Types of Woods for Cabinet Painting
Painting cabinets can be a great way to give your kitchen a fresh, new look. But it’s important to get the job done right. Before you paint your cabinets, you must know what paint to use and how to apply it. Plus, you must sand the cabinet surfaces, so the paint adheres properly.
Poplar is one of the most common types of wood used for cabinet painting. It is lightweight and has a smooth surface that takes paint very well. It is also inexpensive and available in many colors. This makes it an excellent choice for homemakers on a budget. However, because it is softwood, hardwood is more durable. It can be easily dented and if not treated, will only last for a while.
Hardwoods are a great option to paint because they take paint well and leave a smooth finish. But before you paint the wood, it’s important to sand it down thoroughly. Use sandpaper to remove dirt, splinters, and any other imperfections. This will make it easier to work with the cabinets. After sanding, it’s time to prime the wood. A primer will help the paint adhere to the surface and prevent it from drying too quickly.
Chris and Lexi recommend using Elmer’s Carpenter’s Interior Wood Filler to prep the hardwood. It’s great for removing nicks and dings from surfaces and filling holes. When it comes time to refinish the cabinet doors and drawers, sand the surfaces with 320 grit sandpaper to get a smooth finish. Then, use a brush to apply the paint. This gives the painted surfaces a subtle texture and eliminates roller marks.
Alder is a popular choice for cabinet doors because it’s a beautiful, affordable, and sustainable wood species. It also offers a wide variety of finishes and looks that complement any design style. Alder can be painted and stained to create a look that’s unique to you. The open pores of alder make it easy for stain to sink into the wood and add character. It’s important to sand the cabinets first, as this will help create a smooth surface for the paint to adhere to. It will also prepare the wood for a more durable finish.
You can also use semi-transparent stains on knotty alder to bring out the grain and give it a brighter appearance. This will make it appear more rustic and enhance the cabinets’ natural features. Painting over knots can be tricky, but it’s possible. You’ll want to sand the wood well and follow a specific painting technique that will prevent the resin from seeping through the paint.
The hardness of different woods is determined by the Janka scale, which measures how difficult it is to dent or break. Walnut, for example, has a Janka hardness of 1010 while cherry has a hardness of 950. Both of these woods take paint very well, but maple is more dimensionally stable and dents less. It is also a much more durable type of wood than poplar and can be a better option for furniture, cabinets and flooring.
Pine is an affordable soft wood with a rustic charm that goes well with many styles of cabinets. However, it’s not as hard as oak, and knots or pitch pockets may bleed through paint without a good primer. Using an oil-based or shellac-based primer will seal the wood and prepare it for a new paint coat that’ll adhere more securely. Then, you’ll get a smooth, even finish that won’t show bleed-through discoloration.
You can choose to use a quick-drying water-based primer instead of an oil-based one. They’re easier to apply and have better stain-blocking properties but are not as durable. Before painting, sand the cabinet and remove any sanding marks left by previous paint jobs or poor varnishing. Ideally, you’ll do this with 120-grit sandpaper to make the surface smoother.