One of the top ways to change the look of your kitchen and add more value to your home is a cabinet upgrade. Many people think that they must buy new cabinets, which can cost $10,000 to $20,000 or even more. Refacing your cabinets is a more affordable way to get the look that you want while still sticking to your budget.
Refacing is a simple job that requires removing the doors from the cabinets, sanding down the wood and applying both primer and one or more coats of color. Using a sprayer helps you get the job done faster and provides the smooth and even layer of pigment that you want on those cabinets too. In addition 0to finding the top product for home use, we also compiled a list of tips on how to choose the right product and how to color your cabinets.
Our top choice is the Graco Project Plus (Check Price on Amazon.com), which is easy to use. It has an adjustable pressure feature that lets you quickly change the pressure based on the size of your project. We also recommend the Fuji Spray Semi-PRO 2 (Check Price on Amazon.com) for those who need or want an HVLP gun.
Make sure that you read through our tips on choosing a product and coloring your cabinets before comparing models and working in your kitchen.
Contents Table - Click to expand
How to Choose the Right One for You
What is the Horsepower of the Motor?
If you don't think that horsepower is important, you probably never tried coloring with one before. The more horsepower it has, the faster the pigment will come out. This helps you get the even coat that you want in less time.
Before you go all out with one that has a more powerful motor though, keep in mind that horsepower can relate to performance. Using too much power can result in you having a hard time controlling it, which can lead to a coat that looks uneven and gloppy. Make sure that you feel comfortable using that tool and that you can handle the horsepower of the motor.
How Important is Tip Size?
Tip size is especially important if you aren't sure what type you want to use. Larger tips allow more liquid to come out, which reduces the risks of clogs forming. Tips that are too small can keep it from flowing out as quickly as you want and can make thicker ones clog the unit.
Products designed for home use typically come with at least one tip that the manufacturer rated for use with its motor. Pro units come with hoses that will work with different tip sizes and accessories.
Do You Need an HVLC Gun?
HVLC guns come with a motor that have a high cubic feet per minute rating, which lets you know that you can cover more area in less time. These models have a lower pressure per square inch rating than pro models do. This reduces the pressure at which the liquid that comes out to help you prevent some common mistakes.
These products are a great choice for anyone staining cabinets and doing other jobs around the house. You can use one on your cabinets and interior walls, but you can also use one to color your deck and work on outdoor projects. In terms of cost, HVLC guns are usually more expensive than standard units.
How Do Cup Sprayers Work?
One thing you should consider is whether you want one that has its own cup or one that comes with a longer hose. Those that come with a longer hose like our choice for the best product for cabinets have a motor that provides some suction. You put the hose into the bucket, it uses suction to pull the liquid along the hose and comes out through the tip.
The downside to this type of model is that you need to wait a few seconds for the color to come out. Standing further away from the bucket can increase your wait time too.
That is why some DIY enthusiasts prefer cup models. They have a cup on one end that holds the colorant, and you can fill the cup all the way to the top. This will limit what you can do with the product though.
When working with a cup model, you may find that need to refill that cup for each cabinet and that you need to keep stopping and starting to add more. For larger projects, airless units that use a suction tube are a much better option.
Can It Handle Your Paint?
Another important thing to look at is whether the unit can handle the type that you want to use. Some variants, especially those that have primer in the formula, are much thicker and come out at a higher rate. Not all products can accommodate these thicker ones, which means that you will need to thin or dilute them before using it.
Airless and gravity products can both work with thicker and thinner types of color. The tips used on these models will keep it from clogging the system as it comes through.
What is the Overall Weight?
Looking at the overall weight is something else that you should do. Whether you want to work in your kitchen, outside or in your garage, you need to ensure that you can easily carry it. Those that are heavier or larger in size will feel uncomfortable in your hands and can keep you from working as well as you would like.
The Ultimate Sprayer Review
The highest rated product for cabinets that we found is the Projector Plus from Graco. This model looks a little complicated but is so easy to use that you can set it up and tackle all your cabinets over the course of a long weekend. It has a piston pump inside made from stainless steel that lets you set it to a higher pressure level for more efficient coverage, and it works with both diluted and undiluted types.
