November 14


How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets Like a Pro

Kitchen cabinets make up the larger impression of your kitchen. Nicely done cabinets will maintain that dope look in your kitchen, so long as you treat them well. Modern trends, such as laminate cabinets are also quite common nowadays.

Sometimes, the nice look on your cabinets tarnishes, leaving you with a space you’d not pride in. fortunately, there’re tens of ways through which you can restore the bold look in the kitchen. One such a way is painting the cabinets.

Painting can help solve more than just kitchen restoration, but that’s for another day. Today, I’m going to take through all you need to know, to achieve a sparkling paintjob on your kitchen cabinets. And, by the way, this does not require professional training, so you can save the bucks and do it yourself.

First, we shall acquaint ourselves with the common painting methods.

There are currently three common methods of painting. It all depends with the main tool in use. These are;

  • Paintbrush only
  • Paint sprayer
  • Roller/Brush

Paintbrush Only:

This is the most tedious and the cheapest method of painting. As the saying goes, cheap can turn out to be expensive in the long run. This method yields poor finish, and as such is not recommended.

Paint Sprayer

Unlike with the paintbrush, this method doesn’t leave any brush strokes on the paint. The method is also pretty fast and arguably the best. If you just do every other thing right, this method will sure get you past your imagination. Get ready to be a pro painter.

The method has some constraints (just like any other), including a longer preparation time, and the need to cover everything nearby while painting. You will also need to DIY a spray booth, for the doors and drawers’ fronts. Cleaning up after the job might take you longer than it would with a paintbrush. This all points to one thing- considerable skill is required for the job.


A paint roller, alongside a brush can yield a very nice finish. On one side, the roller can be used on largely exposed surfaces such as the fronts, the doors, and the drawers too. For the hard-to-reach spots such as corners, the brush comes in handy. Whereas the finish wouldn’t normally be as good as with a paint sprayer, it is by far better than using just a paintbrush.

Today we’re going to leverage the three methods in order to get professional results, without professional skill. Now let us dive in.

What you’ll need;


  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Degreaser
  • Wood filler
  • Caulking
  • Masking tape
  • Painter’s Plastic
  • Gloves
  • Cotton waste

Needed Tools

  • Paintbrush
  • Smooth finish paint roller
  • Caulking gun
  • Putty knife
  • Sandpaper (180-grit)
  • Sanding sponge


It is necessary to follow these steps keenly to get the best finish. Keenness to detail is often the differentiating factor when it comes to hand skills.

Painting involves two important steps:

  • Preparing the surfaces
  • Painting the cabinets

Preparing the surfaces

Removing doors/drawers

Begin by taking the cabinets apart and removing all the hardware. To have an easier job when assembling them back, ensure you keep them sorted properly. All the pieces of hardware for a given cabinet door or drawer should be kept together (avoid mixing)

Cleaning the surfaces:

Proceed to clean all the surfaces to be painted with a suitable detergent. To get rid of grease traces, use a degreaser. This is important in ensuring your paint doesn’t come off unduly. Sugar soap can be a good substitute for degreaser.


With a 180-grit sandpaper, give the cabinets surfaces a thorough sanding. If you do not have the 180-grit specifically, use anything between 120 and 220-girt.

The sanding process is really tedious and that’s where an orbital sander comes in, that is if it doesn’t hurt your budget. You can borrow one from a friend, if there’s one with such a tool.

This process ensures the first coat (primer) adheres well to the cabinets.

Cleaning up:

Of course sanding leaves the surfaces dusty, and you do not want this messing with the much-anticipated results.

If you have a vacuum cleaner, engage it on this, but if you can’t afford that, a piece of dry cloth or cotton waste will do you equally good. after the surfaces are dust-free, wipe them off with a damp cloth to knock off any embedded particles.

Masking the surrounding:

To avoid messing nearby surfaces with paint/primer, tape these surfaces off with a masking tape. These are the surfaces you do not want to stain with the paint. They can include; walls, floor, countertop or even shelves and nearby cabinets which you might have preferred not to paint.


After wiping the sanded cabinet doors with a damp cloth, it is necessary to get them dry, for the next step(s). For this, you’ll need a rack (or you can just have a way to expose them to sunlight without placing them on the ground).

At this point, your cabinets are ready for the actual job!

Painting the cabinets


Using the paint sprayer, apply the initial primer coat. You should use a high quality primer for long-lasting results. The primer is what provides the necessary adhesion. So your paint doesn’t come off. Without it, you might have to do two or more repainting jobs than if you used it.

Allow the primer at least 30 minutes before proceeding to the next step. You can check this on the primer packaging.

First paint coat

It now time for the real job. With your paint sprayer, apply a very even coat of your desired paint (color). Over the years that I’ve been doing this, doing it sparingly has been my best discovery. Applying too much paint on one point tends to form drips which can require a fresh paint job to get rid of. After spraying the doors and drawers, I prefer working on the cabinet boxes and fronts as the doors dry out in the sun.

Depending on the paint, the drying time can vary, though in most cases, two hours is all you need for the first coat to dry properly.

Second paint coat:

You might be wondering- do I really need two coats of paint? Certainly yes! It is absolutely necessary for a smooth finish- so go ahead and give the cabinets and drawers a second layer of paint. The second coat can really mask the imperfections along the edges, unlike if you did one thick layer of paint.

As usual, let the cabinets dry out in the sun, for longer than with the first coat. Your cabinets must now be really eye-catching. Enjoy the new flashy look of your kitchen!

Tips on achieving the best paint results

There are a few hacks that can further enhance the final finish on your cabinets and the look in the kitchen. Below are some that I’ve found really useful whenever I want to paint my kitchen, or just about any other paint job.

After applying the primer, and the first coat of paint, slight sanding makes the subsequent step simpler. It also allows the next layer to adhere better, and can also be an opportunity to get rid of any imperfections that may have formed.

If you find want to change the hardware on your cabinets, and the screw holes do not align, use wood filler to fill out the holes. You can then drill new holes as per the new hardware. This is also the case if there’re existing dents or damages on the cabinet doors.

Oil-based primer yields better results than latex-based primer on wooden cabinets. You may however have to check if oil-based primers are legal in your state.

After a paint job, it takes a couple of weeks for the paint to dry out completely. During this period, handle the painted surfaces with caution, to avoid scratching them.

Final Thoughts

painting kitchen cabinets can be all that you need to revamp your kitchen. If done correctly, the results are often impressive. This painting method that I’ve just shared with you is the most effective low-budget style. The tips I’ve shared will also make your work much simpler and effective. Try this out and you could be your own interior kitchen designer in the making.

Good luck with the job.


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