What To Clean Cabinets With Before Painting

Before you start painting your cabinets, it is crucial to prepare them properly. One of the most important steps in this process is cleaning your cabinets thoroughly. Failure to do so may result in an uneven finish, peeling paint, or even a complete paint failure.

Therefore, it is essential to know what to clean your cabinets with before painting. Cleaning your cabinets before painting is crucial because it removes any dirt, grease, or grime that may have accumulated over time. This buildup can affect the adhesion of the paint, resulting in an uneven finish or peeling paint. Furthermore, if your cabinets are not cleaned properly, the paint may not stick well to the surface, leading to an unsatisfactory finish.

In this article, we will guide you through the process of cleaning your cabinets before painting, including choosing the right cleaner, gathering supplies, and properly cleaning your cabinets.

Key Takeaways

  • Properly cleaning cabinets before painting is crucial for a smooth and long-lasting finish.
  • Choosing the right cleaner is crucial for effective cabinet cleaning.
  • Applying primer before painting ensures better adhesion, durability, and resistance to moisture, mildew, and stains.
  • Sanding cabinets creates a rough surface for better paint adhesion.

Understand the Importance of Cleaning Cabinets Before Painting

You'll want to make sure you clean your cabinets thoroughly before painting, as it's crucial for achieving a smooth and long-lasting finish.

The first step in preparing your cabinets for painting is to degrease them. Cabinets located in the kitchen accumulate grease and oil from cooking, which can be difficult to remove. It's important to use a powerful degreaser, such as a TSP solution, to break down the grime and ensure the surface is clean and ready for paint.

Once the cabinets have been degreased, the next step is to sand them properly. Sanding creates a rough surface that allows the paint to adhere better. It's important to use the proper sanding technique for cabinets, which involves starting with a coarse grit sandpaper and progressing to a finer grit for a smooth finish.

After sanding, wipe down the cabinets with a clean, damp cloth to remove any dust. With the cabinets properly cleaned and sanded, you can move on to choosing the right cleaner for your cabinets.

Choose the Right Cleaner for Your Cabinets

To effectively prepare your cabinets for a fresh coat of paint, it's crucial to select the proper cleaner. Here are some tips on choosing the best products for your cabinets:

  1. Look for a cleaner that is specifically formulated for wood cabinets. These cleaners will be gentle enough not to damage the wood, but strong enough to remove dirt and grime.

  2. Avoid cleaners that contain harsh chemicals, such as bleach or ammonia, as they can strip the finish and damage the wood.

  3. Consider using natural options, such as vinegar or baking soda, which are effective at removing dirt and grime without damaging the wood.

  4. Always test the cleaner on a small, inconspicuous area before using it on the entire cabinet to ensure that it doesn't cause any damage or discoloration.

Once you've chosen the right cleaner, it's time to gather your supplies and get to work.

Gather Your Supplies

Ready to give your kitchen a fresh new look? Time to gather up all the supplies you'll need for the job!

Before you start painting, make sure you have all the necessary tools and materials. Here's a supplies checklist to help get you started:

  • A bucket
  • Warm water
  • Dish soap
  • A non-abrasive sponge or cloth
  • A degreaser (if your cabinets are especially dirty)
  • Painter's tape
  • Sandpaper
  • Tack cloth
  • Primer
  • Paint

Once you have all the supplies, it's time to start cleaning your cabinets.

There are various cleaning methods you can use, depending on the type of cabinets you have. For example, if you have laminate cabinets, you'll want to avoid using abrasive cleaners that can scratch the surface. Instead, use a non-abrasive sponge or cloth with warm water and dish soap.

For wooden cabinets, you can use a degreaser to remove any built-up grime or grease. Properly cleaning your cabinets before painting is crucial to ensuring a smooth and long-lasting finish. So take your time and make sure you remove any dirt, grime, or grease before moving on to the next step.

Properly Clean Your Cabinets

Ah, the joy of scrubbing away all the gunk and grime that've made their home on your beloved kitchen storage units. Before painting your cabinets, it's crucial to clean them properly to ensure the paint adheres well and to prevent any dirt or debris from getting trapped under the new finish.

Begin by gathering the necessary cleaning supplies, such as a bucket, warm water, a degreaser, and a scrub brush. Next, prepare your cleaning solution by mixing the degreaser with warm water according to the manufacturer's instructions. Apply the solution to your cabinets and use the scrub brush to scrub away any dirt, grease, or grime.

Be sure to clean all surfaces, including the insides of drawers and cabinets. After scrubbing, rinse the cabinets thoroughly with clean water and allow them to dry completely before moving on to the finish preparations.

Finish Preparations

To properly prepare your cabinets for painting, you must protect your work area from any potential damage or spills by covering surfaces with drop cloths or plastic sheeting.

It's important to apply a primer before painting to ensure the best adhesion and durability of the paint. This will also help to cover any imperfections on the surface of the cabinets, providing a smooth and even finish.

Remember to follow the manufacturer's instructions on the primer for the best results.

Protect Your Work Area

Make sure you've covered your work area with a drop cloth before starting to clean your cabinets with a degreaser. This will protect your floors and furniture from the cleaning solution and any paint drips. Make sure that the drop cloth is secure and won't shift while you're working.

Proper ventilation is also essential. Make sure that you're working in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling any fumes from the cleaning solution and primer. If possible, open windows and doors, or use a fan to circulate air.

Once you've protected your work area, you can move on to the next step and apply primer before painting.

Apply Primer Before Painting

Before you start painting, it's important to apply primer to ensure the paint adheres properly and lasts longer. Did you know that using primer can increase the lifespan of your paint job by up to 50%? So don't skip this step!

Applying primer has numerous benefits, including better adhesion, improved durability, and increased resistance to moisture, mildew, and stains. It also helps to even out the surface and hide imperfections, making it easier to achieve a smooth and flawless finish.

When choosing the right primer, it's important to consider the type of cabinets you have and the paint you'll be using. For example, if you're painting over previously painted cabinets, you'll need a bonding primer that can adhere to the existing surface. If you're painting over bare wood or porous surfaces, you'll need a sealer primer that can seal the pores and prevent the paint from soaking in too much.

Additionally, make sure to choose a primer that is compatible with the type of paint you'll be using, such as oil-based or water-based. By taking the time to choose the right primer and applying it correctly, you can ensure a long-lasting and professional-looking paint job for your cabinets.


Congratulations! You're now well-equipped with the knowledge and tools to clean your cabinets before painting.

But wait, don't just stop there. You can take your cleaning game to the next level by using some advanced techniques. Yes, you heard it right.

You can use a deglosser to remove any existing gloss or varnish from your cabinets. This will help the new paint adhere better to the surface and give you a smoother finish.

But why stop at deglossing? You can also use a wood filler to repair any dents or scratches in your cabinets. This will ensure that your cabinets look as good as new after you're done painting them.

So, go ahead and take the extra step to make your cabinets shine. With these techniques, your cabinets will not only look stunning, but they'll also last longer.

So, what are you waiting for? Get started on your cabinet cleaning and painting project today!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *