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Otherwise, when you add a water-based paint to an oil-covered door, the paint won't stick. This is a crucial first step: Take all the doors off, pull the drawers out and remove the hardware knobs and hinges.

"Your cabinets and hardware will start to chip and show signs of wear within a month — or even immediately." Once the paint on the hinges starts to crack, all you can do is sand everything down and soak the hardware to remove the paint, so save yourself the aggravation.

Because what once was hung up will need to go back in the same place, it's worth using numbered labels to help you remember where everything goes.

If your kitchen has good bones but simply looks tired, painting your cabinets can be just what the doctor ordered.

Mix up colors on upper and lower cabinets, or on cabinets and islands as shown here, to add richness.

Avoid these blunders to end up with cabinets you can't wait to show off: Painted cabinets look lovely, but they aren't going to look totally smooth.

"If the cabinets have a visible open grain, the grooves are going to show through the paint," warns Don Fahrbach, president of professional painting company PNP Craftsmen in New York City.These cabinets are painted in Windsurf from Behr Paints; the island is done in Snowy Pine and the walls are Spice Garden.Behr recommends using semi-gloss enamel for painting cabinets."Even if it wasn't super obvious when the wood was just stained, it's going to be more evident once the paint dries." You can fill the grain with putty, but that can be time-intensive and challenging to get just right."This isn't a lazy Sunday project," says Sherry Petersik, who, along with her husband, chronicled kitchen painting projects on her popular blog Young House Love.She says people often think it's a weekend job, but it takes four to seven days when you build in the proper prep time (and snack breaks, of course)."No matter how clean you think your kitchen is, you need to wipe everything down with a grease remover," says Fahrbach.Here are 10 of our top kitchen cabinet upgrades, along with step-by-step instructions chock full of pro tips, shopping lists, and tools lists to help you get the job done right.