Pine is one of the most popular woods for constructing kitchen cabinets, as it is easy to work with, looks decent and is relatively inexpensive. While natural finish pine is great in some instances, in others it makes a kitchen look dark, crowded or simply outdated. Reinvigorating your kitchen is as easy as a new coat of paint on pine cabinets, and it is a much less expensive option than purchasing a set of new cabinets.
Unscrew all hardware from cabinet doors (hinges and handles) and take the doors off. Place the doors on a dropcloth in a well-ventilated area.
Fill a bucket with warm, soapy water and clean the cabinet doors thoroughly. Let them dry completely. Clean the inside of the cabinets and outside frames.
Apply wood filler into any dents, holes or large scratches in the wood. Let it dry for about an hour.
Sand the cabinets in long, even strokes once they are dry. This is to prepare the wood to take the primer and paint. Brush off all the dust with a clean, dry paintbrush.
Tape off the areas you want to protect from painting, such as walls and trim, using painter's tape.
Apply a coat of primer to the cabinets. Leave it to dry for about 30 minutes. Apply a second coat of primer. Add a third coat of primer to any knots that are showing through. Let it dry for another 30 minutes.
Apply a coat of paint, using long, even brushstrokes to give a smooth paint finish to your cabinets. Allow about four hours for the first coat to dry before applying a second coat. Allow the second coat to dry for at least 12 hours.
Remove the painter's tape after 12 hours. Then, if feasible, allow the cabinets another 24 to 48 hours to thoroughly dry before reattaching the hardware and the cabinet doors.
If you are using oil-based paint, use an oil-based primer -- these tend to be more durable in a kitchen setting. Consider purchasing new handles to give kitchen cabinets a completely fresh overhaul.
Keep your kitchen well-ventilated while painting.