How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets

Do you want to paint your kitchen cabinets, but don’t know how to get started? Kitchen cabinets are one of the first things people notice when they enter your kitchen. Having well maintained kitchen cabinets helps make your kitchen more appealing. They are also one of the most manhandled things the kitchen.

The tools and materials you will need to paint your kitchen cabinets include:

  • denatured alcohol
  • primer sealer
  • semi-gloss paint
  • sandpaper
  • sanding block
  • foam brush
  • sponge
  • paintbrush


STEP ONE: First, you will need to remove the doors to your cabinets and sand any rough areas of the doors. Wipe away any excess sawdust from the surface with a rag. It is a good idea that you place the hardware and screws somewhere you will remember.

STEP TWO: Clean the cabinets with a sponge and denatured alcohol. This process removes and grease or dirt that may be on the wood. Make sure you are in a well-ventilated area because the alcohol emits fumes. Allow the surface to air-dry before moving forward.

STEP THREE: Starting in the center, apply a primer sealer using a disposable foam brush. Make sure that the primer sealer goes on evenly and follows the grain of the wood. It will probably take a few thin coats. Each coat of primer sealer will take about an hour to dry. Using a primer sealer allows you to use water-based paint over it. If you are going to be painting on a cabinet with a shiny surface, use melamine primer. This type of primer sealer allows for new paint to stick instead of peeling right off.

STEP FOUR: Apply semi-gloss paint with a good quality paintbrush. Again, you want to follow the wood grain with even strokes. Starting at the center of the door helps create a better look as well. You will need about two or three thin coats of paint. Allow each coat at least one hour of drying time before starting the next coat.

STEP FIVE: Paint the kitchen cabinet base once you have completed painting all of the doors. You will follow the same steps as the doors.

Some people choose to do something called “color-glazing”. This is a painting technique that allows for the wood grain to show through the paint. It’s usually used in the center of the cabinet panel. To do this technique, mix a one to one ratio of paint and glaze. The glaze makes the paint more transparent. Although, it also extends the time it takes to dry. If you apply too much, just take the excess off with another foam brush.

Now in no time, you can relax and enjoy your freshly painted kitchen cabinets.