Monday, June 17, 2024

The Best Way to Paint Kitchen Cabinets

Cabinet painting can be an extensive undertaking that may require multiple days for completion.

Before beginning, be sure that all of your supplies are prepared. Be mindful that prepping will likely take more time than anticipated.

Don’t skip the priming step; it is absolutely vital in creating a long-lasting finish.


Quality cabinet painting projects depend heavily on how well you prepare your workspace and materials. Failing to thoroughly clean and sand, cabinets painted without sufficient prep will appear dull and lifeless no matter how much paint is applied to them.

As soon as your doors and drawer fronts have been removed from their boxes (or left on for removable applications), label all hinges, hardware, or knobs with numbers so they can be reinstalled later. Next, create your work space by covering the floor in plastic sheeting and setting up work tables or sawhorses – then begin unboxing!

Clean all surfaces to be painted using degreasing cleaner and a damp cloth, then dry sand them lightly using 220-grit sandpaper on an oscillating sander before vacuuming off all dust accumulated from this step. Tack cloths folded loosely can also be folded loosely to collect any loose bits of dust left from sanding.


No matter the material of your cabinetry – natural wood, melamine, MDF or manufactured composites – using an effective primer coat is recommended prior to applying any top coat finish. Primers not only conceal any minor surface imperfections and increase absorbency but they can also ensure your topcoat adheres securely.

There are various kinds of primers to choose from, such as oil-based, shellac-based, latex and water-based primers. Most DIYers tend to favor water-based primers because they’re easy to work with, clean up quickly with water and dry faster than most oil-based products.

If you’re uncertain which primer would best meet the needs of your cabinets, read product reviews and follow label directions in order to select one that meets them. Many newer hybrid acrylic urethane primers combine elements from both oil- and water-based products for a comprehensive approach!


An attractive coat of paint can make an enormous difference to the overall appearance and feel of kitchen cabinets, so investing in quality materials is worth your while. A quality cabinet paint should be alkyd-based with semi-gloss sheen; additionally, it should clean easily while being resistant to staining.

Before applying your new cabinet color, use a foam sanding block to lightly scuff all surfaces – including drawer backs and doors – using just enough pressure to give the primer something to attach itself to. Vacuum and wipe down surfaces afterwards in order to clear away any dust or debris that has collected on them.

Apply the first coat of your desired hue using both a brush and roller, using the former for corners and crevices and the latter on flat surfaces. Use mohair, microfiber, or foam roller sleeves for maximum smoothness – experiment to find what works for you best! Allow this first layer to dry for 24-48 hours before moving onto another.


After you have sanded and filled any holes, use a lint-free tack cloth to wipe down each cabinet surface with clean water to eliminate dust particles that might settle onto its painted surfaces. Also consider cleaning any removable hardware like hinges, handles and knobs with Krud Kutter sold in hardware or paint stores as a degreasing cleaner for optimal results.

When painting cabinets, always apply two thin coats of primer and wait for each to dry before applying a final coat. This ensures optimal results and helps avoid smudges or drips that could show through later after it has set.

Before commencing with any actual painting, ensure you have an ample workspace covered by drop cloth or tarp and keep out of reach of children and pets while drying your cabinet doors and drawer fronts on sawhorses or a work table to avoid accidentally touching anything.

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