Painting Kitchen Cabinet Doors

Learn the best ways to paint kitchen cabinet doors.


This shows different kitchen cabinet options. Darker base cabinets ground the space while the soft-gray finish on upper cabinets highlights their unique shape (Design by Didier Michot).

Old and dingy cabinets can really ruin a kitchen. If your cabinets aren't looking their best, but you don't have the budget to replace them, consider painting the kitchen cabinet doors for a fresh new look.

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.

Painting kitchen cabinet doors isn't exactly an easy fix, but with some time and patience, you can give your kitchen a major facelift without a major overhaul. Most pros use a paint brush and roller to paint kitchen cabinet doors, but spray paint is an option as well.

Before you start painting, remove everything from your cabinets, clear off your counters, and cover your backsplash, appliances and floor. Next, you'll need to remove all of the hinges, hardware, doors and drawers from your cabinets. If you label each door with masking tape, you'll have a much easier time reinstalling all of them when you're finished. If you plan on using the same hardware, keep it all in a plastic bag so you don't lose any pieces or screws. It's much easier to paint cabinet doors if you have a worktable, but 2x4 boards propped on buckets or boxes can work as well. If you're really handy and have a garage, use wire or hangers to hang all the cabinet doors to make painting each side much more manageable.

You'll need to prep your cabinet doors properly before you begin painting. Cabinets normally get a lot of grease and food spattered on them, so clean each one well. If you'll be installing new hardware, cover the current holes with wood filler and then use 100-grit sandpaper to smooth all the surfaces and ensure your paint will adhere. When you're done sanding, wipe away dust with a tack cloth before drilling your new holes, and use caulk to fill in any gaps or seams.

Do not forget to prime if you want your paint to stick and to achieve a professional finish. You don't need many fancy tools to paint your cabinet doors—an angled brush and mini foam roller will do the trick. Try working in small sections with your angled brush and go over your work with the roller for a super-smooth finish. Once your paint has dried, do a final sanding with very fine grit sandpaper and apply a coat of satin polycrylic to make your cabinet doors extra durable. Once your cabinet doors are completely dry, you can reinstall them and put the hardware back on.

Kitchen Color
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