WRITTEN BY JAYMI NACIRI

Thinking of painting your own kitchen cabinets? You can find dozens—hundreds even—of tutorials and tip lists to show you how. They’ll list out the supplies needed and show you the proper techniques for the best outcome. And many of them even get real about just how intensive and interminable the process can be.

Preparation is key when painting your cabinets, and the number of steps you’ll need to follow to achieve a quality finish can seem impossible. You’ll want to remove the doors, drawer fronts, and hardware. Fill in any holes and smooth out any gouges. Degrease, sand, vacuum, wipe, sand some more, vacuum some more, wipe some more. And maybe then you’ll finally be ready for priming—but not painting on the actual color, because that comes after priming.

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