how to repaint kitchen cabinets

How to Repaint Kitchen Cabinets: A Complete Guide

Are your kitchen cabinets looking tired and worn out? Repainting them can breathe new life into your kitchen without the need for a costly renovation. Whether you’re dealing with already painted kitchen cabinets, peeling kitchen cabinets, or even metal kitchen cabinets or oak kitchen cabinets, this comprehensive guide will show you how to repaint kitchen cabinets like a pro. We’ll cover everything from preparation to finishing touches, and we’ve included answers to common questions you might have along the way.

Interesting Facts about Repainting Kitchen Cabinets

1. Cabinet Material MattersThe type of material your kitchen cabinets are made of can impact the success and longevity of a paint job.
2. Proper Surface PreparationThoroughly cleaning and sanding the cabinets before painting ensures better adhesion and a smoother finish.
3. Quality Paint SelectionChoosing high-quality paint specifically designed for cabinets can make a significant difference in the final result.
4. Prime for SuccessPriming cabinets before painting helps seal the surface and provides a better base for the paint to adhere.
5. Patience is KeyAllowing sufficient drying time between coats and after the final coat is crucial for a durable and professional-looking finish.

Preparation is Key

Before you embark on your how to repaint kitchen cabinets journey, you need to get the groundwork right. Here’s how to prepare:

Clean and Degrease

Start by cleaning the kitchen cabinets thoroughly to remove dirt and grease. Use a mixture of water and mild detergent, and don’t forget to rinse and dry them properly.

Remove Hardware and Doors

Take off all kitchen cabinet doors and remove the hardware, including knobs, handles, and hinges. This step will make the painting process much easier and ensure a professional finish.


Sanding is crucial for achieving a smooth, even surface. Use fine-grit sandpaper to gently roughen the cabinet surfaces. It will help the paint adhere better.

Fill in Imperfections

Inspect your kitchen cabinets for any dents or holes. Fill them in with wood filler and sand the area smooth once it’s dry.

Choosing the Right Paint

Selecting the right paint is essential for a successful kitchen cabinet repainting project. Consider the following factors:

See more: Can You Use Chalk Paint on Kitchen Cabinets

Paint Type

Choose a high-quality paint suitable for cabinets. Acrylic or latex paints are excellent choices as they are durable and easy to clean.


Opt for a semi-gloss or satin finish. These finishes are not only attractive but also resistant to moisture and staining.

Color Selection

Pick a color that complements your kitchen’s overall design and aesthetic. Neutral tones like white or gray are timeless choices.

Getting Started with Repainting

Now that your kitchen cabinets are prepped and you’ve chosen your paint, it’s time to start repainting:

Prime the Cabinets

Apply a primer to your kitchen cabinets before painting. Primer helps the paint adhere and ensures a smooth, even finish.

Apply the First Coat

Using a paintbrush or a paint sprayer, apply the first coat of paint evenly. Make sure to paint in the direction of the wood grain for a professional look.

Allow Drying Time

Let the first coat dry completely before applying the second coat. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended drying times.

The Painting Process

The actual painting process involves several steps to achieve a flawless result:

Sand Between Coats

After the first coat is dry, lightly sand the surface with fine-grit sandpaper. This step helps remove imperfections and ensures a smooth finish.

Apply the Final Coat

Apply the final coat of paint. Again, follow the wood grain and use even strokes for consistent coverage.

Reattach Hardware and Doors

Once the paint is dry, reattach the cabinet hardware and doors. Be gentle to avoid damaging the fresh paint.

Adding Finishing Touches

To complete your cabinet repainting project, consider these finishing touches:

Install New Hardware

Updating cabinet hardware can give your kitchen a fresh, modern look. Choose knobs and handles that match your kitchen’s style.

Clean Up

Clean up your workspace and dispose of any paint or materials responsibly.

Admire Your Revamped Kitchen

Step back and admire your newly painted kitchen cabinets. You’ve transformed your kitchen’s look without the cost of a full renovation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How to Repaint Kitchen Cabinets? 

