What to Consider When Painting Kitchen Cabinets

Eddie Shekari
January 30, 2020

If you’re feeling down about your kitchen and are looking to update it with some new cabinets, you may want to consider freshly painting them rather than replacing them. However, there are a few things you should know before you begin this huge product.  

Painting the inside of a kitchen cabinet

Is painting kitchen cabinets a good idea?

To help answer this question, we need to first evaluate what your budget looks like. The average cost of laminate cabinets is set around $1,000 to $3,000. Do you crave real wood? That’s going to cost extra. In fact, real wood veneers for your cabinets can cost anywhere from $2,500 to $9,000. High-quality wood can be especially costly if you have a large kitchen and a ton of cabinets to cover. If these price points seem a bit too steep, painting your cabinets can be a great money-saver.

Another thing you should consider is the time and convenience aspect of painting your cabinets. If you have a ton of time and space to devote to taking this project on, you can end up with a quality paint job. If you have a full house and/or a job with long hours, you may want to consider having your cabinets painted for you.

Can you paint over cabinets?

You should be able to paint over your cabinets, but it requires a few steps. Wood is the best surface material to paint over. If the paint is old, you’ll need to strip it off before painting them again. To do so, use either a sander or a scraper to expose the material underneath.

There are a few essential steps to painting your cabinets. Those steps are as follows: prep, clean, sand, prime, and paint:

Prep – Remove any hardware and store them somewhere safe and secure if you plan on reusing them. If you want to switch them out after your paint job is finished, consider donating or storing them for later use. 

Clean – Any oil, gunk, or other residues will prevent even the best primer from sticking. So to begin your big painting project, you must clean each cabinet, cabinet doors, and drawer fronts thoroughly with an oil-free cleaning agent and new sponge or cloth. With the hardware gone, you should be able to clean deep into the crevices and corners of each cabinet.

Sand – You may be asking yourself, Can I paint kitchen cabinets without sanding them? The answer is that this step is crucial to making your primer stick in a smooth and even fashion. Without your primer, you can be left with painted cabinets full of varying levels of opaqueness, knicks, and other flaws. 80, 100, or 120 grit sandpaper is best to sand with as they have the ideal amount of grit to diminish inconsistencies and provide a fluid surface.

Prime – You will have to set up a makeshift drying station to keep your painted cabinet doors and drawers from touching and becoming ruined. This usually requires being able to hang them in a well-ventilated area. Find a multi-surface primer and paint it on with swift and even motions using an angled paintbrush.

Paint – Using various sizes of paint brushes, paint your shade of choice onto your primed cabinets with even brush strokes for a smooth finish. Satin or water-based paint typically works best for kitchen cabinets but paint with a high gloss can hold up fairly well. Once the paint dries, you can place the hardware of your choice back on. 

Sanding Kitchen Cabinets

Can I paint kitchen cabinets without sanding them?

While you do not need to sand unfinished or bare wood, most cabinets have a finish of some kind or have already been painted. The real answer to this question is that while you can paint without sanding, you really shouldn’t. By doing so, your paint can have chunks in it, look uneven and patchy, and show any unevenness in the wood.

The list is not small when it comes to what to consider when painting kitchen cabinets but the result you can get from a job well done is worth it. If you feel like you don’t have the time to do this type of task, you should consider hiring a professional to paint your cabinets. Claim your free estimate today and give us a call at Pro Painters to help you with your painted cabinets.

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Eddie Shekari

Eddie founded Pro Painters in 1995 to meet the growing need for high-quality residential and commercial painting needs in Houston. In nearly 20 years, Pro Painters has exponentially grown our client base, serving residents across the greater Houston area. Our core principles have helped us achieve the highest standard of workmanship and customer satisfaction. Our years of experience have allowed us to become an extension to our customers as the all-in-one solution for home makeovers.