Painting your Kitchen cabinets

Many kitchens look dated due to dark cabinetry which can absorb light and make the ambience stressful. As long as the doors and frames are structurally sound, you need not tear it down or go for a complete remodel.

If you are short of cash but would like to transform your kitchen from the dreary cave it looks like right now into a bright and fresh working space, then all you need is some paint.

Painting kitchen cabinets is a fairly simple task as long as you are aware of the process.

Here’s our guide to painting your kitchen cabinets for a renewed look.

How do you paint?

Why, with a paintbrush and a roller! Spray painting is an option for the more skilled guys. But, if it’s the first time you are attempting this or you are unsure about the whole thing, hire a professional. If you are DIY person and would like to save some money, then here’s how you go about it.

The Prep

The first step is to prepare the wood for the new paint. Anyone can paint the cabinet. But if you intend to get the glossy finish that professionally made cabinets have, then you will have to prepare the surface to accept the paint.

Start off by emptying your counters and the cabinets. Cover the appliances and backsplashes. Remove all the cabinet doors, drawers and hinges. Ensure that you label everything so that you know which door and hinge goes where.

  • Cleaning: There will be layers of grime on the cabinets that will prevent proper paint adhesion. Use Krud Kutter Prepaint Cleaner or TSP substitute to clean the surface. If the layer is too thick, then you may need a stronger degreaser.
  • Sanding: Use 100-grit sandpaper to rough up the surface and wipe the surface well to remove any dust. If there are any gaps or seams, use Caulk to fill it up.
  • Prime: The primer can determine the kind of finish you get. For glossy finishes, a high build primer is recommended. Multiple coats of primer may be required to completely fill the grains of the wood.


After the Primer has dried, it’s time to start painting. You can use any angled brush and a foam roller to apply the paint. First timers can use latex based paint as it is easier to apply when compared to oil paint. There are latex based paint formulas that are made specifically for kitchen cabinets. Make small sections and work in those areas before using the roller for a smooth and uniform finish. Once the paint has dried, you can even consider applying a coat of satin polycrylic for added durability.

Spray painting takes less time and produces better results too. But it is best done in a dedicated workshop or you have the risk of overspray.

If you are unsure about the colour tone, then you can use kitchen design magazines for references or consult a kitchen designer for ideas. Both oil based paints as well as latex based paints are available in a wide range of colours. Choose one that blends in perfectly with the countertop and the backsplash.

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