My New Favorite Way to Paint Kitchen Cabinets

8 Materials
$250
5 Days
Medium

In my last house, I painted my kitchen white and shared a tutorial on the best way to paint kitchen cabinets. And I still stand by that tutorial! But, I've also found an easier way that I love and thought I'd share it with you today.
my new favorite way to paint kitchen cabinets
This is our new old house, with the original cabinets from 1979. They were beautiful solid wood, but sooooo not my style. I love the way the kitchen operates, I just didn't love the orangey oak cabinet color. All they needed was a little refresh, but I wanted to find an easier way, without sacrificing any of the quality or durability of my last kitchen.
my new favorite way to paint kitchen cabinets
It turns out the secret is in the paint! DecoArt Satin Enamels are specifically formulated for painting wood furniture and cabinets, and they allow you do the project with NO SANDING and almost no prep. Yay!
my new favorite way to paint kitchen cabinets
The first step, and really the only prep required, is to clean your cabinets well. I like Krud Kutter. Cleaning is especially important for kitchen cabinets because of the grease and food residue that can accumulate on them over the years.
my new favorite way to paint kitchen cabinets
Then I primed all the surfaces with DecoArt's Stainblocker, which is a primer/sealer. I used a roller brush for flat surfaces and a small brush for the inlaid parts.

Do NOT remove the cabinet doors yet. It's easier to prime and paint them while they're still hanging on the frames.
my new favorite way to paint kitchen cabinets
The stainblocker goes on looking like glue, but dries clear. This is handy for leaving your kitchen looking normal while you wait a couple of days for the primer to dry.
my new favorite way to paint kitchen cabinets
Time to paint! I started by filling in the smaller areas with a small brush. Then I rolled on the paint over the larger areas, using a 6" foam roller. I also found it helpful to lightly drag a clean paintbrush over the just-rolled areas as I was going, just to make sure there was no roller texture left behind.

I did two coats of paint. There's no need to sand in between coats. Yay!
my new favorite way to paint kitchen cabinets
Be careful of drips in the corners. This paint doesn't drip or sag very easily, but you still have to watch where the most paint accumulates.
my new favorite way to paint kitchen cabinets
This is how the kitchen looked while I was painting the doors. Not too bad!
my new favorite way to paint kitchen cabinets
Then I took the doors off to can paint the frames. Be sure to label your doors BEFORE you remove them! And check out my blog post for tips on the easiest way to keep track of which door goes to which cabinet.
my new favorite way to paint kitchen cabinets
While the doors are off, you can more easily reach the sides to paint them. I decided not to paint the insides of the doors or cabinets.
my new favorite way to paint kitchen cabinets
Here's the finished product. A fresh coat of paint even made my granite look better!
my new favorite way to paint kitchen cabinets
I added white hinges and silver pulls from DL Lawless hardware to dress up the cabinets and hide the hinges a little.
my new favorite way to paint kitchen cabinets
I couldn't be happier with how these cabinets turned out. I used about 10 jars of paint, and 4 jars of stainblocker.
my new favorite way to paint kitchen cabinets
It's never easy taking on a kitchen refresh, but this method made the whole process easier. I didn't have to rip up the whole kitchen, store everything from my cabinets somewhere else, and clean up layers of sanding dust. Just clean, prime, and paint.

Be sure to check out the full blog post for all my tips and tricks to make it even easier.

P.S. It's been about a year now and I'm thrilled with the way this paint is holding up to everyday use!
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Meredith Wouters

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 273 questions
  • Dee dee
    on Jan 8, 2019

    Can I put brown glaze over the white paint and do I need to seal the glaze

  • Alison Shoup
    7 days ago

    Did you fill the holes from old hinges and drill new ones? Also, did you seal the paint with anything, wax or poly?

  • Lynn Goins
    2 days ago

    Meredith, did you use the pure white or the warm white?

Join the conversation

2 of 308 comments
  • Chandra
    on Dec 27, 2018

    It is amazing how the white cabinets looks. It made the kitchen much brighter and lighter...just beautiful👏👏👏😍

  • Charlotte Mwagbe
    on Jan 3, 2019

    First of all thanks for this post, I've been looking for an easy way to paint a couple of items. If I want to use these paints on a small china cabinet and buffet can I still get away with no sanding? The reason I ask is because the buffet seems to have a shellac or coating of some type that repels water/liquids. The china cabinet has a finish more like kitchen cabinets. I want to go white with both.

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