How To Hang Cabinet Doors To Paint

Stacy Randall
by Stacy Randall

If cabinets are in good condition, painting them is a cost-effective way to give them an update. But painting cabinets can be time-consuming, especially when you’re waiting for one side to dry. However, if you know how to hang cabinet doors to paint them, you can significantly reduce your work time.

Drill holes into the top edge of upper cabinet doors and the bottom edge of lower cabinet doors to install cup hooks. Use the hooks to hang the doors using something like the PSDR system or a rod and hangers. Then you can paint both sides at once without waiting for one side to dry first.

You can use specially designed cabinet hanging systems or create your own. But there are a few critical points to keep in mind if doing a DIY version. Keep reading to get the lowdown on how to hang your cabinet doors to paint them.

Using The PSDR System To Paint Cabinet Doors

You can purchase a system like the ProDryingRack SD™ (PSDR) to make painting cabinet doors a breeze. It reduces the time it takes to do the job and makes it much more manageable.

The system enables you to hang your cabinet doors vertically so you can spray both sides without waiting for anything to dry first. The system includes the parts you need to assemble the spraying and drying stands.

It also includes 50 hangers, a spray holder, a spinner, and three carry bags. You will also need to get regular cup hooks from a home improvement store or online.

How To Use The PSDR System

It’s a relatively straightforward process, and you can follow the manufacturer’s instructions. But here are the steps in a nutshell.

  • Create a template to drill holes into your cabinet doors 10 inches apart so the cabinets won’t slide on the hangers. Use a paint stirrer or aluminum angle to make your template. Simply measure the ten inches and drill pilot holes through the stick or angle. (You can put adhesive felt on the underside of the template to avoid scratching doors.)
  • Using the template and a 3/32” bit, drill holes into the edge of the cabinet doors. For upper cabinets, drill the holes into the top edge, and drill into the lower edge for lower cabinets. This way, you don’t have to worry about seeing the holes.
  • Install ¾” cup hooks into the holes. This size hook works well with the size of the PSDR hangers.
  • Hang the door on a hanger with the cup hooks, then place the hanger on the spinner on the rack. It pretty much looks like a clothes rack, just for cabinet doors instead of clothing. The spinner enables you to easily manipulate the door to spray both sides.
  • After you paint the door, transfer it to the drying rack and put the next door into position to spray.

What If I Don’t Want To Put Holes In My Cabinets?

If you prefer not to drill holes into your cabinet doors, there is another way. You can utilize the holes already in your cabinet doors for the hinges.

The company that offers the PSDR system also offers hinge hooks. These special hooks go on the hinge holes and then on a wave hanger. The wave hanger keeps the hooks from sliding like they would on the regular hangers.

You can look at a couple of different hook styles if this is your preference. Just be aware that using hinge hooks increases the risk of your cabinet falling off the hanger. Therefore, be extra careful when moving the cabinet door from place to place.

Of course, another option is to still drill the holes but fill them when you’re done. This adds an extra step and some time, but if that’s your preference, go for it. Once the cabinets are dry, remove the cup hooks, use wood putty to fill the holes, sand, and paint.

Creating A DIY System To Hang Cabinet Doors To Paint

The PSDR system costs about $491 plus extra for the necessary accessories. You can make your own if you prefer not to buy a specific system to paint your cabinet doors.

No matter what you use for your makeshift spray rack, you’ll still need to install the cup hooks into the edge of the cabinet doors. Also, make sure the size cup hooks you get can fit onto whatever you use to hang the door.

You also should ensure you have a system in place to prevent the hooks from sliding on the hangers. The best way is to measure the hanger you are using.

Ensure the holes for the cup hooks are the same distance apart. Then, the hooks will rest at each end of the hanger, making it impossible for them to slide from side to side.

Additionally, you will also need a separate rack for drying, so make sure you have both before starting your project. Here are a few popular DIY ways to create a painting and drying rack to hang your cabinet doors.

