Painting kitchen cabinets: a step-by-step guide

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What to consider before repainting your kitchen cabinets

Here are five questions to ask yourself before figuring out how to paint your kitchen cabinets.

What is your budget

According to Martha Stewart[replacing] Kitchen cabinets usually make up about a third of the typical remodeling budget. “ While painting should be a lot cheaper than a complete overhaul, it will still cost you money. Find a game plan and set a maximum price for your expenses. Then look for tools, materials, and brands that fit into your plan. There’s no point having a nice kitchen if you can’t buy food to cook in!


Are you going to tinker it yourself?

While DIY your kitchen cabinets could theoretically save you money, it could also potentially cost you more than you hope. If you are new to this field of home renovation, it is easy to mess up any part of the procedure, especially if you don’t do your research properly. Sometimes it’s okay to ask for help.

What tools do you have on hand?

Knowing what tools you already have can help you avoid spending too much. However, don’t be too cheap and assume that all you need to update a kitchen cabinet is a paint bucket and a few rollers. You will also need tools for sanding your cabinets and primers to keep the paint sticking.

A construction worker


What condition are your current cabinets in?

Before you go to Dulux or Bunnings to pick up your supplies, you need to take an honest look at the condition of your closet. Why? Because even the most professional paint job can only do so much to save an old closet.

What style and finish do you want?

Do you have a breadboard and you know which style to choose. This will determine what types of tools and colors you will need as different materials will require different colors. Typically, four types of materials are used in the construction of cabinets: solid wood, metal, melamine and laminate. Wood is the easiest to paint because it doesn’t require a lot of sanding. Laminate and metal cabinets need to be rubbed down and primed with a special solution.

5 kitchen cabinet paint styles that are popular right now

Matt black

When you’re tired of your old Shaker-style cabinets, a matte black paint job can drastically change the look of your kitchen from traditional to modern! Why look for cabinets at Ikea when you can recreate the cheap look?

mint green

Mint green is cool on the eyes and refreshing after a long day. It’s subtle, but not as muted as plain old white.

Two-tone cabinets

Different colored upper and lower cabinets show guests that you have carefully planned your kitchen aesthetics. A combination of royal blue and white cabinets can give a kitchen a clean and regal look. The bright, solid blue stands out against white in a way that no other color can match.


In combination with other cool or neutral colors, slate gray can create a modern industrial atmosphere in an otherwise simple kitchen. If you’re looking for something a little more interesting, try a wood finish on the doors – this balances the harshness of the gray with the softness of a natural finish.

Blush pink

A pretty pink pantry doesn’t have to be overly feminine. Paired with sleek wooden furniture, bronze lights, and a patterned backsplash, you have a mid-century modern kitchen!

A step-by-step guide on how to repaint your kitchen cabinets

Tools and materials required

  • Paint roller and brush
  • Steel wool
  • Tack cloth
  • Sandpaper and sanding block
  • Denatured alcohol
  • Primer seal
  • Painter’s tape
  • Semi-gloss color
  • Trisodium phosphate (TSP)

Step 1

Remove cabinet doors, knobs, handles, screws, and other loose parts. You don’t want to get paint on this!

step 2

Rinse your closets. This is where the TSP comes into play. With gloves and goggles, wear stains, grease, mold, and grime from your closets with a solution of water and TSP.

step 3

Sand, sand, sand! Remove any glazed parts to allow the new paint to stick to the surface. Dust the sand so it doesn’t mix with the new batch of paint. If you have a vacuum cleaner, even better! When you’re done sanding, use the tape to cover any areas that you don’t want to put primer and paint on.

Step 4

Now is the time to add your primer to improve the color bond with the finish of your cabinet. Step into every nook and cranny of your closet, including hard-to-reach corners.

Step 5

Finally it’s time to paint! Apply three coats with light sanding in between.

Using spray paint allows you to do more or less the same process. However, take more precautions when masking your walls and other parts of your kitchen that you don’t want to spray.

Let the paint dry and voila, you have a couple of new cabinets of your own!

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