How to Sand Your Cabinets to Get Ready for Painting

There is something exciting about giving your kitchen a makeover and one area that will make a huge difference to the look of the kitchen is your kitchen cabinets. If you’re fortunate to have a few of them lining the walls, you’ll be happy to know that you will transform the entire room just by starting with these. Updating your kitchen cabinets is often cheaper and easier than ripping them all out and replacing them, but don’t be fooled! Transforming your kitchen cabinets yourself is not a small job and you have to be ready for the time you’ll take in adjusting the cabinets.

With this in mind, check out our tips below to get your outdated and older cabinets ready to change into modern cabinets instead.

Preparing to Paint!

Unfortunately, you can’t just put paintbrushes on cabinets and come up with a new kitchen cabinet color. There is preparation required first, from wearing the right gear to protect your clothing, to opening the windows and ensuring that no fumes build up from the paint. So, how can you get your kitchen cabinets ready to paint?

  • First, assess the condition of the cabinets. You want to know that you can paint the inside and the outside of the cabinets, and that means figuring out whether the cabinets can be painted or not. If the paint currently on them is old, that has to be removed first and you can use a paint stripper to do this before you repaint them. If you have painted cabinets and these were painted in the 1970s, the chances are that the paint is lead-based and you will need to consider removing that safely!
  • Empty the cabinets next and take the doors off. If you’re going to paint the cabinets, you have to get the doors off first so that you can paint them evenly without painting the hinges. You also have to ensure that you can sand the cabinet doors down properly and you can’t always do that if they’re still on the cabinets themselves! 
  • Clean the cabinets and the doors down so that they’re clean. Make sure that there is no dirt and you dry the surface afterwards, too. If there are any dents, fill these with special wood filler. A knife can be used to press it down and smooth it out before you let it dry. If you plan to use the same hardware, don’t worry about filling in the holes. If you plan to use new hardware to make your old cabinets more modern cabinets, feel free to fill in the holes and smooth them out.
  • Next, cover the countertops and appliances with dust sheets and either use an electric sander or a sandpaper block to sand down the entire surface of the cabinet. You need to ensure that the paint can stick to the surface and you can better accomplish this with a sanded surface. Fold the sandpaper down to get into the corners and all of the areas on the doors that may be more detailed.
  • Once you have it sanded, brush it down before painting and replacing it onto the cabinets!