Should I Paint My Own Cabinets?

There's no reason I can think of that's big enough to discourage someone from painting their own kitchen cabinets.  Even if you can't say "Job Well Done" in the end, you can always say "Job YOU Done."

Craig, I want new cabinets, but I don't like the colors and door styles offered by any one manufacturer.  I think I'm going to get unfinished cabinetry and paint everything myself.  Is this a bad idea? Jill

Jill, your message causes a bit of reminiscing about some of my own large projects.  There are several I've taken on that ended up being a lot bigger than what I was planning on.  I'm of the opinion that if someone has the gumption to try something, and if it's not going to hurt anyone, have at it. 

Painting your own kithcen cabinets falls into this category.  I'll share some of my own little projects… I bought a guitar once.  Well, more than once, but there was this one time…  It was a $50 used Hondo.  Someone painted it green.  They forgot to wipe it off first.  There was hair, dirt, and who knows what else under the finish.  A couple months of sanding later (between coats of very explosive clear nitrocellulose lacquer) I had a nice looking instrument.  I might never do it again, but am glad I did.

Same goes for the time I carved a fountain out of marble.  That was a 5-6 month project, several hours a day.  It started in June as a birthday present for August, but I got it done Christmas Eve.  This was another of those "glad I did it but never again" things, not with a hammer and chisel anyway…

I dont' think painting your own cabinets is a bad idea at all.  In the end, there's just something about looking at a piece of work you've done.  Even if you screw it up totally, it's paint.  Paint can be painted over.  I don't think you should shy away from stain either, but it's been my experience that paint (being opaque) hides a bit more than a stain and clearcoat finish.

Jill, have at it.  Check out my post on the best paint for kitchen cabinets for some advice on what to use.  Paint your own cabinets is my advice.  Ask any other questions you like, and be sure to send pictures when you're done.


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