Are Kitchen Cabinets Hard To Paint

Are Kitchen Cabinets Hard To Paint? Easy Tips How To Paint Your Cabinets!

We all have kitchen cabinets inside our house. We all need it because this is where we put the things we need inside our kitchen. We put our frying pan, scissors, knives, Tupperware, water bottle, some food that can be stocked outside the refrigerator, and more inside our kitchen cabinets. 

This is the reason why we need to make our kitchen cabinets look good. We should paint and clean our kitchen cabinets so that when we have visitors inside our house, our kitchen cabinets will look good in their eyes. However, there is one question I saw online. They are asking if kitchen cabinets are hard to paint. Is this true? Let us find out!

Are kitchen cabinets hard to paint? Yes! It can be hard to paint your kitchen cabinets, especially if you are a beginner. Usually wood, wood-laminate, and metal cabinets are less hard to be repainted. Plastic laminate cabinets might not accept a topcoat of paint. Those require special paints and techniques. 

Painting the kitchen cabinets can be tiring, which makes it hard. But you can easily hire a professional to do the job. But if you want to learn and save money, try to do it yourself. Yes! It can be hard to paint your kitchen cabinets but it is not impossible. If you get tired, you can get a rest and continue painting your kitchen cabinets tomorrow or the other day. 

Today, we will talk about kitchen cabinets and how you can paint them properly. I will be giving you some steps that you can execute to paint your kitchen cabinets. Also, I will answer various questions related to our subject. Lastly, I will list down the best paints that you can buy for your kitchen cabinets. If you are ready, let us move on!

How Difficult It Is To Paint Kitchen Cabinets?

First of all, you have to keep in mind that painting your kitchen cabinets needs a serious commitment. You need to finish everything you started because your kitchen cabinets might look worse if you don’t finish that painting job. 

To paint your kitchen cabinets requires 2-3 hours per cabinet door or drawer if you are going to do it right and several more hours in painting your base cabinets. 

Wood, wood-laminate, and metal cabinets usually can be repainted without difficulty. Plastic laminate cabinets might not accept a topcoat of paint. Those plastic laminate cabinets require special paints and techniques. 

Yes! It can be tiring to paint kitchen cabinets and it requires you several hours to finish the job and make it beautiful. You need to read and learn so that you can paint your kitchen cabinets properly. 

If it seems like it is hard for you to paint your kitchen cabinets or if you have no time because you are too busy, it is better to hire a professional to paint your kitchen cabinets. Yes! You have to bring out some money but it will make your life easier and your kitchen cabinets will be repainted properly. 

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Never let your kitchen cabinets look bad because the paint is vanishing. It is essential to repaint your kitchen cabinets once or twice a year. If you want to save money, you can paint your kitchen cabinets on your own. Don’t worry, I got you covered because next, I will tell you some steps on how you can paint your kitchen cabinets. 

Steps On How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets

Tools You Needed

First, let us take a look at the things that you need to paint your kitchen cabinets. So, the things you need to paint your kitchen cabinets are:

  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Sanding block
  • Tack cloth
  • Steel wool
  • Paint applicator
  • Primer sealer
  • Painter’s tape
  • Plastic tarps
  • Rosin paper
  • Semi-Gloss paint
  • Denatured alcohol
  • Trisodium phosphate

Consider The Cost

If you want to repaint your kitchen cabinets, it requires you to consider the cost. If you will replace your kitchen cabinets it requires a big amount of money and you might risk lowering the quality of your current cabinets. 

I suggest you just do some repaint on your kitchen cabinets. Painting your kitchen cabinets can transform your existing kitchen cabinets for a fraction of the price and can still bring back the new look you desire. This is less expensive and more effective. 

Size Up The Job

Wood, wood-laminate, and metal cabinets can be painted without difficulty. But for plastic laminate cabinets, you can have a hard job painting them. 

If your cabinets have plastic laminate, check first with an expert in paints. You can remove a door and bring it to a paint store for inspection. 

Flat-front doors and drawers are easily repainted but woodwork with raised panels or routed profiles will require more preparation time and paint. 

If your kitchen cabinets are warped, badly worn, damaged, or coming apart, you can buy unfinished doors and drawers and paint them along with your existing kitchen cabinets. 

Applicator options for repainting include spraying, rolling, or brushing with either a natural or synthetic bristle brush or foam brush. All of them have advantages and disadvantages. 

Choose whichever is most suited to the amount of woodwork that needs to be repainted. The right applicator also depends on the type of paint or finish you want.

Choose The Right Type Of Paint

The next thing you need to do is to choose the right type of paint for your kitchen cabinets. This is essential because if you picked the wrong type of paint, your kitchen cabinets might look bad. 

When selecting paint for your kitchen cabinets, decide first if you will buy latex or oil paint. 

Latex paints are great for less experienced painters. The reason why is because they usually dry quickly and clean up with water. However, they take up to three weeks to fully cure so it means this paint is not good for people with children or pets. 

For a more durable option, go for oil-based paint. These paints are argued to level out to a smoother finished surface, hiding the bad things your kitchen cabinets have. These paints are also stain-resistant. However, these paints are expensive. 

Decide On A Finish

Next, decide if you will use spray or brush painting that is right for you and your budget. Spray painting will be the smoothest outcome but it is difficult. 

You will need to rent the spray machine and have to tarp or tape all areas in the kitchen that can be sprayed like the utensils, plates, and mug. 

Your other option is by using a high-quality brush. You need two brushes. A 3-4 inches brush for large, flat panels and a 2-3 inches wide angled brush for hard-to-reach corners. Use natural bristle brushes for oil-based paints and synthetic bristle brushes for latex paint. 

