Kitchen Cabinet Painting

Table of Contents

Remodeling a kitchen is one of the most costly home remodeling projects one can undertake and replacing your cabinets can account for as much as 40% of the cost topping as much as $5,000. Lucky enough for you, Hillis Brothers Of Mesa are experts at cabinet painting as we take on multiple projects each week helping homeowners save thousands add add new life to their existing cabinets. We’ve painted every type of cabinet from kitchen, bathroom, RV, filing, oak, maple, brand new, vintage, you name it we’ve done it.

On your own painting your cabinets shouldn’t cost more than $200. If you hire a painting contractor, you still should be able to keep 50% of the dollars you would have spent replacing your cabinetry.

Now, before you dive into your cabinet painting project, you’ll want to follow the steps to the letter so you don’t end up with a DIY nightmare. 

Material List

  • Two-Inch Tapered Paintbrush
  • Paint Prep Degreaser
  • Drop Cloth
  • Vacuum
  • 150-200 Grit Sandpaper
  • Tack cloth
  • Sanding Block
  • Paint
  • Screwdriver
  • Stain Blocking Primer

Oil Vs. Latex Paint

Painting pros will argue the benefits of using oil vs. latex paint but the truth is it won’t matter too much at the end of the day. Because of improvements made with latex paints over the last decade, some painters have ditched oil based paints entirely for the more user-friendly alternative. Some still argue the benefits of oil-based paints since they may form a harder, firmer surface due to their more adhesive qualities. With latex paints, you’ll get more colors and finish options like satin, gloss & semi-gloss. Latex paints come in almost unlimited colors and don’t emit any odours unlike oil-based paints. They are also more resistant to chipping and color fading. 

Choosing The Best Color

You’ll want to choose a color that best compliments your flooring, countertops & overall color scheme. For this reason, white is the most popular color for cabinets as it can blend in with multiple colors. Darker cabinet colors also tend to attract the heat from the sun & show wear and tear.

Step 1: Prep The Room

Any good painter will tell you that a good paint job lies in the thoroughness of the prep job. 

  1. Empty out the cabinets and clear the countertops.
  2. Remove all moveable objects like tables & chairs.
  3. Tape rosin paper or drop cloth over countertops and the floor to add protection from dust and fumes. 
  4. Setup a worktable for the cabinets once they’ve been removed from the wall so you can paint.

Step 2: Remove EVERYTHING

Many painters will attempt to paint everything including the hinges and knobs, but what will happen if you do this is your hardware will start to chip and wear after just a months time. 

Before removing your drawers and doors, it’s worth taking the extra time to label exactly where they went. For example, directly above sink on the left, or next to the dishwasher, etc.

Put your hinges and screws in a jar.

Step 3: Clean The Surfaces

Regardless of how clean you think your kitchen is, you need to wipe down every surface with grease remover. Remember what happens to water and oil? That’s right, the don’t mix well. In painting terms, when you add a water based paint to a door covered in oil, the paint won’t stick. 

Step 4: Prep The Boxes

Don’t forget to also clean the boxes and apply painters tape between the edge of the outside boxes and the walls. 

Step 5: Saund, Caulk & Fill

Sanding is another step that will help the paint stick. When you’re finished, you absolutely must vacuum up any debris before dipping the paint brush in the bucket. If you don’t you will end up with a gritty finish and have to sand and repaint all over again.

Remember in the sstart when I said that painting cabinets is all in the prep work? 

I hope by now you see how true that statement was. Finally, we can move on to actually painting the cabinets, which is only a small piece of the puzzle.  

Step 6: Prime The Boxes

If you skip priming the wood, your finished product will still turn out the same, but over time it will start to deteriorate until you knots in the wood start to bleed through. Primer has three main jobs which are to get the surface ready, help the paint stick & ward away discoloration, spoltches and like I said visible knots.

You should match your primer with your paint to keep it from peeking through.

Step 7: Paint The Boxes

Apply a coat of paint to all primed surfaces as well as a second coat of paint using top-to-bottom strokes along the grain.

Step 8: Follow Steps 4-7 On The Doors, Drawers & Shelves

Follow the same steps from sanding, priming, and painting.

Step 9: Reassemble All The Pieces

After doing all of this hard work, you’ll likely want to put your cabinets back up ASAP to see your finished product.

NOT so fast my friend!

As boring as it is to sit and watch your doors dry on the floor, you’re better off waiting. Watching paint dry is about as boring as… Well watching paint dry.