Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets In 9 Steps

You can learn how to paint your kitchen cabinets right here!

Kitchen cabinets are one of the most beautiful pieces in homes. Not only can they look amazing, but they also serve as important storage areas for utensils, pots, pans, and everything else needed to make a home-cooked meal.

Here is an overview of the steps to painting kitchen cabinets:

  1. Determine the current state of your cabinets
  2. Empty them and remove the doors
  3. Clean surface
  4. Repair any damages
  5. Cover surfaces you aren’t painting
  6. Lightly sand
  7. Prime
  8. “Lay off” the primer
  9. Paint

Let’s take a closer look at painting cabinets.

You can learn how to fully prep a room for painting >>

Kitchen cabinets painted white

How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets

Tools & Materials Needed

  • Paintbrush or sprayer
  • Mini-roller
  • Rolling tray
  • Screwdriver/drill
  • Sanding paper
  • Dust mask
  • Mount for doors if you remove them
  • Gloves
  • Sponge
  • Putty knife
  • Plastic peeler
  • Wood filler
  • Paint of your choice
  • Primer
  • Painter’s tape
  • Paint stripper (if necessary)
  • TSP (trisodium phosphate)

You can learn more about painter’s tools >>

Kitchen with beautiful, light brown cabinets

9 Steps To Painting Kitchen Cabinets

  1. Determine the state of your cabinets
    • are they already painted and if so with what?
    • if the paint condition is good you can just paint over it
    • if already painted, use paint stripper, brush, and plastic peeler
  2. Empty and remove the cabinets
    • label the parts and place hardware in labeled plastic bags to make installation easier
  3. Clean all surfaces with TSP
  4. Repair damages with wood filler and putty knife
  5. Cover surfaces you aren’t painting
  6. Lightly sand surfaces with medium-grit sandpaper to prep it
    • clean everything afterward or dust will show through the paint
  7. Prime cabinets from inside to outside
    • use the brush to get into smaller areas
    • use mini roller for larger surfaces
    • start with the back and any detail areas
    • for drawers just painting the front is fine, the sides and back may stick to the rollers
  8. “Lay off” the primer with a dry roller by lightly smoothing it out to remove any buildup
  9. Paint the kitchen cabinets
    • start with the back and any detail areas
    • for drawers just painting the front is fine, the sides and back may stick to the rollers

Painting with brush and roller

  1. Use even strokes with the brush and finish back into the wet paint. Feather out the edges
  2. Follow the  same instructions as for when applying the primer
  3. Lay off after painting the surface
  4. Apply a second coat of paint

Painting with sprayer

  1. Adjust flow rate to your liking
    • keep nozzle ~10in from the door
  2. Spray the edges
  3. Paint the back of the door with the sprayer
  4. Paint the front of the doors and drawers
  5. Touch up any problem areas

Pro Tip: allow paint to completely dry after primer and both coats of paint before moving on

Dark brown painted kitchen cabinets

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Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets Today

The overall process can take a couple days depending on how many cabinets you’re painting. It will be well worth it when you see your beautifully transformed kitchen before you.

Find out if you can paint over varnished wood >>