Step 5 : Sand the woodwork
Sand the cabinet frame and then the cabinet doors and drawer fronts. Start with medium-grit (80-100) and then use fine (150) and very fine (220) sandpaper, sanding only as needed to dull the existing finish, smooth repairs or sand out any scratches. Use a rubber sanding block or a finishing sander on flat surfaces and a sanding sponge on contoured surfaces. Shine a bright light across the surfaces at a low angle -- a trick called side lighting -- to highlight any scratches and imperfections. Continue sanding until the entire surface is uniformly smooth.
An alternative to sanding is to use a chemical deglosser, which is available at paint stores. Brush the deglosser into the molded areas of the door and on to the flat surfaces. The deglosser does a good job of dulling the surface finish, apply it shortly before you are ready to paint.
Step 6 : Remove dust
Brush and vacuum the cabinet frames, doors, drawers and work area carefully. Just prior to painting the woodwork, wipe off any remaining dust with cheesecloth dampened slightly with mineral spirits.
Step 7 : Apply first coat of primer
Apply the first coat of primer full strength. Paint detailed areas first and then the flat surfaces, brushing with the wood grain. Brush out of corners, not toward them, to avoid dragging your brush across edges, which leaves too much paint in the corners. Lightly "tip off" each area with a nearly dry brush held at nearly a right angle to the surface before moving on to the next area. Let it dry thoroughly.
Step 8 : Apply second coat of primer
When the first coat of primer has dried, sand with 220-grit sandpaper to remove any roughness, brush marks and imperfections. Then apply a "split coat" (50/50 mixture of primer and topcoat) in the same manner as the first coat.
Step 9 : Apply the topcoat
Apply at least two topcoats using a paint conditioner for all but the final coat. Apply as described in Step 7, sanding between coats. Use 220- and then 400-grit wet-dry sandpaper and a little water to wet-sand before the final coat.
Step 10 :Clean up
If you are just taking a break, wrap brushes is plastic wrap and cover the paint containers. At the end of a day, clean up brushes to prevent paint from building up and hardening in the bristles and heel of the brush. Rinse out as much paint as possible with mineral spirits and use a brush comb to open up the inner portion of the brush and to straighten the bristles. Then attach the brush to a brush/roller spinner and spin out all liquid into a bucket or trash can. Repeat rinsing and spin again.
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