Paint Not Sticking to Cabinets? Here’s How You Get It to Stick!

Author: Pat Freling | Updated: | Affiliate links may be present.

Having trouble getting paint to stick on your cabinets? If the paint is easily chipping, figure out how to properly prep slick cabinet surfaces for a new coat of paint.

If the paint is not sticking and instead coming off your cabinets easily, it’s most likely because the surface wasn’t properly prepped or sanded. You’ll need to clean, sand, and prime cabinet surfaces before applying Satin Enamel Paint to prevent chipping.

How to Get Paint to Stick to Cabinets

You’ll need to prep the surface so the paint can grip! Sand the cabinets and apply gripper primer for a paint job that will last.

Sand the Surface

Paint won’t stick to wood if the surface isn’t sanded! Create a rough surface that will allow primer and paint to grip and stay. You can use sandpaper or a sanding sponge if you don’t have access to a professional sander.

It’s common to have to sand the surface down twice before painting. You should consider doing this if you have extra slick cabinets.

Apply Primer

If your primer is not sticking to the cabinet, try finding a brand that is made specifically for slick surfaces. Gripper primer works well to keep paint on the cabinet and prevents chipping.

Sand and wipe all surfaces before applying primer for the best results!

Use Grease Remover

You’ll need to make sure that the cabinet surface is completely clean and rid of dust before painting.

Use a degreaser that’s safe for whatever material your cabinets are made out of. Wipe down surfaces before and after applying degreaser with a damp towel.

Satin Enamel Paint

Satin Enamel Paint is a great choice for your cabinets! Apply the paint after sanding and priming the surface.

You can find this paint in a variety of colors, so it’s easy to personalize the cabinets while also giving them a high-quality finish.

Wipe Down with Acetone

When you’re cleaning the cabinets during prep, you can wipe them down with acetone. Doing this will ensure that the surface is free of any paint remnants and grime that could prevent the new paint coat from gripping.

How to Easily Sand Cabinets

Learn how to easily sand cabinet surfaces to prep for a new coat of paint! Wipe down the surface with a damp towel before sanding.

Use Sand Paper

You can use 120-grit sandpaper to prepare the cabinets for painting. If your cabinets are already bare wood, then you will not need to sand them down.

Gently scratch the cabinet with sandpaper and make sure to get all of the corners so the paint will grip onto the entire surface. Use 220-grit sandpaper for a final sanding and wipe the surface down to remove dust.

Wear protective gloves while sanding with paper to prevent any injuries.

Sanding Sponges

You can also use a sanding sponge to prep the cabinet surface. Also known as sanding blocks, they can be easier to use than paper.

Some sanding sponges come with a grip attached to easily move them across any surface. Use sanding blocks with fine grit and wipe down the surface after you’re finished.

Sanding sponges are great to use on hard-to-reach corners and surfaces with intricate etchings.

Professional Sander

If you have a professional sander sitting in your garage, you can use it to easily roughen up the cabinet surfaces.

Always apply even pressure while using a sander and sand with the grain rather than against it. Only use a sander if you have woodworking experience and wear protective gear while sanding.

Final Thoughts

Follow these simple steps to avoid paint chipping on cabinets! It’s important to always clean the cabinet surface before prepping for paint.

Sand the cabinets with paper, sponges, or a professional sander to prepare the surface for primer. Learn how to easily sand wood and wear protective gear while sanding!

Use a gripper primer that is made to stick to extra slick surfaces! Satin Enamel Paint is recommended for cabinets and will give the surface a high-quality finish. It can also act as a sealant to prevent damage and chipping in the future.

Contact your local hardware store if you have any questions or concerns!

About Pat Freling

Pat has been into DIY painting since he was 14 years old. He's painted interior walls, decks, patio, and even the first car that he'd purchased at 18.

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