How To Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets

Painting your kitchen cabinets can refresh, not just your kitchen cabinets, but your entire kitchen. If your kitchen needs a splash, this is a low-cost way to achieve just that. Painting can lighten the wood stains; or make woods seem richer and warmer. If you think your kitchen is looking a bit stuffy and outdated, you can choose a completely new color such as blush pink and sage green, two colors that are expected to be very popular in 2023. Whatever your plans, this guide will help you figure out how to paint your kitchen cabinets. 

Get your Kit Out

You will need a number of things before you begin your journey. Make sure you have a matte or semi-gloss paint, a paint primer; plastic sheeting and tape; trisodium phosphate (TSP); a non-scratch delicate scrub sponge; clean cloths; tack cloths;  220 or 400 grit sandpaper; paintbrush; a roller; a tray; and a screwdriver. 

Source: Good Housekeeping

Select a Paint

You will have to wipe the kitchen cupboards down regularly, so you should use a semi-gloss finish. Although a high-gloss paint has many merits, those merits can work against the amateur painter. You see, a high-gloss paint will enhance your brush strokes or roll marks. For skilled painters, that is a plus. If you are not a skilled painter, then high-gloss paints will expose your mistakes. A semi-gloss paint or matte finish is ideal for you.


Preparation is perhaps a more important stage than the actual painting stages. You want to remove everything from the cupboards, so that you have a clean surface to work from. Place the plastic sheeting over the flooring and any worktops, to protect them from paint spillages, and to preserve the finishes. 

Clean the cabinets with TSP, which is a degreasing agent. According to Full Coverage Painting, failing to clean the cabinets is one of the most common errors made by people who are new to painting. If you get stuck on any spots, use the non-scratch sponge to get rid of those spots. 

You should pay special attention to cleaning below the cabinet doors, and around any handles, so that the paint sticks to the surfaces properly. 

Sand and Prime

Lightly sand your cabinets with the sandpaper.  The grit of the sandpaper will depend on the kind of finish you use. The more open the grain, the heavier the grit. So, for example, if the cabinets are made of oak, you want to have a heavy grit sandpaper. 

Once you have sanded everything, remove the doors, laying them out flat on the floor. Prime them with a primer coat. Leave the doors to dry, and once they have, turn them over so you can prime the other side. When that side has dried, lightly sand the cupboards so that everything is smooth. 

If you want the finish to be very smooth, you can sand the doors and cupboard again, this time with a finer sandpaper. Once you are done, vacuum everything and wipe them down with a tack cloth, so there is no lingering debris.


Get out your paintbrush or roller, and apply the paint across the cupboard and doors. Use a thin coat and let everything dry flat to prevent any scarring as the paint drips down. Once the paint has dried, turn everything over and continue painting. Let that side dry and then repeat the process with a second coat. 

If you can; apply several coats, rather than just two, which will make the finish more even, and more durable. Once the doors are dry, you can refit them. Then, you’re done!