How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets

Painting or repainting kitchen cabinets is a great way to give your kitchen a face-lift without doing a complete reno. With some simple preparation, a little paint and a free weekend, you can transform the look and feel of your kitchen while staying on budget. Here’s how.

Skill Level: Beginner
Time:
  1. Step 1 Pick the Best Paint for Your Cabinets

    Many cans of coloured paint ready to be used.

    When choosing your cabinet paint, pick a colour that feels right for your space and make sure it’s recommended for use on cabinets. Gloss and semi-gloss paints are nice because they provide a harder finish, making your end product more durable. If you choose a latex paint, make sure it is completely acrylic. Alkyd paints are oil-free and are great for durability as well.

  2. Step 2 Prepare the Area

    The screws are removed from a cabinet door.

    Empty your cabinets completely and remove the doors by unscrewing the hinges and pulling the doors away from the cabinets. Wipe the surfaces clean with a damp cloth.

  3. Step 3 Clean and Sand the Cabinets

    A person sands their cabinet to remove the glossy finish.

    If your cabinets have a glossy finish, you’ll need to sand that away before you start painting. Take a sanding sponge or something with a high grit and sand until you have a matte finish. Once you’ve sanded, wipe the dust away with a damp cloth and allow the cabinet to completely dry.

  4. Step 4 Prime the Cabinets

    Primer is applied to a cabinet door.

    If you’re going lighter than the current colour or your cabinets are new, you will need to prime them. Apply your primer by edging with a brush first, then rolling the middle for the fastest coverage. Allow them to dry completely.

  5. Step 5 Paint the Frames

    painter paints the frames of the cabinets before starting on the doors.

    Cut in the top of the frame and then use a roller to paint the exposed remaining frame parts. The trick is to make sure you’re going with the wood grain. Once your frames are painted you can let them dry and move on to the doors.

  6. Step 6 Paint Doors and Drawers

    A painter rolls paint onto cabinet doors.

    Put two 2x4-inch boards on the ground and then lay your doors flat on top of them. This keeps them off the ground while painting. Start painting from the middle of your door and work your way out towards the edges. If you want a more vibrant colour, consider adding a second coat. Let them dry completely. Don’t be worried if there are brush marks, they’ll even out as the paint dries.

  7. Step 7 Reassemble Your Cabinets

    Freshly painted cabinets reassembled and looking neat and new.

    Once your paint is dry, reassemble your cabinets by putting the hardware back on the doors if you removed it, then reattaching the doors to the cabinets. Once everything is assembled, you can stand back and take in your brand new kitchen look!

What You Need for This Project

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