Kitchen Makeover in 31 Days: Sanding Before Painting

Before you paint the first brush stroke or make the first pass with a sprayer, you will need to do some sanding as part of kitchen cabinet prep.

Before you can paint your first brush stroke or make the first pass with a sprayer, you will need to do some sanding as part of kitchen cabinet prep.

Did you read the title to this post?

Yes, I did just spend approximately 6 hours on Monday sanding 14 doors and drawers with an orbital sander.  That only took care of all the flat surfaces.

Today I had a 3.5-hour date with a sanding sponge and a couple of pieces of folded up sandpaper which will probably lead to a date with ibuprofen later this afternoon!

It was a beautiful fall afternoon here, and I honestly enjoyed my time outside, even if it was spent sanding. I’m weird like that.

I waffled back and forth on this part of prep several times. I had almost talked myself into using liquid deglosser, but after discussing the pros and cons with my silent partner, I decided it was better just to man up and do the sanding.

Here’s Why WeAre Skipping The Primer

We aren’t using a primer. I realize this might be considered in some circles as cabinet painting blaspheme, but the paint we are using has a built-in primer, and the existing finish is light.

If I were painting white over a dark stain, I wouldn’t have even considered skipping the primer.

(for more on this subject read How NOT to Paint Kitchen Cabinets by 1915 House)

Gah, before you say or ask me anything else, I know some folks don’t like the two in one paint products.

Since this is my first time using this paint on anything other than walls, I can’t honestly give you an opinion on it. I can tell you that it covered the gold paint in our kitchen in almost one coat.

We’re going completely rogue by skipping the primer, and this decision is just going to have to be the DIY hill we stand on. (notice I didn’t say die on)

So, here’s the prep steps I’ve completed so far

  • wiped all surfaces with ammonia
  • sanded all flat areas using an orbital sander
  • sanded all recessed areas and nooks and crannies using a sanding sponge and sandpaper folded up

The next step is to vacuum everything before giving them a final wipe down with a damp lint-free cloth.

To borrow a phrase from Chip Gaines, I’m ready to pass the baton off to my silent partner for the next phase of this project!



See you tomorrow,

your sister in paint


Here are the links for days 1 through 10 of my Kitchen Makeover in 31 Days Series.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

Day 8 Sunday is my day off 🙂

Day 9

Day 10








Leave a Reply