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  • Writer's pictureMGM Color Solutions

Tips For Cleaning Painted Kitchen Cabinets

In the heart of a home lies the kitchen, and at its center stand the cabinets, often boasting a fresh coat from an interior painting update. At MGM Color Solutions in Fort Collins, Colorado, we understand the importance of maintaining this central piece to ensure your kitchen remains the gem of your home. Cleaning painted cabinets is a delicate task, one that requires a gentle touch and the right knowledge to ensure the longevity of your cabinetry’s finish.

Kitchen cabinets that need to be cleaned

Understanding Your Painted Cabinets

The type of paint on your kitchen cabinets dictates the care they require. Whether your cabinets have a latex or oil-based paint applied by a professional during your last interior painting project, it's crucial to understand how to care for them properly. The level of kitchen activity also plays a role, influencing the frequency and method of cleaning that will keep your cabinets in top condition.

Pre-Cleaning Preparations: Protecting Your Painted Finish

Before you begin the cleaning process, it’s essential to have the appropriate materials at hand. Soft cloths, gentle cleaners, and a careful hand are all part of the equation. Spot testing any cleaner on an inconspicuous area ensures that the paint finish remains unharmed, preserving the quality of MGM Color Solutions’ interior painting work.

The Gentle Approach: Daily Cleaning Practices

Daily maintenance is key to extending the life of your painted cabinets. A swift, gentle wipe-down can remove dust and prevent build-up. For this task, select a cleaner that's designed to be gentle on painted surfaces, ensuring that your kitchen remains a showcase for impeccable interior painting.

Tackling Tough Stains: Safe and Effective Methods

Kitchens are prone to spills and stains, and knowing how to handle these with care can save your cabinets from lasting damage. We recommend natural solutions for light stains or a trusted commercial cleaner for more stubborn spots, always prioritizing the preservation of the paintwork.

Light Stains

  • Mix warm water with a drop of mild dish soap for a gentle cleaning solution.

  • Apply the mixture using a soft, lint-free cloth, wiping in a circular motion.

  • For slightly tougher stains, create a paste of baking soda and water.

  • Apply the paste gently with a cloth or sponge, using a light, circular motion to lift the stain.

Stubborn Stains

Application Technique

  • Always use a soft, lint-free cloth to avoid scratching the paint.

  • Blot or wipe gently in a circular motion, applying minimal pressure.

  • After cleaning, wipe the area with a clean, damp cloth to remove any leftover cleaner.

  • Dry the surface completely with a soft towel to prevent watermarks.

Preventive Care

  • Clean spills immediately to avoid the stain setting into the paint.

  • Regular maintenance can prevent the build-up of grime that leads to tough stains.

Deep Cleaning Dos and Don'ts

When it comes to maintaining the longevity and appearance of your painted kitchen cabinets, a periodic deep clean can work miracles. However, this process requires a careful approach to safeguard the integrity of the paint. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you deep clean your cabinets while preserving the quality of your interior painting.


  • Do Use Soft Cleaning Materials: Employ soft sponges or microfiber cloths to avoid scratching the paint surface.

  • Do Opt for Mild Cleaners: Utilize gentle cleaning solutions that are specifically formulated for painted surfaces. Mild dish soap mixed with water is often sufficient.

  • Do Test Cleaners in an Inconspicuous Area: Before using any cleaner, test it on a hidden part of the cabinet to ensure it doesn’t damage the paint.

  • Do Rinse Thoroughly: After cleaning, always rinse the cabinets with a damp cloth to remove any soap residue that could cloud the paint finish.

  • Do Dry Completely: Prevent moisture damage by thoroughly drying with a soft cloth after rinsing.

  • Do Schedule Regular Deep Cleans: Consistent cleaning can prevent the build-up of dirt and grease that requires harsher cleaning methods.


  • Don’t Use Abrasive Tools or Cleaners: Steer clear of steel wool, scouring pads, or abrasive cleaners that can scratch or strip the paint.

  • Don’t Soak the Cabinets: Avoid using excessive water or cleaner, which can seep into seams and damage the wood or cause the paint to peel.

  • Don’t Rush the Process: Take your time to gently work on stains and buildup, as vigorous scrubbing can wear down the paint.

  • Don’t Ignore the Hardware: Remember to clean the handles and knobs, but be cautious not to let any cleaner seep into the hardware fittings.

  • Don’t Forget to Ventilate: Keep the kitchen well-ventilated during and after cleaning to aid in drying and to dissipate any fumes from cleaning products.

