How To Use TSP Before Painting: The Ultimate Solution [Jan.2021]

For the first in years of getting in and out of your kitchen you suddenly notice its cabinets need a good makeover. But you don’t know how to use TSP before painting!

TSP painting influences the outcome of your kitchen cabinet aesthetic. I tried this once and it really paid off! But the results did not easily appear without problems and repainting on my part. 

Ughh… If only I learned the basics of TSP preparation!

But there’s no use crying over split milk. Besides, it still turned out to be successful.

Lucky for you, I have all the easy hacks on how to use TSP in preparing your cabinet for a paint makeover all ready and done. 

Keep on reading for exciting tips…

How To Use TSP Before Painting

A Very Important Question Before Learning How to Use TSP Before Painting: What is a TSP Cleaner?

A TSP Cleaner easily succeeds as one of today’s efficient stain removers. Here’s what you need to know about it before preparing it on how to use tsp before painting:

  • TSP comes with the chemical formula: NA3PO
  • It is officially known as Trisodium Phosphate
  • It works as a softened version of the stronger phosphoric acid
  • Manufacturers of TSP also add sodium hydroxide in its solution when required by dose
  • TSP traces a long history in several home cleaning solutions; however, due to alerting harm caused by phosphate to humans and nature, manufacturers no longer include the phosphate formula in TSP today. 
  • Today, TSP comes in either crystal or powder package. Users dissolve it with water to come up with an alkali mixture. 
  • The TSP proves to be a 100% effective cleaner/stain remover.
  • The TSP, with its toned-down effect, blends smoothly on multiple surface types; that includes wood, in the case of wooden kitchen cabinets. 

But wait…

There are more considerations on how to use TSP before painting!

So, keep scrolling down…

How To Use TSP Before Painting

The Pros of Using TSP:

  1. Ease & Convenience

This reason, above everything else, makes the TSP the immediate solution for cleaning, de-greasing, and glossing up surfaces. 

All you have to do in preparing the TSP is dissolve its main formula with water. With that finished solution on hand, you can simply spray, pour, and apply a strong cleaner on the kitchen cabinet surface. The TSP can be best applied using a sponge, brush, or any piece of cloth.

  1. High Efficiency

TSP promises 100% efficiency. A highly potent chemical, it’s tough on grease, dirt, dust, stains, and even unwanted paint on the kitchen cabinet. 

Kitchen sinks, cabinets, drawers, etc. prove to benefit best from TSP’s potency. 

  1. Strop Strip Capacity

As I mentioned earlier, the TSP toughly dissolves old paint layers. Therefore, it also passes as a potent paint remover. 

The Cons of Using TSP:

  1. Threat on Health

It’s undeniable that the TSP cabinet cleaner can threaten human health upon contact. A toxic chemical, the TSP requires careful handling. 

By careful handling, I mean proper use of gears- eye masks, skin protectors, etc. In addition, the application of TSP requires setting the space for air purification. The last thing you can bear is inhaling all its trapped toxic scent. 

Another consideration in using the TSP is planning for contingencies in case of accidents.

You just can’t take chances with the TSP…

  1. Harmful for the Environment

Its threat to the environment accounted for the TSP’s weakened clout in the market. 

And, what’s the worst it can do when carelessly washed into bodies of water?

Imbalance in the ecosystem. The sodium content in the TSP triggers the over-abundance of algae in the water. 

  1. Not Good for Metals & other Surfaces

Despite its viability to multiple surfaces, the TSP upsets the inner layers and compositions in metal, glass, ceramics, plastic, cement, etc. 

If you notice these elements accented on your kitchen cabinet, wrap them with either an old newspaper or dry cloth. 

Now that you know, better keep them off contact! 

How To Use TSP Before Painting: Final Verdict

After properly weighing the pros and cons, I can, therefore, conclude that before learning the procedures on how to use TSP before painting:

  • The TSP is incredibly useful especially in devising kitchen cabinets for repainting and makeover. 
  • From the facts presented, the TSP proves that it is unbeatable in terms of cleaning efficiency. 
  • Albeit its potency, the TSP poses threats to both human and environmental health. Thus, it requires proper handling and the steps on how to use TSP before painting.

Finally: The Simple Tips on How to Use TSP Before Painting

So have you finally decided how to best make-over your kitchen cabinet?

Does it deal with actions on how to use tsp before painting?

Well, you are on the right page…

Here are the easy tips on how to use TSP before painting:

Tip #1: Formulate Your TSP Solution

What is TSP solution?

Prepare the solution. Dissolve the TSP with water. As a recommended measure: ½ cup of the TSP is equivalent to 2 gallons of water (warm). 

Mix thoroughly. Once it’s done, set it aside to prepare another container of water. This clean water will now serve as the second diluter for the solution. 

Tip #2: Set the Space and Cabinet for TSP Cleaning

Prepare the space and the cabinet for cleaning. I would highly recommend stripping the cabinet off its box doors and individually placing these items on areas that are TSP-safe. 

The cabinet takes a long time to dry off its TSP coat, so it would be wise to clean several cabinets to make use of the time.

Tip #3: Begin Cleaning the Cabinet

For quick reference, I will present the procedure step-by-step:

  1. Wear protective gear. 
  2. Wipe the cabinet/s and its parts with a clean, dry cloth. 
  3. If you working indoors, make sure to open the windows for ventilation. 
  4. Use a sponge or any clean, dry cloth in administering TSP into the cabinet. 
  5. When cleaning the cabinet, direct your wiping stroke along the wood grain, not counter it. 
  6. Don’t miss cleaning the hidden edges and handles because it’s in these areas that grease usually sticks.
  7. After administering and wiping TSP into the surface, go for a second coating to make thorough cleaning. After reapplying the second TSP coat, pair it with clean water for apt dilution.
How To Use TSP Before Painting The Ultimate Solution

Tip #4: Wash the Cabinet as Finishing

After thoroughly cleaning the cabinet, drench it with clean water (from the gallon you set aside) to clear from any TSP residues. 

Note: It is highly important that you rinse it properly since the TSP wall cleaner and cabinet cleaner strongly sticks to the wood surface, distorting the painting you will be layering soon. 

Tip #5: Begin Painting the Cabinet

After rinsing, leave the cabinet and its doors to dry for an average of 30-40 minutes.

Once dry, begin painting the cabinet. When painting the cabinet make sure to do consistent strokes to maximize the effect of the TSP. 

After painting, apply some finishing. 

That’s all about it- the easy tips on how to use TSP before painting.

There you go…

May the painting odds be in your favor!

You can also check out the Top Best Cordless Vacuum Cleaner for Hard Floors


Beautiful, fresh-looking kitchen cabinets are indeed beautiful to behold. Repainting it proves to be the ultimate makeover solution. However, repainting the cabinet is not as simple as wiping it off of dust and then directly repainting it. 

It actually requires doing the procedures on how to use TSP before painting cabinets. And while TSP tends to be a harsh and risky solution, it effectively preps the cabinet before painting, causing it to yield better than usual results.