painting walls after cabinet install

craftlady07January 20, 2011

Tell me painting the walls and maybe even the ceiling after the cabinets go in isn't the end of the world. Our cabinets are getting installed this coming monday and I don't see how we'll get the painting done before then.

We have some pieces of drywall to hang yet (mostly strips across the bottom and across some beams). I at least hope the spackling will be done (it will be done behind the cabinet areas at least, the rest of the kitchen I'm not so sure). We have the radiant floor heat panels and cement backerboard to install as well. Plus DH wants to do some work to finish leveling the floor from the basement (involves jacking up a wall he is putting in around the boiler area).

He's talking about painting the main kitchen area and leaving the "back room/eat-in" area until after the cabients are in. Now this is all one room, no trim or anything dividing the 2 'rooms'. Everything I've ever been taught about painting was never let the edge dry, it's impossible to blend the 2 painting areas. Is the same thing true for primer?

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We did it after because i couldn't decide on a color until i picked my backsplash. No problem.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2011 at 11:52PM
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The main thing is to get the tape of and carefully clean any paint off the wood before the paint has had time to cure. If you do it soon, you can usually use a finger nail to remove any paint that managed to get under the tape (you still need to try hard not to get any on the tape). The tape isn't there so you can be sloppy - it's there just in case you slip a bit with the brush.

If you wait a week, the paint will be much harder and difficult to remove.

BTW- this is the first time in 30 years of married life I got to paint the kitchen walls BEFORE the cabinets were up. It's so much easier to do, but I like to change colors so I've painted around kitchen cabinets often.

I'm thinking of doing it again - we changed our plan and installed cabinets on the south wall. Now with so much "almost white" in the kitchen, the soft sage on the walls is washing out and looks white too. I think I need to go a few shades darker - The good part is other than the small hall off the kitchen I have almost no wall space in the kitchen.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 8:42AM
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Todays paints are so much better than the ones in the past. It's no biggy to leave the primer edge, it's going to get covered in the end.Just leave a "soft" edge, that is, don't tape or make an obvious demark point of solid paint. Run the roller until it's nearly dry so that the last stroke is not solid, but lightly speckled. When you go back over this area, the wet paint will fill in. I've had to do this sooo many times. I have 3 kids, so when I paint, I'm almost guaranteed to have an interruption (MOM!?! She hit me... where's my...Tell him it's my turn...) when I'm in the middle of a wall.

Painting before the cabs is easier, but after is not too bad. If you have a steady hand, you can cut in and keep a wet rag handy to wipe any accidental drips. If you're not confident you've got a steady hand, tape off the cabinet edges. Be patient, it always takes a long time to tape. Try Frog Tape. It's the green colored one. It's a couple bucks more, but it's more flexible IMO and goes around the curves easier. They claim they don't bleed like the blue tape. I've had some bleed through on walls, but I've got highly textured walls. I've not had a problem on woodwork.


    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 9:34AM
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I wish I had thought to at least get two coats of paint along the areas where the cabinets would meet the wall. It is a real pain to get it tight to your "Beautiful New" cabinets without getting some on it. And it looks a lot better. Time saved by doing those few areas now will be huge!! I really recommend getting those few areas done, full walls can wait. My painting time would have been cut by 2 hours easily if I had spend 20 minutes hitting those areas. :-)

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 10:13AM
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I had to touch up the walls after the cabinet installation and it wasn't hard. I used the green 'frog' tape in my kitchen a couple of months ago and also recommend it over the blue tape. There is still some bleed through, but definitely less than with the blue tape.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 10:42AM
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Thank you for the suggestion on the tape, I'll keep my eye out for it.

And all this fretting may have been for naught (sp?). The cabinet installation got pushed back to Tuesday due to a snow day today, so they're shuffling their schedule a bit. I gladly took the Tuesday slot as it gives us an extra day to paint :)

I'm going to check out Benjamin Moore paint this afternoon as that's the last paint I have to check in to and hopefully I can at least make a color decision today.

Thanks for the perspective and the experiences, that helped a lot!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 12:10PM
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If you are going to Benjamin Moore for your paint, I highly recommend the Aura paint for your situation. The 1 hour dry time and fact that it is self priming would mean you can get the whole kitchen done in 1 day.

The advantages...self priming, 1 hour re-coat time, scrubbable and touch up-able. Plus it's low VOC. I touch up paint all the time which is years old and it blends perfectly. This would be ideal for your situation if you are doing half the room. It is the best paint on the market in that price point IMO.

Disadvantage is the price which is about $60/gallon. But you will save a lot of labor and use less paint overall. Plus you don't have to prime and/or pay for primer. I get it for $48 with my rental property business so if you know someone, maybe you can get it cheaper. Don't buy as much as you usually so with regular paint. The coverage is outstanding. I used 1.25 gallons for 2 coats in my 22x12 living room.

Oh and the microfiber rollers are worth the money at Benjamin Moore. Makes for a flawless finish.

Also, if you use the Affinity deck, I just found out that the whole deck is designed to go with every other color in the deck. Makes for easy choosing if you are like me and don't see undertones well.


    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 1:49PM
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Great tips, cleo 2007! I will steal them too!!

Craftlady07 - excited to report we are heading out to Blue Mountain in 1 hr!!! It has been crazy with work, snow days, etc... I will report back tonight. I can't wait!!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 2:12PM
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wow, that is incredibly helpful Cleo, thank you! I picked up 2 samples to test out and while I was waiting I was staring at the wall of paint choices and I couldn't understand why the Aura was so much more expensive, so your post really helped explain that, thank you!
unfortunately we already bought the primer (cheapo stuff from HD) but perhaps I could just go over the new drywall with one coat of that and use the aura after that. And if I only have to use one coat for the wall color that would be a major bonus!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 2:38PM
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Hi craftlady. Can you return the primer? You really need 2 coats of paint for full coverage especially in an area where you may be scrubbing the walls. The primer will require 4 hours at least for a recoat. I just did my bathroom with one coat of Aura over raw drywall and it looks passable but 2 coats makes for fabulous!

The 1 hour dry time is key. By the time you finish cutting in, you can roll. Take a short 20 minute break and you can start cutting in the second coat. Last time I did 2 coats in my kitchen in 4 hours!

The paint is really worth the money!!!! (And no-I have no affiliatin with Ben Moore. I just love this paint. I even use it in my rental properties. It saves time because the color matches even a year later so I don't have to cut in.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 4:31PM
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What about the ceiling? Should that be done before the cabinets are installed as well? My cabinets are almost ceiling height will have a crown molding applied. As a follow up to that...should I also use the same 2 coats of Benjamin Moore Aura here as well, or is it not necessary to spend the extra $$$ on the primer/paint combo for the ceiling?

Or should I wait for the cabinets to go in and then paint the ceiling and crown molding at the same time?


    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 2:54PM
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It is easier to paint the ceiling before the crown molding is on. If not, follow the suggestions for painting around the cabinets. Might as well enjoy the practice for the time you change colors and paint again.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 5:17PM
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