How to Paint Oak Cabinets and Hide the Grain

How to Paint Oak Cabinets and Hide the Grain? – On a Good Budget

While the grain on your kitchen cabinets has a rustic charm, it can certainly mar the décor if you look for a modern aesthetic look. If you take the time to finish and paint them properly, they will look amazing.

It could easily take you a couple of thousand dollars to have your cabinets painted professionally, and you can save a lot by doing it yourself.

So, if you are willing to put some hard work and some patience into it, here’s our guide on how to paint oak cabinets and hide the grain.

The Items You Will Need

If you are unfamiliar with woodworking or know just the simple things, you might feel intimidated by the long list of items and the process you need to go through.

But, don’t be worried, because we will give you a detailed step-by-step guide you can follow with ease.

However, it is a lengthy process, and it’s a good idea to get all the items you need before starting work on your cabinets. Here are the items you will require.

  • Sandpaper or sanding block (both coarse and fine grit)
  • Cleaning brush
  • Paintbrush
  • Paint roller
  • Putty knife
  • Spackling paste
  • Oil-based primer
  • Urethane enamel paint
  • Stain remover
  • Clean rag
  • Masking tape

How to Paint Oak Cabinets and Hide the Grain: Step-by-Step Guide

Now that you have all the things you need, follow this guide, and you’ll have a grain-free paint finish on your cabinets.

Step 1: Unscrew All the Cabinet Doors and Hinges

The first thing you have to do is take the cabinet doors off the hinges and then unscrew the hinges.

They will get in the way while you prime and finish your cabinet. After getting the hinges out, put masking tape over the holes. You can also use masking tape inside your drawers with the appropriate numbers, which will help you to mark the drawers.

You will also want to label the screws and put them in a container. Labeling them will help you determine where the screws belong, and you won’t have to try them one by one while assembling the doors and hinges after the job is done.

Step 2: Clean the Cabinet

Before you want to start with the priming and painting process, you need to clean your cabinet.

Your kitchen cabinet might look very clean at first glance, but if you inspect a bit cautiously, you will find layers of cooking grease which don’t bond very well with the paint.

To remove the kitchen grease, you can use dish soap. Use soapy water all over the surface of doors and hinges.

After cleaning the grease and rub it with a clean rag, you can use a stain blocker that will remove the leftover grease and prevent tannins from ruining your paint job.

Step 3: Sanding and Removing the Grain     

After cleaning the cabinet, you need to sand your cabinet to get a good foundation for the primer and paint.

Before sanding, you should use light spackle and put a thin layer on the surface using a putty knife. Give it a few minutes to dry so that you can start the sanding process.

After sanding, you will find spackle only inside the crevices of the wood, giving you a smooth surface for your paint and primer to cling to.  

Using spackle is the easiest way to remove the grain while sanding. However, we don’t recommend using spackle if you are looking for a perfect finishing, as spackle tends to get pulled out of the grain and stick with the paint.

A perfect solution for this problem would be using coating products or putty powder. There is no rocket science for preparing putty powder.

You need to make a thick paste using water and putty powder. If it is too dry, add more water to it and if it is too thin, then use more putty powder.

After the paste is made, use the putty knife to distribute the paste equally all over the surface.

You can also use a sanding sealer to reduce the need for an excessive primer to hide the grain. You can also use a sanding sealer after you have sanded or cleaned your cabinet.      

You can use both electronic and manual sandpapers with grit ranging from 120-220. However, if you want to accelerate your sanding process, we recommend getting an electronic sander.

Make sure to go along with the wood grain while sanding and put consistent pressure.

Step 4:  Priming and Painting

Priming is vital to make your paint sustainable on your wood cabinets. You only need one coat of primer on your wood before you paint.

After the primer is dry, you can start your painting process. You might be wondering whether you want to spray the paint or not.

Using a brush will definitely give you a good finishing, but if you want to give the cabinets a professional look, we recommend using a spray gun as you can reach the corners pretty easily.

Generally, two coats of paint are sufficient enough to cover the surface of your oak cabinets.  If you are planning to paint without a spray gun, then it is better to use a paint roller for flat areas and brushes for the corners.  

However, using a roller can create bubbles on the surface so use high grit sandpapers around 320 and gently sand it to get a silky smooth surface.

After that, you might want to brush another coat of paint using a soft painting brush. These will give you the final touch you need, and you won’t have to use top coating above the paint.

Step 5: Assemble All Parts of the Cabinet 

After the paint is dried, you can connect all the hinges and doors. Generally, it takes around a week for the paint to completely attach to the surface of your cabinet.

Also, it would be best if you were a bit careful with the paints, so you don’t push the mush accidentally and ruin your beautiful paintwork. The best way to handle this is by using polybags as protective.

While connecting the hinges and door, make sure you are using the right screw in your cabinet compartment. Simply remove the masking tape from the holes and identify which screws you will need.

Your previous marking method with the doors and screws will come in really handy when you are doing this task.

Your Cabinet is Ready!

Are you done with all of these steps from our guide on how to paint oak cabinets and hide the grain? Your custom-made oak cabinet is ready to be used.

You can use any color you want to use that matches your taste and the surrounding of the kitchen.

And, the best part is that you can easily hide the grain of your oak cabinets in this process.

Yes, painting your cabinet is time-consuming and takes a lot of effort, but painting your cabinet will make you feel like you are in a new kitchen and give you the enthusiasm you were looking for.

So, if you are planning to paint your oak cabinets, follow these basic steps, and your custom-painted oak cabinet will be ready in no time.      

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