How to Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets



1. Prep

Ready to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty?! Let’s roll! Proper prep is key to painting your cabinetry. First step is to prep by removing the cabinet doors and hardware and cleaning out your cupboards. This sounds like a go-figure step. But…if you’re not painting the insides of your cabinetry, some of you may think it’s not a big deal to leave your dishes in your cabinets. But this is the perfect time to de-clutter and donate those old dishes you haven’t used in five years.


We often get asked, should we paint the insides of our cabinets. We have gone both ways and it’s just the homeowners’ preference. Either option works great. If your cabinetry is in good condition, I would leave them as is. If it was a former homeowner, I would suggest painting the insides to clean and freshen up the space.

C2S_HandyPaint42Depending on the condition of your cabinetry you might want to have some wood filler on hand. Wood filler is great for any dents, nicks or gouges. If you have any, spread a little dab of wood filler over the dents, let dry for a few hours and when you get to prepping, they will look as good as new!

If your a messy painter, remember to cover up those beautiful countertops with poly or paper so avoid any drips. Next step for prepping your cabinets is to clean them. Older paint cabinets can be covered in oils and grease. I always just get a nice hot bucket of soapy water and a old rag and scrub them down.

TIP: Cabinets are covered in grease, oil, and smoke. So be sure to give them a good cleaning with soapy hot water so your paint sticks. 


2. Sand

The next step is to gently sand all of the cabinetry. The purpose of sanding is to create a surface for the paint to sink into. An electric or hand sander work great! I always prefer to just use a basic piece of sand paper. I have had a tendency to get a little carried away with the electric sanders and if you put too much force into one area, there is no going back once you created waves in the wood.

TIP: Make sure to sand to create a surface for the paint to stick to.


If your cabinetry had former old paint, there is no need to remove any of the paint as the sand paper will do the trick. Once you sand over the cabinetry, you will create a new surface for the new paint to adhere to. And always remember to go with the grain in the wood.


3. Prime

Step three is to prime! Apply an even coat of primer to all surfaces. Primer helps to reduce multiple coats of paint and helps to give it a good base for any type of material and finish.



TIP: Invest in a good oil based primer so your cabinet paint doesn’t easily chip. 


4. Apply Paint

YEAH! Watching your hard work come together is the best. We always like to start by painting the insides edges and the opening of face frames, then outer cabinet sides and face frame fronts. I am typically doing the inner edges with a brush and Jamie is following behind me with a roller. We like to go this route to avoid any drips. It’s always good to have two eyes on all projects. Make sure to always apply in light, even strokes.


Depending on the color and quality of your paint will depend on how many coats you need. We always do two coats of paint, allowing 4-6 hours for paint to dry in between coats.

TIP: Paint inside edges and then opening face frames to catch any drips. 


Favorite Paint Colors

Our favorite paint colors change daily! We have the best clients with the best taste so we are always getting exposed to new and exciting colors. But we do have our favorites!


White is a classic. It immediately brighten ups any kitchen, make your space feel larger and fresh! There are a ton of different whites. For cabinetry, we always tend to lean towards the off whites, even though no one would expect it if they walked into your home. But the stark whites are just a little too bright for us. Here are a few of our favorite white and off white paint colors that we love!