Let the fun begin! I know what David and I will be up to this weekend… getting the plywood cupboard boxes primed! How fun does that sound? We chose Valspar Bare Wood Primer (sold at Lowe’s for $8.98 per can) because, frankly, it’s what the guy at the paint desk recommended. We’re using pretty cheap paint brushes for the primer since we’ll be sanding it anyway before the real paint goes on, so I don’t really care about brush strokes or anything and I’d rather “save” my good paint brushes for the Capitol White.
We actually spent a good deal of time filling in the nail holes in the plywood with wood putty and then wiping off the excess putty before we started priming, but the pictures of that were unfortunately blurry so I won’t bother sharing them. But basically we just used our fingers to get the putty in the hole, smooth it over with a paper towel, let it dry for about 2 minutes, and sand out the roughness. I think it was worth the effort to have smooth plywood to prime.
Tips for priming kitchen cupboards:
1. Clean up, clean up, everybody everywhere! I think this is the most important step and it only takes a minute. Vacuum the area you’re going to prime and then go over it with tacky cloth to pick up the last bits of dust. (See picture to the right: “Super Tuff.” I highly recommend it but be sure to wear gloves or else your hands will get sticky.)
2. Start at the top and work your way down, doing the shelving/ horizontal wood last. Drips will happen and it’s less stressful if you can go over the drip part at the end rather than constantly fixing mistakes.
3. First brush against the grain for coverage, then quickly follow up by brushing with the grain to look good. Don’t do “half-strokes,” or make sure the brush stroke goes from end to end.
4. If you make a mistake, fix it right away. Keep a roll of paper towels handy just in case. I got paint on the floor a few times and my strategy at first was to let the paint dry so I could pick it off later– what a stupid strategy! Just wipe it up while it’s wet and it’ll be so much easier.
5. Along with #4, clean your paint brush right away. We did not use an oil-based primer (meaning we used a latex-based one). The advantages to an oil-based primer are that it covers really well and has a nice finish. The disadvantages, which in my mind outweigh the advantages, are that it takes FOREVER to dry and you have to clean up using paint thinner. With latex-based primer you can just clean up using water…. so much easier!
Here’s a pic of me attacking the kitchen sink cupboard. I think we’ll be priming for a while, but I’ll be sure to share how it goes!