Face Your Kitchen
Your Guide to Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

Painting Your Kitchen Cabinets: 5 Budget-Friendly Steps

by Melissa Bullard
Face Your Kitchen Columnist

There are various ways to get a new look for your kitchen, from a complete remodel to changing a few surface issues here and there. Painting your cabinets typically falls into the cheaper and easier category. So if you only want a minor resurface job for your kitchen, go with paint. Check out the five steps below for some easy tips.

  1. Visualize the results and establish a plan. What style are you going for? Do you want cheerful or contemplative, bare essentials or warm and cozy, modern or country kitchen? You want to pick colors that blend with your tastes and decide on oil or latex paint. While oil often provides a harder finish and cures more quickly, latex is much more painter-friendly.
  2. Remove everything that's removable. In order to get the highest quality paint job, it's essential that you remove all hardware from doors and drawer fronts, as well as pulling drawers all the way out and taking cabinet doors off.
  3. Do all the pre-painting work. ThisOldHouse.com cites a paint sales representative who stated that preparation is at least 75 percent of the success of your paint job, so don't skip or even skimp on this step. You may need to strip your cabinets, depending on the finish, to avoid any adhesion problems between the old finish and the new paint. Fill any nicks with putty, wipe off excess, and use 120- to 180-grit sandpaper to prepare the wood.
  4. Apply paint carefully. You want to apply primer first because it provides a better surface for paint adhesion. Then apply the paint carefully. According to DoItYourself.com, several thin layers of paint look and wear better than one thick layer.
  5. Allow the paint to dry thoroughly. Make sure you allow plenty of time for the paint to dry before you put the doors and drawers back into place. Be extremely careful with your cabinets for the first couple of weeks after you have painted them because fresh paint is more susceptible to nicks and dings caused by rough handling.

Materials for a quality paint job typically only cost several hundred dollars, while a full minor kitchen remodel costs an average of $21,246, according to Realtor.org magazine. So if you like the layout of your cabinets, the doors are in basically good shape, and you're just pursuing a new look, consider going with a new paint job instead of a full remodel. It's a quick and easy way to resurface your kitchen.


About the Author
Melissa Bullard earned a Bachelor's degree in English Literature, then a Master's Degree in Spanish Language and Literatures from the University of Nevada, Reno. She has taught writing, literature, and Spanish classes, and is currently working as a fre

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