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How to Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets

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Hi folks! Before I left for SNAP last week I gave you guys the reveal of our painted kitchen cabinets.  Our maple builder grade cabinets went creamy white and gorgeous gray.  I have been wanting to paint our kitchen cabinets white since we moved in 6 years ago.  So today I’m going to share all the details on how to Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets!

How to Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets White

You can check out the before and after painted kitchen makeover photos here.

A couple weeks ago I shared with you guys how I prepped my cabinets for paint.  You can check out the step by step process in that post.  Today we get down to the painting fun and share with you how to paint your kitchen cabinets.

As I’ve stated before… painting your kitchen cabinets isn’t for the faint of heart!  Our kitchen (and garage where the cabinet doors were painted) were in chaos for about 3 weeks.   I didn’t paint everyday.  There were days I didn’t want to see paint (and I LOVE paint).    Just getting the cabinets ready to paint took a little over a week.  I’m tell you this not to discourage you from doing it, because if you’ve been LONGING to paint your kitchen cabinets I think you should!  But… I want to be honest with you… it’s a long process especially if you have a larger kitchen like us (we’ve got a butler’s pantry around the right side (in the photo above) which has an additional 8 cabinet doors and 4 drawers.  But I promise you… the results are SO worth it!

Ok… let’s get down to it.  At this point you’ve removed the hardware, cleaned the cabinets REALLY well, degreased and/or sanded (depending on your cabinets) and have primed all your surfaces (with 1 or 2 coats depending on the grain of your cabinets).  You’ll find more details on all of these steps in my Prepping Your Cabinets for Paint post.

Kitchen Cabinet Supply List: (Affiliate Links provided for your convenience)


1st StepLightly Sanding your primed surfaces.  I used a sanding block and would run my fingers over the surface to make sure it felt smooth.  This step is REALLY important.  Your painted surface is only going to look as the time you take to make sure it’s smooth.

How to Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets Lightly Sand

2nd StepPAINT…. yep, it’s finally time to paint.    On our cabinet bases I used a Purdy angled brush to cut in and paint all the details.

How to Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets, Cut in the Details with a Brush

Then I used a 3” foam roller to smooth over the larger, open spaces.

How to Paint Your Kitchen Cabinet, Foam Roller

How to Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets, Painting the Island Gray

3rd StepSpray your cabinet doors!  I used a HomeRight sprayer for my cabinet doors.  I love this sprayer.  I’ve used it on a couple projects now.  If you don’t have a sprayer you could definitely use the brush and foam roller (you’ll see below I did this for my final coat).  It does take a little longer, but it’s definitely doable.

How to Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets, Spraying your Doors

I used ProClassic paint from Sherwin-Williams and when it was sprayed through my sprayer it initially looked like this… all splotchy.  But this paint is amazing… it’s self-leveling and within 10 minutes you could see it smoothing itself out… amazing I tell you!

How to Paint Your Kitchen Cabinet Doors

I had an assembly line going (having a paint buddy is great for this part).  Being a paint lover is great too… paint cans were great for letting those cabinet doors dry.  In the upper right corner of the photo you can see my “spray area”.  That’s where I would spray each cabinet and then I would move it carefully to one of the paint cans to dry.  Make sure when you are moving the doors to pick them up from the bottom of the doors, not the sides.  Lots of squats people… who said painting isn’t a workout!

I let each side dry 24 hours.  I started with the inside of the doors (safer if I messed up) and then finished with the front side.

4th StepRepeats steps 1 and 2.   Once you’ve let the paint dry a good 6-24 hours it’s time to sand again.  Check your paint to see how long you need to dry between coats and remember the temperature and humidity will affect that timing as well.  I let mine dry overnight.

5th StepFor the final coat on my cabinet doors I used a brush and roller.  I wanted to have ultimate control of the final coat.

How to Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets

6th StepLet it dry!  I let the cabinet doors, drawers and bases dry 2 days before attaching the new hinges.  You want to let the paint cure well before you start touching those beautiful painted cabinets.

So let review…  once you’ve removed hardware and have primed all your surfaces to paint…

1st Step – Lightly Sanding your primed surfaces.

2nd Step – PAINT…. yep, it’s finally time to paint… I used a angled brush and foam roller.

3rd Step – Spray your cabinet doors!

4th Step… Repeats steps 1 and 2.

5th Step… For the final coat on my cabinet doors I used a brush and roller.

6th Step… Let it dry!  This seriously was so hard… I just wanted to see those doors hanging and a glimpse at the final product.

So there you have it friends!  Let me know if you have any questions.  Next week I’ll be sharing all about our gorgeous hardware and how to install it.

How to Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets

Here’s how to Prep Your Cabinets for Paint

Prepping Cabinets for Paint

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Hi Maryann,

    I agree with your statement that “painting cabinets is not for the faint of heart” Many people think that just deciding to do it is enough.

    However, having a commitment is better since it can often take a whole day or two to really get the job done especially for someone doing it for the first time. This post also shows what goes into doing it right, from prep up to the last step.

    I’ll happily recommend this guide to my readers any day.

    1. I painted the inside and outside of the doors. Our cabinets are some sort of partial wood cabinets, where are insides have a white lining, so I only had to paint the outsides.

  2. My husband and I are wanting to do some renovations in our home. A part of the project would be painting the kitchen cabinets. I had no idea that we should prime the cabinets before we paint. We want the paint to looks smooth and bright, so it is good to know that primer helps with that.

  3. There are so many projects I could use this for, but I think the first one would be the chair rail for my daughter’s bedroom.

  4. Love how these turned out. Makes a huge difference in the overall look of your space. Have you considered painting the soffit above your cabinets white and adding crown moulding. I have seen a few other kitchens like this and it really elevates the visual height of the ceilings. I think it adds a high end look without having to buy custom cabinetry. Thanks for the tutorial! I may try this if I can muster up the courage.

  5. I may have convince Hubster to paint our kitchen cabinets white. My boys are so messy and don’t see the splatters they make. So they’re dried on before I see them. How is the paint holding up to scrubbing?

    1. Young Wifey – I’ve only wiped them down a few times since I’ve painted them, but so far so good!

  6. Love how your cabinets turned out!! I am in the process of painting our “orangy builder grade cabinets” right now. Just wondering what sheen you used on them. Thanks

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