white kitchen cabinets

If you want to give your kitchen a facelift and the look of new cabinets without the cost, then painting is the way to go. You might run into some obstacles along the way. Here are some things that nobody tells you about painting kitchen cabinets.

Deep clean first

Before you even start, it’s best to do a deep clean on the cabinets. Get rid of any dirt, dust, and grime that might be sticking to them. The chances are there will be a lot of dirt since you are painting them, so take the time to get it out of there.

It’s time-consuming

There is a lot of preparation and dry time in painting cabinets. You will probably spend more time than you expect sanding the cabinet doors, applying primer, waiting for it to dry, sanding again, and so on.

There’s a lot of dust

You are going to be using chemicals, sanding an awful lot of the cabinets, pouring paint into cups. All this is going to create a lot of dust, so plan for that. You will need to give your home or apartment ample time to air out after you are done painting the cabinets.

Take off the Doors

You need to take the doors off the hinges and put them in a safe place. You don’t want to end up with paint on the hinges or on the cabinet floor. Take a picture of where they are before you take them off, and put them someplace safe while you paint.

You will get a few drips here and there

Take your time painting the doors and be extra careful around the edges and corners. You might want to take a break and come back later.

It’s best to paint in sections

Being detail-oriented can be helpful when painting cabinet doors, especially if you’re trying not to get drips on the floor or smudges on the hinges. Paint one section of doors before moving onto another area.

You’ll probably need help from someone else for this project

Depending on the size of your kitchen and how many cabinet doors you have, it might be tough to do this project alone. Be ready for some help from a friend or family member when painting cabinets.

You can save money by re-using the hardware

Since painting cabinets is such a tedious task, you might not want to take the time to take all the hardware off of your cabinet doors. Before you remove them, though, measure each piece so that you can order new hardware when you’re done with the cabinets.

Have a coat of primer before painting over old paint

Make sure the cabinets look fresh and new by applying a layer of primer first before moving on to the actual paint. Once the primer has dried, it’s time to start adding some color.

You can’t paint over old, chipped paint – you have to scrape it off first

It’s not just the paint that you’re painting over, but also any loose particles on your cabinets. Be sure to get into every nook and cranny before you start with a paintbrush.

Talking about Paint…

There are lots of different types of paints you can use; some are more expensive than others but they all do the same thing. Different cabinet finishes will dictate the type of paint you use.

Don’t forget Tape

Be sure to tape off areas you don’t want to be painted. Painting is a commitment; once it’s done, there’s no going back, which means every surface should be protected from drips and splatters. Cover your floor with dirt and you’ll regret it later.

Painting your cabinets will make your kitchen look new again

Some people love how painting their cabinets gives a whole new look to the kitchen, while others aren’t so sure. Either way, it can be a quick and easy project that only takes a few hours of your time.

Use a mask to protect your lungs from fumes

If you’re going to be doing a lot of painting, invest in a mask that will protect your lungs from the fumes. The fumes you’re working with are the same ones that cause paint to stick to your cabinets, so you could end up breathing them in. If you’re sanding cabinet doors, be prepared to stir up a lot of dust. Make sure that your work area is well-ventilated. Your mask will also prevent you from inhaling wood dust, which can be potentially harmful.

A roller is better for large areas, and a brush gets into corners

A roller is best for large surfaces while a brush works better on corners and smaller spaces. Having a selection of brushes will also help you complete the job quickly.

Wear gloves to protect your hands from the chemicals in the paint

There are many chemicals found in paint and it’s important to protect your hands. If you want to be extra safe, stick some latex gloves on under your normal ones. Without gloves, your hands will be left dry and sore.


Painting your kitchen cabinets is hard work, not to mention time-consuming. but it’s well worth it in the end. Use these tips and tricks next time you tackle your kitchen cabinets!


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