How to Paint an Unfinished Medicine Cabinet

What You'll Need
Narrow Brush
Masking Tape
Paint Brushes
Oil Based Primer
Satin Enamel Paint

Installing an unfinished medicine cabinet in your bathroom can be an inexpensive way of adding beautiful furniture to your décor. This type of framed cabinets generally come in three different shades varying from pale brown to yellow depending on the type of wood the cabinet is made of. Thus, in the end it will be you who creates the final grading of the color when painting the cabinet. Luckily the process is easy and requires only a few supplies.

Step 1 – Unhinging the Cabinet

The first thing you have to do is to treat the unfinished wood and prepare it for the paint layers. Therefore, start by unhinging the framed door from the cabinet with a screwdriver and carefully remove the handle and the framed mirror at the front of the cabinet.

Step 2 – Getting Ready

Now sand the trim work with a sander to give its surface a smooth finish. If however, you bought the medicine cabinet you might be able to skip this step because the cabinet is probably already smooth.  Once finished you should lightly sweep away all the dust off the cabinet by using a narrow brush. At this point you should cover the internal edges of the cabinet with masking tape so that you do not stain them with paint, that is unless you also want to paint the inside of the cabinet. You should also mask the wall around the cabinet if you are going to paint the cabinet while it is stuck to the wall.

Step 3 – Treating the Cabinet

You should now be ready to prime the cabinet. Now take the paint brush and apply an even and thin layer of oil based primer in long brush strokes in the direction of the grain. Oil based primers are better than latex ones for this job because they are better sealers and hide more blemishes when painting. You should apply at least two thin layers of primer and make sure that they are completely dry before applying any other layer.

Step 4 – Painting the Cabinet

You are now ready to start painting the cabinet. Again you would want to apply any paint in thing, even layers using long brushstrokes in the direction of the grain. It is best if you use a satin enamel paint for the finishing color of your cabinet because these cover very well and are truly easy to clean. Remember that since medicine cabinets are in bathrooms, they will constantly be facing humidity and need to be regularly cleaned to avoid mildew. Therefore having an easily cleanable paint is the best option. Keep in mind to always let the paint dry before applying a new layer because if not that will only create a mess. You will need to do at least 2 or 3 thin layers before the wood is covered.

Once the layers are ready and the paint has dried you can reattach the handle, the mirror and door to the cabinet. If you have removed the cabinet from the wall you can now reattach it to its original place. At this point you should also remove any masking you have made use of previously. This is the easiest way to paint an unfinished wood medicine cabinet, however, you can also choose to have a natural finish and apply wood stain instead of paint.