Capable of providing an almost endless streams, Graco recommends using this model with up to 50 gallons per year. The flexible hose that comes with this unit provides suction to pull the liquid up from the bucket and through this product. You can drop that line right inside a one-gallon or a five-gallon bucket.
The clogs that you experienced when using other products are a thing of the past with this one. You can reverse the tip when a clog forms to eliminate that clog without missing a beat and without putting it down.
It also comes with something called a PowerFlush adapter that works with an ordinary garden hose. Hooking up your hose lets you flush this unit to remove excess color at the end of your job.
If you’d like to discover some more paint sprayer options, be sure to check our review here.
Best HVLP Gun for Cabinets
Choosing an HVLP gun for cabinets might be a better option for you because these products use a lower velocity, which creates a slower moving flow that you can more easily handle and control. Our top choice comes from Fuji Spray, which is the company behind the Semi-PRO 2. This system is excellent for painting your cabinets and using in other interior space but works just as well on outside jobs like staining a deck.
This system comes with an air cap already installed and a cup that holds enough pigment for most smaller jobs. Fuji Spray designed the system to work with the natural force of gravity, which allows the liquid to slowly move into the cup to keep you from using too much. The ergonomic handle reduces strain on your hand and allows you to pull the trigger and direct the flow with just one side.
A 25-foot long hose comes with this system to give you a larger range of motion and to help you work further away from your cans. An air control valve on the end of this hose reduces the risk of any bounce back and prevents large clumps of colorants from coming out.
Top Rated Product for Kitchen Cabinets
A great way to transform the look of your cabinets is a can of spray paint. These containers come with liquid inside and a nozzle that you can use more or less pressure on to change how quickly the color comes out. We like the Dual Superbond from Krylon because it acts as both a primer and a paint and lets you skip applying different coats separately.
Suitable for use on both wood and laminates, it will work on any cabinets. As it also bonds to the surface of metals, you can safely use it on your metal hardware and hinges too. The color dries so quickly that you can apply multiple coats in less time than you could when using other products.
Another reason why we like this product is that it comes with different finish options. You can pick a flat finish, a satin finish that is a little shinier or a gloss finish that gives some beautiful shine to your cabinets. Krylon also offers this product in multiple colors options that let you select the perfect shade for your kitchen.
How to Paint Like a Pro
Once you look at the best model for kitchen cabinets, you may want to find out the best way to go about actually painting those cabinets. We created a useful list of tips that we think you will find useful.
Remove the Doors
Painting the cabinets while still in place can result in the liquid dripping down the sides or spilling onto your counters, but you do not need to remove all the cabinets. Taking off the doors and hardware is much easier. Make sure that you put all the hardware like hinges and screws in a safe spot.
Many people think that they can go right to work without cleaning the surface first. Cabinets can pick up debris from the foods that you cook. When you apply color to the surface, it can highlight every imperfection left behind by grease or dust.
Use a cleaner specifically designed for wood, laminate or the material your cabinets use. Give the surface time to dry after you finish cleaning.
Now is a great time to make those repairs that you kept putting off. Wood putty is the perfect material to use for filling holes, cracks and dents. It dries overnight or within a few hours and leaves behind a nice and smooth surface that helps the color stick.
Once the putty dries, you'll want to sand down each area. You can use ordinary sandpaper or an electric sander, but using sandpaper gives you control over the amount of pressure that you use. Wipe all surfaces down with a wet cloth and then a dry cloth to remove any sawdust.
Priming and Coloring the Boxes
Once you finish taking off the doors, the cabinets left behind on the walls are the boxes. You can prime and color the boxes without removing each one, though you'll want to put down tarps and use tape to block off the areas you do not want to stain.
After applying a coat of primer and letting it dry, examine the boxes to determine if you need a second coat. You can apply the colorant once the primer dries and use as many coats as needed to get the color and look that you want.
Following the same steps on the doors helps you finish off the project quickly. After all the parts dry, you can hang the doors back on the boxes with your original hardware.