The joy of refinishing your 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.
Plus, you can save more time when re-installing the old hinges because they fit the holes perfectly.
Should Cabinet Hinges Be Painted?
I believe it’s not a good idea to repaint old hinges on your kitchen cabinets since it can poorly affect its mechanism and can also shorten its life span.
Hinges are typically made of metal and applying paint will not adhere well to these surfaces.
If you really want to get them painted it’s good to buy the hinges that already have a coat of primer and can be painted 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. This will allow the paint to adhere better to the surface.
Also, remember that if you are trying to paint old 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.
How to Paint Kitchen Cabinet Hinges?
While painting new hinges isn’t recommended, repainting old kitchen cabinet hinges is a great way to refinish your cabinets and add that appealing touch.
The key is to use the right type of paint that will match your refinished cabinets and hold up for years of use.
Step 1. Preparation
You will need to clean and wipe the old hinges, so they can be painted over properly. Once completed, you should get some spray enamel paint.
Spray enamel will cover the hinges and hold up against the peeling and chipping that is common with other types of paints.
Now you simply need the tools to remove the screws holding the hinges in place and you are ready to go.
Step 2. Removal
Pull out all the screws and store them where they can be easily found.
A small, clear storage bag generally works the best. Just keep it in an obvious place.
Remember that you are going to paint the screws as well.
Step 3. Prep Area
Take the hinges and screws to a well-ventilated area and set them on a surface that can be painted.
Consider painting them in the driveway while on a plywood sheet held up by two sawhorses.
Be sure that there are no open flames anywhere near where you are spray painting.
Step 4. Strip the Hinges
If the hinges 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.
Just drop them in one at a time for 60 seconds, then pull them out and wash off the residue.
Steel wool can help you take off any paint that the thinner does not remove itself.
Step 5. Sand & Clean
If the hinges were not painted, you will need to remove any grease or grime that might be present.
Start by using denatured alcohol to wipe away any particles on the surface.
Once cleaned, you should sand the surface with 220-grit sandpaper to rough it up so the new primer paint will stick well.
Step 6. 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 7. Paint
Now you are ready to paint. Place each hinge on some old newspaper and spray paint the hinges with premium quality metal enamel paint.
After covering it with one coat, let it dry for a half-hour, then flip the hinge over and paint that side.
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 and letting them dry for at least an hour.
Step 8. 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 that also protects it from being chipped.
Once covered, let the lacquer cure for at least 12 hours or overnight.
Now you are ready to reinstall the hinges.
Do not get into a rush, simply place the hinge over the hold and put in the screws.
Now you have matching hinges for your refinished cabinets.
What Color to Paint Cabinet Hinges?
When it’s about choosing the paint color, you can either paint hinges the same color as the doors of kitchen cabinets or can 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 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 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 paint, and an hour to complete the project.
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Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for over a decade serving customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, and Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.