DIY How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets Like a Pro

4:45 PM

During Spring Break, instead of playing or vacationing, we worked hard and refinished our kitchen cabinets. I must say, our end results are near perfect! Going into it, you need to know this - we spent 3 full days of prepping (don't skim on this), 1 day of painting with a rented sprayer (MUST), and 1 day of putting everything back. We used this awesome waterborne paint to paint the cabinets and didn't need a polyurethane coat - more on that later. We have a large kitchen and we spent just over $300 for everything. Let's get started.

Remove all doors and drawers. Remove hinges and number all parts so you can easily put everything back where it was.

Wash everything to remove gunk and grease. I used S.O.S Wool Pads.

Very lightly sand everything with about 220 grit

Cover all markings/numbers with painters tape before painting.

Tape off drawers to cover anything that you don't want painted.

Caulk before you paint. We even caulked the doors so there would be no cracks in our paint.

Tape off boxes.

Pull out appliances and cover with plastic, along with walls or open areas.

Lay drop cloths on the floor.

Make a spraying center in garage and put all doors and drawers in there.

We put screws in the hinge areas of each door so we could spray one side of the door with paint and flip it over so the doors rest on the screws while we spray the other side.

 As you can see, we rented a paint sprayer from our local paint and glass store, and we used Glidden Professional Primer along with Benjamin Moore Advance Waterborne paint in Satin. I can't rave about this paint enough! We hardly dealt with any fumes, it was fast drying, and seems to dry really hard, and it looks flawless when used with a sprayer. We did 1 coat of primer and 2 coats of paint.

Begin spraying. Flip the doors over and spray the sides and fronts.

 When everything is dry, remove the tape and put everything back. Ta Da!!! A fabulous new kitchen for just about $300. It was so worth it!


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  1. This is really inspiring, the scouring only and taping off must have been a looot of work! How long have you been busy on this? I honestlyI don't see myself painting this because I don't even have the space to spray those panels. Well done! Gr, Linda

  2. They look AMAZING!! What an awesome project!

  3. I love the end result! I've been debating painting our oak cabinets, but I'm worried about the grain showing through. Would an extra coat of primer help? Also, why did you use waterborne paint? Thanks for sharing your great tutorial!

    1. That is a valid concern. From what I've heard the extra coat of primer isn't enough to hide the grain of oak cabinets.

      The waterborne paint was recommended to us by our local paint supply store. Their reasons to use waterborne included ease of application (cleanup was a breeze), short drying/cure time, less odor than varnish and the final finish is durable yet still flexible.

  4. I don't think I have ever seen a sanding brick like that. Does it hold up well over time? My wife wants me to repair out kitchen cabinets and a few doors in our home. I'll need to sand them down before I re-cover them with any sort of varnish. Would you recommend sanding them down by hand or with an electrical sander?

    1. Those foam sanding blocks can wear out fairly quickly. It all depends on how much pressure you put on the block when sanding and if there is a lot of detail on the piece that you are sanding. After a lot of use on a detailed piece the foam tends to break down. We only went through one sanding block for all our cabinets. But we were only lightly sanding.

      If the repairs needed on your cabinets and doors are severe, then I would probably recommend an electric sander (i.e belt sander, orbital sander). If the repairs aren't significant and you just need to roughen the surface for painting, then I would probably recommend hand sanding. The sanding method will also depend on what finish you will be using after the repairs are made.

  5. Look awesome, Nice project. Which kind of paint sprayer do you use? In the future, I want to repaint all my furniture it is too old about 10 years. Just find a review of wagner flexio 590 at I do not know which is true :(

  6. I think I am going to take the leap and paint by black cabinets:) This is a great tutorial! Have you felt like they have held up well?

    1. Yes they have held up really well! Good luck to you!