Tips For Painting Kitchen Cabinets

On Monday, I shared the first pics of my painted kitchen cabinets on the stove wall. It took me a long time to get them from dark, reddish cabinets to the creamy white they are today. I’ve learned a few things along the way so I thought I’d share them with you.

Tips For Painting Kitchen Cabinets |

I painted my builder grade bathroom vanity 2 years ago but I’ve never painted kitchen cabinets before and, let me tell you, it’s one tough job.

Tips For Painting Kitchen Cabinets |

There are so many tutorials online on painting kitchen cabinets, but I thought I’d just quickly skim through a few steps and share some tips.

Tips For Painting Kitchen Cabinets |

The first thing I did was to remove the cabinet doors and drawers on the stove wall. As I removed each door, I took it into the basement and removed the hardware and hinges. I put that one door’s hardware in a labeled sandwich bag (with a location and number) and zipped it up. That same number was also put in the hinge holes of the door, because they would not be painted.

Tips For Painting Kitchen Cabinets | chatfieldcourt.comTips For Painting Kitchen Cabinets | chatfieldcourt.comOnce all of my doors were removed and numbered, I used a high grit sandpaper and sanded the front and back of each. Then I used a mixture of TSP and warm water to thoroughly wipe down the door to remove the dust from sanding and grease from cooking.

Tips For Painting Kitchen Cabinets |

Once dry, I primed one side, waited for that to dry, lightly sanded, wiped it down to remove the dust, and applied one coat of paint using BM White Dove. In the end, each side of the cabinet door received 1 coat of primer, 3 coats of paint and lots of sanding in between.

Tips For Painting Kitchen Cabinets |

A quick note about primer…because I have used this paint before, I knew that it took several coats to cover well so, hoping to cut out at least one extra coat, I got my primer tinted in the same color as my paint. It doesn’t cost extra and I didn’t have to worry about covering up a bright white color.

Some online tutorials state that you don’t need to sand between coats, but I’m not taking any chances that the finish on my newly painted cabinets doesn’t last. I’d rather do the job right the first time so I don’t have to redo it in a year. Hopefully my diligence pays off and, if it doesn’t, you’ll be the first to know. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Tips For Painting Kitchen Cabinets |

I didn’t use any special painting techniques, just a brush to paint the inset panels, working carefully to not spread my paint too thin but not letting it puddle. Then I used a small roller to cover everything else. I let that dry for at least 24 hours (usually longer) and then I would lightly sand, wipe away the dust and paint again…X3.

Tips For Painting Kitchen Cabinets |

Painting the cabinets was a much easier task. I followed the same steps with sanding, cleaning, priming, sanding and painting, but I had to add a step of filling staple holes with wood putty and sanding once dry, something that I didn’t have to do with the doors and drawers. Have I told you how much I love to sand (she says as she rolls her eyes)?

Tips For Painting Kitchen Cabinets |

The results were a beautiful and smooth finish. I believe that the paint I’m using is really the reason why, Benjamin Moore Advance White Dove in a satin finish. It bills itself as a paint that “offers the application and performance of oil based paint”, but cleans up with soap and water. It does take a little longer to dry and cure, but the finish of it is beautiful. BTW, this is not a sponsored post and I paid for my own paint, which is a bit pricey, but I love the finish and durability I get with it. I’ve used it on all of my trim and doors, as well as my bathroom vanity, which gets bumped a lot in our small bathroom, so I know it really holds up.

Tips For Painting Kitchen Cabinets |

We may have the stove wall cabinets done and looking good but the cabinets by the sink are calling my name. If you need me, I’ll be in the basement sanding and painting.

Have you ever painted your kitchen cabinets? Any tips you care to share?

Easy to do tips and tricks for painting kitchen cabinets. |


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  1. Wednesday,August 12, 2015 / 6:44 am

    I LOVE that paint. I used it on my master bath cabinets two years ago and they still look brand new. I am going to paint my bookcases in the great room soon with it. Great tips.

    • Kristi
      Thursday,August 13, 2015 / 1:51 am

      Thanks Kim! It is awesome paint, isn’t it?

  2. Wednesday,August 12, 2015 / 8:02 am

    What a great idea numbering the hardware and door. When painted my cabinets, years ago, it would have saved a lot of time and frustration. The next house we paited the cabinets in we hired it out. I DON”T like sanding at all. You did a wonderful job. Debbie

    • Kristi
      Thursday,August 13, 2015 / 1:53 am

      Thanks so much Debbie! I’m with you, I hate sanding too and it is really hard on my back. I guess it’s a necessary evil to getting a great end product (I hope).

  3. MaryJean
    Wednesday,August 12, 2015 / 12:33 pm

    Thanks for the tips. I won’t be painting my kitchen cabinets, however I do need to clean them and then apply some stain in certain areas that have become worn over many years of use. I’m thinking the TSP would be good to give them a really good cleaning before applying the stain.

