A DIY Approach for Painting Kitchen Cabinets with Basic Considerations

A Comprehensive Guide for Painting Kitchen Cabinets
  • Author: Amanda Arnold
  • Posted On: May 17, 2023
  • Updated On: October 17, 2023

Do you want to work on painting kitchen cabinets without any professional help? If yes, take a start with basic tips about how to paint kitchen cabinets. So, you can give your kitchen a high-end and professional look without stepping out of your budget.

No doubt, professional kitchen cabinet painting is always on the point. But it doesn’t mean that you cannot remodel or paint old kitchen cabinets if you don’t have enough budget. Let’s explore how to paint kitchen cabinets and tips for repainting kitchen cabinets.

Moreover, you can also learn about how to prep kitchen cabinets for painting from this post. As we all know without proper knowledge about painting over-painted kitchen cabinets, you cannot achieve a great job of painting kitchen cabinets.

Our main considerations in this DIY guide are helping our readers with their following concerns;

  • How do you paint kitchen cabinets?
  • How to paint old kitchen cabinets?
  • Professional kitchen cabinet painting considerations
  • What is the best way to paint kitchen cabinets?

So, start reading and let this guide show how to paint kitchen cabinets like a pro even if you are a beginner DIYer or a non-DIYer. If you love to work on home improvement and remodeling projects, this post is surely for you!

Prepare for Painting Kitchen Cabinets in 7 Steps

If you want to perform the kitchen cabinets painting task yourself, consider the following steps to prepare the kitchen cabinets for painting: 

1. Create A Plan

Even if your kitchen is not too big, painting kitchen cabinets will still take more than one or two days. So, you have to work on it with a proper plan and prototyping. Therefore, how to prep kitchen cabinets for painting is the first question to solve even in a DIY painting job.

Before starting to paint your kitchen cabinets, ensure that your kitchen area is properly ventilated. So, you can complete this task without any suffocation. On the other hand, proper ventilation is also necessary to let the cabinets dry eventually and over time.

2. Move Out All Stuff From Your Cabinets

Not only for painting, even before priming your kitchen cabinets for painting, you have to move out all the stuff from your cabinets. It is necessary to keep your stuff, especially food items safe from direct interaction with chemical-based. primers and paints.

Remove all items from your cabinets and start sanding even before priming.

3. Fix Cabinets for All Damages

After sanding kitchen cabinets, clean the area with a small brush to remove all debris and dust. After that, check your cabinets for any cracks and damages. If some cracks and damages need to be repaired, work on them before painting kitchen cabinets.

By painting over cracked and damaged cabinets, you will not get efficient and long-lasting painting results. If there are cracks in your wooden cabinet’s doors, it is best to use a wood filler to fix those cracks.

4. Cover All Kitchen Appliances and Countertops

Repainting kitchen cabinets or even painting old kitchen cabinets is a messy task. Therefore, you have to cover all your appliances and kitchen countertops with a plastic sheet before painting kitchen cabinets.

If it’s possible to move out small appliances, it is best to do so. This way, you will get an open space to complete your painting task without any difficulty. Moreover, it will be easier for you to work in a tidy environment rather than a congested one.

5. Remove Dust From Kitchen Cabinets Properly

Once you have sanded or prepared your kitchen cabinets, the best way to paint kitchen cabinets is to start from a well-cleaned and dust-free area. To clean your kitchen cabinets from dust and sanded debris, you can use a tack cloth.

If you are working on a large area kitchen cabinet, you can also use a vacuum cleaner to complete the kitchen cabinet cleaning task in less time and effort.

6. Check Your Toolbox

Before painting, the main step is to check for all the necessary materials and tools. You will need the following supplies:

  • Sandpaper
  • Painter’s tape
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Paintbrushes 
  • Paint sprayer (optional)
  • Roller and paint tray
  • New hardware for the cabinets (for a fresh look)

7. Prep Kitchen Cabinets for Painting With a High-End Primer

If you want to perform a professional kitchen cabinet painting job, you cannot neglect the cabinet’s priming steps. Most DIYers don’t consider this step, especially repainting kitchen cabinets or painting new cabinets.

But priming kitchen cabinets is as necessary as painting kitchen cabinets. A high-end and high-quality primer is the best way to paint kitchen cabinets just like a pro. A primer will help the paint to stay on the cabinets for a long span.

