How to Repaint Kitchen and Bathroom Cabinets

Few do-it-yourself projects give you the transformative bang for your buck as repainting kitchen or bathroom cabinets. For homeowners looking for more-affordable makeover options, contractors and remodelers can pitch repainting cabinets as well.

DIY kitchen or bathroom cabinet repainting can take anywhere from a few days to a week. For a free consultation about cabinet makeovers, talk with a Dunn cabinet designer.

A fresh coat of paint can convey a sense of style while giving your kitchen or bathroom a bright new look. Here’s a step-by-step guide to repainting cabinets, along with some smart tips to help your project go as smoothly as possible.

  1. 011024 SR SM Jan 24 blog repaint cabinets to JAPrep cabinet surfaces; repair surfaces and hardware.

Assess the condition of your cabinets, identifying any needed repairs or replacements. Remove all cabinet doors, hardware and drawers. Look for any dents, imperfections or scratches that will need to be sanded, filled or buffed out.

  1. Clean surfaces thoroughly.

Remove dirt, grease and grime with a mixture of mild detergent and water. Using medium-grit sandpaper (120 to 150 grit), sand cabinet surfaces to provide better adhesion for a paint-ready finish.

  1. Choose the right tools.

Select high-quality paintbrushes and foam rollers for smoother finishes. Choose brushes with synthetic bristles for easier application and cleaning. For larger projects, a paint sprayer can be a time-saving choice.

  1. Go with only high-quality paint like Benjamin Moore.

Choose paint specifically formulated for cabinets, which will ensure durability and a smooth texture. Water-based acrylic paints work well because of their low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOC) and quick drying time. A good choice is Benjamin Moore’s Advance Interior Paint.

  1. BenMooreLogoPrime for long-lasting results.

Priming creates a stable base for paint. Select a high-quality primer matched to the material of your cabinets. Apply a thin, even coat of primer, then allow it to dry completely before sanding the surface with a fine-grit (220 grit) sandpaper. After sanding, use a tack cloth to remove dust particles.

  1. Paint like a pro.

Using the right technique as you repaint your cabinets will give you professional-looking results. Apply thin, even coats, working in the direction of the wood grain for a seamless appearance. With brushes, use long, smooth strokes to minimize brush marks. On large, flat surfaces, a roller might be a better option. To make sure you don’t miss any spots, start with cabinet frames, then move to doors and drawers. Allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next one. Follow recommendations on cabinet paint, but two or three coats may be needed for an optimal finish.

  1. Allow plenty of time for paint to dry.

After applying the final coat, leave ample time for drying and curing. The repainted cabinet surface may be dry to the touch, but the paint might not have fully cured. Follow the paint manufacturer’s recommendations for drying and curing times before installing hardware and reinstalling cabinet doors.

  1. Keep cabinets looking good after repainting.

To prolong the life and beauty of your repainted cabinets, avoid harsh cleaning solutions and regularly wipe down surfaces with a damp cloth to remove dust and prevent buildup. Your cabinets, looking freshly installed, will breathe new life into a kitchen or bathroom and, with routine maintenance, are sure to stand the test of time.