    • Kristi
      Thursday,August 13, 2015 / 1:58 am

      Thanks so much MJ. I think that using TSP on your cabinets would work well. I like that it cleans te wood and doesn’t leave a residue.

      How’s the toe doing? Are you able to put a shoe on yet?

  4. Wednesday,August 12, 2015 / 2:03 pm

    Well, they look great! We painted our dark, awful laminate cabinets white in our first house and, like you, I never want to do that again! Lots of work, but the results really are so worth it!

    • Kristi
      Thursday,August 13, 2015 / 1:54 am

      Thanks Kim! Wow, painting laminate, now that is quite a task. I don’t blame you for not wanting to do it again. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Linda
    Thursday,August 13, 2015 / 7:12 am

    I painted my cabinets a few months ago using the same paint. The prep work was tedious but so worth it. I sanded & cleaned the cabinets with TSP but I did not sand between the coats of primer & paint. I agree that the BM paint is the big reason for the fabulous finish. It’s pricey but well worth the cost. I also used 3 coats of paint, letting at least 24 hours elapse between each coat. I (& my husband) love the final results! The cabinets are holding up great and are so easy to keep clean. As much as I love the results and am so glad I did this, I don’t believe I’ll be doing this again anytime soon either. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Kristi
      Friday,August 14, 2015 / 2:50 am

      Thanks so much for stopping in and sharing your kitchen cabinet painting experience Linda. I’m so happy to hear that yours have held up well, and that I have an ally in the “no more painting kitchen cabinets” club. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. Friday,August 14, 2015 / 8:41 am

    Yes, it looks and sounds like a tremendous job; however, they are looking so beautiful…keep up the good work!!

    • Kristi
      Friday,August 14, 2015 / 10:21 am

      Awww, thanks so much Shirley, I appreciate it. Hope you have a great weekend!

  7. Monday,August 17, 2015 / 11:04 am

    You definitely used the right product. Love that stuff! Have you considered purchasing a sprayer? I’ve painted my share of cabinets (by brush), but now that I have a sprayer, I’m seriously thinking of redoing all my kitchen cabinets. I’ve been mostly using it on 6 panel and louvered doors, and they look amazing … Just a thought! ๐Ÿ˜€ Take care!

    • Kristi
      Monday,August 17, 2015 / 5:09 pm

      Thanks so much for the info on using a sprayer Cynthia. We did discuss getting one, but, because we have such a small kitchen, we figured it wouldn’t be that difficult of a project. Yeah, famous last words. ๐Ÿ˜‰ We may have to rethink it if we ever do something like this again. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Friday,August 21, 2015 / 7:38 pm

        Great post. I love all the little tips. I never would have thought of numbering the hsrdware. That is very good thinking. We are also thinking of painting our builder’s grade cabinets too but it makes me so nervous. Yours came out amazing. Great job.

        Thank you for sharing your tips.


        • Kristi
          Saturday,August 22, 2015 / 12:01 am

          Thanks Janet. I was really nervous about painting my cabinets too but, now that they are almost done and I know they will look good, I am so glad that I took the plunge. My biggest fear is that the paint won’t last and they will get all chipped up, not a look I’m going for. I’m hoping that all my prep and painting will prevent that. We shall see. I totally understand your fear though. ๐Ÿ˜‰

          Thanks Janet, for stopping in today.

  8. Saturday,February 13, 2016 / 1:33 pm

    Yours turned out so awesome. I wish we would have done a tad more research before we did ours but live and learn. Great tip on the labeling.

    • Kristi
      Monday,February 15, 2016 / 12:48 am

      Thanks Deborah! Painting the cabinets was a tougher job than I thought, so glad they’re done. And, I don’t know what you mean about yours because they look great. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Sarah @ Little Red Brick House
    Monday,February 15, 2016 / 1:31 pm

    Painting cabinets is definitely not for the faint of heart, lol! These were great tips and they turned out beautifully.

    • Kristi
      Tuesday,February 16, 2016 / 3:48 am

      Thanks Sarah! They took so much longer than I thought they would but I love how they turned out.

  10. dottie' Wolfe
    Sunday,August 28, 2016 / 11:30 pm

    Thank you so much for all the information!! I am in the middle of a complete do-over on our only bathroom. Next step is to paint the cabinets for the double sinks. I am so glad I read your article about the cleaner & paints. I know it is hard work, but I am so looking forward to the end results ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Kristi
      Thursday,September 1, 2016 / 12:53 am

      Thanks so much for your comment, Dottie. I’m glad that my post helped you. Painting cabinets is not a fun job but you will love it when it’s done. ๐Ÿ™‚

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