How To Paint Veneer Cabinets

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When we first purchased our home, I could tell that there were a few things we needed to change immediately. The entire flow of the house was a little cramped, and the finishes were outright terrible. I knew that we needed to do something right away, so we started working with a team of professional remodeling contractors who could help. After we talked with them about what we wanted, they started working right away to make things right. It was amazing to see how much of a difference a little work made, and I was really impressed with how much better the space felt. Check out this blog for great information about remodeling.


How To Paint Veneer Cabinets

12 June 2017
 Categories: , Blog

If you have faded veneer cabinets, or you want to change the color, paint them, instead of replacing them. Veneer is commonly believed to be cheap, but some famous maker of furniture actually use veneer.

Veneer is a thin, extra layer of real wood sealed with a glossy finish, and applied to less expensive wood. It is tricky, but it is still possible to paint veneer cabinets by following these instructions..

Prepare to Paint

For this project, you need:

  • work gloves
  • drop cloths or plastic
  • sponges
  • scrub brush
  • cotton swab
  • trisodium phosphate or liquid dish soap
  • screwdriver
  • 220-grit sand paper
  • wood glue medium and light-nap roller
  • paint stripper
  • bonding primer
  • semi-gloss paint

Use a screwdriver to detach hinges and door knob. Store hardware in a plastic bag or small container.  Remove items from the shelves, and detach the shelves, if they are removable. Set the doors and shelves on a flat work surface on newspapers. 

Spread plastic or drop cloths over the floor and other areas you don't want touched by paint. Cover outlets around the cabinet with painter's tape.

Strip the Paint

Heavy sanding can damage delicate veneer surfaces, so you need to strip the paint with paint thinner. Use trisodium phosphate or liquid soap to clean the drawers, shelves, and cabinet body, then let it dry. Clean tough grease spots and dirt with a scrub brush.  

If you run into loose veneer, dab a cotton ball in wood glue, and spread it on the veneer. Avoid filling in screw holes. Keep the wood pressed on the glue until it dries. Gently sand the repair in the direction of the grain, and use a cloth to  wipe sand dust.

Spread the paint stripper on a small area with a paint brush, let it stand for the suggested time, and watch for bubbling. Sand the area gently; cleaning sand dust with a cloth. Apply the stripper to the entire cabinet surface in the same manner.

Prime and Paint

Bonding primer are better for glossy finishes than standard latex primer. Apply the primer to the whole cabinet body, shelves, and doors, working in small sections following the wood grain using the medium-nap paint roller.

Let the first coat dry, which commonly takes two hours, then sand the area again lightly, cleaning sand dust. Add another primer coat, if needed.

Use the light-nap roller to several thin layers of the semi-gloss paint; allowing each layer to dry separately. Let the cabinets dry for about forty-eight hours before you reinstall the doors and shelves, then remove the tape. If that doesn't work out, contact a local company (think Mckenzie Architectural kitchens) to do the job.