šŸ¤©Our whole cabinet processšŸ¤©

Hi everyone! Today is the start of our How to paint kitchen cabinets in 3 short days post! Today we are going to walk through our process here at Exterior and Interior Painting Specialists.

Our kitchen cabinet process used to take 6 days, but since we work in an assembly line process, use an airless sprayer and create an onsite spray booth we are able to cut it down to a 3-day process.Ā  Check out our table of contents below to see everything we do when we begin a cabinet project!Ā  Check back next week to see what we do on day two!Ā 

Table of contents:

  • Arrival
  • Protecting your floors
  • Removing hardware
  • Cleaning
  • Taping
  • Sanding
  • HEPA filter system
  • Wash again
  • Spray booths
  • Primer
  • End of Day 1
  • Coat 1Ā 
  • 4 hour break
  • Checking all areas
  • Coat 2
  • End of day 2
  • Checking the areas
  • Cleaning the tape/plastic
  • Replacing hardware
  • Re-assembling
  • Drop cloth clean-up
  • Cleaning


When we start a new cabinet project we arrive at 8 AM. We typically start on a Monday or on Thursday, we start on these days because our process takes 3 days. We can finish two cabinet projects in a week. We always try to park on the road and not in the customers drive-way. We do this just incase anything were to spill or leak, we wouldn’t want to damage a drive-way. Once we get there and great the customer and walk through the project for a final time,Ā  we lay drop cloths to protect your floors.

Protecting your floors:

We lay cloth drop cloths everywhere we walk and where we will be spraying we use paper drop cloths purchased from Sherwin-Williams. We tape the edges of the paper down so they don’t move and the paper doesn’t allow liquid to leak through.

Removing Hardware:

Next, we begin taking the drawer fronts and the door fronts off the units. These will not leave the job site at all, we will go over the on site spray booth soon.Ā  After we take everything down we also remove all the hardware, this includes the handles, hinges, and anything else on the cabinets. This is a great opportunity for the clients to change out and update! We have to take them off no matter what to paint them! If they are there and setting to the side, we will take care of this for you.Ā 


After taking everything off the cabinet fronts we clean everything with TSP. We use TSP (Trisodium Phosphate) to break down the grease, grime, and all other things off the surface. It is a safe chemical that easily breaks down dirt and other unwanted things in the kitchen. We need to clean the units on the wall as well as the front and back of the doors and drawers.Ā 


To be able to spray the units we will tape off the inside so there is no over spray. We do this in the drawer and door fronts as shown in the video below. We place the tape inside the unit and drag the plastic down to cover the inside. We drape plastic over all the appliances, so nothing is damaged with over spray.


Now, before we go onto a light sanding we are going to set up our HEPA filter sanding system! This is an attachment to the sander that sucks up and collects all the extra dust that comes off as we sand. Sanding takes off any other layers of paint on the cabinets and makes it easier for the primer and new paint to adhere to the cabinets. We have to make sure to sand every little corner on all surfaces that are being painted.Ā 

HEPA Filter System:

This filter system collects very small microns of dust while we are sanding!Ā  After we sand we are goingk to wash it again with TSP to get any other dust off and make sure we got all of the grime off.

We are going to go on and set up a spray booth! Building a spray booth in the garage, spare room, or basement allows us to spray the fronts with the airless sprayer and keeping it on site.

Spray Booths:

We make two different spray booths at the home. We hang plastic from the ceiling around the cabinets. This will protect the rest of the home from any over spray that may happen. We also make a spray booth in the garage, basement, or a spare room. In this area we lay the paper drop cloth that we mentioned in the kitchen. We also hang the plastic from the ceiling the same way we did in the kitchen. This is where we will spray the door and drawer fronts and let them dry.


Now that we have the spray booths and everything set up and prepped, we are going to prime everything.Ā 

Once the priming is finished we clean the areas and wrap up for the day.

At the end of day 1 we sprayed the primer on the units and fronts and we hung them up.Ā 

Day 2 table of contents:

  • Coat 1Ā 
  • 4 hour break
  • Checking all areas
  • Coat 2

After letting the primer sit over night we can put the first coat of paint on.

We use Emerald Urethane Enamel from Sherwin-Williams on all of our cabinet projects. It is the hardest, most durable paint Sherwin-Williams offers, it is also the same paint we use on most doors and trim as well.

Click here to read the ultimate cabinet guide!

We start with spraying the units and then we paint the cabinet fronts and drawer fronts.Ā 

When spraying you can’t go too fast because it will be too thin, but if you go too slow the paint will be thick and will cause runs.

After letting the first coat sit for at least 4 hours we check to make sure it is all even and there are no runs. If there are any issues you can sand it and fix it.Ā 

Make sure to do this before spraying the second coat, check every area on the units, and all door and drawer fronts.

The second coat needs to sit for at least 8 hours! We always let it sit over night, so this concludes day two!Ā 

Tune in next week to see how day 3 goes!

Pictures of jobs we’ve completed:

Table of contents:

  • Checking the areas
  • Cleaning the tape/plastic
  • Replacing hardware
  • Re-assembling
  • Drop cloth clean-up
  • Cleaning

Now if you remember from last week, we ended the day of day two by spraying on the second coat.

The first thing we do today is, we are going to look over everything we painted and make sure there are no dings from the doors accidentally touching each other and make sure there are no runs.

Once we make sure all of the door fronts, drawer fronts, and units are okay we are going to start cleaning up!

Cleaning up means we are going to remove the tape and plastic that you see pictured below. We can also remove any plastic we had hanging from the ceiling or on any furniture such as the separate china cabinet pictured in the background below. We are going to leave all of the drop clothes on the ground for now. Someone else is also going to start taking apart the spray booth in the garage and bringing the cabinet fronts and drawers fronts into the kitchen.

Click here to see what Sherwin-Williams products we use.

Now we are going to put the handles back on the doors and drawers. Sometimes the clients take this opportunity to change out their hardware. If they purchase it ahead of time and let us know we typically change them out at no charge. Sometimes they change the number of holes when changing handles, that is when the charge plays in.

We will also attach the hinges back onto the cabinet doors. These can also been changes out, it is best to take an existing hinge you use to the store with you before purchasing them to make sure it works in your kitchen.Ā  We attach the hinge to the door then to the units.Ā 

When we took the doors and drawer fronts off we labeled them and the units. We need to play close attention to this when we are putting them back on. House tend to settle over time, and that means sometimes they shift. The cabinets are accustomed to this so if we mix any of them up it will stick out like a sore thumb.

Click here to read the ultimate cabinet guide!Ā 

After we get everything put back together, we finish cleaning.

We have to take the remaining tape, plastic, and drop cloths. The drop cloths will be the last thing to go, when all of our tools except for cleaning tools are out of the home. After taking the drop clothes out we walk through and clean any possible messes.

Finished Cabinet Painting in Central Illinois


Thank you for reading our blog! Today we shared our entire 3 day process for completing cabinets!Ā  Give us a call at 309-349-7021 to get a free estimate! Check out our other blogs and Facebook to see any awesome new deals!Ā 



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šŸ˜Interior GuidešŸ˜

Introduction: Welcome toĀ Exterior and Interior Painting SpecialistsĀ blog!Today we are going to give you all of our interior tips when painting your home! Check out the


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