Today I am coming at you with my very BEST tips on how to paint your kitchen cabinets. When we bought our home in 2016, the kitchen came with dark brown kitchen cabinets. I always envisioned my home to be bright and filled with light colors, so the dark brown was a no-go for me! After researching the best methods for painting kitchen cabinets, we got started! Come learn how to paint cabinets with these easy tips!
I have to give a TON of credit to my mom, who is a master at painting literally everything inside a house! She taught me most of what I know! So shout out to you Mom! Thanks for helping my kitchen cabinet dreams come true!
Tell me in the comments, if you were to paint your kitchen cabinets, what color would you paint them?!
My Best Kitchen Cabinet Painting Tips
- Which paint should you pick? We went with a slightly glossy paint that was known for having great coverage. We wanted a thicker paint because we were covering up a dark wood, and the glossy part made it so the cabinets looked shiny and smooth!
- Start with a primer! We used Kilz primer (in the spray cans) because it was fast, covered really well, and created a great base for the white paint. I made the mistake of NOT using a primer the first set of cabinets I painted, and I had to do 4-5 coats of white before I covered the dark wood. Take it from me…use Kilz!
- Do you need to sand your cabinets before painting? Not necessarily! I only sanded down any stuck on goop that was on our cabinets. But the Kilz primer will make it so your paint sticks great to your cabinets! So no need to sand everything to get the paint to stick! Only worry about sanding to get a smooth surface with no bumps!
- We opted to using rollers/paint brushes to paint our cabinets. It would have been faster to use a paint sprayer, but we tried one and could NOT get the hang of it haha! Using a smooth roller + small angled paint brush made it so we could smoothly apply the paint, ensure we went with the grain of the wood, and get around the details of the cabinet doors.
- This tip is simple, but can make or break how your cabinets look. MAKE SURE YOU PAINT WITH THE GRAIN, NOT AGAINST! This will ensure everything looks smooth, clean and professional!
- After watching my mom, I have decided that the best paint brush to use for all projects have a shorter handle to them. Also, the bristles are cut at an angle. This kind of brush feels awesome in your hand and it makes it so you can easily guide the paint around hard to reach corners and edges (see my picture for the kind of brush I’m talking about).
- Do you need to use a clear coat to seal in the paint? No! This was a big shocker to me and I didn’t believe my Mom when she told me this haha! The first couple sets of cabinets we painted, we did use a clear coat, but we found that it yellowed very quickly and didn’t necessarily prevent chipping. When we touched up, we just went over everything with glossy, white paint and it looked so much better. If you get a pretty, glossy paint for your cabinets, that will be enough to make everything look smooth!
- Plastic drop cloths are your bff. We grabbed a big roll of cheap ones from Home Depot and cut them into smaller squares so we could easily adjust them around the kitchen.
- When painting your drawers/doors, prop them up on little boxes/cans. This will make it so you can paint all around them without having paint touch your plastic drop cloth. If paint dries touching a drop cloth, it will create weird dried paint pieces you have to sand off later/repaint.
- The best hack I’ve learned in the painting process is called “cutting in”. This allows you to get clean edges around your baseboards/walls WITHOUT using painters tape. To do this, grab an angled brush (like I described above) and lightly press into whatever edge you are wanting to paint. Let the paint travel to the area, and then slowly glide your brush along the edge. This will deposit the paint in a straight line because you are gliding the paint along!
- After you paint, add some new hardware! We grabbed ours from Home Depot and we love how it finishes off the look!
There you go! Now I hope you are inspired to paint your kitchen cabinets and update your kitchen! Don’t be afraid to also break out and paint your cabinets a fun color! There are tons of inspiration pictures on Pinterest! If you repaint your cabinets, tag me on Instagram (@dressingdallas) and show me the finished product!