• Hometalker
  • Villa Rica, GA
Asked on May 20, 2019


Erica VyersFlipturnDebi53


I thank you all for your help. We have consulted numerous professionals and are looking at the quotes.

We are going to keep the oak in a slightly darker (less gold) stain and continuing our plan to re-tile the floor.

Time to stick to the smaller projects.

Thanks again!!

I am considering painting mine with Bahr with Primer in a high gloss slightly off white color, so they are easy to wash.

Any suggestions?

I am not able to do all the 2-3 or steps that other methods require. I am 65 and have arthritis. There are a lot of cabinets. In the pic below there is still another set of doors on the pantry on the right not showing in the picture.

Is it better to use a brush (brush marks) or a roller? I am going to attempt this without removing the doors, so I need advice on how to do this without drip marks as well.

It is just my husband and myself, so they will not endure much abuse.

I know the cabinets look good in the picture, but they have a lot of wear and water damage around the sink and stove.

I tried sanding the bad areas and re-staining, but it did not work.

q has anyone painted their oak cabinets with wall paint with primer
14 answers
  • Kmdreamer
    on May 20, 2019

    It would scratch off easily

  • Kauai Breeze
    on May 20, 2019

    Wall paint would emphasize and grease spots or imperfections. Have you thought about hiring a painter?

    • Flipturn
      on May 22, 2019

      Yes, it is more work than you probably realize at this point in time.

      Climbing up on a step stool to remove the hardware alone for all these cabinets is not always easy for folks without arthritis in their hands.

      Speaking from personal experience, it is even more work and frustration than you can imagine to try to fix the mess you will have if this project is not approached the right way.

      Doors need to come off, and no shortcuts.

  • Cheryl A
    on May 20, 2019

    we have solid oak cabinets and we stained them - we tried painting some of the doors and they were too flat looking but I did paint my stained island in a black shiny paint and it has held up good to scratches,nicks, etc.


    Also, Behr is a wonderful paint you could always ask for advice at your local paint or Home Depot store - I took a small cabinet door off and took it with me to get the color I wanted.

  • Emily
    on May 20, 2019

    You should use a good quality paint, semi or gloss, preferably oil. DO remove the doors and hinges/hardware from the doors. It will be a much easier job. If health prevents doing this job thoroughly, don't attempt any changes. Wash what you can and call it a day.

    • Janet
      on May 20, 2019

      Yes, my health is good, but I do have severe arthritis which will be my major concern.

      They are clean, just badly worn and water stained by previous owner and our 14 years of use as well.

  • Kathy Gunter Law
    on May 20, 2019

    You might want to consider chalk paint. Here's a project that might help you:


  • GrandmasHouseDIY
    on May 20, 2019

    I would say that as long as you first clean them really well and then hand sand them then you should be ok. (You can buy a little sanding block, they're kinda squishy so they're easy to get into the nooks and crannies. Its important to rough up the surface and its easier then painting - make sure and clean them thoroughly again after sanding.)

    The key after the primer and paint though is to make sure you put at least two coats of a clear coat on. Polycrylic is water based and easy to clean up - a couple of coats will really help protect your paint job.

    A lot of folks swear by painting it on with a paint brush and then rolling over it with a foam roller. My mom and I did her cabinets with brushes and just did light coats and caught any drips as we went. Her cabinets were a similar color to yours. You can see how we did her kitchen here:


    So far her kitchen looks as good as the day we did it and its been over four years!

  • Tinyshoes
    on May 20, 2019

    Janet....Mine was a really dark oak and I used primer and painted a light cream..it brightened the room and I love it today as that was several years ago. I did, however, remove all doors and drawers as well as hardware and, yes, it was a job....I also was in my 60s but my arthritis was better than it is today. We also had covered filled area from top of cabinets to ceiling so that was easy to paint. Looks like you do have a lot of cabinets but I also see a lovely kitchen but I understand that pictures can be deceiving. I wish you lots of luck in your painting endeavor. Would love to see a after picture when you get it finished!

    • Janet
      on May 20, 2019

      Thank you. I do love the kitchen and wish the finish on the cabinets were in good shape. I would gladly keep them as they are. We get plenty of light, so it is really not as dark as it appears in the picture.

      But I have to admit, I love white cabinets.

  • Marett
    on May 20, 2019

    If you really want a professional and polished look you will have to take the doors off. Unfortunately gravity is not your best friend when it comes to vertical surfaces.

    I personally would take the doors off but leave the hinges or the cabinets. Lable the doors in the hinge circle of the door. Lightly sand them and use a quality primer. Go sparingly don't put on too thick as not all paints are self-levelling.

    I would use Benjamin Moore's Advance waterborne Oil based paint. It is a water based oil paint that is so-ooo easy to clean up. Use a small roller to apply the paint, 2-3 coats. It will take a bit of time but it will be worth it.

    • Janet
      on May 20, 2019

      I have worried about drip marks due to gravity, but I was thinking about when I paint doors and walls, I use paint sparingly to avoid drips. That was why I was considering a primer and paint mix so I could use sparingly.

      I was also thinking a semi-gloss would be easy to keep clean.

      This was a last resort hopeful idea before hiring it out.

  • William
    on May 20, 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.


  • Shore grandmom
    on May 21, 2019

    Honestly, it sounds and looks like a job that should be done by a professional. The doors, drawer fronts, handles, knobs and hinges should come off. With your arthritis it would be tough. Also, I wouldn't use a paint and primer in one kind of paint. Chalk paint or an oil based paint work better than wall paint, they hold up better with cleaning them.

  • Dee
    on May 21, 2019

    Painting cabinets is not an easy job. You have to prep them properly for them to look good in the end. They must be cleaned, sanded lightly for the paint and primer to adhere. With your arthritis it is going to be much more difficult. You really do need to take the doors off and I would buy a spray painter for smoother coverage. I do know someone who used Rustoleum spray paint on their cabinets, but she took the doors off to do it. I have painted bathroom vanities and the spray painter was a life saver.

    You need to use a good primer, like Kilz or Zinser 123 with bonding and stain blockers. Then lightly sand. After that use whatever color paint you like. You will probably have to do 2-3 coats. The boxes can be rolled with a mohair roller made for smooth surfaces.

    Do not use Chalk paint, it wears off too easily. Behr Majestic is a good paint to use on cabinets, as well as SW Acrylic and Benjamin More. This is going to be a long tedious project for you.

  • Debi53
    on May 21, 2019

    I have painted multiple kitchens (and everything else you can think of) for over 40 years. Kitchen cabinets are not for the fainthearted. You really must take off the doors and all the hardware. Please do not use chalk paint. It will does not wash easily unless you put poly over it. This is a job I think you should hire out. You want it to look really good and hold up for many years. This is a labor intensive job. Save money by doing smaller jobs yourself and let the pros handle this one. You'll be glad you did. Also, consider going with dark (charcoal gray?) cabinets on the bottom and white on top. This will give your kitchen that bright look you like, but the dark color on bottom will not show dirt and drips from everyday use like white lower cabinets do.

  • Flipturn
    on May 22, 2019

    Options to painting that you may want to consider:

    -taking the worst damaged doors into a cabinet shop to get them refinished

    -purchasing new doors all together (this is called re-facing) Here is where you can have the new white doors if you really want them.

  • Erica Vyers
    on May 22, 2019

    I would use the Heirloom Traditions paint, they boast minimal prep by only cleaning with a deglosser/ degreaser and painting (white requires a layer of primer) with results of a beautiful and durable finish. I used the paint for a chest of drawers and the white was opaque and rich and only required 2 coats. Try their paint in a small area of the inside cabinet, etc. I love it!

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