How to paint kitchen cabinets red

Written by richard kalinowski
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How to paint kitchen cabinets red
Red paint can liven up a drab kitchen. (Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

A punch of red in your kitchen can liven things up for a modern, edgy look. If you decide you want to paint your cabinetry, you need to approach the task with the right background knowledge. Simply applying red paint to an existing cabinet surface will look good for a short time, but without good prep work, the paint could chip off in just a few short months.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Screwdriver
  • 220-grit aluminum oxide sandpaper
  • Painter's tape
  • Oil-base primer
  • Paintbrush
  • Roller
  • Red oil-base gloss paint

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  1. 1

    Remove handles from the cabinetry, unscrew any hinges and pull out all the drawers. The doors and drawers are easier to paint if they are removed.

  2. 2

    Sand all the cabinet surfaces with 220-grit aluminum oxide sandpaper. Existing cabinets often feature glossy paint or polyurethane finishes. These slick surfaces don't accept new paint unless they are roughed up a bit with sandpaper. A 220-grit sandpaper is a medium grit, so it isn't rough enough to make the surface overly scratchy, but it isn't so fine that it can't cut through gloss.

  3. 3

    Apply painter's tape to any nearby objects. Even with the doors and drawers removed, most of your cabinetry will still be installed and positioned near appliances or wall surfaces. Tape shields these surfaces from accidental brush strokes.

  4. 4

    Prime the surfaces using an oil-base primer. Use a paintbrush for tight corners and a roller for larger surfaces Wait for the primer to dry.

  5. 5

    Apply red oil-base gloss or semigloss paint to the cabinetry using a clean paintbrush and roller. Paint with a glossy sheen works best for kitchen cabinets because it wipes down easier for clean-up.

  6. 6

    Paint a second or third coat as needed after the first coat dries.

  7. 7

    Reattach the cabinet hardware and remove the painter's tape after the last coat has dried for a full 24 hours. The paint will be dry long before a full day, but the finish will last longer if your let it sit and cure for 24 hours before using the surface.

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