1. PVC Pipe, Cinder Blocks, And Hangers

Position cinder blocks on two level surfaces and place a PVC pipe through the holes. This creates your spray rack for your cabinet doors. Use regular hangers to hang the doors.

If you want to be able to spin the door, look for hangers that have a swivel-style hook.

2. Wooden Dowel, Cinder Blocks, And Hangers

instead of PVC, you can use a long wooden dowel to support your hangers. Another option to keep cabinet doors from sliding is to use wire hangers. Clip the wire hangers and wrap each edge around a hook instead of hanging the hook onto the hanger.

3. Use A Regular Clothes Rack And Hangers

In a pinch, you could use a clothing rack. Make sure you find one that gives you enough height. It also needs to be stable and sturdy enough to support the weight of your doors. This is especially the case for the drying rack since many doors will be hanging on it at once.

4. Use Ladders For Support

You can place a metal rod, PVC pipe, or wooden dowel through the rungs of two ladders to create your paint stand. This is also an excellent way to set up a drying rack.

5. Eye Hooks And Wire

Instead of cup hooks, you can drill holes for eye hooks in your cabinet doors. Then use a heavy-duty wire to suspend the doors from a pole or rod.

This keeps doors from sliding. But it’s not as easy to get the doors on and off unless you remove the eye hook. Alternatively, you can suspend them from cup hooks drilled into a sturdy wooden board.

6. String Or Wire Through Hinge Holes

Need a DIY way not to drill holes into your cabinets? Get a long 2 x 4 and suspend it between cinder blocks or another method. Drill holes into the bottom for several cup hooks.

Put string or wire through the cabinet door hinge hooks and tie it in a loop that you will use to hang the door from the cup hooks. Make sure the cup hooks are spaced to match your hinge holes.

You will need a similar setup for the painted doors so they can dry while you continue to paint the rest.

As you can see, there are lots of ways you can suspend your cabinet doors for painting. Look around your workspace, and you’ll likely come up with a few creative ways of your own. The takeaway is to use a system that keeps doors from falling or sliding and have a separate drying rack.

How Much Time Does Hanging Cabinets To Paint Save?

You can easily shave a day or more off your cabinet painting project if you hang your cabinets to paint. This is because you don’t have to wait for one side to dry before flipping the cabinet door over to do the other side.

If you were laying cabinet doors down to paint, you must wait a long time before flipping the door over. First, you must give the primer at least four hours to dry (twice as long if using an oil-based primer).

Then, you must wait at least 16 hours for the first coat to dry before flipping over the door to do the other side. You also need to apply a second coat and possibly even a third. Now you can see how hanging your cabinet doors to paint can easily save you between one and three days.

Wrapping Up How To Hang Cabinet Doors To Paint

Painting your cabinets doesn’t have to be as time-consuming as you think. It significantly reduces work time when you hang your cabinet doors to paint them. You don’t have to wait for the paint to dry before flipping a cabinet door.

You can make a DIY hanging system or purchase a specific one, like the PSDR system. Either way, you drill holes into the edge of your cabinet for small hooks so you can suspend the doors on a rack. Then you can paint both sides at the same time.

Make sure to have a separate drying rack so you can transfer painted doors to it as you move on to the next one. You can utilize the hinge holes if you don’t want to drill holes into your cabinet doors. Hinge hooks enable you to hook into these holes and hang the doors.

However, you need to be more careful when doing it this way. Using a hinge hook makes it more likely for the cabinet to slip off the hook. You could also use wire or string through the hinge holes and hang on cup hooks installed on a board.

Stacy Randall
Stacy Randall

Stacy Randall is a wife, mother, and freelance writer from NOLA that has always had a love for DIY projects, home organization, and making spaces beautiful. Together with her husband, she has been spending the last several years lovingly renovating her grandparent's former home, making it their own and learning a lot about life along the way.

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