How to paint cabinets that are not real wood?


My kitchen cabinets are 18years old. They are not real wood. Can they be painted or do I just need to replace them? I have tried cleaning them because some have grease from cooking.

  6 answers
  • Alice Alice on Sep 24, 2018

    You have to clean the grease off first - paint will not stick to the grease.

    Next sand them down. If they are metal, make sure you get all the rust and flakes off. Then prime and paint. The local paint store should be able to point you towards the best product for kitchens.

  • Laura Cooper Laura Cooper on Sep 25, 2018

    TSP is good for removing residue. I use Kilz to prime virtually any surfaces. Best paint for furniture and cabinets is a latex enamel gloss paint.

  • Brenda Brenda on Sep 25, 2018

    I have a manufactured (double wide). The cabinets were horrid, not only not real wood, but the very thin plastic film (think cheap fake contact paper) was lifted and peeping. I removed the plastic film, used a heat gun when needed but most peeled off. The cabinet doors were made from what was not much more then paper. I carefully sanded and repaired any dents. Primed with Zinnser 123, 2 coats. Painted, sanded, 2nd coat. I did not apply a sealer over the paint, I had to paint them outside and ran out of good weather. They are holding up wonderfully. They do get a chip occasionally, my mother has moved in and bangs them with her walker. A little touch up paint works. I ran into a big problem with the cabinet faces. They were made out of so many different pieces of 'wood'. More like scraps covered with the plastic film. I ended up getting 1/4 in sanded plywood and refacing them. I cut the plywood, attached to face. Lots of wood seal at seams, lots of sanding, primer and paint. ( I couldn't afford to cut the faces out in a single piece, very small budget) I splurged on new hardware, basic stuff from the big box store. I am thrilled with my cabinets. My kitchen went from trashy to bright and warm.

    • JeannieF JeannieF on Sep 25, 2018

      Thank you Brenda. you solved my dilemma with my cabinets. I really appreciate your answer to my question and I will try this!

  • No, you do not have to get new cabinets. It is super easy to paint your kitchen cabinets with Dixie Belle.

    Step one : Clean with White Lightning

    Step two: If you have shiny or slippery cabinets then 1st use a coat of Slick Stick by DBP

    Step Three : Paint one to two coats of Dixie Belle Chalk Mineral paint

    Step Four : Use Gator Hide for a water resistant finish.

    I am attaching some kitchens that have been painted with Dixie Belle Paint so you can see the outcome.

    Also, we did have a series of LIVE videos on a step by step tutorial of how to paint your kitchen cabinets. If you would like to watch them....

    Day one :

    Day two :

    Day three:

    Day four:

    Teri - If you ever need help or have any questions you can feel free to call us at 813-909-1962 during business hours. We have a full staff here eager to help you!

  • These cabinets were painted with Dixie Belle paint.

  • You can absolutely paint!

Your comment...