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Advice on how to paint bathroom sink cabinets

I want to paint our bathroom sink cabinets from the bland natural wood color that they are currently stained, to black or white. The cabinet doors are wood, but the sides of the cabinet base look to be particle board or some kind of shiny fake wood. How do you suggest prepping them for painting? Will it even work on fake wood?


Also, I don't want a semi-gloss paint because its too shiny. Would satin finish look and function appropriately in a bathroom?



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Posted 2010-12-31T20:39:42+0000  by tashamu2004 tashamu2004

I would like to welcome to the community tashamu2004 – thanks for stopping by.

Wow, what a way to kick off the new year with a DIY. This is a good resolution…start in the bathroom and work your way out to the rest of the house.

There are a couple of ways to come at this. First, there is a new product that we have recently added that helps transform “ugly” cabinets into brand new looking. It’s called Cabinet Transformations made by Rust-Oleum. 

Rust oleum cabinets.jpg  

I have personally used this product and was very impressed with the results. The only thing is that I believe the final coat applied dries to a semi-gloss finish. Check out this link to watch the video on how easy it is to do.

The other solution is the most traditional way: Prep-prime-paint. Here are the steps.

  1. Clean the surface: through the years “stuff” collects on the face of the cabinets that has to be removed in order for the paint or primer to adhere. Even if you can’t see it – it’s there. Use a strong degreaser to break down any material stuck to the surface and wipe clean with warm water. Be careful to not let “raw wood” areas soak too much moisture up as this will cause swelling of the wood fibers.
  2. Next you will want to prepare the surface for painting. Start by lightly sanding all surfaces (including the “fake wood”) with fine/medium grade sandpaper or sanding block. Pay close attention to any areas that might have pealing or flaking - you will want to smooth those areas out by sanding a little harder. Wipe with a clean damp rag to remove any dust.
  3. Now you will want to patch or seal any holes or cracks. Use paintable caulking to seal places where the wood joints meet (like panels in the door and trim).    cab door.jpg                                                                                              Patch any holes (like nail holes or where handles used to be) with wood putty. If the holes are deep, you might have to do a couple of applications. Over fill and sand smooth when dry.
  4. Prime all surfaces with an oil based primer. This will help to permanently seal the wood and give the paint a strong surface to adhere to. Do not use a water based primer because sometimes certain water stains can “bleed” through.
  5. Lightly sand one more time and clean with a damp cloth.
  6. Now is the time to paint (finally). My favorite paint to use on cabinets is the Behr Ultra line of products. The satin finish has less of a shine to it than the semi-gloss, but still holds up against the harsh environment of a bathroom cabinet. On great quality to this product is its ability to resist streaking when water has been splashed on it. It also has the highest percentage of mildew inhibitor built right into it. You will want to apply at least two coats to ensure maximum protection. Consider changing out hinges, knobs & handles.

Please post some before and after pics so we all can all follow the progress. I hope this helped, and please let me know if I can further assist you along the way.

Posted 2011-01-02T14:34:07+0000  by Kevin_HD_ATL

Hey tashamu! 


Several of our product experts, ChristineClaret, GoToGregg, and HDWetPaint teamed-up to show our Community how to apply this exceptional new product from Rustoleum.


Click here to see their video.

Posted 2011-01-06T19:03:20+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL
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