How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets

It should come as no surprise that redesigning a kitchen is among the most expensive renovation jobs if you’ve looked at the prices of new commercial kitchen equipment such as appliances, worktops, and cabinetry. Few householders discover ways to enhance the appearance of an outdated refrigerator or worn-out granite, but updating the cabinets that take up the majority of the kitchen’s visual space can completely transform the space. But the job is more complicated than just purchasing a barrel of your preferred shade.

Set Up the Space

  • The first couple stages in both home and commercial kitchen renovation are devoted to preparing the space and shelves for painting. The secret to an effective paint job is meticulous planning.
  • Start by cleaning the counters, removing any freestanding equipment, and emptying the cabinets.
  • Move the tables and additional furniture to a different room.
  • Rosin paper should be placed over the counters and flooring, and plastic sheeting should be placed over the stationary machines, windows, backsplash, and internal doorways to shield the remainder of the house from dirt and fumes.
  • Conceal the cabinets’ surrounding walls with a mask.
  • Prepare a work table so that you may paint the shelves, doors, and drawers.

Take the Shelves, Doors, and Drawers Out

  • To prevent misplacing the doors, be careful to label the front and back of each drawer with a marker. The region behind the hinge is the optimal site for this mark.
  • Pull the doors off the cabinet by unscrewing the hinge bolts from the frame. Label each of them with a numbered strip of tape, going from top to bottom and left to right. Count the bottoms of the drawers and the borders of the cabinet shelves.
  • Hardware for hanging shelves should be set aside.
  • Remove the hinges and pulls from your worktable, reserving the rest for another use.
  • To the uncovered wood underneath one hinge on the doors, place the mark of the number from the tape.
  • Put some new tape over it.

Ensure That All Surfaces Are Clean

  • Apply a cleaning mixture and wipe a rag over the cabinet to clean it. All the grease and oils that can obstruct a flawless finish are eliminated in this process. 
  • In the event that regular cleansers are ineffective, think about employing a stronger cleaner, such as trisodium phosphate (TSP), which can be found at hardware and paint stores. 
  • Ensure that you abide by the safety instructions on the container.
  • Once all of the cabinet parts are clean, thoroughly rinse them with water and allow them to dry.

Prepare the Boxes

  • Put on your safety gear and open the windows to let some fresh air in. Scrub down each surface with an abrasive pad coated in a liquid deglosser.
  • In order to catch drips, keep a rag underneath. Wipe away the leftover delouser with a fresh, delouser-dampened rag as soon as possible before it evaporates.
  • If you’re moving the hardware, use a two-part polyester wood or auto body filler to replace the old screw holes.
  • Only combine in tiny portions because it sets up in approximately 5 minutes. You should slightly overfill the holes because the filler compresses a little.
  • As soon as it dries, scrape away any extra with a fine paint scraper. If it fully sets, sand it down to a smooth surface.
  • Scuff the cabinet, drawer, and door surfaces with a foam sanding block. Don’t sand down to the raw wood; this is only a mild sanding to provide a surface for the primer to attach to. Before moving to the next step, use a tack cloth to remove the sanding dust.
  • To ensure that no dust particles taint the finish, vacuum the cabinets both inside and out. For more assurance, wipe them up using a tack cloth.

Start Priming the Cabinet Boxes

  • Now comes the primer. Utilise a stain-blocking primer to fix snags and other exterior flaws that could show through the topcoats if the cabinets are highly stained. This primer dries rapidly. In most cases, stain blockers are unnecessary, and an oil-based or 100% acrylic latex primer would suffice. 
  • Fill the brush and roller with primer after pouring some into the paint tray. Apply a layer of primer to the cabinet, drawers, and door fronts, using a paintbrush all along corners and small crevices and a roller on the wide, flat areas.
  • Beginning at the highest point of the cabinets, brush the primer all across the grain, and then “tip-off” by passing the paintbrush gently over the damp, finishing in the direction that the grain runs. Always tip-off from one side to the other in a single motion.
  • Make sure to move the brush along the door’s or cabinet’s underlying structure. Paint the rail first, barely overlapping onto the stile, for instance, when a rail butts into one. Before the paint dries, paint the stile.
  • Before rinsing the painting tray, wash your paintbrush and roller sleeve while the priming is drying. Then, pour any extra primer back into the container.

Fill, Sand, and Caulk

  • Use 220-grit paper to sand the flat areas once the primer has dried.
  • Use a sanding sponge with medium grit to smooth out any contoured surfaces. The wood should eventually feel as smooth as glass.
  • Fill any open seams with a thin drop of latex caulk. No larger than that of the point of a fine pencil should fit through the opening at the end of a caulk tube.
  • As you work, pull the caulk’s tip. Next, use a damp finger to smooth the caulk. Using a vinyl spackle and a putty knife to flatten it, repair any minor dents, scratches, or dings.
  • After the spackle has dried for about 60 minutes, re-sand the area with paper of a 220-grit, vacuum the area and wipe it off with a tack rag.
  • Spot-prime the spackle as well as any areas where the sanding has “burned through” the primer with a spraying can of quick-drying oil-based primer.
  • Sand the primer with 280-grit paper gently after waiting an hour.
  • Then, use a tack cloth to clean every surface after vacuuming it.

Coat the Cabinet Boxes With Paint

  • Now that you’re prepared to paint, go! Two coats should be plenty if you’re using a colour that is approximately the same as the current shade. In some cases, you can even get done with just one coat. It can be harder and require three coats to paint over a darker surface with a light colour. For each coat, pull out a fresh brush.
  • Add some trim and cupboard enamel colour to the paint tray, then fill the roller and brush with paint. Apply paint with the brush, working it into the corners and omitting roller strokes as you cut in from the edges. A broad flat surface can be painted with enamel by rolling it on when possible.
  • Use a tiny roller with a smooth surface to apply paint to the interior of the cabinet, creating an orange-peel-like pattern.
  • As you wait for the initial coat to dry, wrap the roller and brush in plastic to keep them from hardening.
  • The surfaces should be lightly sanded in between layers, and any dust should be removed afterwards.
  • The cabinet will need a second coat. This coat ought to create an excellent, uniform surface with no thin or bright places wherever wood might peek through.

Begin Painting and Priming the Shelves, Drawers, and Doors Should be Cleaned

  • The same approach is used to prepare, prime, and paint drawers, shelves, and doors as it is for cabinets, with the exception that all of the work is carried out on a table to lessen the likelihood of drips, runs, and sags.
  • Start painting the area all around the panel when painting doors with panels.
  • After completing the panel’s main field, add the rails and stiles to the edges.
  • Clean up any colour that spills onto nearby dry surfaces as you go to reduce the likelihood of lap marks.
  • Reassemble all the parts.
  • Reconnect the drawer fronts and door once the final coat has dried.
  • Hang the doors in their original position after removing the tape covering the door numbers and mounting the hinges and knobs.
  • Each drawer should be reinstalled when the drawer pulls have been replaced, or new ones are added.


You are done! Sit back and take pleasure in the fact that you were able to update the appearance of your kitchen cabinets without spending a great deal of time or money.

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Heavy Metal

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