How To Refinish Old Kitchen Cabinets With Valspar Cabinet Paint

9 Materials
3 Days

We recently gave our 70s kitchen a complete makeover. It needed work on everything: cabinets, floors, walls, molding. I also built an island and made a passthrough/breakfast bar. It was a lot of work, but definitely worth it! We are very happy with the outcome.

Today I'm showing step-by-step how I painted the kitchen cabinets. (I'll also be posting on the DIY island and breakfast bar that we added.)

I am including the video if you'd rather watch that.

Here is our before...

Step 1:

After removing the cabinet doors, we wiped them down with a product called Krud Kutter to degrease them. We also degreased the cabinets.

Step 2:

Next, using 180 grit sandpaper, I sanded the cabinets and then took a damp cloth and wiped the dust off.

Step 3:

Then, using 180 grit sandpaper on my orbital sander, I roughed up the cabinet doors to make the paint adhere better. I wiped the dust off with a damp cloth and then a dry cloth.

Step 4:

With an angled brush, I applied the first thin coat of paint to the cabinets.

Step 5:

Next, I painted the cabinet doors with a roller. I started with the back of the doors first.

I laid the cabinet doors out on plastic and let them dry. Once they all dried, I applied a second coat to the backs of the doors.

Step 6:

Once the backs of the doors had dried thoroughly, we flipped them over and painted the fronts. We used the paint brush for the grooves and then finished with the roller. We ended up putting 3 coats on the front of the cabinet doors and the cabinets. (Only did 2 coats on the back of the doors)

Step 7:

Next, after degreasing the hardware using Krud Kutter, I laid them out and spray painted them with Rustoleum Universal Metallic Paint.

Step 8:

After everything dried, we put the doors back on the cabinets and installed the hardware.

We love the brighter look of the kitchen now!

Hope you enjoyed this, and happy home improvement!

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Frequently asked questions

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3 of 4 questions
  • Carolyn Carolyn on Jun 03, 2021

    Didn't that turn out beautifully?? Wonderful job. Enjoy!

  • Donna Marie Donna Marie on Jun 22, 2021

    I wonder since I am painting for the second time (as they have worn off around the pulls) should I give them a coat of polyurethane to keep that from happening again? My cabinets are identical to yours, by the way, or at least they were, and I painted them white. They are very good cabinets--they just look bad in places around the pulls!

  • Gra30175772 Gra30175772 on Jun 30, 2021

    Is it possible to paint Formica kitchen cabinets? My cabinets are 45 years old and are in very good condition..

    Audrey Grant


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4 of 30 comments
  • Earnie Earnie on Jun 05, 2021

    Great job. My kitchen is almost identical. I would love to do what you did but can't get up the nerve yet.

    • See 1 previous
    • Steve Steve on Jun 17, 2021

      Hi Donna Marie- You could actually use the Valspar cabinet paint. According to the instructions on the can, you don't have to sand. I sanded just because in my experience if anything is glossy, paint has a harder time of sticking and can peel. My cabinets had a high gloss so I sanded them just to dull them a bit. The Valspar paint can also be tinted to the color you want. If you decide to paint them just give them a good cleaning and make sure there's no greasy residue from years of cooking before you do so. Hope that helps.

  • Steve Steve on Jun 06, 2021

    It's like pulling a band aid off. Just gotta do it. I put it off a bit too being there's a lot to do in this old house we bought, but we got tired of looking at it and just tackled it.