Painted Cabinets

Painting these kitchen fixtures costs about a tenth of what new ones do. And if you put in the prep time, the rest is easy.

blue painted cabinets yellow stool

Editor's Note: To choose the correct paint or primer for your cabinet material, bring a door with you to the paint store and ask an expert.

If you're looking for another project, make the Spray-Painted Metal Stool (pictured above) to pair with your cabinets.

What You'll Need


  • Screwdriver
  • Painter’s tape
  • Pen or permanent marker
  • Degreasing cleaner, such as TSP-PF or Zep
  • Semigloss or gloss paint
  • Sandpaper or deglosser
  • Tack cloth
  • Paint roller and microfiber roller covers
  • Angled sash brush
  • Primer (optional)


  1. Remove hardware, doors, and drawers. Put pieces of painter's tape on each hardware item, door, and cabinet interior, and label them with the same number so it's easy to put them back where they belong.

  2. Apply degreasing cleaner to boxes, shelves, and doors, following manufacturer instructions. Wipe thoroughly. Let dry for at least a day, to avoid any moisture bleed-through in the final finish.

  3. Sand boxes and doors with 150-grit sandpaper or apply deglosser. Wipe with tack cloth. Using a microfiber roller, apply a thin coat of paint or primer (if your paint does not contain a primer); nip into narrow areas and details with brush. Let dry thoroughly. Lightly sand again and wipe clean.

  4. Repeat using method above, applying multiple thin coats of paint. Let dry completely.

  5. Reattach doors to boxes, and hardware to doors.

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