Painting laminated Kitchen Cabinets and list of recommended application tools and paint sundries

   * Identify each door and drawer by labeling each relative to its original location. Place number label on backside of doors and drawers and on inside of cabinet opening.

   * Remove doors and all hardware (hinges and pulls). If door and drawer pulls are to be added later, locate and drill mounting holes before painting. Use templates for uniform hole location. Use a drill bit made for boring through plastic laminate.

   * Protect walls and ceiling with the appropriate "light tack" masking tape to avoid damaging paint or wallpaper when removing.

   * A "clean surface" is paramount to any good paint job. This is particularly important in a kitchen exposed to many years of use and residual cooking oils and smoke. Clean twice if in doubt, especially around the stove and below the sink areas. Use cleaners that Do NOT leave residual oils and/or polishes and waxes. Do NOT use paint thinner or mineral spirits and avoid flammable or toxic cleaners. Do NOT allow rinse water to penetrate behind laminates into particle board. Use MULTIPLE clean rags to ensure final surface ifs free of contaminants.

   * Inspect and repair any chipped laminate with an epoxy filler. Prime all exposed particle board with a fast drying oil based white stain blocking primer. Do NOT use shellac based primers.

   * Dull all laminated surfaces by sanding with #220 or #320 wet/dry sandpaper (use dry). Use crisscross and circular motion to rough-up surface slightly. Sand "over" not "along" edges of doors and drawers to give the paint tooth to hang onto. Remove the bulk of sanding residue with a clean damp cloth. Use a fresh "tack rag" lightly over each surface just before applying paint to ensure a dust-free finish.

   * The preferred tool to apply Cabinet Rescue®, assuming the surfaces are flat and level, is a high density foam roller (about 1-1/4" diameter by 4" or 6" long) with rounded roller ends. First, stir the paint thoroughly to an even color and consistency. Gently work paint into the foam roller to displace trapped air. Place the doors on a raised horizontal work station. Use the tack rag and proceed to apply the first coat of paint to the front and sides of the door. Use a light touch with multiple passes on edges to avoid paint build-up on the door's front face. Follow a similar procedure with drawers.Use the roller and a cut-in brush to paint the vertical facings of the cabinet boxes (styles). Do not apply paint heavily on these vertical sections to avoid drips and runs. It is easier to apply a light third coat than to sand down paint runs and sags after the job is done.

   * Under normal conditions (77 degrees Fahrenheit and 50% humidity), the second coat can be applied after 2 hours dry time. Do NOT sand between coats unless first coat has dried MORE than 72 hours. To remove dust specs, wait 4 hours and sand "VERY" lightly with "VERY FINE" sandpaper. High humidity, low temperature and poorly ventilated area and too heavy of a coat will prolong the drying time.

   * Doors should dry 72 hours after second coat before attempting to remount hinges to doors and doors to boxes. Care should be taken to avoid damaging the newly painted surfaces with sharp edges of hinges. A finishing nail placed in one hole of each upper and lower hinge mounting holes on the styles (boxes) will hold the door in position while inserting screws for each hinge. When door is secure with two screws, pull out the finishing nails and replace with two screws.

   * Mount door and drawer pulls. Handle all painted surfaces carefully during the first 10 days as the paint reaches it's final hard cure. Avoid hard cleanings with detergents during the first 30 days. Most smudges can be removed with a diluted solution of liquid dish cleaning soap.

Painting kitchen cabinets made from solid wood (not laminated) that may have an original factory applied lacquer or varnish finish or have been previously painted with an enamel

1. Follow all of the recommendations listed above for laminated surfaces to identify and number door locations, cleaning, dulling the surfaces by sanding and protecting walls and ceilings.

2. Chips in wood requiring repair prior to painting should be filled with an appropriate wood filler, sanded smooth and primed to avoid blemishes from showing through the final paint job.

3. All stained and/or bare wood surfaces previously coated with shellac, varnish, lacquer or polyurethane must be primed with a stain blocking primer BEFORE applying Cabinet Rescue"!. A pigmented (white) oil/alkyd based primer is recommended.

DO NOT use a shellac based stain blocking primer under Cabinet Rescue"! as it may cause "cracking" in the finish coat.

4. Allow the primer to dry THOROUGHLY, then sand smooth before proceeding to apply the first coat of Cabinet Rescue"!. Do not sand "through" the primer as to expose underlying shellac or lacquer finishes as this will cause the finish coat to crack in those areas.

5. All previously painted or enameled wood surfaces should be tested for compatibility. Apply Cabinet Rescue"! over a small test area first. If Cabinet Rescue"! crawls, cracks or dries to an irregular sheen then priming with an oil based stain blocking primer is required. Prime, let primer dry and sand to a smooth finish before proceeding.

6. Apply Cabinet Rescue"! as per label instructions by using a brush, roller or combination of both to achieve the best and even coverage.


* A cleaning solution of choice to cut through grease, grime, oil and dirt on cabinets. A flammable solvent cleaner IS NOT recommended.

* #220 or #320 wet/dry sandpaper or emery cloth for laminated surfaces (6 to 8 sheets), or medium/fine garnet sandpaper for wood surfaces.

* Tack cloth (one or two).

* Masking tape. Gentle release or safe release depending on surfaces to which it will be applied.

* Clean wiping rags (2 or 5 pound bag).

* 1" wide angular sash cut-in brush (high quality nylon/polyester synthetic bristles for latex paint).

* One or two high density foam rollers to apply Cabinet Rescue"!. Also use rollers to apply the primer for the smoothest finish (for primer plan on 2 to 4 foam rollers which will be discarded after each use to avoid cleaning with flammable solvents).

* Small paint tray to reduce paint waste.


* Epoxy filler to repair chipped laminated surfaces.

* Wood filler or putty to fill defects in "wood" surfaces.

* White alkyd/oil based stain blocking primer for exposed particle board, or to prime over lacquer, shellac and varnishes.

download pdf