Cabinet Painting 101

3 Materials
1 Week

Life is too short to live with those ugly cabinets! Here is an easy and affordable way to revamp your space.

A lot of us are living with cabinets that just don't fit our vibe or style because of budget, but I am here to tell you that with paint you can easily and affordably change that. Don't be afraid to tackle this project because with a little bit of time and patience you can revamp the entire look of your home. My biggest tips for this project are to take your time and use high quality products. 

Step one: Remove all doors and drawers. Pro tip: Label each door and drawer so you know exactly where they go when re-installing. Another fun tip is to use 5oz dixie cups to prop up the doors and drawers for easy work on the rest of the steps! 

Step two: Remove all hardware and hinges. Make sure to store these parts some where you won't lose them!

Step three: Clean, clean clean. Use your favorite de-greasing cleaner and give the boxes, doors, and drawers and good scrub. 

Step four: Use a deglosser. Deglosser is a liquid sanding product and can be very helpful in prepping the surface for paint. Be sure to follow the directions on the product you choose, but pretty much you wipe it on and let the deglosser do the work. Be sure to wear gloves! 

Step five: I recommend a light sanding and another good wipe down with a tack cloth to remove all dirt and debris before you get started. 

Step six: Prime time! Alright, we are finally to the part where we are getting our paint brushes out. I recommend using BIN or KILZ high quality primers to prep the surface. Remember to only do light coats! You can use a paint sprayer or brush and roller just be sure to do light coats to avoid drips. Personally, I recommend two coats of primer (especially when going from dark to light) to save paint. 

Step seven: One more light sanding and wipe down with a tack cloth. 

Step eight: Yay, break out the paint. But what kind? There are all types of products for painting cabinets. You want to choose one that dries hard for the best finish. I highly recommend Benjamin Moore Advance. Do not skimp and buy a cheap product- it will lead to less than optimal finish, trust me. 

When it comes to the painting, I have sprayed and used a brush and roller. Both work great as long as you keep the light coats in mind. Personally, I like the control of a good brush and small roller but do love how quick a sprayer can make the job. 

Above you can see the progression of light coats that lead to a great finish. Take your time- it will be worth it! 

Step nine: Wait for the cabinets to dry. If you are able, I recommend waiting a few days to do the install to allow the paint some time to cure. 

Step ten: Re-install all the doors and consider new hardware to complete your brand new look! Step back and enjoy your newly revamped space. 

Here is the link to the products I use and recommend! 

Prime Time

Remember to use light coats!

Prime Time

Here I am applying light coats of prime to the doors.


Don't forget to sand between priming and painting!


Remember to use light coats while painting- use a spray gun or roller for best finish.

Use a deglosser to remove sheen. This was you will only have to do a light sanding.

I recommend Kilz or BIN primer.

Choose an excellent paint like Benjamin Moore Advance


We went with a two-toned look and the finish is quite beautiful.

Resources for this project:

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Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

  2 questions
  • Wandalie Wandalie on Jul 21, 2020

    Was your cabinets real wood? Mine are off the shelf home depo not real wood. Would love to paint them, but so afraid

  • Madora Leamon Madora Leamon on Jul 21, 2020

    What if the cabinets are the ones with the white plastic covering?


Join the conversation

5 of 13 comments
  • Dora Dora on Aug 01, 2020

    I know you used white paint on the top cabinets. What color did you use on the bottom cabinets. Love the cabinets. Great job

    • See 1 previous
    • Flipturn Flipturn on Oct 26, 2020

      It is a Sherwin Williams color. Here is the number.

      (SW indicates Sherwin Williams.)

      Keep in mind that any brand of paint can be tinted any color, even if the color number does not originate with the brand that you purchased. The paint department where you get the paint tinted should have the catalogue (likely on-line now) of cross reference numbers from one paint brand to another.

  • Kelly Darrah-Casey Kelly Darrah-Casey on Nov 18, 2020

    I love the black color, did you use the Satin finish? I’m trying to decide between a traditional paint or a Gel Stain. I do like seeing some of the woods grain show through.

    • Instagrahamhome Instagrahamhome on Nov 18, 2020

      Hi Kelly!

      For all of our cabinets I have used Benjamin Moore advance in satin. I highly recommend it.