From the Experts: How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets

From the Experts: How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets

The right cabinet color can transform your kitchen or bathroom’s appearance. And because replacing cabinetry can be costly, a new paint colour could be the best bet for your financial plan. However, before you start in on this seemingly simple DIY, maintain an integral thing in your mind. “The main issue is that with most woodwork — but kitchen cabinets — is that it’s finished with a shiny product designed to be wipeable, and the exact same land prevents paint from sticking with it,” says painter Alex Davidson.

Though it’s not quite as straightforward as painting your dining room, with the right prep, painting cabinets may be an affordable and lasting design solution. See what four painting professionals say about how to paint kitchen cabinets.


Should you paint your own cabinetry? Before making any choices, figure out what the existing finish is in your own cabinet. If you’re not sure, look at taking a door or drawer to your community paint supplier — he or she can help you with everything you want to receive your cabinet ready for painting.

Depending on the degree of job, you might want to check into hiring an expert. “Think carefully before painting your chimney,” says Davidson. “It may be a DIY, but it needs a lot of care and care.”

“Constantly think about the cost of potentially refacing your cabinets or replacing them entirely, and how that coordinates with your brief- and long-term aims,” says Wade Thompson of ThomsonHoliday Painting.

Julie Smith

The best way to paint your kitchen cabinets.

1. Remove the hardware and hinges and clean the surfaces thoroughly. Bob Miano of DeGeorge Custom Cabinetry advocates having a clean, soft rag or T-shirt and mineral spirits or TSP (trisodium phosphate). Don’t just wipe down them — offer them a good scrub to remove old oils, waxes and dirt. This is a step that is important. “Paint is a really pliable substance, but the one thing it refuses to comply is a dirty, oily surface,” says Philip Storey of Redhill Painting.

2. Lightly sand the painting surfaces to start the finish surfaces. If there are any dents or grooves at the cabinetry, then you might want to fill them in with a good wood filler first. After sanding, use a clean cloth to remove any dust.

3. Prime the cupboards with a stain-blocking primer designed for glossy surfaces.

4. Finish the cupboards with at least 2 coats of the paint you’ve chosen. Let the paint dry thoroughly and gently sand between coats.

5. After everything has dried thoroughly, put your cabinets back together. “Be sure to keep everything organized,” says Thompson. “Have a method for remembering the positioning of your cabinet doors.”

Debra Toney

Choosing the best paint for cupboards. If you’re not working with a specialist, start looking for paint in a local, reputable paint supply shop, where the team can help you decide on the right product for your cabinets. Pick a paint which could stand up to repeated washing machine and can be nonblocking, therefore it will not stick to itself if the cabinet doors have been closed.

Also, know that dark colors tend to reveal imperfections in the paint and cabinetry much more than light colours do — and, contrary to popular belief, they usually highlight dirt more, too.

Having difficulty choosing a colour? Check out these kitchen cabinetry palettes.

Rachel Reider Interiors

Four experts’ beloved paints for kitchen cabinets.

Alex Davidson: Kelly Moore DuraPoxy paint line, or Benjamin Moore’s Regal Select line in a semigloss.

Wade Thompson: Benjamin Moore Advance — a new latex product which contrasts with the look of oil paint at the way it levels and performs.

Philip Storey: Fine Paints of Europe. Their durable paint items are available in both oil- and water-based paints, and so are fantastic for cupboards.

Bob Miano: Use the premium grade when using paint from leading paint manufacturers, since they are generally thicker and have more protection. Prevent flat finishes, since they’re much harder to clean.

Things to watch out for. Painting cabinetry might seem like a quick and easy kitchen solution, bit it’s a major job. Ensure to have the time, skills and patience for the job. Odds are, you are going to be looking at this cabinetry daily — so be sure you have the ability to make it look great.

If you’re feeling unsure, look into hiring an expert painter. While it may be more costly, these pros can probably get the job done in much less time and with a result of higher quality. “Always get a few opinions,” says Thomspon. “No matter your choice, talking to several companies are going to be a learning experience.” Many professionals will use spray applications to get the smoothest finish, which may make a massive difference.

Painting cabinetry may be a lot of work — but if you hire a pro or do the painting yourself, the results are worth it.

“Above all, have fun with the job,” says Miano. “Rememberthat it’s only paint.”

More: 3 Dark Kitchens, 6 Suggested Paint Palettes

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