Painting Over Glazed Kitchen Cabinets

kitchen cabinets
  • 2-5 hours
  • Beginner
  • 50-200
What You'll Need
Power palm sander
Fine grit sandpaper
Cotton rag
Good quality primer
High gloss paint
Paint brush
Small roller
Small roller pan

Painting over glazed kitchen cabinets can be a difficult task if you fail to properly prepare for the project. As most people know, paint does not stick to the glaze; therefore, the glaze must be removed first. Then a good primer coat can be applied, along with the high gloss paint. This is a task that most people can accomplish without hiring a professional, as long as they are willing to put a little time and effort into the project.

Step 1 - Remove the Hardware

Remove all the hardware with a screwdriver. The handles and hinges have to be removed in order to maintain their original appearance. Taping them off will not properly protect against paint splatter.

Step 2 - Sand

Using a power palm sander with a fine grit paper, sand the entire cabinet, both inside and out. You must remove the glaze entirely. You do not have to sand all the way down to bare wood. As long as the glaze is gone, the primer will stick. When sanding around the edges and corners, make sure that you move slowly and sand them well. If you fail to do so, the corners will not match the rest of the cabinet. A sanding block may help you achieve the desired results.

WARNING: Wear a face mask and safety glasses while sanding to avoid getting any particles into your eyes or lungs.

Step 3 - Clean

Use a clean cotton rag to wipe away the dust particles. If you have to use a damp rag, feel free to do so, but allow time for the cabinet to dry before attempting to apply primer or paint. If the cabinet is still damp when you apply primer or paint, it will bubble and crack. The end result will be peeling paint.

Step 4 - Apply Primer

After the previously glazed kitchen cabinets have been sanded and cleaned, the primer coat can be applied. Use a brush to cut in the corners and edges, then a small roller to create a uniform finish. Many people mistakenly think that a primer coat has to be solid, like paint. In actuality, the primer coat is simply a way to ensure that the paint sticks to the cabinet. As long as the primer is applied to all areas of the cabinet, it will effectively do its job. Do not worry if the primer coat does not actually coat the surface, because it is not designed to do so.

Step 5 - Apply Paint

Apply the high gloss paint in the same manner that you applied the primer. Use the brush for the cutting-in portion, then a small roller to complete the work. If you prefer the brush look, then apply the paint with the brush to achieve it.

Allow the first coat to dry then apply another. Some specific colors may even require a third coat, so pay attention to how the paint coats the surface and use your own judgment. You will know if two coats will work.

WARNING: Before applying primer or paint, read the instructions on the can and check that your work area is well-ventilated.