. I like to use a roller for the bigger areas followed by a good quality brush for smoothing and painting the finer details on the cabinet doors. You won’t need the $25 brush but don’t get the $1 brush either. Expect to pay $6-$10 for a good, fine-bristle brush. Try not to get paint all over the brush, dipping only about 1/2″ to 1″ into the paint is best. Also, between coats you can place the brush in a plastic bag to keep it from drying out, and avoid cleaning it until the end of each day.

Any hardware or paint store will have a wide selection of sealer/primer and paint for your doors. Be sure and match the primer with the paint you plan to use. If you are going to use latex (water based) paint, use a latex primer. If using an oil based paint, use an oil based primer. Also try to use a primer with a drying time of 30 minutes or less. White primer works best because it will show the uneven areas of the door better. This allows you to spot (and correct) the areas that need filling before painting.

Once the first coat of primer is dry you will be able to see some small, uneven areas, scratches, or dents in the wood. Now it’s time for the filler. This is the most important step in obtaining that perfect painted finish.

All hardwoods have voids, which cannot be seen until it is primed. I use a filler to fill all of these spots. The two types of filler I’ve used with success are Bondo 907 Glazing and Spot Putty and Elmer’s Wood Filler Max White. The Bondo putty works best, mainly because it is an orange color than makes it easier to see where you have filled. The Elmer’s is white. Fillers must be sanded smooth after drying and then sealed with primer before painting to prevent the color from bleeding through.

After filling, sand the filled areas (use the 3M sponge to keep your fingers from sanding dips in the filled areas), wipe the dust off, and apply one last primer coat.

When the primer has dried, give the doors a light sanding and wipe them clean of any dust. If the final inspection doesn’t show any unfilled scratches or small voids, you are ready to paint.

Now comes the actual painting, which is actually the easiest phase of the project. But without going through the priming-sanding-filling-priming process, there would be little chance of obtaining a truly great painted cabinet door.

Using the same technique you used with the primer–roller for the large areas, and paint brush to smooth and paint the smaller and detailed areas–apply your paint to the doors.

There is no need to sand between paint coats but it is a good idea to insure there is no dried paint on the brush that could work its way into your finish on the following coats.

Although the finish may look good after one coat of paint, two coats are normally applied to assure durability of the finish. Just follow the directions on your paint (and primer) and follow the drying time recommendations.

Here is a link to the CabinetDoors.Com Blog where you will find several other posts on finding, sizing, ordering, painting, and staining Unfinished Replacement Kitchen Cabinet Doors.

Our complete line of Replacement Kitchen Cabinet Doors can be browsed here at CabinetDoors.Com

How to order Kitchen Cabinet Doors of the correct sizes for your cabinets.

1 August, 2014 BY JIM HILL

The sizes of replacement cabinet doors will depend upon the answers to a few easy questions.

Question 1. What door style and wood type are you considering?
There are hundreds of door styles to choose from. The major categories are divided by assembly method; Cope and Stick or Mitered. 

 Here is an example of the Cope & Stick assembly method: 

Here is an example of the Mitered assembly method:

Another part of the “Door Style” question is whether you prefer Raised Panel or Inset (recessed)Panel doors.
Both Raised and Inset Panel doors are available with either the Cope & Stick and the Mitered assembly methods. Here are some example pictures: 

The two pictures on the Left are examples of Cope & Stick, The first door is our Shaker Inset Panel door, and the second door is our Revere Raised Panel door. The two doors on the right are Mitered with the third being our Wilmington Inset Panel door. The forth door is our Delaware Raised Panel door.
Each of the cabinet doors we make are available in any wood type we offer.

Question 2. Are you replacing existing cabinet doors and reusing your existing hinges?
In this case simply measure the doors you are replacing and order new doors of the same sizes.

Question 3. Are you replacing both your existing doors and having us bore hinge cups for new Blum Concealed Hinges and supply those hinges?
If you plan to use our Top-Quality, Blum Inserta, Clip-top hinges with 1/2-inch overlay, your hinges will ship with your order.
To insure your new doors are perfectly sized for use with our hinges, the door size measurements are figured as follows:
On single doors simply measure the opening size and add 1-inch to both the width and height. For instance, if the cabinet opening size is 12-inches wide and 24-inches high, the door size will be 13 x 25.
On wider cabinets with two doors (butting in the center), measure the width of the opening, add 1-inch, then divide by 2. Height is figured the same as for single doors. Just add 1-inch to the height opening. For instance, if the opening is 28 inches wide and 30 inches high, each doors width would be 28 + 1 = 29 divided by 2 = 14 1/2-inches wide. The door height would be the 30-inch opening height plus 1-inch, for a door height of 31 inches.

