Tips for Painting Maple Cabinets

Updated on February 4, 2018
Matt G. profile image

Matt is a professional painter sharing house-painting tips, related product reviews, and his experience in the trade.

Source

Can Maple Cabinets Be Painted?

Maple is a hardwood with a closed grain and a smooth surface. Unlike oak, which is a ring-porous wood with an open grain, maple usually doesn't have any surface cracks, or even much grain pattern.

When prepared and painted correctly, the smooth profile of maple cabinets look very nice coated with semi-gloss paint. The preparation is also a little easier, not requiring a coating of wood grain filler like oak does. Painting maple cabinets involves lots of surface preparation to get maximum durability.

Remove the Cabinet Doors and Hardware

Removing the doors, drawers, pulls and hardware is a must when painting. I set up a couple saw horses and lay the doors down flat to work on them.

After removing the hinges from the door, number each door in the hinge cavity with a black marker and place a piece of tape over it. When numbering the doors, I count each one, starting with the upper cabinets from left to right. Store the screws in a Ziploc bag so they don't get lost.

Remove Dirt and Grease

The way I clean cabinets for paint is with Dawn dish soap and a coarse scrubbing pad (green color). You can also use TSP (tri sodium phosphate) in liquid or granule form.

TSP cleans wood well and dulls the clear finish on the surface a little, but the reason I don't use it much is because the residue can cause adhesion problems with primer and paint if not rinsed thoroughly. TSP can also cause skin irritation. Dawn soap cleans fine without having to worry about potential adhesion problems.

Is de-glosser necessary for maple?

I have experimented with different de-glossing agents, but none remove gloss as good as my Makita random orbital sander. A good sander completely removes gloss, using the right sandpaper. De-glossing cleaner can leave heavy residue on the surface that often requires more cleaning.

In my opinion, using a separate de-glosser is unnecessary if you're doing thorough sanding anyway, which you should be. The main reason to clean the cabinets is to remove dirt and grease so the primer and paint bonds well with the surface. Dish soap with warm water is plenty.

Sand the Cabinets

The surface needs to be cleaned and sanded before painting. Maple is a hardwood, but the wood consistency is a little softer than oak, so using sandpaper that's too coarse can actually abrade the wood too much, causing a hairy-like texture. For maple, the grit that works well for me is 120-grit. This grit is coarse enough to remove surface gloss and expose the bare wood without causing damage.

The best way to do the sanding is with a random orbital sander. Sanding without one takes forever and doesn't sand as well. All of the doors, drawers and wall boxes need to be sanded thoroughly.

After sanding, the surface should be wiped down with a tack cloth. You can also use an air compressor to blow the dust out from the inside corners of the panels on the fronts of the doors. Sanding should also be done between coats of primer and paint to remove crumbs and dust particles that get stuck in the drying paint.

Prime the Doors, Drawers and Wall Boxes

I prime maple cabinets using an airless sprayer, equipped with a fine finish spray tip. Brushing and rolling is fine too if you don't want to use a sprayer, but if you want the best finish on your maple cabinets, spraying them is the way to go. Spraying also saves a huge amount of time without the noticeable texture created from brushing and rolling.

Latex or Oil Primer?

Oil primer, or shellac primer, are the best options. The best primer is one formulated to seal the surface and act as a bond coat. Most latex primer won't seal wood surfaces well, or create a good bond coat.

I spray all my cabinets with two coats of the shellac primer B-I-N by Zinsser. B-I-N is ideal for spray application only. The primer is water-thin, leveling really nice on the surface when spraying doors horizontally, but it's way too thin and messy to be applied with a brush and roller, in my opinion. If you don't want to spray your maple cabinets, Cover Stain oil primer is a good choice when using a brush and roller.

Use A Drying Rack

Whether spraying the doors, or brushing and rolling, they'll need to be stored while each coat dries. You can place them on a saw horse set up, but a drying rack is the best. I use the Door Rack Painter, which saves me tons of time while conserving space. This particular rack set up allows both sides of the door to be painted the same day instead of having to wait for one side to dry before you can flip it to paint the other side.

Apply Two to Three Coats of Paint

I spray two coats of primer and two coats of paint, using a sprayer. With spraying, the paint always covers in two coats because you can apply a thicker, heavier coat to get better coverage. Painting by hand usually takes an extra coat, especially if the color is white. I definitely recommend spraying.

The paint I use the most is Pro Classic acrylic semi-gloss from Sherwin Williams. This paint levels really nice when sprayed. Another paint that can be used for maple cabinets is Advance by Benjamin Moore, but the paint dries really slow. The re-coat time on Pro Classic is only four hours, allowing the second coat to be applied the same day.

There are other good paints to use too, but Pro Classic has always worked really well for me. With my Graco airless sprayer, I use a 210 and 212 fine finish spray tip to spray paint maple cabinets. If it's warm where you live, it's best to spray the cabinet doors outside, or you can plastic off walls in a nearby room. If you spray the wall boxes too, there is a lot of masking involved to protect against over-spray.

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, dengarden.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://dengarden.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)