What you need to know before painting your kitchen cabinets

Painting kitchen cabinets has become very popular lately. Turning those old school wood grain cabinets into a modern solid color can add quite a bit of pop to the look of your kitchen. However, you need to know what you’re getting into before starting this project.


The cost is relatively cheap. You’re probably looking in the neighborhood of $250-$500 depending on the number of cabinets you have. You’ll need to price out cleaners, paint, paint brushes or sprayer and new hardware if you so choose. There’s also the cost of the adult beverages which is highly dependent on your palette. We’ll let you do that math on that one. A professional will likely charge around $2,000 – $3,500.


Krud Kutter works great and is only about $7 bucks per bottle.


You’ll want to use cabinet and furniture enamel. Some are easier to apply than others. For example, DecoArt’s Satin Enamels adheres nicely whereas Valspar, Behr and Sherwin-Williams has a tendency to drip.

If you want to really up your game you can fully sand, prime and finish with Alkyd paint. This is an extremely labor intensive job but should provide great results. The other paints mentioned above have gotten so good that this method is not a fit for most.

Brush or Spray

Spraying offers a nice smooth finish but you’ll need a higher degree of skill and practice. You also have the extra cost of purchasing or renting the sprayer if you don’t already have one. For most, good high quality brushes are the way to go.


Unfortunately, your cabinets will likely chip over time. There’s just no way around this no matter what method or paint you choose. Make sure you keep some extra paint around for touchups along the way.

Return on Investment

Painting your kitchen cabinets is a lot of work. If you’re paying a professional, it’s a lot of money. If you paint them yourself you’re looking at a $250-$500 investment to possibly add a few thousand dollars of value to your home. Not bad. It’s also one of the best ways to completely transform a kitchen. If you’re thinking about doing this to a home you rent to others, see durability above. Just know that once you paint them, you’re going to have to re-paint them over time. Something to consider for landlords trying to minimize maintenance.

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