Additionally, the primer will cover all imperfections even for the old kitchen cabinets.

4 Easy Steps to Paint the Kitchen Cabinets

Now that the kitchen cabinets are prepared for painting, you can start creating the magic. Just follow the steps below: 

1. Paint Primed Kitchen Cabinets

While painting kitchen cabinets, take a start from the cabinet frame. Make sure to use high-quality paint with a high-quality brush to cover all areas efficiently. You can also use a paint roller or a paint spray machine to paint cabinet frames.

Now it’s your turn to paint cabinet doors! Take a start with small strokes so you can cover the entire area without leaving. Once the cabinet’s doors backs have dried, start painting the fronts of the cabinet’s doors. Even if you have applied all over cabinets, frames, and doors smartly, you still need to apply a second coat of paint for better results.

It is best to let the first coat dry completely before painting kitchen cabinets with the second coat.

The 6-Step Painting Method

2. Reattach Cabinet’s Hardware

Before reattaching or assembling cabinet hardware, it will be best to clean and refinish all hardware. If your cabinet’s hardware doesn’t require detailed cleaning, simply refinish it with a paint spray. 

Additionally, you can also attach decorative trim lines or other stuff to your cabinet doors to give your kitchen a completely new look.

3. Apply a Protective Finish

If you want to further protect the newly-painted kitchen cabinets, you can consider applying a protective paint finish. Use polyurethane or water-based polyacrylic for this step.

This is an optional step, but you can consider using it for added durability. 

4. Additional Tips to Paint Kitchen Cabinets 

If you have access to one, consider using a paint sprayer for a more even and expert finish.

To choose the paint that is long-lasting and simple to clean, use a semi-gloss or high-gloss finish.

Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the paint and primer you’re using, and give each layer enough time to dry in between.

When working with paint and primers, ensure the area is properly ventilated as they can release fumes. Additionally, for personal protection, wear a respirator mask. 

That’s all the needed steps to show to paint kitchen cabinets like a pro to a DIYer!

What would be the Cost of Painting Kitchen Cabinets?

No doubt, remodeling or upgrading kitchen cabinets is not a budget-friendly task. But you can still make it a little bit easier and more cost-effective by choosing the best way to paint kitchen cabinets. You will be pleased to know that painting kitchen cabinets and repairing them will still cost you less than replacing old cabinets with new ones.

If we talk about the budget for painting kitchen cabinets, it will vary according to the type and specifications of each kitchen’s cabinets. 

According to an average estimation, painting over-painted kitchen cabinets will not cost you more than $1500-$2000 for a standard kitchen.

Overall, painting kitchen cabinets is a time-consuming and messy task. So, you have to work on it with proper considerations and guidelines. Additionally, proper planning plays a key role in the successful cabinet’s painting results.

So, take your time, think about the best way to paint kitchen cabinets that suit your needs, and make a decision!


  • How to Paint a Wood Kitchen Cabinet?
    You can follow these steps to paint wood kitchen cabinets. Firstly, remove the hardware and clean the cabinets. Sand the surfaces, apply a primer, and let the surfaces dry. Apply two coats of paint, and allow each coat to dry before adding the next. Painting a wood cabinet is that easy.
  • How to Repaint Kitchen Cabinets?
    If you intend to repaint kitchen cabinets, start by removing the hardware and cleaning the surfaces. Next, sand the cabinets and apply a primer. Let the primer dry. You can finish the repainting by applying two paint coats. Let each coat dry before proceeding.
  • Can I Repaint Over My Kitchen Cabinets Without Sanding?
    Skipping the sanding might be okay if you want to make a change from a newly painted surface to another, or if you are painting raw, unvarnished wood cabinets.
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Author: Amanda Arnold

Amanda has been working with ConstructionHow since 2021. Her experience spans over 5 years in the creative niche such as home decor and trends, landscaping, renovations, and custom architectural values. As a home designer expert, she has a keen eye for the latest home improvement trends with accurate facts that readers find impossible to ignore. Being invested in home-building trends is how she has gained her lucrative expertise exploring more to bring a positive ambiance for all homeowners (and even tenants!). Currently, she lives in a beautiful beach home, a source of fascination for her.