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Next, you should prepare the space. Preparing your space the right way can break a project. 

To prepare it properly, you need to empty all your kitchen cabinets and clear off the counters, including any freestanding appliances. 

Move all your furniture so you will have plenty of space. Tape rosin paper over the counters and floors. To protect the surrounding area, tape plastic tarps over the backsplash, windows, fixed appliances, and doorways. 

Paint Station Is Needed

Having a paint station provides a dedicated space to get work done. You want a workable painting door, drawers, and shelves but to take it to the next level, you can create a drying rack. 

To make sure that no holes will be visible, add some hooks to the top of the edges of upper cabinet doors and the bottoms of lower doors and drawers. 

Remove Doors And Hardware

Next, you remove all of the hinges, hardware, doors, screws, and drawers from your cabinets. Use masking tape to label each of your doors with a number and its corresponding location as you remove them so that you will remember which one goes where. 

Never mix them up or the hinges may not line up properly when starting to reinstall them back. If you will only paint the drawer fronts, you don’t have to remove the attached slides. 

If you need to remove the slides, mark them and their locations as well. Place the hardware screws in plastic bags in the cabinets where they will be easy to locate when you are ready to assemble everything. 


Next, clean surfaces. Kitchens are work areas. That is why it is normal to see grease, steam, and food splatters. 

You need to prepare all of the doors and drawers properly to ensure your paint will stick properly. 

Do this by scrubbing your cabinets to get rid of any grease or residue. Clean all of the surfaces to be repainted with a solution made from one part trisodium phosphate and four parts water. 

Rinse but never soak your cabinets. Allow them to dry first before applying the paint. Never forget this step. 

Sand It

If you plan to use new hardware, you must cover the holes with wood filler. Sand the doors lightly on all sides and faces. Use a wood sanding block to prevent rounding over the wood edges. 

If your repainting is just a facelift for your kitchen cabinets, you don’t need to sand and paint the inside of the kitchen cabinets. Mask off the interiors with painter’s tape for a clean finish and sand only the front surfaces. 

When you start sanding, you don’t need to remove all of the old paint if it is sound and well-adhered. Just roughen the surface to provide the paint with a firm, clean base for better adhesion. 

If the old painting of your kitchen cabinets is flaking off in places, it indicates the finish did not adhere well to the wood surface. This is due to moisture or greasy residue getting under the paint layer or into the wood itself, which can be expected in kitchens. 

Sand these areas to bare wood and spot-prime with a stain-killing primer/sealer before repainting. When you sand down to bare wood, blend the edges where the old paint meets the wood so the new wood will lay flat. 

After that, vacuum the sanding dust from all surfaces of your kitchen cabinets. If you have a pneumatic air compressor, use high-pressure air to blow the dust off crevices or molding details. Wipe down the area that needs to be painted with some cloth to pick up the remaining sanding residue. 

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Apply Primer Sealer

Apply an even coat of primer-sealer to all surfaces to make sure a well-bonded finish coat. Primer sealers reduce the need to sand and deglaze old finishes before painting. 

They can also provide a good base for semi-gloss and water-based paint. High-gloss enamel paint was once the preferred finish for kitchen cabinets because it resists stains and water. It can also be cleaned easily. 

Apply The Paint

Next, apply the paint to the surfaces. Paint first the inside edges and openings of the face frames then the outer cabinet sides and finally the face frame fronts. This will make your work finish quickly. 

Next, paint the cabinet doors and drawers fronts, along with any separate wood pieces or moldings. If these parts have raised or routed features, be sure to flow the paint into crevices and corners. 

Apply the paint in thin, light coats being sure to cover all areas. Thin coats leave fewer visible brushstrokes and dry more quickly. Never lay the finish on thickly and don’t overwork your brush. Too many brush strokes will create air bubbles in the finish, leaving bumps and pits when it starts to dry. 

Allow the paint to dry for at least 2-3 hours between coats. After it dries, resand all surfaces lightly to prepare them for the second coat. Wipe again the sanding dust with a tack cloth, then repaint. 

Bring It All Back Together

Once your kitchen cabinets have dried, put them back together in their original place. To enhance and change up the look of your kitchen cabinets, try putting in new hardware. 

Is It Worth It To Paint Kitchen Cabinets?

Yes! It is worth it to paint kitchen cabinets. It will only cost you $200-$300 to repaint your kitchen cabinets. 

So, instead of buying a new one, just repaint it properly so that it can look new and fresh. Buying a new one might give you some risk because the old one might be more durable than the new ones you bought. 

Also, painting your kitchen cabinets will make your kitchen cabinets look fresh and feel better to cook if your kitchen cabinets look good and clean. 

Do Painted Cabinets Look Cheap?

No! Painted cabinets, including your kitchen cabinets, do not look cheap. Your kitchen cabinets may look new if you know how to paint them properly. 

If you want to make your kitchen cabinets look like a new ones, learn how to paint them properly or you can hire a professional to do the work for you. 

Best Paints For Your Kitchen Cabinets

Let me list down for you the different paints that you should buy if you are planning to paint your kitchen cabinets. I have used these paints on my kitchen cabinets and other cabinets and I guarantee you they are the best brands out there. 

<<Check On Amazon>>

<<Check On Amazon>>

Final Words

It can be tiring or hard to paint your kitchen cabinets, depending on the materials used to make your kitchen cabinet and your experience in painting cabinets. However, even though it can be tiring, it is still possible to paint your kitchen cabinets. 

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