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How to repaint kitchen cabinets

jerrimae gutierrez

    May 13, 2022

    13 min


A step-by-step guide to help your kitchen achieve a “new” look without spending too much!


Photo by Kam Idris on Unsplash

In 2021, the Canadian Home Builders' Association (CHBA) noticed another trend in homes all over houses in Canada--the appearance of painted wooden cabinets. Kitchen cabinets are no longer limited to steel and neutral colors. More homeowners from Vancouver, Tri-Cities, and Canada as a whole have become open to the idea of painting and repainting kitchen cabinets with unusual kitchen colors because it saves them from the high cost of pulling a full kitchen revamp. However, note that unless it is done correctly, painting kitchen cabinets may incur a higher cost. To prevent this from happening, Lucullan properties have prepared a step-by-step process on how to paint kitchen cabinets. It is always good to be prepared and knowledgeable by learning how professionals do it, so without further ado, here are the steps you need to know on how to paint kitchen cabinets properly. 

Step 1: Inspect your kitchen cabinet’s condition.

Can your kitchen cabinet accommodate a makeover? The answer to this question will be known once you have taken out everything inside it and inspected each part of it.

How’s its condition?

Is it warped, chipped, or damaged? If so, painting it might not be the best choice for your kitchen revamp plan.

Avoid the mistake of failing to recognize the condition of your kitchen cabinet and save money. Have your kitchen cabinet painted only if it can accommodate the makeover you have in mind.  

Step 2: Prepare your surrounding, materials, and the cabinet 

If the cabinet is in good shape, the next step is to prepare everything that you will use–the place, materials, and of course, the kitchen cabinet.

  • Place
    Protect your kitchen floor and everything else in your kitchen. Tape a drop cloth or use a newspaper or another protector over the countertops and the surrounding work area before painting. 
  • Materials
    Use the best materials available. Select the equipment that you are most knowledgeable with. For most non-professional painters, using a spray gun is highly recommended because utilizing a paintbrush on a cabinet usually leaves unwanted brush marks behind. If you still prefer a paintbrush, get a premium Sherwin-Williams nylon or polyester brush. 
    In terms of paints and primer, we recommend purchasing directly from any Sherwin-Williams store if you’re from Coquitlam, Port Moody, or Burnaby. The brand also partnered with some stores in Port Coquitlam, Vancouver, and more regions in Canada.  
  • Cabinet
    Pull out the cabinets carefully and remove the doors off of the hinges. Don’t forget to label each kitchen cabinet that has been taken out, so you know where to return them.
    Once the cabinets are taken out, clean them gently with a grease remover. Use a damp sponge to wipe the cabinets and let them dry for a while. 

Step 3: Sanding

Before fully starting the painting process, ensure that the cabinets are not too smooth or glossy by sanding them with a 100-220 grit sandpaper. Making the cabinet a little rough can make the application of primer smoother. 

Before priming, vacuum the cabinet and the whole workspace to ensure that no dust will settle in the paint or primer.

Step 4: Priming 

The first step to priming your kitchen cabinets is knowing what type of primer you will apply. For wooden cabinets, Sherwin William recommends Extreme Bond Primer because this product provides exceptional adhesion needed to provide the proper foundation for any finish. 

Step 5: Sanding - second round

As we stated a while ago, sanding is vital in ensuring the smoothness of the final coating. That is the reason why sanding will be done until the final coating. 

To start the second round of sanding, ensure that the primer is completely dry. Sand all surfaces using 220-grit paper or sanding block. Focus on areas that may have drips or pools until the surface is as even as possible so you can smoothly paint your kitchen cabinets. Once done, don’t forget the last step in sanding, and that is ensuring that no dust will settle in the paint by using a vacuum cleaner or a damp cloth.

Step 6: Painting - first-round 

Once the cabinet is cleaned and dried after sanding, prepare the materials you’ve gotten and apply the first coat of paint using your preferred equipment carefully. Upon painting cabinet doors or other similar large surfaces, you may use a foam or microfiber paint roller instead of a brush or spray gun to save time. If you’re using a brush, apply in a thin layer and let dry for about 8 to 12 hours before proceeding to the next step. 

Step 7: Sanding - last round

This is done just the same as steps 3 and 5. 

Step 8: Painting - last round

The way this is done is also the same as step 6. Just like how you did every step with complete care and excellence, do this step with an equal goal–complete and smooth coverage for all surfaces. 

Step 9: Drying and reinstalling the kitchen cabinets back

Dry your paint for at least 24 hours or longer. The longer, the better to ensure durability and easier reinstallation. Once your kitchen cabinets are fully dry, don’t forget to put back the hardware you initially took out. Make sure you clean the area where you will reinstall your kitchen cabinets. Once done, carefully return the kitchen cabinets back into place and test their stability to ensure everyone’s safety. Clean the whole kitchen afterward. 

Final Thoughts

Repainting kitchen cabinets require knowledge, skill, and patience to ensure the success of your kitchen revamp plan. If you think you’re not yet ready for this but want to spruce up your tired kitchen with freshly painted cabinets, we highly recommend seeking painting service providers. 

Getting professional help might be a little costly, but this is better if you’re not yet confident. The service of professional painters often costs around $1,000, which might get higher or lower depending on the size of your kitchen, the location of your home, and other factors. If you’re from Coquitlam, Burnaby, Port Coquitlam, and Port Moody, asking for the help of certified single-family home contractors from the area will provide you with higher-quality painted cabinets due to their connection with credible painters with proven expertise and access to professional-grade products.

This article was last updated on May 27, 2023