Painting kitchen cabinets


I am planning on painting the kitchen cabinets. They have been painted previously. I buy my paint etc at Lowes since I have their credit card. My question is what kind of paint should I get? And what sheen. Kinda want the more shiny sheen but maybe semi-gloss is not right. They told me to use this very short nap roller for cabinets. I will use that, except for areas I need to use the brush. Also someone said to add Floe-trol to the paint. Good idea? I need all the help I can get to paint kitchen cabinets...thanks

  17 answers
  • Janice Janice on Mar 21, 2021

    Hello Ronn, I would suggest you use a good primer before painting or a very good paint that includes a primer. For a shiny finish you'd want to choose a high-gloss paint or else you could use a clear sealer coat. I know that Flo-Trol extends the paint's drying time so you can work with getting the finish the way you want it. It's used in paint pours art work but can't help you about whether it would be good to add to your paint for a cabinet painting project. Good luck with your cabinet painting project!

  • on Mar 21, 2021

    Make sure your preparation is perfect. Clean with TSP and sand well. Prime with a top quality primer. If you don’t do this part well the paint finish won’t stick well for long.

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Mar 21, 2021

    Hello! I have not personally done this project. But I found the bloggers link very interesting. It seems to be a nice white cabinet refurb.

    It might be helpful to review.

    Hope this helps!.

    Pine Kitchen Before and After | Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

  • Mogie Mogie on Mar 21, 2021

    Wood Cabinets: Paint adheres best over a scuffed surface, making true wood cabinets a great candidate for painting. Sand the surface to prep it for paint and the result is a better bond and smoother finish. This is especially important if your wood cabinets are already stained or have a glossy finish - you will need to get through this finish layer first, either with sandpaper or a liquid deglosser.

    If your wood cabinets are bare, natural wood, they may need little to no sanding. However, know that they will absorb a lot of paint - especially if you go with water-based latex paint. A primer will assist in making sure the coverage is even and thorough.

    Wood Veneer Cabinets: If your cabinets have a wood veneer—essentially a very thin layer of real hardwood over a pressed material—you will also need to sand before painting your kitchen cabinets. But before you break out the sandpaper or paint, carefully inspect the veneer for loose edges, chips, or cracks. Repair these first with wood glue before sanding the veneered surface.

    Don’t sand too much, since the veneer is just a thin layer hiding what’s beneath. You’re just looking to make the surface rough enough to give the primer and paint something to adhere to.

    MDF: Kitchen cabinets made from MDF are great candidates for painting, as long as you know how to properly prep them. You have two priorities when prepping MDF cabinets for painting: seal the edge and use an oil-based primer.

    The edge of MDF is more porous, and if it doesn’t already have a finished surface, then you’ll want to use some drywall compound to seal it and keep moisture from swelling the material during the painting process.

    The other important thing to remember is to use an oil-based primer. Due to the more porous nature of MDF, water-based primers can swell the surface. Use an oil-based primer for the first coat and then you can paint kitchen cabinets with water-based latex paint without worrying about moisture absorption.

    Laminate Cabinets: Painting laminate kitchen cabinets is possible, but more tricky than painting wood or MDF cabinets. Laminate is a printed, plastic that is adhered on top of a base layer - usually a composite material. The finish is slick so you’ll have to make sure you put in the prep work for a quality finish.

    To help you out, you might opt for a laminate-specific primer or paint. These products are specially designed to bond to the shiny surface of laminate. But you don’t have to spring for laminate-specific products - a quality primer will go a long way in helping paint stick to the surface.

    You’ll still need to sand the surface before and after priming - just make sure you use a fine sandpaper and go at it softly to avoid sanding through the laminate surface.

  • William William on Mar 21, 2021

    Bast to use a foam roller. You'll get a smoother finish.

  • We've done it. We used a foam roller with a really short, tight nap, otherwise you will get a roller look. And we used a satin finish. It wasn't glossy, but not matte either...and I agree with the tip to prime well. That's the key. Hope that helps!

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Mar 22, 2021

    You should use cabinet paint. You need a self leveling paint. If you can spray it, that is the best method. If not, a foam roller would be a good option.

    Prepping is most importing. Cleaning well is key. Degreaser may be needed first. Then TSP. When removing all hardware, place in a sealed container so you don't lose anything. Separate for each type of hardware. Number doors and drawers with painter's tape and put the corresponding number on the inside of the cabinet. You might be surprised and find not all are the same exact size.

  • I would make sure you take the cabinet doors off and paint them on easels, let them dry and rehang. Make sure you take off all the hardware, too and you can either replace it or keep the old. I wouldn't go too glossy, either a matte or semi-gloss. I would do 2 coats of primer, so that the paint will hold on well and to cover anything. Make sure you clean the cabinets really well, so you don't have any debris on them. Good luck!!

  • Sharon Sharon on Mar 24, 2021

    I prefer satin finish paint as it shows less imperfections than semi-gloss. I use a 6" foam or low nap mini roller and a good badger brush to drag off any excess especially at the edges and remove any texture from the roller. I put buckets down in the garage or backyard on a nice day and lay the doors flat so no drips. Be sure to draw a diagram and number each door and drawer so you can get them back in the same place.... use a bit of painters tape on the back. Remove any hardware and hinges, I put them in bowls or jars for each door. Sand as smooth as possible or strip them. Use a tack cloth to get all dust off. I prefer two light coats to trying to put it on too heavy. Since they've been painted you shouldn't have to do a primer, I usually give a light sand to remove any bumps between coats and then tack off, I usually then paint the cabinet face frames.

  • Kmdreamer Kmdreamer on Mar 25, 2021

    Yes semi gloss if you want shiny and small narrow roller ,if you want a glare then use egg shell finish

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Mar 26, 2021

    With good prep, you will have a successful project. A product like Krudkutter will help you get all the surface grime that builds up even in clean kitchens. There should be no loose paint, etc. left on the surface. Are you changing your hardware? If you are going to do do any filling or repairs, you want to do that before painting. Use Kilz or another good sealer before painting. You don't want old stains or wood soap etc. to seep through your new paint. This is not a one day project, so take your time and do a good job! Good luck!