How Long Does It Take To Paint Bathroom Cabinets?

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Painting is a challenging job. It requires a steady hand, continuous patience, and an understanding of the job before you. Add to this the limited space frequently found in bathroom areas, and you could be in for quite a time. It stands to reason then that you might want to know what you’re heading into beforehand. We’ve done the research for you and looked into just how many hours the average bathroom cabinet paint job will take you. 

Painting a bathroom cabinet requires several steps to be done properly, but it’s really not as bad as it may seem. You’ll likely spend most of your time waiting for your coats of paint to dry properly. A cabinet project from start to finish should take no longer than two to three days to complete.

Understanding the steps that will likely be required of you while spearheading this DIY project will likely make the process go down even smoother than normal, so keep reading on for some more information on how to go about painting your own bathroom cabinets.

A close up of sink, faucet, countertop, yellow cabinets and mirror, How Long Does It Take To Paint Bathroom Cabinets?

The Steps To Preparing Your Bathroom Cabinet

Before you start painting 

It will serve you well to remove your cabinet drawers and as many parts as possible out of the bathroom to paint them. Not only will it be easier to maneuver when painting and sanding, but it will also keep you safer. Bathrooms are generally small and contained spaces, and paints release fumes upon fresh use. A larger room means better ventilation and far less risk to your person. 

If the idea of moving your cabinet pieces out of the bathroom makes you groan to think about, engage in proper ventilation methods while painting in your bathroom. Masks and open windows are ways you can reduce the impact of paint fumes. This is especially true if you are painting large or multiple cabinets in one go. 

Click here to see reusable face respirator mask on Amazon.

Regardless, however, removing at least the doors off of your cabinets will make painting much easier. Also, remove screws, latches, and other hardware to keep them safe and unmarked. 

Sanding your cabinet pieces

Wood is not the only cabinet material that can be painted, but it is certainly the easiest and most common. Presuming that your bathroom cabinets are wood, sanding them before painting will be optimal. Sanding the wood to a smooth dull finish will allow your paint to hold on better. There won’t be any lumps or marks that will make your new work anything less than perfect. 

Sanding isn’t the most fun job, but it’s also not as difficult as it might seem at first. A simple yet thorough buffer with some sandpaper until your cabinet is dull and smooth will do the trick just fine. Cleaning your cabinets before starting will reduce grime and dirt particles that keep paint from adhering decently. 

At this point, you should be ready to begin tackling the actual painting process. If you also want to tackle the counters, while the bathroom is disassembled, check out “How to Paint Bbathroom Countertops.”

How hard is it to paint bathroom cabinets?

Blue and white bathroom with two large windows

Prep time and taking the necessary steps before you even begin the actual painting process may seem tedious, but it makes things easier in the long run. Poor preparation will make things harder in the long run. If you take the time and put in the effort to make your project run properly, it will be well worth it in the end. 

Some people find painting edges and corners to be a difficult part of painting bathroom cabinets. Always tape off your edges to keep paint off the walls or other fixtures and invest in decent edge brushes. These will help you with this part of the process greatly. Don’t be afraid to talk to experts around you either. Owners of paint and hardware shops will be able to give you lots of tips on your DIY project. 

Doing the doors and drawers separately will greatly reduce the number of difficult corners and undersides you have to navigate. Don’t take shortcuts in prep, and be patient with yourself and painting your bathroom cabinet should be a satisfying undertaking. 

How long should I let the paint dry before applying a second coat?

Unfortunately for everyone, one coat of paint does not cut it when it comes to painting furniture. This adds another layer of both wait time and time management to figure out. You’re going to want your first coat of paint to be completely dry before applying another. This generally will take about an hour for most commercially available paints, but if after gently touching your first coat and seeing it’s still tacky feeling, let it sit overnight. 

Once your first coat of paint is completely dry, you can then move on to the second coat. This likewise goes for any primer you put onto the wood before starting to paint. You’ll want that completely dry and ready to go as well. Erring on the side of caution might feel frustrating at first, but cutting corners can definitely come back to bite you. 

Paint brands will generally have their dry time on the cans, so if you’re not sure of an estimated time, check the can. It will likely have a good time for you if you don’t want to wait until the next day for drying. 

What kind of paint should you use on bathroom cabinets? Find out at Home Decor Bliss, we’ve got the answer!

How long should the paint dry before removing the tape?

Any tape that you’ve put on your walls or corners should be kept on until the final coat of paint is completely dried as well. Removing the tape on the still wet or even semi-wet paint will likely strip away at the carefully crafted edges you’ve gone about making. Even with waiting, it’s helpful to score the edges of your tape with a putty knife or razor blade, carefully, of course. Doing this will keep the tape from pulling or cracking at the paint edges in any way. 

If you’re worried about leaving your tape on your furniture for too long, rest easy. It should not be a problem for a project such as this. You can purchase painter’s tape with 14, 30, and 60-day adhesives, meaning the tape won’t leave damaging residue behind for that amount of time. The tape can safely stay on. 

Click here to see delicate surfaces painter’s tape on Amazon.

What do you seal bathroom cabinets with?

If you properly prime your cabinet and take your time with your two coats of paint, along with using certain high-quality paints, sealer, or top coating isn’t actually recommended. Several high-quality paint brands are made so that sealer isn’t necessary to preserve your cabinet, and some even recommend against it. Sealants can cause cracks in the paint due to unnecessary thickening, cause the paint to yellow, and can drip on your already finished paint.

Invest in quality paints and talk to experts about it, and you should be just fine with skipping sealant on your bathroom cabinet while still being protected.

In Closing

Large blue and white bathroom interior

Painting your bathroom cabinet is a process that requires steps, and these steps do take time to do properly. But they’re all very doable and possible to maintain while attempting such a DIY project. Follow the steps outlined for you and take care not to cut corners, and successfully painting your cabinet shouldn’t take long at all. Be informed, be patient, and have fun with your new and beautiful space.

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