How to Paint Cabinets With a Spray Gun – A Complete Guide
When done right spraying cabinets offers a smooth beautiful finish that many home owners love. Additionally, it is often quicker than brushing and rolling. While the appearance and speed of spraying cabinets are appealing, there are a variety of unique challenges that you face when spraying cabinets which need to be addressed. In this guide will cover practical tips for spraying cabinets so you can get the best results from your cabinet spraying project. If the cabinet is not worth of painting and if it cannot be used further i would suggest you to get a refurbished office furniture in office furniture liquidators portals, so that you can save your money.
The Most Critical Step when Spraying Cabinets – Preparation
When it comes to spraying cabinets the most critical step is proper preparation of the cabinet. Proper cabinet preparation ensures your finish adheres, the appearance is smooth, and effectively provides a new look to your cabinets. Before prepping your cabinets though you want to review them to see if they are worth painting, it may seem obvious but if your cabinets are not in structural shape then it may be better to consider buying a new cabinet. Once you have decided that repainting your existing cabinet is indeed the best course of action the following tips will help you get the best results spraying your cabinets.
Preparing your cabinets is the most crucial step when spraying cabinets. The first step for proper preparation is getting the surface ready for painting. Before beginning surface prep you can remove the door handles and cabinet faces from the cabinets making sure to label each so that you can easily replace them. After removing the door faces and hinges the next thing to do is to degrease the cabinets with a proper cleaning agent like Zep Kitchen Cabinet cleaner. After making sure the surface is clean the next step is to fill in any surface imperfections. To fill in the surface so that you can achieve a smooth finish you will address large imperfections first like divots and nail holes and later small imperfections (more on addressing small imperfections later). Large imperfections can be addressed with proper wood filler followed by sanding the surface properly.
After you have filled in imperfections and degreased the surface the next step will be to sand the cabinet surface smoth. When sanding a random orbital sander will typically be the best because it will leave the least marks but orbital and belt sanders can also work (more on sanders and surface preparation is available here). When sanding you will start with a low grit (usually around 60 or 80 grit) and gradually work your way up to 150 to 180 grit sandpaper usually not skipping more than a single grit between each time sanding. Much higher grit than 180 grit paper will tend to seal the pores of the wood and ultimately can prevent you from getting the finish you may want.
If you will be using a water based stain on your cabinets, you will want to wet the surface the night prior to planning on applying stain and let the water sit on the surface of the wood so that it raises the grain. The day you plan on staining you can use a 150 or 180 grit sandpaper to knock down the raised grain. If you plan on painting your cabinet, you can sand to 150 grit. In either case after you have sanded the cabinet just prior to getting ready to paint or stain you will want to remove all residual saw dust from the cabinet. This can be done with a vacuum and a tack clothe. You will also want to degrease the cabinet one last time to ensure there is no grease build up as this can leave a bad appearance known as fish eye on your final cabinet finish.
The final step in preparing the cabinet is important if you will be painting the cabinets if you will be staining your cabinet it will not be applicable. This final step is to address the small imperfections so when you apply the top coat you can achieve a smooth appearing finish. The small imperfections are usually best addressed by using a high build primer. The high build primer will need to be applied so that all small imperfections are adequately covered. You will want to apply the high build primer in mil thickness based on the recommendations from the primer manufacturer. You may need to apply multiple coats of primer to achieve a sufficient amount of coverage to hide any small imperfections. If you end up having to apply more than one coat of primer it can be best to lightly sand in between each coat of primer and paint and properly clean the dust from the cabinet as already covered above, a sanding sponge is often the easiest way to sand between coats. To determine if you have applied enough primer on your cabinet you can check the surface with a light which will usually make it easier to determine if any additional surface imperfections are obvious and need addressed.
Primer Selection for Spraying Cabinets
The final step in preparation is covering any small imperfections with a good high build primer. The primer will serve to cover imperfections and provide great adhesion, a critical component to ensure long term performance of your finish. For best results, you will typically want to invest in quality coatings which are generally not available at your local hardware store. Ideally, you will want to work with a paint provider like Sherwin Williams, Valspar, Becker Chroma, Benjamin Moore or a similar wood finishes company.
Paint Selection for Spraying Cabinets
In addition to a good primer, you will want to choose a paint that will perform well when applied and will leave a durable finish. Higher gloss finishes will tend to show more when applied which means if your worried about the quality of your surface prep you can try a less glossy paint like an eggshell or satin sheen product. In general alkyd finishes will tend to be ideal as they will have a durable finish and they are easy to apply.
How to Paint Your Cabinet with a Spray Gun
While spraying is a bit more complicated than brushing, it offers a smoother appearing finish and will typically be faster as well. To spray material you can review your technical data sheet of the product you chose to work with but in general, you will need to have an area that is designed to contain overspray with good ventilation and a good respirator. You will also want to thin your material to a degree that spraying will be easy. Material that runs about 20 – 30 seconds in a Zahn 2 viscosity cup will spray very easily. You can learn more about using a viscosity cup below and order a basic viscosity cup online for a few dollars which will make preparing your material for spraying much easier.
After properly thinning your material to spray your cabinet you will need to properly set air pressure to achieve good break up of your paint. Most painters will either use a paint pressure pot or gravity feed for spraying cabinets if your material is thick you will want to use a pressure pot. The video below will show you how to set the spray gun and do a test spray to verify you have achieved good break up which in turn will ensure a smooth finish when spraying your cabinet.
Ultimately spraying cabinets offers a smoother finish in less time. However to achieve good results you still have to properly prepare the cabinets and select quality coatings. By following the steps we have outlined above you should achieve great results spraying cabinets.