A: To repaint kitchen cabinets, start by cleaning and degreasing them, removing hardware and doors, sanding the surfaces, and filling in imperfections. Then, choose the right paint, prime the cabinets, apply coats of paint, and reattach hardware and doors.

Q: Can I Repaint Already Painted Kitchen Cabinets?

 A: Yes, you can repaint already painted kitchen cabinets. Proper preparation, including cleaning, sanding, and priming, is key to achieving a professional finish.

Q: How to Repaint Kitchen Cabinets That Are Already Painted? 

A: Begin by cleaning and sanding the existing paint, then apply a primer specifically designed for previously painted surfaces. Afterward, follow the same painting process as for unpainted cabinets.

Q: Can I Repaint MDF Kitchen Cabinets?

 A: Yes, you can repaint MDF kitchen cabinets. Follow the same steps as for wooden cabinets, ensuring proper cleaning, sanding, and priming.

Q: How to Repaint Metal Kitchen Cabinets? 

A: Repainting metal kitchen cabinets involves cleaning, sanding, applying a metal primer, and then painting with a suitable metal paint.

Q: How to Repaint Oak Kitchen Cabinets? 

A: Repainting oak kitchen cabinets requires thorough cleaning, sanding, priming, and painting with a paint suitable for wood surfaces.

Q: How to Repaint Peeling Kitchen Cabinets? 

A: To repaint peeling kitchen cabinets, start by addressing the peeling areas by sanding and priming them before applying a fresh coat of paint.

Q: What is the Cost to Repaint My Kitchen Cabinets?

 A: The cost of repainting kitchen cabinets can vary depending on factors like kitchen size and paint quality. On average, it can range from $500 to $3,000.

Q: How Much to Repaint Kitchen Cabinets in Canada?

 A: The cost of repainting kitchen cabinets in Canada may vary, but it typically falls within the same cost range as mentioned earlier, depending on the specifics of your project.

Q: How Often Do You Have to Repaint Kitchen Cabinets?

 A: With proper preparation and high-quality paint, repainted cabinets can last 5-10 years or more, depending on wear and tear.

Q: How to Repaint Kitchen Above Cabinets? 

A: To re-paint the area above kitchen cabinets, clean the surface, mask off the cabinet edges, and then paint using the same steps as for cabinet doors.

Q: How to Repaint Kitchen Cabinet Hardware?

 A: Repainting cabinet hardware involves removing it, cleaning and sanding, then applying primer and paint for metal hardware or suitable paint for non-metal hardware.

Q: How to Repaint Kitchen Cabinet Hinges? 

A: Repainting cabinet hinges follows a similar process to cabinet hardware. Remove them, clean, sand, and repaint using the appropriate paint.

Q: How to Repaint Kitchen Cabinet Knobs?

 A: To repaint cabinet knobs, remove them, clean, sand, and apply primer and paint suitable for the material of the knobs.

Q: How to Repaint Kitchen Cabinets Sherwin Williams? 

A: To use Sherwin Williams paint for your kitchen cabinets, select a suitable product from their range, follow the recommended preparation steps, and apply the paint as instructed.

Q: How to Repaint Kitchen Cabinets with Grooves? 

A: When repainting cabinets with grooves, ensure thorough cleaning and use brushes or rollers designed for textured surfaces to reach into the grooves.

Q: How to Repaint Kitchen Cabinets Without Priming or Stripping?

 A: While priming is recommended for the best results, you can try a paint and primer combo for a quicker solution, but outcomes may vary.

Q: How to Repaint Particle Board Kitchen Cabinets? 

A: Repainting particle board kitchen cabinets involves careful cleaning, sanding, priming with a suitable primer, and then painting with the desired paint.

Get Started and Transform Your Kitchen

Now that you know how to repaint kitchen cabinets, it’s time to get started. With the right preparation, paint, and a little patience, you can give your kitchen a stunning makeover. Say goodbye to dated cabinets and hello to a fresh, revitalized space.


Repainting your kitchen cabinets is a rewarding DIY project that can significantly enhance your kitchen’s appearance. With proper preparation, the right paint, and attention to detail, you can achieve professional-looking results. So, roll up your sleeves, gather your materials, and transform your kitchen today!

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