Asked on Apr 19, 2019

How do I paint kitchen cabinets?

Vickie ColemanKim  |Exquisitely UnremarkableRebecca Taylor


After 23 years I'm tired of the oak cabinets in my kitchen. We don't have replacing them in our budget right now, especially since my husband just lost his job. I would love to know the steps in turning my cabinets into white ones to brighten up my kitchen. I'd also like to do a tile backsplash if you have any suggestions for that as well. Thank you so much.

4 answers
  • William
    on Apr 19, 2019

    How to Paint Cabinets

    Make sure they are clean and dry. Remove the doors and hardware. Mark the doors and cabinets with tape where they go. Lightly sand the doors and cabinets to remove any gloss and roughen the surface for paint with 220 grit sandpaper or a green Scotch Brite pad.. Use a tack cloth or damp rag to remove dust after sanding. Prime with a stain blocking primer like KILZ. Acrylic or water base paints are low-fume and clean up easily with water. Alkyd or oil-based paints require good ventilation because the paint contains solvents that can irritate your lungs and make you feel sick. Alkyd options require mineral spirits for cleanup, but they provide a hard, durable paint finish. Whichever you use, buy the best-quality paint you can afford for a lasting kitchen cabinet finish. Seal with at least three coats with a water based polyurethane. Use a small foam roller and foam brush for a smooth finish.

    What other Hometalkers did.

  • Rebecca Taylor
    on Apr 19, 2019

    Hi Chris, I see someone has given you the link to painting the cabinets so here is the link to back-splash projects.

  • You can also check out this DIY and she follows up with how long they've lasted.

  • Vickie Coleman
    on Apr 21, 2019

    I’ve repainted cabinets from glossy oil based paint or sealer without any sanding, I use a primer called bulls eye 1-2-3 by zinnser, it takes painting with primer then applying the finish coat but it’s very durable and has lasted for over 30 years. The primer is a water base, I was switching from oil to water base, oil paints have a tendency to yellow over time, the primer is specifically formulated to paint over items that have oil based products. After priming I used semi-gloss white water based paint, for more sheen you can use hi-gloss. To me much easier to prime then paint without all the sanding and is very durable. I am currently redoing trim work in a 100 year old house that has all oil based paints in it, from doors that were stained a very dark Mahoney to crown molding and cabinets with same procedure and products as stated above, very pleased with outcome. Not promoting any products but I know this primer does the job

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