How to Clean and Spray Paint Cabinet Hinges in the Kitchen?

how to paint kitchen cabinet hinges

The joy of refinishing your kitchen cabinets may be tempered somewhat by the realization that the hinges no longer match.

While you can spend money to replace them, it is less expensive to simply paint over them. If budget is not a problem, you can also have your hinges powder-coated to match the cabinets and surroundings the way you want.

This way you will also save more time when re-installing the old hinges in your kitchen or bathroom because they fit the holes perfectly.

Should Cabinet Hinges Be Painted?

Hinges are typically made of metal and applying regular paint will not adhere well to these surfaces. Plus, repainting your old or new hinges on your kitchen cabinets can poorly affect their mechanism and can shorten their life span.

If you really want to get the cabinet hinges painted it’s good to buy the hinges that already have a coat of primer and can be coated with a paint that’s specially meant for painting over metals.

Or you should first apply a special kind of primer that etches the metal which will allow the paint to adhere better to the surface.

Also, keep in mind that if you are trying to paint old metal hinges without removing them, it can be tricky. You will therefore need to spend time removing the hardware so that you protect the adjacent surfaces while painting.

painting old cabinet hinges and hardware

How to Paint Kitchen Cabinet Hinges?

While painting new soft-close kitchen cabinet hinges isn’t recommended, repainting these old pieces is a great way to refinish your cabinets and add that appealing touch.

The key is to use the right type of primer and paint that will match your refinished cabinets and hold up for years of use.

Step 1. Preparation

First and foremost, you will need to clean and wipe the old hinges, so they can be painted over properly.

Start by pulling out all the screws and hinges (using a drill) and taking them to a well-ventilated area.

Set the hinges on a surface that can be painted. It’s good to consider painting them in the driveway while on a plywood sheet held up by two sawhorses.

Be sure there are no open flames anywhere near where you are spray painting.

Step 2. Strip the Hinges

If the hinges and screws have old paint on them, you will want to remove them.

Put on a pair of rubber gloves and soak each hinge in a bowl of paint stripper or paint thinner. Just drop them in one at a time for 60 seconds, then pull them out and wash off the residue.

Steel wool can further help you take off any paint or rust that the thinner does not remove itself from the hardware.

Step 3. Clean & Sand

If the hinges are not painted, you will need to remove any dust, grease, or grime that might be present. Your old cabinet hinges may also have turned black due to the pieces of metal rubbing against each other. 

Start by using denatured alcohol to wipe away any foreign particles on the surface. Once cleaned, sand the surface with 220-grit sandpaper to rough it up so the new primer paint will stick well.

strip and clean hinges before painting

Step 4. Primer

For priming the cabinet hinges a can of rust-inhibiting metal spray primer will do the best job.

Put on a respirator and shake the can. Then spray a light coat on hinges as well as screw heads.

If you’re painting both the sides of hinges, turn the hinges over and spray again the other side. Allow the primer on the hinges to dry completely. Mostly it will take around 40 minutes to 60 minutes.

Step 5. Spray Paint

Now you are ready to paint. Place the hinges on some old newspaper or plywood sheet and spray paint them with premium quality metal enamel paint like Rust-oleum.

Spray enamel is best suited for cabinet and door hinges as it will cover the hinges and hold up against the peeling and chipping that is common with other types of paints.

After covering the hinges with one coat, let them dry for a half-hour, then flip them over to paint the other side as well. Remember that you do not have to paint the underside of the hinge unless it can be seen.

Do the same with all the screws by spray painting the heads correctly and letting them dry for at least an hour.

Step 6. Add Lacquer

Once dry, you can cover the cabinet door hinges and screw heads with a coat of lacquer. This gives the paint a glossy appearance and also protects it from being chipped.

After coating, let the lacquer cure for at least 12 hours or overnight.

Now you are ready to reinstall the matching hinges. Do not get into a rush, simply place the hinge over the hold and put in the screws.

should you paint hinges same color as cabinets

What Color to Spray Paint Cabinet Hinges?

When it’s about choosing the right shades, you can either paint hinges the same color as the doors of kitchen cabinets or select other darker shades that complement the door or trim color.

The idea should be to give your cabinets a richer, trendy, and more polished look that looks cool.

For example, if you have black cabinets (or other dark tones) in your kitchen you can try painting the exposed hinges with colors like antique copper or bronze to add some warmth.

If your kitchen has shades like red, orange, or yellow, you can use colors like gold, dark brown, or black for your espresso kitchen cabinetry hardware.

The Bottom Line

While it’s good to remove the cabinet hardware when spraying; if you would like to paint them without removing you can do it as long as you protect the adjacent surfaces well.

The process of applying the paint and finishes to the old dated cabinet hinges isn’t very hard if you do it with patience.

All you will need is proper cleaning before painting, the right type of spray primer and paint, and an hour to complete the project.

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