Our Blum hinges have plus/minus 2 millimeters of adjustment which will allow enough side adjustment to have a gap of up to 1/8-inch between the butting doors. If you live in a high humidity climate you may want to subtract an additional 1/16″ from the width of your Butt Doors.

So, don’t be intimidated into thinking it’s difficult to figure door sizes from openings. Just take the measurements, work the arithmetic, and order the door style of your choice…or give us a call and we’ll talk you through the entire process.

How to finish Paint-Grade Cabinet Doors and get a finish you can be proud of.

June 2014 by Jim Hill

So you just received your new Paint-Grade Cabinet Doors and are ready to start painting. Here are a few tips to get an attractive and durable finish on those new doors.

Don’t stress-out about the painting process, even if you are an inexperienced painter.
Painted doors are not like stained doors where a disappointing stained finish can ruin your day. If you don’t like your painted finish just scuff the doors a little by re-sanding and paint them again.

First, unpack the new doors and inspect them front and back for any scratches caused by shifting during shipping. Smooth these scratches with 180-grit sandpaper and brush off the dust with a fine brush. Sand in the direction of the wood grain to avoid making cross-grain scratches on your doors.
The better the prep-sanding the better the painted finish will be so take some time making sure the sanding is as good as you can make it.

Next, lay the cabinet doors flat and either wipe them with a clean cloth or blow them with compressed air to remove the last traces of dust. Laying the doors flat makes paint runs less likely and makes it easier to see your progress from the same angle.

Now the painting process starts. Raw wood needs a primer coat before painting and there are a few primer tips that will be helpful: Always match the primer to the type of paint you plan to use.
If you intend to use water-base (or Latex paint) then use a water base primer and if you are using an oil based paint then use an oil based primer.
In my experience Latex paints have advanced over the past decade to the point where they produce both appearance and dependability equal to their oil based counterparts, especially for indoor applications.
These advancements coupled with the water clean-up and environment-friendly disposal are worth considering when choosing your finishing materials.
While buying your primer and paint, also get a brush or two. You don’t need to buy the $20 super brush, but don’t get the $1 special either. A 2-3″ fine brush should be about $5.
You may also want to buy a small 3-4″ fine roller.

Now for the priming: Lay the doors out flat on some kind of dropcloth. Newspaper works fine for this. It will reduce your anxiety to start with the doors face down. That way you will be finishing the backs first so as you get better at painting your best work will be on the fronts, and your learning experience won’t show.
Use the roller to apply a lite coat of primer to the panel and the inside detail of the stiles and rails. Now use the brush in those deep recesses to get the primer to cover all the machined surfaces. Use the roller again to coat the flat surfaces followed by the brush to give a smooth, even coating. After the primer is dried (follow the drying time instructions on the primer can) sand by hand gently with 220-grit paper, just enough to remove any fibers the primer raised, and to restore the smooth finish. Now turn the door over and repeat on the front.
After the primer is dry and lightly finish sanded, repeat the process with a second coat or primer.

Once the primer is dry you are ready for the paint.
The paint basically follows the same steps as the primer operation. Follow the instructions on your paint can to determine if you should sand between coats or not.
After the paint is dry you are ready to install the hinges.
If you are using hidden hinges, like our Blum Clip-tops, try not to get paint into the 30mm hinge cups. The hinges will be a snug fit into the cups and if you get paint into the holes you may need to sand it out to get the hinges into the cups.

Once you get started you’ll see that the process is really not difficult at all, and you will be able to obtain results that will impress your family and friends.

So, get started and if you haven’t ordered you new Paint Grade cabinet doors yet, now may be the time. Cabinetdoors.com has been manufacturing custom cabinet doors for 34 years and we’ve been offering doors on the internet longer than anyone else in the country. We have shipped hundreds of thousands of doors to every region and our customer reviews are a consistent 4+stars.

