How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets?

Are your kitchen cabinets showing signs of wear? If you know how to paint kitchen cabinets you can give them a makeover without paying a professional to do the work for you. If you don’t know where to start, don’t worry as we explain the steps here.


Choose the Paint

Primer: primer will give the cabinet a tinted color based on the upper coat. Primer is good for preventing stained or dark surfaces from appearing, but make sure the primer paint is suited for the kitchen cabinet material, i.e. laminated surface, metal or wood.


Paint: options include low fume paints, water based, acrylic, acrylic enamel pant or oil based. Paints need good ventilation because the solvents could make you feel uncomfortable.

Also read: How to Build Kitchen Cabinets?

Tools You Will Need

  • Paint tray and stir sticks
  • Paint
  • Microfiber paint rollers: 2 to 3”
  • Synthetic-fiber paintbrushes: 2”
  • Primer
  • Drop cloth
  • Painters tape
  • Deglosser
  • Tack cloth or rag
  • Sandpaper (120 to 220 grit)
  • Wood filler
  • Putty knife
  • Protective goggles
  • Rubber gloves
  • Screwdriver or cordless drill

Paint Kitchen Cabinets


Before painting, remove the cabinet drawers and doors from the cabinet. Remove the hardware as painting over the handles and hinges could affect functionality.

Label the drawers and the doors so you won’t have a hard time recalling which hardware goes into where. Use a screwdriver or cordless drill to remove the hardware and the hinges.


In most cases you will be able to label where the hinges have to go. Now you just need to apply painter’s tape when reinstalling.


Clean the cabinet box and drawer faces as well as the shelves and doors’ sides. Remove all the grease and dirt. The best tool for this is a deglosser as it removes dirt and the glossiness. Put on rubber gloves and goggles before applying the deglosser.

When studying how to refinish kitchen cabinets, you’ll come across some different treatments for extra glossy surfaces. If your cabinet is extra glossy, use 120 to 220 grit sandpaper until the surface dulls and becomes smooth.


For paneled doors, a contoured sander is the most effective tool. If you don’t have one, just use a sponge with sandpaper. Once you are done, use a damp rug or cloth to remove the dust.


Now it is time to test the paint. Set down a drop cloth to absorb any drips. Cover the walls with newspaper to prevent accidental splashing.

Before applying the paint, make sure it is the color you like and test it first. Apply at the back of the back of the cabinet so you’ll be able to check if the color is right. If the finish is right, keep painting.


Use a paintbrush or high density roller to apply oil based bonding, stain blocking primer. Let it dry as per the product instructions.


Spray, brush or roll your cabinets with a single coating. Let the coating dry before applying another one. There is no need to over brush because the paint will level up when dry.

If your cabinet shelves are adjustable and they require a paint job, now is the best time to apply it.

clean cabinet

Apply as many many coatings as necessary. When the surface has attained the color and dept you want, stop painting and let it dry. Repeat these steps for all the cabinets and drawers that you want to paint.


Reattach the hinges and hardware once the paint has dried. Hang the doors, screw the hinges and put the drawer pulls back in, using your labels as guide. Spray paint the hardware if you want.


If after learning how to paint kitchen cabinets white you want to spay paint hardware, let them dry before putting back into the cabinet.

Tips and Suggestions

If all that panting seems like too much work, you might consider using a power sprayer. A power sprayer will give your cabinet a smooth finish.

  • check
    No matter what method you use, make sure the kitchen floor and countertop are protected. Newspapers are the most basic protection, but builder’s paper or rosin paper is even better. The most commonly used size is 35 in x 140 ft long. This is big but at least you have plenty left for future paint projects.
  • check
    Grease can be difficult to remove especially if the cabinet hasn’t been cleaned in a while. If you don’t have a deglosser, try dishwashing liquid. It should work, but it’s better to get a dedicated grease remover. Follow all the instructions for applying it.
  • check
    One of the things you will learn when researching how to repaint kitchen cabinets is that sanding is essential for smoothing and prepping the surface for paint. But you must be careful not to overdo it.
  • check
    Use a 120 grit sandpaper or sanding sponge for factory finish cabinets. If the cabinet has already been painted and has a rough finish, a 100 grit sandpaper will suffice. Once you’re done, use a 120 grit sandpaper to remove sanding marks.

A few more reminders: if you opt for primer, choose one that dries as quickly as possible. Make sure the primer is compatible with your paint and follow all the instructions as indicated.

Some wood types like oak have open pore grains. This is perfectly all right and some like their cabinets to look this way. But if you want your cabinets to look smooth, fill up those pores before painting.

Paint the Doors

There many ways to achieve this, but the most common is to apply multiple coatings of high quality primer while sanding between each coating. Keep repeating until the pores are filled up.


Well that wasn’t too hard was it? Learning how to paint kitchen cabinets is all about having the right materials and using the proper techniques.

As long s you’ve got both and are patient, those kitchen cabinets should come out looking new and sharp. Was this article able to help you? If so, please share it on Facebook.

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