8 Factors Determining the Cost of Painting Cabinets

cost to paint cabinets
  • Author: Ivy Smith
  • Posted On: September 8, 2023
  • Updated On: September 21, 2023

Updating your kitchen cabinets is one of the finest ways to quickly improve the feel and appearance of your home’s most crucial area. You don’t need to do costly spending on replacing the cabinets when you can just repaint them. Now you must be wondering about the cost of painting cabinets. 

The cost to paint cabinets is much lower than you might think. It’s certainly lower than replacing or refacing them. On average, people usually spend $895 to repaint the doors and cabinets in their kitchens, with a typical range of $422 to $1,415. This cost depends mainly on the labor but also includes the supplies needed for repainting. 

If the existing cabinets need a lot of work to deal with the poor surfaces, or if the number of cabinets is more in a big kitchen, the cost of painting may increase up to $7,000. 

Let’s walk you through some of the most common factors that determine the cost of painting kitchen cabinets. 

8 Factors in Calculating Cost to Paint Cabinets

You will find paint in many different colors and finishes. Some are higher quality, some not. Some cost more, others don’t. 

Whatever supplies you will need for your project also affect the cost. Moreover, it also depends on your kitchen area, the number of cabinets, and the total size of kitchen cabinets to be painted. 

Since painting the cabinets is a job where you will need labor, most of the cost will go into the labor fees. Let’s outline the factors determining the cost to paint cabinets one by one. 

1. Paint Type and Quality

You can find different paints in the market made for different environments and visual effects. 

Some paints come with extra gloss, while others are matte or give a flat effect. If you want an in-between option, you can select eggshell or satin paint, which works on many surfaces. However, this kind of paint may not work well for the heavy use of kitchen cabinets. You can consider using milk paint or chalk paint as well. 

Another option is oil-based paints, which leave a rich, brushed look. On the other hand, latex paints create a smooth finish. For a painting project to go smoothly, you will also need to choose a primer that will work well on the wood of the kitchen cabinets. 

You can contact a paint professional to get help with your paint selections. 

2. The Mode of Painting 

Before starting your project to paint kitchen cabinets, you need to determine the mode of painting. This includes the use of a brush, roller, or paint sprayer. 

Spraying is the most efficient mode of painting that will get the job done quickly and evenly. It also creates an even paint job if you use the tool correctly. 

If your kitchen cabinets have recesses, and non-smooth grooves, then using a brush is the best course of action, as these are tricky surfaces. For large flat surfaces, you can use a roller. If you want to spray paint the wooden surfaces, you will need the spray paint. If you are painting baseboards with carpets, you will need to adjust your paint needs according to that. 

The bottom line is, whichever method you choose, you will need to purchase the brushes, rollers, drop cloths, painter’s tape, paint trays, sanding materials, primer, and paint buckets if you are going to paint yourself.  

These painting supplies will cost you between $200-600. However, if you hire a professional to do the job, they will already have the supplies. 

3. Surface Area, Cabinet Design and Layout

To paint kitchen cabinets, you will need to pay a cost of $3-10 per square foot, or an average of $30-60 per linear foot. This cost includes labor, materials, and paint supplies. This factor depends on the condition of your kitchen cabinets and how much improvement they need. Moreover, you will need to determine the cost of removing the hardware and doors. 

If your kitchen cabinets are of standard size without glass, a painting professional may quote you $100 per door, $25 per drawer, and $75-150 per cabinet.  

Moreover, if the cabinets have a tricky or tight layout with lots of edges and corners, the cost may increase as it’s time-consuming to work with such surfaces. 

4. Kitchen Size

The size of your kitchen is directly dependent on your cost to paint cabinets. 

If you have a small kitchen, your cost will be on the lower edge. However, with big kitchens, big cabinets will cost you more. 

You will need more paint, and more drop cloths to protect the floor and countertops. Plus, you will need more time as well. 

5. Color

Are you transforming your kitchen cabinets from a dark color to a light one? The best thing to do is sand or strip off the paint first. However, if you are in a hurry and can’t cover cabinets that are in good condition, you can at least use a primer to correct the light color. 

Primer usage becomes essential to ensure that the surface gets the right shade of paint, and primer helps the paint adhere better. You can choose the best paint color using a paint color match app

If you plan to use two paint colors to accent each other, the cost will go up. Ensure to speak with a paint professional so that you choose a color and type of paint that works on your kitchen cabinets. The average cost of refinishing kitchen cabinets depends mainly on the painter’s professional experience as well. 

Kitchen cabinets don’t require a specific paint. However, you need to make sure the style you select works well with your long-term vision for the cabinets. 

6. Condition of Cabinets 

Sometimes, the old kitchen cabinets are in terrible shape. The paint is peeling, the lamination is warped, the surfaces are dirty, or the wood is cracked. 

Some cabinets are difficult to repaint in their current state and may require significant effort to repair the wood to a usable condition. 

Remember! Never paint over the damaged lamination until you have repaired or refaced it. In every case, carefully remove the hardware, and sand or strip the old surfaces before priming them. These measures will let the new paint adhere properly. 

The more work needs to be done on the cabinets, the more it will cost to prepare the cabinets for repainting. 

7. Labor

The average cost to paint cabinets includes a fair share of labor pay and fees. 

On average, the kitchen cabinet painters charge $20-50 per hour. It certainly depends on your location and the fee can go up or down. Sometimes, the painters choose to base their rates on the total linear feet of the cabinets or charge by the number of doors, drawers, and cabinets. 

8. Additional Costs and Considerations

We have discussed all the crucial elements that you need to consider before painting kitchen cabinets. There are a few additional considerations to help you answer the question “How much to paint kitchen cabinets?”

Keep in mind that every project requires site preparation. However, some cabinets won’t need refacing or repairs, so consider the naive-discussed factors on a case-by-case basis. 

Repaint Your Kitchen Cabinets Like a Pro

As a rule of thumb, repainting the kitchen cabinets can save you up to 50% as compared to replacing them. You can figure out the cost of refinishing the cabinets than replacing them, and choose the method that works well for you.


  • How Much Does it Cost to Paint Cabinets?
    You will spend between $500 to $1800 depending on your location, the size of the kitchen, the surface area of kitchen cabinets, etc.
  • Is it Cheaper to Paint Cabinets or Replace Them?
    The cost of repainting a kitchen is typically half the cost of replacing it. It depends mostly on the types of paint you use. If they are durable, you will have every bit of the longevity of new cabinets in most cases.
  • Is Professional Cabinet Painting Worth it?
    With proper care of professionally painted kitchen cabinets, you can expect your newly painted cabinets to last 8-10 years.
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Author: Ivy Smith

Ivy is a professional civil engineer and also provides her consultancy at ConstructionHow from the technical aspect. Her expertise entails home improvements and real estate. But the primary strength pins down to the construction sector. She began her career with a property management company cultivating more than 20 construction and real estate projects. She also contributes as a contractor to local and international commercial and domestic individuals.