Repainting Kitchen Cabinets

What a difference a fresh coat of paint makes on your kitchen cabinets.


Repainting kitchen cabinets is your opportunity to make the old look new again while you have fun displaying your own unique personality and style in the color(s) and design.

Painted Kitchen Cabinet Ideas

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Chic White

No matter what style you're trying to achieve in the kitchen, you can't go wrong with open shelving and framed artwork. Design by RMSer Biolau.

It's the New Black

Play up the contrast of white walls by painting kitchen cabinets black. By taking off the doors and adding inexpensive moldings, RMSer laylapalmer creates a sophisticated and versatile kitchen.

Add Comfort With Warm Beige

Warm beige adds a relaxed feel to this gourmet kitchen from the 2009 HGTV Dream Home. Paired with gray countertops and walls, the soothing cabinet color keeps the space charming instead of drab.

Go Bold With the Island

One of the hottest trends in kitchen cabinets is an island featuring a dramatic hue. Surrounding white cabinets set the scene, but an onyx island brings high style to this traditional kitchen. Design by RMSer myuncommonsliceofsuburbia.

Sophisticated Gray

Gray is a refined, classic shade, but it also evokes a more modern feel than its black counterpart. Designer David Stimmel chose a hand-applied painted sheen for these birch cabinets, which allows a hint of the natural wood grain to peek through the soft gray tone.

From: Dave Stimmel

Kid-Friendly Cabinets

Keep an eye on the kids while cooking dinner by integrating their playroom into the kitchen. Designer David Bromstad paints the lower cabinets with chalkboard paint for playtime, while the upper cabinets get a bold red treatment.

Mix It Up

Can't decide on one color for your cabinets? Paint the top and bottom cabinets different colors. Since blue and yellow are complementary hues, they're the perfect combination for this Old World kitchen. Design by Linda Adams.

Perhaps you're just really bored with your cabinet color and want something new, or maybe the paint you have is permeated with dirt and oil that no amount of cleaning can remove. Regardless, though it's relatively inexpensive, repainting kitchen cabinets is time-consuming and not for the faint of heart. If you can't devote a full week or two to do it, you'll need to block out about three weekends to do a thorough job that isn't rushed, and plan to eat a lot of takeout meals while your kitchen is out of commission.

Choosing your paint color—now this is where the fun begins. There are so many choices, whether it's a solid color throughout, the popular and trendy two-toned look for your cabinets, or a base color with a complementary accent color in strategic places, the options are limitless. Just choose wisely and make sure it's a color scheme you can love and be happy with for years to come.

Oil-based paints and acrylic paints are generally the best paints for kitchen cabinets because they're the most durable and withstand the everyday kitchen wear and tear. Latex-based paints, however, are also popular and do have excellent color quality. Latex is also easier to clean up throughout the painting process, only needing soap and water. Oil-based paints will require a specific solvent for cleaning and you'll need adequate ventilation.

Choosing whether to spray or brush is the next crucial decision. Applying the paint with a sprayer will give you a cleaner, smoother look, but you'll have to buy or rent the sprayer and practice on a few obscure spots before you paint the rest of the cabinets. Repainting with a brush works really well for simple cabinet designs, and it is easily the least complicated, least expensive and least messy option. The trick with using a brush instead of a sprayer is to lightly sand the cabinets in-between coats of paint to give it a smoother finish. You can use a small foam roller brush to paint the inside of the cabinet boxes. This will give it an interesting, subtle texture.

Set aside a work station to paint the cabinet doors and drawer faces and paint one side at a time and let them dry, at least overnight. Flip the cabinets over and repeat this method for the other side. Within weeks, your kitchen will be transformed into something new and different.

Mixing Kitchen Cabinet Styles and Finishes

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