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Painting kitchen cabinets can turn a horrible kitchen into a beautiful kitchen. This can be done for pennies on the dollar compared to getting new cabinets. Many looks can be achieved from flat to shiny or natural colors to modern contemporary colors. This is a step by step method to changing your kitchen into the kitchen of your dreams. It’s actually quite easy to paint kitchen cabinets. If you are in the area and would like your cabinets painted professionally please check out our Cabinet Painting Page

How To Prep The Cabinets

  • Clean the cabinets of all surface dirt and remove the hardware. Denatured alcohol works wonders for cleaning any grease or grime on the cabinets. Cleaners should be rinsed fairly well without adding too much more moisture to the wood.
  • Sand all of the cabinet surfaces taking special care on areas that will receive wear. Use 120 to 220 grit and then a higher grit if needed to smooth out any lines.
  • Prime the cabinets. Here you have the choice of going with waterborne or oil primer. A good oil primer that is sandable is the best choice. If you would rather go with waterborne paint, pick the best bonding primer that you can find and be sure to sand everything the best that you can.
  • Apply the topcoat to the cabinets. Use a small roller that is shed resistant and use only the softest brush to prevent brush marks. Work in a small area to make sure that the brush lines will be rolled over. Sand lightly with 24 grit or higher for glossier paints.

Paint Choice

We have a separate article for what paint to use for cabinets.

Paint Application

Paint application is the most difficult thing. Sand the primer and sand in between coats. After you sand the surface needs to be wiped off for the best finish.  Microfiber rollers generally wont work for thicker paints well but a high quality woven will help prevent drips. Softer brushed leave less lines but require more deliberate application as softer brushed won't spread the paint as well when its on the surface.  


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