Do it yourself cabinet painters, if you are wondering what's the first step to getting a good finish on painting your kitchen cabinets, then you need to consider thoroughly cleaning your cabinets before you do anything else. Cabinets are the least cleaned surfaces in most kitchens. Most people clean their counter tops, stoves, sinks, and backsplash but cabinets are mostly forgotten about.
Cabinets collect all types of contaminant that you might see. Most people cook, when they season meat, they forget one seasoning in the cabinet and with those yucky hands, they brush against the cabinets with their bloody contaminated hands, which they wipe off with a dish rag if they see the residue. If they don't see the residue then that contaminated area might not get a proper cleaning. In order to clean that sort of contaminant off, you need to wipe the area with a good antibacterial cleaner that is also a degreaser. The same way you wash your hands after you season meat is the same way you need to clean your cabinets.
Another contaminant that will ruin a paint finish is unseen oil. If you are like most people, you only wipe your cabinets down every so often, whether once a month, every 3 months or once a year. Cabinets need to get wiped down daily, just like your countertops and sink. Not cleaning your cabinets daily, you will slowly buildup a film of oil, grease, as well as, other disgusting things that you can't see which will cause a problem when you decide to restain your cabinets or paint them
That's why a proper cleaning before you go to the next step of prepping is very important to give you the best-looking paint job. You need a few items to clean your cabinets thoroughly. You need gloves, a scotch pad, sponge, a 3-gallon bucket and your favorite degreaser.
All of those items listed are common sense, but they are looked over when a do it yourself homeowner decides to paint their own kitchen cabinets. A scotch pad should only be used on your cabinets when you are looking to paint your cabinets or restain them. Using a scotch pad for everyday use isn't recommended because it will ruin your existing finish over time. If you need to use a scotch pad to remove oil and grease, then you have neglected your cleaning for entirely too long and a refinish should be your next move. Clean your cabinets a couple of times. It's your project so you should be willing to do the best job for your home.
After you wash your cabinets with your best degreaser and scotch, then you need to fill your 3-gallon pail with clean water. Get your sponge nice and wet, then squeeze it out and wipe the degreaser from your cabinets. You should keep clean water and wipe your cabinets down a few times to remove the degreaser. Once you have removed the degreaser, then you need to repeat the process a few times, degrease your cabinets at least 2 times and wipe down with clean water at least 2 times after you degrease your cabinets making sure you change your water throughout the process.