How to paint kitchen cabinets without brush marks

Last Updated on May 13, 2022 by Joseph Tyler

Kitchen cabinets are mostly cabinet doors and prominent features found in the kitchen. However, before we dive into how cabinet painting works, it is important we make known to ourselves that for an average do-it-yourself painter, cabinets painting might seem rather a difficult job.

This is why you’d need to take some time and ensure to utilize some proper manipulations and approaches as to how to paint kitchen cabinets without brush marks and get the exceptional outcome you desire.

How to paint kitchen cabinets without brush marks
How to paint kitchen cabinets without brush marks

Essential techniques required when painting kitchen cabinets.

There are some important techniques that are needed when painting cabinets doors with a paintbrush to ensure the finest result.

Firstly, always make sure to get your paintbrush loaded in the right manner. Meanwhile, becoming acquainted with your paintbrush and knowing the quantity of paint ideal for each stroke would help go a long way in achieving this success.

However, you can start by dipping the paintbrush into the paint can while you tap the edge of the brush on the paint to remove excess dye. This excess paint is one major cause of brush marks which means that getting rid of it immediately will help you avoid unwanted drabs, drips, and brush marks.

Be careful not to dip the whole paintbrush into the paint can; most preferably, just half of the brush is best to submerge into the paint while allowing a large space to exist between the paint top and the metal bracket top of the brush.

NB: In recent days now, there have been several styles of paintbrushes invoked, and selecting the right one for your project is dependent on how you do like to paint and the type of paint being used. I would always love to make use of a sash-angled brush because it positions you for the best control over where you’re laying the paint.

In case you already have one you’re used to, why not go ahead and use it as long as it’s not a big thick, straight brush because that’s not nice for this kind of project. If you’re not clear on the type of brush to use, you might want to visit the hardware store and seek advice from the dealer.

Considerable supplies for painting your kitchen cabinets without brush marks.

Considering some important techniques required when painting your cabinets, it is best to know the essential needs to carry out this project successfully.

  • Cabinet paint 

Deciding on what paint to use and choosing the right one is of more importance to the outcome than the paintbrush. Your choice of the paint determines your latter result. So usually, I always recommend choosing anything Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore as they are both of great qualities and Zinsser for the primer to ensure you’re getting the best quality finish possible for your project.

  • Quality paintbrush

In cases of most DIY, you determine whether you make or break your finished product completely by choosing and using the best tools for the project.

However, to be on the safe side, I’d advise you to go for brands with big names for this project to ensure you’re getting nothing short of the best for your job. You can consider using something like a Wooster Brush or a Purdy to ensure you don’t have to deal with bristle shedding all over your job.

Meanwhile, a paint roller is also necessary for a larger surface area. Not only would it save time, but roller marks are also much easier to avoid than it is to prevent brush marks on a larger surface like a cabinet door, for instance.

  • Sandpaper or sanding sponge

A sanding sponge is an obvious choice for this job to create smooth sanding with the right amount of pressure. While sanding, you want to be careful not to apply too much pressure as this would create uneven sanding spots. In a pinch, a 220 grit sandpaper will do. However, a sander might be a little heavy-handed for this kind of project, but notwithstanding, you can also go in with it.

The goal is to get a smooth surface and rough it up a little bit to accept your cabinet paint without stress. Much more is the fact that you need to be careful while using your respirator or mask to avoid inhaling any sanding dust.

  • Drop cloths

Paint spills all over the working site are sure unavoidable so trust me when I say you need drop cloths in this project. Not only would these drop cloths protect your cabinet doors from any dust or fibers in the room, but they would also help protect your walls and floors from paint.

Painting kitchen cabinets without brush marks

  • Prep the surface area and sand the doors

Before you start painting, it is important to note that you have to prepare the area to avert, hence giving the floor and walls an extreme makeover. In this process, you’d have to lay down drop cloths and tape them down so as not to move on the surface being worked on. And peradventure you possess a kitchen island or workbench, this is just the perfect place to have their place.

However, it’s not so much of a bad idea if you place them on the floor, as this would help if the cabinet doors are sanded. This step is crucial because you need a very smooth and clean surface ready for paint to hold onto the cabinet.

Now, you’d take your sandpaper or sand sponge and carry out a very light sanding on all the doors before painting. After which, you wipe off the dust residues left behind from the surface. However, before proceeding to the next step, you might want to make use of an air compressor to blow off the dust and debris from the surface.

NOTE: It’d be perfect if you caulk and sand cabinet doors before having them painted. This ensures that the corner parts and holes absorb the paint completely.

 So you get a wood filler to fill in the holes, then you slightly sand them after the spackle dries.

  • Do away with the hardware

Before any further proceedings, it is necessary to remove hardware such as hinges and handles. You could do this with a screwdriver, as this would help unscrew any hardware found on the handles and hinges. However, be careful while you keep the hardware for doors in a particular bag so as not to lose the screws if you’d still be making use of the hardware afterward.

Alternatively, the hardware can be taken, but you’d notice that it’s quite difficult to avoid brush marks around the hardware edges and harder to create perfect coverage around the hardware pieces.

  • Apply a quality primer and sand down

Regardless of whether or not you’re working on a previously painted door, you want to make use of a primer; not only did I mention a primer, I mean, emphasis on a quality one to make it much easier creating an excellent paint adherence. So if you have purchased quality paint and want to get a clean outcome, you don’t want to skip this vital step.

Once you’re sure to have gotten a high-quality primer and you use it properly by allowing it to dry and sand the surface lightly, there’s every possibility that you’d get through with a better finish on your kitchen cabinet.

In some cases, these primers do not usually need sanding, however, be sure to give it a light sand job to ensure total adherence.

  •  Lay down the first coat of paint

For starters, I would recommend you cut the edges with a paintbrush before you start laying down paint while you go over the larger part of the cabinet door with a paint roller. This process makes it easier for the roller to get close to the edges, which would, in turn, get rid of any brush marks left behind by cutting in.

You want to use enough paint on the roller cover and create an overlap each time you start a new line of paint because it is easier to avoid roller marks that way. After laying down the first layer of paint, make sure you check your work to ensure there aren’t any glaring brush marks or paint drips left behind.

  • Sand the paint

I often advise people to use two coats of paint, especially when painting something as prominent as kitchen cabinets. This is because if you’ve got excellent coverage with the first coat, applying the second coat will give it a much smoother and shinier finish.

However, before you go further with the second coat, you must go back in and sand down the first coat of paint a little bit more. This would allow you to soften any errant brush marks that you couldn’t catch initially and create a very smooth surface so that you can finally resolve to a clear and smooth finishing.

  • Use a second color coat and allow to dry

You want to be extra careful of brush or roller marks that you might be leaving behind at this stage. This is probably the easiest yet the most important for creating a pristine, professional finish without any visible brush marks, so you want to take your time with this. Afterward, you hang/lay your cabinet doors to dry properly. Restore the hardware and hang them up while you revel in your hard work.

Final thought- How to paint kitchen cabinets without brush marks?

To get a kitchen cabinet painted, especially when you’re not a pro, is not an easy task. And the pursuit of getting a professional finish makes the job more difficult to complete. However, with all of these well explained, anyone can overcome these challenges and result in a professionally perfect painted cabinet without brush marks.

Additional Detailed Readings:

How to Seal Chalk Paint Kitchen Cabinets

How to seal white painted furniture

How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets Professionally

Easiest way to paint kitchen cabinets
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