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How to Paint a Kitchen Island

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

Janell Beals, Isabella & Max Rooms
Kitchen with White Cabinetry

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.

Paint Kitchen Cabinets Step 1

Clean and Sand

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

Paint Kitchen Cabinets Step 2

Remove Drawers and Door Fronts

Remove all drawers and doors to expose frame.

Paint Kitchen Cabinets Step 3

Protect Cabinet Interior

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

Paint Kitchen Cabinets Step 4

Protect Surrounding Surfaces

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

Paint Kitchen Cabinets Step 5

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.

Paint Kitchen Cabinets Step 6

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.

Paint Kitchen Cabinets Step 7

Sand Primed Surfaces

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

Paint Kitchen Cabinets Step 8

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.

Paint Kitchen Cabinets Step 9
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