If you have any questions just visit our website at www.cabinetdoors.com, our Blog at www.cabinetdoors.com/blog, or call us. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have. We also have extensive posts, advice, and how-to’s on our Facebook page and our Google+ page.

The secret to painting Paint-Grade Cabinet Doors:

How To Paint Cabinet Doors.

Primer and preparation are the secret formula that will allow you to achieve the painted look a painting professional will admire.
I recommend using Latex primer and paint on cabinet doors and any painted wood products that will be kept indoors. The cleanup is easier, it doesn’t smell as bad, and it’s not harmful to people, pets, or the environment. Continue reading

How to finish Paint-Grade Cabinet Doors…Like an expert:

Paint Grade Kitchen Cabinet DoorSo you just received your new Paint-Grade Cabinet Doors and are ready to start painting.
Here are a few tips to get an attractive and durable finish on those new doors.

Don’t stress-out about the painting process, even if you are an inexperienced painter.
Painted doors are not like stained doors where a disappointing stained finish can ruin your day. If you don’t like your painted finish just scuff the doors a little by re-sanding and paint them again.

First, unpack the new doors and inspect them front and back for any scratches caused by shifting during shipping. Smooth these scratches with 180-grit sandpaper and brush off the dust with a fine brush. Sand in the direction of the wood grain to avoid making cross-grain scratches on your doors.
The better the prep-sanding the better the painted finish will be so take some time making sure the sanding is as good as you can make it.

Next, lay the cabinet doors flat and either wipe them with a clean cloth or blow them with compressed air to remove the last traces of dust. Laying the doors flat makes paint runs less likely and makes it easier to see your progress from the same angle.

Now the painting process starts.
Raw wood needs a primer coat before painting and there are a few primer tips that will be helpful: Always match the primer to the type of paint you plan to use.
If you intend to use water-base (or Latex paint) then use a water base primer and if you are using an oil based paint then use an oil based primer.
In my experience Latex paints have advanced over the past decade to the point where they produce both appearance and dependability equal to their oil based counterparts, especially for indoor applications.
These advancements coupled with the water clean-up and environment-friendly disposal are worth considering when choosing your finishing materials.
While buying your primer and paint, also get a brush or two. You don’t need to buy the $20 super brush, but don’t get the $1 special either. A 2-3″ fine brush should be about $5.
You may also want to buy a small 3-4″ fine roller.

Now for the priming:
Lay the doors out flat on some kind of dropcloth. Newspaper works fine for this. It will reduce your anxiety to start with the doors face down. That way you will be finishing the backs first so as you get better at painting your best work will be on the fronts, and your learning experience won’t show.
Use the roller to apply a lite coat of primer to the panel and the inside detail of the stiles and rails. Now use the brush in those deep recesses to get the primer to cover all the machined surfaces. Use the roller again to coat the flat surfaces followed by the brush to give a smooth, even coating. After the primer is dried (follow the drying time instructions on the primer can) sand by hand gently with 220-grit paper, just enough to remove any fibers the primer raised, and to restore the smooth finish. Now turn the door over and repeat on the front.
After the primer is dry and lightly finish sanded, repeat the process with a second coat or primer.

Once the primer is dry you are ready for the paint.
The paint basically follows the same steps as the primer operation. Follow the instructions on your paint can to determine if you should sand between coats or not.
After the paint is dry you are ready to install the hinges.
If you are using hidden hinges, like our Blum Clip-tops, try not to get paint into the 30mm hinge cups. The hinges will be a snug fit into the cups and if you get paint into the holes you may need to sand it out to get the hinges into the cups.

Once you get started you’ll see that the process is really not difficult at all, and you will be able to obtain results that will impress your family and friends.

So, get started and if you haven’t ordered you new Paint Grade cabinet doors yet, now may be the time. Cabinetdoors.com has been manufacturing custom cabinet doors for 34 years and we’ve been offering doors on the internet longer than anyone else in the country. We have shipped hundreds of thousands of doors to every region and our customer reviews are a consistent 4+stars.

If you have any questions just visit our website at www.cabinetdoors.com, our Blog at www.cabinetdoors.com/blog, or call us. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have. We also have extensive posts, advice, and how-to’s on our Facebook page and our Google+ page.