A cabinet painting is really quite a bit different from a picture painted for display. Generally speaking, a cabinet painting is usually a rather small painting, no bigger than 2 feet in both dimensions (sometimes less) and area, but quite often quite smaller still. The term is generally used for paintings that reveal large-scale scenes or full-length pictures on a rather small scale, instead of a specific human face or object painted quite life-like. Usually, the subject matter is somewhat abstract in nature, whether it’s a vase of flowers in a decorative frame or a collection of tools arranged in an intricate geometric pattern. Sometimes the subject matter is more definite, such as a cabinet panel painted to look like an old-fashioned telephone booth.
Paintings on cabinets are most commonly protected with acrylic medium. Acrylic medium is grease and water-resistant liquid and provides excellent protection from damage due to water, moisture, and even scratches and fingerprints. Some acrylic paints have specially designed properties that make them particularly useful for covering woodwork while protecting it from water damage and providing an easy way to remove peeling paint when the time comes. Some acrylics also have opaque properties that can prevent further staining from water, and some can even provide camouflage when the painting isn’t visible.
Latex paint is one of the most common types of acrylic painting, used most frequently to create painted cabinets. It is available in a variety of finishes, from flat to gloss, and can even be used over a metal base for an electrostatically-applied finish. A latex paint application should be applied very carefully to avoid leaving white streaks; thin layers of latex can be easily peeled away with a cloth. Because there’s little drying time involved, latex paints are often suitable for use in high-traffic areas, and they may even be resistant to mildew.
Sanding and finishing are key to creating a high-quality paint finish for painted cabinets. The process of sanding involves removing a thin layer of unfinished wood, sanding it to make an even surface, and then applying a thin layer of the new paint. Sanding and finishing are used to bring out the natural beauty of wood, as well as to increase its durability. Without proper siding preparation, however, the results may be unpleasantly uneven.
One of the most important steps of cabinet painting involves prepping the surface to be painted. The surface must be completely dry before a coat of paint can be applied. This prepping process not only makes the cabinets easier to paint but also ensures that the finish is highly durable. Preparing wood surfaces for painting involves cleaning them of all loose debris and dust before painting. This will ensure that a durable finish is achieved.
Once the surfaces are ready, a primer can be applied to the surface to help the surface adhere to the paint easily. Primer is often a clear, latex-based product that allows the artist to paint more densely on the surface, providing a vibrant, professional look. A second, dry coat of primer is often necessary after a primer has been applied to ensure that the finish is weather-resistant and will not flake. It is recommended that a third, medium-coverage coat of paint is added to the cabinets once the entire surface has been given a final coat of primer.
If the cabinets are to be hand-painted rather than using a stencil, a process called lamination is an option. The lamination process is accomplished by applying a heavy coating of glue over a protective coating of thin cloth. A thick, flat brush is then pressed against the top of the glue and the lamination process begins. Because it requires a professional-grade product, many homeowners choose to use satin enamels for their cabinets. Satin enamels are a durable choice when it comes to painting the surfaces of antique and period pieces of furniture, though they are typically only used on solid wood surfaces.
Cabinet painting is often a do-it-yourself project that homeowners can do themselves if they have the appropriate supplies. However, many people opt to hire Cabinet Painting to ensure that the project is done properly and thoroughly. Homeowners who wish to give their kitchen cabinets a whole new look should consider these three popular options for painting their kitchen cabinets.