The thought of painting your kitchen cabinets probably makes you cringe. It's a big job with a lot of potential for mistakes. But don't let that scare you - with the right advice, you can paint your kitchen cabinets like a pro and have them looking fabulous in no time. We'll walk you through the steps of painting the cabinets, from preparing to finish.

1. Preparing to Paint the Cabinets

The first step is to remove everything from your cabinets - all hardware, shelves, and doors. That includes handles, knobs, and hinges. Label each piece as you remove it, so you'll know where it goes when it's time to reassemble your cabinets. Once everything is removed, give your cabinets a good cleaning with a degreaser or TSP solution. That will ensure that the paint adheres properly.

2. Sand the Cabinets

After cleaning and drying your cabinets, you'll need to sand them before painting. That will create a smooth surface for the paint to adhere to. Use medium-grit sandpaper and sand along the grain of the wood. If you're working with laminate cabinets, you'll need to use a special primer for laminate surfaces. Once you've sanded the cabinets, wipe them down with a damp cloth to remove any dust.

3. Applying Primer

Before you start painting the cabinets, it's important to apply a primer. It is an important step that will help your paint job look its best; it helps the paint adhere better to the surface and provide a smooth base for your topcoat. When choosing a primer, be sure to select one that is compatible with the type of paint you will be using. If you're working with wood cabinets, use a stain-blocking primer. Once you have chosen your primer, follow the manufacturer's instructions for application. In most cases, you will want to apply a thin layer of primer with a brush or roller and then allow it to dry completely before proceeding.

4. Painting the Cabinets

Now for the fun part - painting. Choose a high-quality paint designed for use on kitchen cabinets. Oil-based paints are the best choice because they provide a durable finish that can withstand the rigors of daily use. However, oil-based paints can be tricky to work with, so if you're not comfortable using them, latex-based paints are a good alternative. Apply a thin, even layer of paint using a brush or roller, working in small sections. Paint the inside of your cabinets as well as the outside surfaces. Allow the paint to dry completely before adding any additional coats.

5. Reassembling Your Cabinets

Once your paint is dry, it's time to reassemble your cabinets. Replace all hardware, shelves, and doors, and carefully line up each piece with its corresponding opening. If everything goes according to plan, you should now have beautifully painted cabinets that look like they were done by a professional.


Painting your kitchen cabinets can be daunting, but it's quite easy with the right preparation and technique. Following the steps outlined above, you can paint your cabinets like a pro and have them look fabulous in no time.