Remove the door handles, knobs and closures using a screwdriver. If you’re going to paint with the doors on, you don’t have to remove the hinges. You can paint the hinges so they match the cabinets, or cover them with blue painter’s tape. If you aren’t planning on painting the hinges, you may want to remove the doors to avoid the hinges altogether.
Be sure to protect your floor and/or countertops with drop cloths. If you choose to remove your cabinet doors, it might be easier (and safer) to paint them in the garage.
Clean the cabinets with trisodium phosphate (TSP)—a heavy-duty cleaning powder. Dilute the TSP with water according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Use a sponge and the TSP solution to wash the doors and the cabinet exteriors, letting them dry completely.
Sand any shiny surfaces with coarse-grit sandpaper until they are dull. This will give the surface a rough texture for the primer to bond to.
Use TSP as directed by the manufacturer. TSP can corrode metal and damage finished wood. Be sure to wear protective eyewear, clothing and rubber gloves.
Wear goggles, a dust mask and other protective clothing when sanding.