How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets

Get a budget-friendly way to update your kitchen cabinets with paint and a simple glaze treatment.



cabinets with flat face or architectural features
tri-sodium phosphate degreaser (TSP)
rubber gloves
oil-based primer
paint (Benjamin Moore Paint, Aura Lady Finger, 1045)
paint brush, foam roller or sprayer
glaze, if there are architectural details to highlight


1. Remove cabinet doors and drawers. Store hardware.

2. In a well ventilated area, apply a rinse-free, tri-sodium phosphate degreaser to doors and drawers. Scrub with a rag while wearing gloves. Allow cabinets to dry.

3. If the pieces have a high gloss finish, you may need to lightly sand them. Otherwise, apply an oil-based primer with a foam roller or paint brush.



4. For flat-front door, apply paint after the primer has dried. Semi-gloss paint provides a durable finish and works best for kitchens. Use a brush to give your cabinets a hand-finished look. Use a roller or sprayer for a smoother finish.



5. For doors with architectural features, prepare a mixture of three parts glaze to one part paint. Apply a little bit of glaze mix to your brush and glide it along the all the edges of the features at a 45-degree angle, leaving a line of paint just on the edges.



6. To age the cabinet door, apply a generous amount of glaze to the entire surface and then wipe off excess with a bundled cheesecloth or rag. The glaze that's left creates the finished look. Repeat this process as needed.

7. After the paint has dried overnight, attach the hardware, hang the doors and install the drawers.

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