Your kitchen cabinets are constantly exposed to grease, smoke, and other wear and tear factors from daily use. You may begin to notice that the cabinets that were once a centerpiece of your kitchen, have now lost their appeal.

A fresh coat of paint might help revive your dull kitchen cabinets. Kitchen cabinet painting, however, might not be a very effective long-term solution depending on the material it’s made out of.

Kitchen cabinets are manufactured out of various materials, ranging from wood and plywood to melamine and particle board. These surfaces may react differently when painted over, and it can’t be guaranteed that your kitchen cabinets will be left looking as good as new.

What are the types of cabinets that shouldn’t be painted over?

1. Open-grained wood cabinets

These types of cabinets usually have a rough, rustic appearance to them. Open-grained wood naturally has holes and dents on the surface, so to paint it, you’ll need to apply filler for an even paint job, which is a task in itself.

Poplar is a common open-grain wood that’s used for kitchen cabinet painting. If your cabinets are made of poplar or any other type of wood that has visible dents, refrain from painting the surface as it can make the dents more prominent.

2. Detailed or damaged wood cabinets

If your kitchen cabinets have intricate details on them, painting over them might not be an advisable choice as there are chances of them peeling or cracking.

The same applies to damaged cabinets. Painting over cracked wood will not hide the damage. Instead, the paint is likely to crack due to the expansion and contraction of the wood.

3. Oak and hard maple wood cabinets

Oak wood is another open-grained wood surface that you should never paint on. Painting on oak wood cabinets can cause your cabinets to have an ‘orange peel’ appearance and feel to them.

Hard maple wood cabinets tend to change easily due to the humidity and cooking smoke. Painting a cabinet made of this wood can cause heavy damage to it.

4. Non-wood material cabinets

Cabinets made of stainless steel, vinyl, and laminate aren’t easy to paint over. Paints are known not to bond with these particular surfaces, which may result in the paint chipping or peeling easily.

Due to the paint not being able to effectively ‘stick’ to these surfaces, you may end up with a lot of streaks and an overall uneven appearance.

What should you avoid using when kitchen cabinet painting?

Tight-grained wood like maple, birch, and mahogany is ideal to be painted over. It isn’t, however, a very accessible choice of material for many. 

If your cabinets are made out of any of the materials listed above and you want to proceed with painting them, here are a few pointers before you start:

  • Refrain from using chalk paint; since kitchen cabinets are constantly being used, chalk paint isn’t the best choice for kitchen cabinet painting
  • Avoid using a wax sealant; it’s not a very practical option and if you want to redo your cabinets, you’ll have to remove the wax and start all over again
  • Stay away from cheap-quality paints and tools; for a flawless finish, invest in high-quality materials or hire a professional painting contractor
  • Use felt feet for your cabinet doors and drawers instead of rubber feet; there’s a chance that rubber feet may stick to your newly painted cabinets

Kitchen cabinet painting contractors in the San Diego area

An expert cabinet painter will follow the most suitable method to revamp your kitchen cabinets according to the material it’s made out of and can guarantee a perfect finish.

Contact your local kitchen cabinet painters in the San Diego area if you’re considering repainting your kitchen cabinets.

Google Rating
Based on 90 reviews