Sep 26, 2014

how to sand kitchen cabinets to prep for priming (post #2)

Happy Friday folks!  Back at it with my kitchen cabinet transformation "how to."

In the first post I explained how I removed the cabinet doors and drawer handles so next up was getting the finish ready for primer. My research suggested that there are products out there to help you avoid sanding.  I really want these cabinets to hold up so sanding them down to get the finish roughed up was a must for me.  I was dreading this. Big time. 

SECOND STEP // Sand your cabinets to prepare for priming & painting

Before you start sanding... if your cabinets have holes or cracks that need to be filled you will want to use wood filler and let it dry.  Mine didn't. Yay.

I set up a makeshift table on the back deck and took all the pieces outside to sand.  I used my orbital sander with 150 grit sand paper and then 220 grit sand paper on the front, back, and edges of each piece.  I would strongly recommend using an orbital sander.  Mine was around $50 and I love it.  It sits on my special "Becky only" shelf in the garage. It would have been AHmazing if I only has to use the orbital sander BUT my cabinets have a panel and the sander wouldn't fit in the groove so I also used medium and fine grit sanding blocks to make sure all parts got scuffed up really well.  Lucky you if you have flat front cabinets!

You don't need to completely take the finish off - just try to get rid of all the glossy parts and of course any grime on the cabinets from cooking.  You can see in this picture how the cabinets have a kind of dull look to them. It took me a whopping 7 hours to sand my 30 doors and drawer fronts.

Once all the doors were sanded I moved them back inside.  I didn't wipe them clean because I knew they were going to get dusty (like the rest of the house) when I sanded the cabinet frames.

I really debated whether I should move all the dishes down to the basement so they wouldn't get dusty.  It would have taken for-e-ver. After taking them down I probably would have noticed they were dirty and ended up cleaning them anyway so I just left them in place and sanded.  This part took me another 3 hours.

You are going to be SO happy to be done sanding. I felt like my whole body was vibrating for hours after I finished.  I was really excited to start priming and painting but I knew I needed to spend some time cleaning first.

Our family wouldn't make it through this project (it took me about 2 weeks) without being able to use the kitchen.  So... I dusted and mopped and then spent TWO long DAYS washing every plate, cup, serving dish, pantry item, utensil, pot, and piece of plastic-ware we own.  Then I had to move into the dining room and clean the table, chairs, frames, lighting, and all the books.  Oh, and there was a cabinet full of office supplies too.  This was absolutely -- hands down -- the worst part of this whole cabinet transformation process.  Prepare yourself for the dust!!

THIRD STEP // Clean the dust from your cabinets

Once everything in the house was cleaned up I used liquid deglosser to wipe all parts of the cabinets down.  I used Crown Liquid Deglosser that I got at Lowes for less than $10.  Pretty much just pour some on a rag and wipe everything clean. If you missed any glossy spots during the sanding this should take care of it.  Not hard but took me a couple hours because I have lots of cabinets.  I'm sure you could use a wet or even dry rag and wipe down your cabinets but as I mentioned I'm trying to do everything possible to make these cabinets extra durable.  When it came to priming and painting the cabinets were perfect.  I didn't encounter one rough or dirty area.  I'm gonna go ahead and say it was worth the extra time and money.

If you want to keep track we're up to 14 hours now but things are about to seem much more productive.  Priming is next!

Update: Here's the link to priming the cabinets.

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