  • Don’t Delay Touch-Ups: Address chips or peeling areas promptly after cleaning to protect the wood beneath and maintain a flawless finish.

Adhering to these dos and don'ts will help ensure that your deep cleaning efforts contribute to the enduring beauty and preservation of your painted kitchen cabinets, keeping them as vibrant and welcoming as they were on day one.

Caring for Glossy and Matte Finishes

The sheen of your kitchen cabinets plays a significant role in the overall aesthetic of your space. MGM Color Solutions recognizes that the difference between a glossy and matte finish is not just visual but also in the care each type demands. Here's how to maintain and protect your cabinets' finish, ensuring that the quality of your interior painting continues to shine through.

For Glossy Finishes

  • Daily Dusting: Use a soft, dry microfiber cloth to remove dust particles that can accumulate and dull the glossy finish.

  • Cleaning Solutions: Opt for mild soapy water or a vinegar and water solution for regular cleaning. The mild acidity of vinegar cuts through grease without harming the shine.

  • Polishing: After cleaning, consider using a polish formulated for glossy finishes to enhance the shine. Apply sparingly to avoid build-up.

  • Wipe Techniques: Wipe in the direction of the grain to maintain the sleek appearance and prevent streaking.

  • Avoid Wax-based Cleaners: These can leave a residue that dulls the glossy surface over time.

For Matte Finishes

  • Gentle Cleaning: Matte finishes show stains and smudges more than glossy ones, so use a slightly damp cloth with a gentle cleaner to remove marks.

  • Spot Cleaning: Address spills and stains immediately with spot cleaning to prevent them from becoming more pronounced on the flat finish.

  • Avoid Oil-based Products: Oil can create a sheen on matte surfaces, which may be difficult to reverse.

  • Regular Maintenance: Frequent, gentle cleaning is preferable to infrequent, more abrasive methods that can wear down the matte finish.

Common Care Tips for Both Finishes:

  • Soft Cloths Only: Regardless of the finish, always use soft, non-abrasive cloths to avoid scratching the paint.

  • Test Cleaners: Always test any new cleaner on an inconspicuous spot before applying it to all your cabinets.

  • Proper Drying: Whether glossy or matte, ensure all surfaces are completely dry after cleaning to avoid water spots or streaks.

  • Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Steer clear of bleach and ammonia-based cleaners, which can damage the paint finish over time.

Touch-Ups and Repaints: When Cleaning Isn't Enough

Your kitchen cabinets endure a lot, from the hustle of meal preps to the accidental knocks and spills. Over time, even the best cleaning regimens may not be enough to keep them looking their best. That’s when touch-ups or a full repaint become necessary. MGM Color Solutions offers expert advice on how to maintain the vibrancy and beauty of your cabinets with effective touch-up and repainting techniques.

Assessing the Damage

  • Evaluate the Extent: Determine if you need a simple touch-up or a more comprehensive repaint.

  • Surface Check: Look for scratches, chips, and peeling paint that cleaning can't fix.

Preparing for Touch-Ups

  • Surface Cleaning: Ensure the area to be touched up is clean, dry, and free from grease.

  • Sanding: Lightly sand the area for better adhesion of the new paint.

  • Priming: If you're touching up a larger area, use a primer to ensure a seamless blend with the old paint.

Choosing the Right Paint

  • Color Match: Find the exact shade that was used for the original job. Custom color matching services may be necessary.

  • Finish Consistency: Make sure the sheen of the touch-up paint matches the existing finish, whether it's glossy, satin, or matte.

Applying Touch-Up Paint

  • Precision Tools: Use a small brush or a fine-tipped artist's brush for precision.

  • Thin Coats: Apply thin layers to build up the coverage gradually, preventing the touch-up from standing out.

Post-Painting Care

  • Cure Time: Allow ample time for the paint to cure fully, avoiding use of the cabinets during this period.

  • Sealant Application: For added protection, apply a sealant that's appropriate for the paint type and finish

Tips For Cleaning Painted Kitchen Cabinets

Conclusion: Longevity Through Care

Maintaining painted cabinets is an ongoing commitment, one that preserves the essence and beauty of your kitchen’s interior painting. At MGM Color Solutions, we stand by our Fort Collins community, ready to provide advice and services that keep your kitchen looking timeless. Embrace the art of cabinet care, and enjoy a kitchen that remains as welcoming and beautiful as the day it was painted.

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