Old cabinets made of particleboard tend to wear over time. Aged particleboard can bring down the quality of the aesthetics in your kitchen or other parts of the home. Some people choose to rip them out and replace them with new cabinets, but the process is time-consuming and expensive. The simplest solution is to paint them. Even if the cabinet surfaces are worn and uneven, it’s not hard to complete the necessary prep work to make your old particleboard cabinets look brand new. Here is everything you need to know about painting old particleboard cabinets to make them shine.
Can you make the old particleboard look new with paint?
It’s possible to make aged particleboard look new if you employ established methods to prepare the surface. Use the correct paint type to achieve a flawless finish. With careful prep and elbow grease, you can dramatically change the appearance. Five Star Painting explains that you save money updating your kitchen with paint instead of replacing them. DIY enthusiasts have the power to achieve a professional-looking finish in a few simple steps.
How do you paint aged particleboard cabinets?
The first phase of the restoration process is assessing the condition of the cabinets. Check the overall condition of the particleboard and hardware. The task includes door pulls and hinges. Make a mental note of any gouges or scratches to fill to achieve a smooth finish before you start. An inspection reveals what to do in the prep stage. It determines the supplies you’ll need to complete the job. These are easy fixes. If the wood is significantly warped or separating, the cabinet may be too far gone to salvage through painting. If the cabinet is loose, you can tighten it with wood screws. It’s a judgment call you have to make.
Gather Your Supplies
The first phase of the project involves gathering supplies. Use safety goggles for eye protection. You will need a few sawhorses to stabilize the doors. Use 120 grit sandpaper and sanding blocks or an electric sander, a screwdriver (either manual or power), Oil-based primer and paint in the colors of your choice, wood filler, plastic gloves, a respirator or particle mask, a paintbrush, painter’s tape, plastic sheeting. Choose oil-based paints over water to avoid swelling particleboard.
Phase Two: Remove the doors
Start your project by removing the doors. Unscrew the hinges carefully and set the doors aside. It’s easier to get a flawless finish when the doors are out of the way. Keep screws, hinges, and door pulls together in one place, so nothing gets lost. If you see old paint on the hardware, wash them and use a scrubber to clean them up and make them shine. If some hardware is missing, you can also buy new pulls and hinges to give the cabinet a refresh and updated look. Be sure to label the doors. It lets you know where to place them when reinstalling.
Phase Three: Safety equipment and mess control
Use painter’s tape to secure plastic sheeting around the cabinets and floor. The painter’s tape and plastic protect the surrounding areas from paint splatter. It makes cleanup easier. Also, use plastic or rubber gloves to protect your hands and protective eyewear. Paint fumes and dust from sand can irritate. A respirator or dust mask can also minimize the inhalation of particles when sanding. Open nearby windows and use a fan for proper ventilation. Do not allow children in the work area to avoid the risk of suffocation from the plastic or harm from the supplies.
Phase Four: Prep the cabinet and doors
Hunker advises that if a veneer comes loose from particleboard cabinets, you can glue and clamp it back in place for a smooth finish. If the surface veneer is missing, use putty to fill holes, dry, and sand down the surface. Fill any gouges or nicks, allow to dry, then sand the surface lightly until it is smooth. Repeat this process with the doors. Wipe down surfaces after sanding. It removes dust remnants.
Phase Five: Painting the cabinets and doors
Paint the cabinet and doors with an oil-based primer. Light colors allow the fullness of the paint color to shine. The primer helps to protect the materials beneath and establish a smooth surface with even coloring to avoid color bleed-throughs in the final finish. The particleboard is highly absorbent. It’s wise to lay down the first coat of primer, then follow up with a second coat after it dries. Allow the primer to dry completely, then apply your first coat of oil-based paint in the color(s) of your choice. Lightly sand the surface after the paint dries to rough the surface. It helps the second and third coats to adhere more firmly. Allow the paint to dry thoroughly before applying the next coat. After the second coat dries, inspect the cabinets and doors. If you’ve achieved the coverage that satisfies you, it’s time to move to the next step. If not, repeat the sanding, wiping down, and drying process until it has a flawless appearance. Wikihow advises DIY painters that skipping the sanding process can result in an uneven finish.
Phase Six: Hang the doors and replace the hardware
The final step is to hang the cabinet doors back in their original places. If you re-use the old hinges, use a tiny amount of wood -filler to get a tight seal between the screws and the materials. It gives the screws a firmer bite to hold the doors more securely in place. The last stage of the project is installing cabinet doors. Now it’s time to clean up the mess. The plastic sheeting on the floors and adjacent walls protected the surfaces from paint splatters. Gently remove the painter’s tape. Be careful to pull slowly to avoid pulling paint off your walls. Roll up the plastic, secure it with the painter’s tape, and dispose of it. Gather the plastic on the floor from the edges to catch all debris at the center. Close the ends and discard them in the trash.