Close Ad >>

How-To Videos

DIY Kitchen Cabinet Painting Tips

By: Danny Lipford
Using an airless sprayer to paint kitchen cabinets.

Using an airless sprayer to paint kitchen cabinets.

When painting kitchen cabinets it’s important to prepare the surface properly so the paint will adhere and not peel or chip over time. You can paint cabinets with a brush, but a sprayer is faster and leaves a smoother surface.

Here’s how to go about painting your kitchen cabinets.

Steps in painting kitchen cabinets:

  1. Remove Doors & Drawers: Take the doors and drawers down and paint them separately.
  2. Clean Cabinets: Clean all surfaces thoroughly with a household cleaner to remove any grease or grime.
  3. Sand Cabinets: Sand all surfaces. If the old finish is in good condition, you don’t have to sand it down to bare wood, just until it’s smooth and free of gloss.
  4. Remove Dust: Vacuum off any sanding dust, then wipe the cabinets down with a clean, damp cloth.
  5. Prime Cabinets: Apply an oil-based, stain blocking primer to the cabinets. Oil-based primers adhere and block stains better than latex primers.
  6. Fill Imperfections: Fill any holes or dents with two-part auto body filler. After the filler has hardened, sand it smooth with the surface.
  7. Paint Cabinets: Apply two coats of latex or oil-based enamel paint, sanding lightly between coats.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

Print   Video Transcript

Danny Lipford: People often ask, “How hard is it to paint your kitchen cabinets?”

First, you want to sand all surfaces, whether they’re painted or stained, so the primer will adhere well. Then apply an oil primer to help the subsequent layers of paint stick.

Next, fill any holes, divots, or low places with automobile body filler; and sand it smooth after it dries. Then wipe it clean and you’re ready to apply two coats of quality enamel paint. Brush painting will work fine, but a sprayer is even better if you have access to one.

When you’re done, your old cabinets will have a fresh, new look; and so will your kitchen.


Please Leave a Comment

One Comment on “DIY Kitchen Cabinet Painting Tips”

You can follow comments to this article by subscribing to the RSS news feed with your favorite feed reader.

  • Bobbie Says:
    February 14th, 2018 at 10:45 pm

    My cabinets are not wood. They are white builder grade laminate that can peel away from the pressed board. Is there a paint that would adhere to that type of material? If not what would be the best way to make over Those types of cabinets? I prefer dark cabinets And my husband wants to leave them be. I’m looking for a compromise

We want to hear from you! In addition to posting comments on articles and videos, you can also send your comments and questions to us on our contact page or at (800) 946-4420. While we can't answer them all, we may use your question on our Today's Homeowner radio or TV show, or online at

DIY Kitchen Cabinet Painting Tips