Instead of Replacing Your Kitchen Cabinets, Try Painting Them!


Painting kitchen cabinets can transform your kitchen at a fraction of the cost of replacing them. Here are the key points to know:


  1. Remove Doors and Hardware: Take off all cabinet doors, drawers, and hardware (handles, knobs, hinges).
  2. Clean Thoroughly: Cabinets need to be free of grease, grime, and dust. Use a degreaser or a mixture of water and a grease-cutting detergent.
  3. Sand Surfaces: Lightly sand all surfaces to ensure the paint adheres well. Use a fine-grit sandpaper (220 grit).
  4. Fill Holes and Dents: Use wood filler to fill any imperfections, then sand those areas smooth.


  1. Choose the Right Primer: Use a high-quality, bonding primer suited for the material of your cabinets (wood, laminate, etc.).
  2. Apply Evenly: Use a brush for detailed areas and a roller for flat surfaces. Ensure even coverage and allow proper drying time as per the primer’s instructions.


  1. Select Quality Paint: Semi-gloss or satin finishes are recommended for kitchen cabinets due to their durability and easy-to-clean nature.
  2. Apply Thin Coats: Multiple thin coats are better than one thick coat. This reduces the chance of drips and ensures a smoother finish.
  3. Use the Right Tools: Use high-quality brushes and rollers. A fine-bristle brush is good for detailed work, and a foam roller can help achieve a smooth finish on flat surfaces.


  1. Brush Techniques: Use long, even strokes. Avoid over-brushing, which can leave brush marks.
  2. Roller Techniques: Roll in one direction to avoid texture from the roller showing up in the final finish.
  3. Spraying: For a professional finish, consider using a paint sprayer. This method can provide a smoother, more even finish but requires more preparation and masking to protect surrounding areas.

Drying and Curing

  1. Adequate Drying Time: Allow each coat to dry thoroughly as per the paint manufacturer’s recommendations. This usually means waiting at least 24 hours between coats.
  2. Curing Time: Paint can feel dry to the touch but still be soft. Allow cabinets to cure for a few days before reassembling and for a couple of weeks before subjecting them to heavy use.


  1. Reattach Hardware: Once the paint is fully cured, reattach the hardware. Consider updating the hardware for a refreshed look.
  2. Rehang Doors and Drawers: Carefully rehang doors and reinsert drawers, ensuring they are properly aligned.

Tips and Tricks

  1. Work in a Dust-Free Environment: Minimize dust and debris that can stick to the wet paint.
  2. Label Everything: Label doors and hardware to make reassembly easier.
  3. Use Painter’s Pyramids: These small stands can elevate doors and drawers off the work surface, allowing you to paint edges and surfaces without waiting for one side to dry.


  1. Ventilation: Ensure good ventilation to avoid inhaling fumes.
  2. Protective Gear: Wear a mask, gloves, and eye protection while sanding and painting.

By following these steps and tips, you can achieve a professional-looking finish on your kitchen cabinets.