A How-To Guide on Painting Kitchen Cabinets

Painting your kitchen cabinets can be a fun and energizing DIY project, saving thousands of dollars in remodeling costs. Kitchen cabinets are a key part of any kitchen and even the least attractive cabinets can be saved with careful planning and thoughtful details. Do you have a plastic laminate or coating over your cabinets? What color are your cabinets currently? It’s important to carefully examine your existing materials to make well-informed decisions about your repainting project. Once you know what materials you are working with, follow this how-to guide for painting your kitchen cabinets: Before you begin… Determine the type of paint you need. You will need a primer and a paint. Consult with a paint expert at your local hardwood store prior to purchasing. In terms of paint, cabinets can be painted with either acrylic enamel paint and alkyd paint. Alkyd paint has stronger fumes and requires ventilation. Make sure you choose a durable and long-lasting paint.
  1. Examine your woodwork and remove panels.

Flat panels and drawers are easy to paint, but scout out any raised panels or details that could be difficult or more time-consuming to paint prior to painting. Remove all knobs or handles from the cabinets. Be sure to remove hinges and hardware and don’t paint over them, as this can affect how your cabinets open and close.
  1. Make a layout or plan of where all cabinets belong.

The last thing you want is to forget how all of the pieces of your cabinets fit together. Before you begin painting the cabinets, map out your kitchen to understand how all pieces work together.
  1. Clean and sand everything.

Cabinets often carry hidden stains, dirt, and grease, so be sure to clean the cabinets before painting them. It’s recommended to use a solution of trisodium phosphate and water. Then, use a sander or sandpaper to sand down all cabinet doors. It’s not required to sand the interior doors of the cabinets if you are only painting the exterior.
  1. Apply primer/sealant.

Apply an even coat of primer to ensure that the paint coats well to all surfaces. You can also test a small section of the cabinet to ensure you still like the color of paint you have chosen.
  1. Paint.

After the primer has dried, you are ready to paint all the doors and cabinets. Make sure to use painter’s cloth or painter’s tape to ensure the other surfaces of your home aren’t covered in paint and to make sure the edges of your cabinets remain clean as you paint. Apply paint in thin, light coats, never too heavily as this can cause uneven coloration. Wait four hours or more between coats. Typically, two coats of paint are sufficient for cabinets. Once fully dried, you are ready to reassemble the knobs and hardware, and can enjoy your newly painted kitchen cabinets!