How to Paint a Kitchen Island

Bring customized style to your kitchen by painting the island a color that complements the room.

Beige Kitchen With Island, White Cabinets and Granite Counters

Neutral Transitional Kitchen With White Cabinets

By: Janell Beals

Materials Needed:

  • painters' tape
  • masking paper
  • 1 tube caulk
  • caulk gun
  • wood filler
  • 2 gallons semigloss oil-based paint (tinted to a color of your choice)
  • 2 gallons oil-based primer
  • 1 quart conditioning additive for oil-based paint
  • 4 extra-fine sanding pads
  • high quality oil paint brush
  • putty knife
  • 4 tack cloths

Prepare Cabinets

Gather supplies and remove all hardware from cabinets. Tip: Place hardware in a plastic bag and label cabinet doors and drawers with numbered strips of painters' tape to make reassembly easier.

Kitchen cabinet island with hardware removed.

Painting a Kitchen Island: Preparing Cabinets for Painting

Clean and Sand

Wipe cabinetry clean then use sanding pad to lightly sand surfaces to be painted.

Wiping down a kitchen cabinet once it is sanded.

Painting a Kitchen Island: Clean and Sand Surfaces

Remove Drawers and Door Fronts

Remove all drawers and doors to expose frame.

Kitchen Island With Drawers and Door Removed

Painting a Kitchen Island: Expose the Island's Frame

Protect Cabinet Interior

Cover cabinet interior with masking paper. Carefully tape into place to protect interior surfaces.

A kitchen island, with the interior protected with masking paper.

Painting a Kitchen Island: Protecting the Cabinet Interior Before Painting

Protect Surrounding Surfaces

Cover floor and countertop with masking paper and tape into place.

Floor and Island Countertop Covered in Masking Paper

Protect Surrounding Surfaces With Masking Paper

Caulk and Fill

Caulk seams between panels and door frames. Fill any holes with wood filler. Let wood filler dry one hour. Sand dried wood filler until it is flush with the cabinet's surface. Wipe cabinetry clean with tack cloth, carefully removing all traces of dust to ensure a smooth paint job.

A kitchen cabinet with caulked with wood filler.

Painting a Kitchen Island: Caulking Cabinet Seams

Apply Primer

Paint all surfaces with oil-based primer. Let dry 24 hours. Tip: Mix conditioning additive for oil-based products into primer to lessen brush marks.

A kitchen cabinet door front with primer paint applied.

Painting a Kitchen Island: Applying a Primer to the Cabinets

Sand Primed Surfaces

Remove visible brush marks with sanding pad. Wipe cabinetry clean with tack cloth.

Gray Sanding Pad With White Dust

Painting a Kitchen Island: Sand the Primed Surfaces

Paint and Reassemble Island

Mix conditioning additive into oil-based paint. Apply two coats of paint with brush. Let dry 24-36 hours between coats, lightly sanding surfaces before applying the second layer of paint. Allow 48 hours for paint to fully cure then remove protective coverings. Reinstall drawers, door fronts and hardware.

Brush Stroke With Neutral Paint

Painting a Kitchen Island: Paint and Reassemble the Island

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