How To Prepare Kitchen Cabinets for Painting

How to prepare kitchen cabinets for painting

If you are thinking of renovating your kitchen by repainting your cabinets, you are probably wondering how to prepare kitchen cabinets for painting. In this guide, we will go over all the steps you need to take to prepare your kitchen cabinets.

What to consider before preparing your kitchen cabinets for painting

Changing the color of our cabinets is one of the main changes that we can make in the kitchen and that completely changes the appearance of the entire space, but we have to take into account several factors before doing it.

First of all, you need to know if the cabinets can be painted. If your kitchen cabinets are very damaged, dented, with lots of chips it will likely be a huge waste of time to try to recover them. You want to avoid spending time and money without achieving the desired look.

You should also avoid buying low-quality materials. After all, you want the finish on your kitchen cabinets to last a long time, and look great at the end of the project.

You also need to consider the size of the kitchen, natural and artificial lighting, the objects we have, such as an island or the table and chairs we use, as well as the rest of the decor.

The size of the kitchen is perhaps the most important of all factors when choosing the right kitchen cabinet color because some colors are more suitable for small spaces than others. 

Lighter colors are more suitable for small and medium spaces, such as: 

  • White
  • Yellow 
  • Light grey
  • Light green
  • Sky blue

While the color of your kitchen cabinets can have a strong influence if your kitchen is small, if your kitchen is large, you can choose more colors. As it is possible to opt for darker colors, and even mix dark colors with light colors, making the kitchen more elegant and modern. 

For larger kitchens you can choose: 

  • White
  • Cream
  • Green
  • Wood
  • Blue
  • Gray

Should you choose two colors for your kitchen cabinets?

Choosing two colors for the cabinets can give your kitchen a unique look, and it makes it look fresher and more modern. 

This allows you to combine more different types of decoration elements since you have more colors to create contrast with. 

What finish should kitchen cabinet colors have?

You should choose a kitchen cabinet paint with a glossy or semi-gloss finish. These paints create a film that is easier to clean and lasts longer than a matte finish. 

Is it necessary to prepare the cabinets before painting?

It is important to prepare your kitchen cabinets before you repaint them. This will make sure that the final look will be what you envisioned and that the time and money you invest in this project are worth it.

Why is it important to prepare kitchen cabinets before painting?

Preparing kitchen cabinets to paint is one of the most important stages of the project.

If your kitchen cabinets are not prepared, cleaned, and treated, the final result can disappoint you. 

How to prepare kitchen cabinets for painting (step-by-step)

For this project to go as smoothly as possible, start by cleaning the cabinets well. If you find that they need to be repaired, then that should be the first step. 

Sometimes there are small flaws and chips that are easily fixed with a wood filler. After that, it is advisable to use good sandpaper, so that the surface is uniform and ready to receive the paint.

Another very important thing is to use a residue cleaning agent to clean the cabinet surface. It is important to remove all small particles of dirt, dust, and oils that can prevent the paint from adhering and end up creating a sandy look and a bad finish to your kitchen cabinets.

Therefore, after this initial cleaning and checking the exact condition of the cabinets and what needs to be done, you should buy all the necessary materials, such as:

  • Brushes
  • Rollers
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Support buckets
  • Paint thinner
  • Sandpaper
  • Tape
  • Varnish

You should also get advice from a professional, at a specialized store, mentioning what type of structure your kitchen cabinet is made of and thus ensuring that your purchased material is the right one.

Preparing kitchen cabinets

1. Remove drawers and doors

With the help of a screwdriver, remove the screws from the hinges of the doors and pull them out.

2. Remove the handles from the drawers and doors

You can also clean the handles well and eventually paint them, if necessary.

3. Apply wood putty (filler)

This is very important if the cabinets have a lot of dents, chips, and flaws.

4. Sand

Depending on the surface of the cabinet, whether it has been recovered with filler or not, and the type of paint to be applied, it may need sanding before being painted. This is the only way to ensure that the surface is smooth.

5. Clean the cabinets well, with water and detergent

Cleaning is important so that there is no residue, and there is no risk of dirt clinging to the paint. It is advisable to use a degreaser, especially on the surfaces to be painted. You must dry the surfaces well and ensure that they are dry.

Insulate what you consider necessary with insulating tape, thus avoiding splashing paint on other nearby surfaces or appliances.

Preparing the area

Before starting this task, isolate the area where you are going to paint, you can use old newspapers and magazines, or cards, for this purpose. Start by applying a primer, this will increase the adhesion and durability of the paint you are going to apply. Just one hand and wait the necessary time before applying the paint. 

For painting, spread the paint with the help of a roller on the doors and, if you like, the brush for the drawers. The last hand should be with the roller, as this allows you to remove brush strokes and will give the surface a more uniform and smooth finish. 

Often two hands are needed, but with the necessary time between one and the other hand to ensure a final quality result. Although it is unnecessary to paint the inside of the cabinets, it is necessary to paint the outside and inside of the doors, so that they are really clean.

If you have chosen to paint the handles, this is the right time. Usually, the best type of paint for this is spray paint. Most of the handles are metallic and therefore the paint you use to paint the cabinets is not suitable for painting the handles. 

At the end of painting the handles, and after they are really dry, consider applying a coat of varnish, as a protective layer that will guarantee greater durability and a perfect finish.

Put the cabinets and drawers back in place with the help of a screwdriver. Before, however, confirm that everything is dry, including drawers, doors, and handles.

How long does it take to repaint kitchen cabinets?

As long as you have all the necessary materials available, repainting kitchen cabinets can be done in approximately a week.


With some investment, work and time, it is certainly possible to complete this project.

Remember that the first step is to decide what you want to do, and after that, choose suitable and quality materials, so that everything goes as planned.

Once the decision is made, the materials purchased and the schedule planned, it’s time to start your project, and give your kitchen a new life.

We are sure that changing the color of the cabinets is one of the best ways to get a new kitchen!

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