How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets Like a Pro

paint kitchen cabinets

We will have you paint kitchen cupboards to give you a fresh new look

We know that a new kitchen can be expensive but that is not the only consideration. When you consider the time it takes and the clean up afterwards, a new kitchen may not be the best solution. If you are lucky enough to have a kitchen that simply looks tired, yet you are happy with the design of it, then this may be the perfect solution for you. In this post, we will show you how to paint kitchen cabinets like a pro.

Painting cabinets and cabinet doors is not as difficult as you imagine. With the right tools and technique, you can paint cabinets with a great finish.

how to paint kitchen cabinets like a pro
How to Change Kitchen Cabinet Color

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how to paint kitchen cabinets like a pro diy
How to paint kitchen cabinets like a pro diy

Repainting kitchen cabinets can add a ton of value…

Take this kitchen for example. The owners were very happy with the quality of the kitchen cabinets. They were in good shape but they were looking tired. It made little sense to install a new kitchen but they wanted a fresh new look.

The existing kitchen was actually hand painted which made things a little easier, but even if you have a melamine kitchen cabinet door, this is still possible to do and achieve a good finish.

cheap kitchen makeover before and after
Cheap kitchen makeover before and after

Painted kitchen cupboards need preparation…

We will come onto the paints we used later but let us consider the preparation. Unfortunately, there is a little prep work involved, but consider it an investment. Good preparation delivers a better finish. I know many of you will be tempted to leave your kitchen doors in place, however, you do this job properly, they need to be removed.

It also gives you the opportunity to clean the hardware and make any repairs to them. Removing the doors is a fast process and simply involves the removal of a few screws. It may be worth having a system in place so you know which door belongs where.

repainting kitchen cabinets
Repainting kitchen cabinets

An important step is to consider the condition of the cabinets and the doors. If it is an older kitchen, the wood may contain dents or chips. This is the perfect time to fill them in with some simple wood filler. Fill in the dents and sand them down with a block and sandpaper.

Which leads to the next step….sanding the kitchen. If you have a sander, it can speed up matters considerably, but even hand sanding does the job just as well. It’s very important that you sand the surfaces where you will be painting as it provides a key, so that your primer can adhere to the surface. If you do not do this, the finish will look very poor and the final finish will not be robust. Trust me when i say that the preparation is everything…it is an investment in the final finish.

For this kitchen, we used 120 grit sandpaper but you can go finer if your kitchen was previously spray painted.

cheap kitchen makeover
Cheap kitchen makeover

You can tell the preparation difference in painted kitchen cabinets before and after…

Once sanding is complete, wipe down the surfaces so that you remove any loose material. Now it is time for the painting to begin. For this process, we are using a primer and then adding the final coat which contains the color.

The quality of primer differs and people often make the mistake of buying the cheapest since they think that you wont see it. A good primer makes painting simple and the finish great.

My favorite go to primer paint is Zinsser BIN. On first appearance it looks more expensive, but i find that the coverage of it means that i get much more done than a similar size can at a lower price. Therefore the price difference isn’t actually that significant. What it does do though is give a great surface to paint on.

change kitchen cabinet color
Change kitchen cabinet color

How to paint kitchen cabinets…

They also do a spray version which can make the job a little quicker, since you are not having to clean brushes and trays. However, on this job, the roller was the best way since it wasted little paint.

painting kitchen cabinets without sanding
Painting kitchen cabinets without sanding

Consider your kitchen cupboard paint…

The painting begins. The Zinsser BIN primer provided really good coverage and went on very easily. With a recoat time of 45 minutes, it means you can get through a lot of doors in a day. However, on this kitchen we decided that we only needed one coat of primer. If your existing kitchen was dark, we would recommend that you go for two coats.

Once we primed all the doors and surfaces, we left them overnight. The next day we started the painting for the topcoat.

paint kitchen cabinets gray
Paint kitchen cabinets gray

The topcoat…how to paint kitchen cupboards like a professional…

For the cabinet door topcoat, we used an eggshell water based cupboard paint by Valspar. You can use any latex paint, enamel paint or cabinet paint for this task. Although you can choose one of the shelf, you can get them mixed to any color. If you are on a budget but like the look of a premium color, take a note of their code and get it mixed for half the price.

You can use a paint brush, foam roller or a paint sprayer. If you are using a paint brush, consider the brush strokes in the paint. Using Floetrol can help get rid of these brush marks.

For this process, we painted the cabinet surface with two coats of paints using the paint roller. This was perfect to give it a great finish without any of the primer showing through. If you want to go for the perfect finish, paint one coat and give it a light sand to flatten the surface. Since this was originally a hand finished kitchen, we chose to ignore this step but for kitchens that were originally spray painted or had laminated cabinets, i recommend this step.

Cupboard paint is more hardwearing and can withstand knocks and bangs. Using a normal paint means that it can easily scratch, dent or chip.

cheap kitchen makeover cabinets
Cheap kitchen makeover cabinets

After painting kitchen cupboards, consider the hardware…

Once all the cabinet painting was complete, use a tack cloth or damp cloth to wipe down the cabinet frame and surfaces. The final step was to add new hardware to the drawer front. This completed the kitchen beautifully and gave it a fresh new look. The new hardware was actually the most expensive part of the kitchen refresh but well worth it. If you are working on a budget, you can achieve a new look by spray painting your existing hardware. Remember to sand and prime them to achieve a long lasting finish.

painting kitchen cabinets
Painting kitchen cabinets

Painting kitchen cabinets can be fun!

Here it is, the final result. As you can see it is a much more modern color that reflects the current trend. The finish was great and really changes the dynamics of the room. When we consider the cost, it was a fraction of a new kitchen. Obviously, it did involve some effort, but it was time well spent. The most expensive items were the hardware, but even then they weren’t that expensive on Amazon.

If you are looking for a fresh new kitchen look, consider a kitchen refresh by repainting your kitchen. So there we have it…how to paint kitchen cabinets like a pro.

how to change kitchen cabinet color
How to Change Kitchen Cabinet Color

Since you are here…can I ask a favor?

It would be really nice if you could share this image and page on your social media.

It’s just a couple of clicks for you but it means everything to us here at Houszed.

Thank you so much!

Pin this image