What and how to repaint kitchen cabinets ?


My husband let his daughter repaint my kitchen and cabinets about 2 years ago. And they need to be repainted really bad. I didn’t want to say anything but now I have to redo the walls and cabinets. I can’t afford to buy new cabinets. So I need to know what type of sandpaper I need to use to remove the old paint from the cabinets and the best paint to paint over the walls and cabinets. I DON’T want to go back to the same color either. Any idea of colors would really help to. Here is a few pictures of my cabinets and you will see why I need to redo them.

q what and how to repaint kitchen cabinets

This is the way all the cabinets look

q what and how to repaint kitchen cabinets
q what and how to repaint kitchen cabinets
q what and how to repaint kitchen cabinets

These are the colors in my kitchen now. I’ve repainted my dining room light beige.

  21 answers
  • Patty Patty on Aug 10, 2020

    Oh my! I am not a person who would tackle this. Hope you get good advice.

  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on Aug 10, 2020

    Hi Tammy! This is how I would do it.

    Remove all of your cabinet drawers and doors and tackle them wit ha medium grit sand paper on an orbital sander. You're going to go through A LOT of sand paper because the paint will gum them up but it should work just fine to give you a nice smooth surface to repaint.

    After cleaning them really well I would do two coats of primer, two coats of paint and two coats of at least a semi gloss polycrylic. I would use all water based (acrylic) products. Focus on doing light coats and take your time.

    Because your countertop looks like it has a little cream it in, a light cream on your cabinets might be really pretty :) Nowadays two tone cabinets is becoming popular. You could consider a darker paint color for your base cabinets.

    Good luck!

  • Nan W. Nan W. on Aug 10, 2020

    Actually, I've redone kitchen cabinets (various houses) a number of times. I would exactly follow GrandmasHouse advice.

    Color: you can not go wrong with any neutral! Gray, taupe, etc

  • Recreated Designs Recreated Designs on Aug 10, 2020

    Hi Tammy, I would use a medium grit sandpaper to rough up the paint. It looks like there are some drips though and those will take a little more elbow grease. You may want to start with a coarse paper to get the bulk of those off and then sand them smooth with a medium grit. As for colour, it really is person and you should choose a colour that will make you happy each time you look at it :)

  • William William on Aug 10, 2020

    A few ways to do it.


  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Aug 10, 2020

    Here is some ideas


    you could paint the cabinets a nice gray and then a shade or two darker on your island or lower cabinets

  • Dee Dee on Aug 10, 2020

    Diane at the blog In My Own Style has an excellent tutorial on how to repaint cabinets.


  • Betsy Betsy on Aug 10, 2020

    Hi Tammy: Here are some sites that are sure to help:



    This one is really good!



    Good luck

  • Flipturn Flipturn on Aug 10, 2020

    From the pictures you posted it looks to me like:

    -there was insufficient preparation of the surface completed before painting

    -poor quality brushes or rollers were used

    -paint coats did not dry adequately in between applications

    -there wasn't any light sanding in between coats of paint

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Aug 11, 2020

    Putting my color vote in - gray, blue, or green - depending on your decor and preference. The photo looks like she just painted them. If it were me, I would probably do a strip of existing then sand and try to get to bare wood. To short cut, you could clean with TSP after sanding any rough spots or drips like what is showcased in the posted photo.

  • Oliva Oliva on Aug 11, 2020

    Hi, Tammy,

    I'd start with 60 grit sandpaper, but be prepared to have to use 40 grit. Using an orbital sander will save some time. Make sure your sanding device is attached to a larger shop vac, to contain most of the dust. You'll need goggles, hearing protection, vibration reducing gloves, and a great deal of time and patience to remove the existing paint.

    You can wrap slim pieces of sandpaper over a pencil or similar to save your fingers when doing edges. I'd take it down to bare wood, gradually increasing grits (40,60, 80, 100, 150, 200- you can skip a grade, if you trust you'll get the finish you're seeking). Remember to vacuum and tack cloth, regularly, when sanding. Use wood filler with wood fibers to fill in divots.

    I think your husband needs to help you with this project, if he knows how to do this, correctly.

    I agree with the taupe or similar neutral for upper cabinets, then perhaps a somewhat darker color for base cabinets, if your kitchen size is sufficiently large.

    You definitely have admirable perseverance to take on this task.

  • Jeremy Hoffpauir Jeremy Hoffpauir on Aug 11, 2020

    Here is a link to a great cabinet painting kit, which makes the process much easier: https://amzn.to/3fPj3rL

    Hope this Helps! Jeremy - https://do-daddy.com

  • Lauren of Mom Home Guide Lauren of Mom Home Guide on Aug 11, 2020

    I would use an orbital too with coarse grit sandpaper. I used milk paint by General Finishes on my kitchen cabinets, and the finish has been great so far. They have several shades of gray if you'd like to try that. They also have a pretty faded green color, basil. You can see my kitchen cabinets here.

  • Janice Janice on Aug 11, 2020

    Lots of good idvice on painting the cabinetry. Just know it is a messy, time-consuming job and if done correctly with no runs, drips, or defects in the paint. I started my paint project with the island and found I do not have the desire to diy this change further. In my book, it's too much work for the return.

  • ROSIE ROSIE on Aug 11, 2020

    I would love to see pictures when you are done, Tammy. Good Luck!

  • Sharon Sharon on Aug 12, 2020

    I would strip the cabinet doors and drawers (if needed) cause thats going to be hard to remove all that lumpy paint, bits of residue from previous sanding. I am kind of freak for wanting cabinets to be as smooth as a baby's butt, and sanding never did that for me, and took to long. Take them off, put them in the garage or on the lawn on top of buckets and strip them and use steel wool to get them smooth, give a sanding, use a tack cloth to prevent the lumps and/or strain the paint through a nylon. I apply the paint with a mini roller, and then drag off with a really good brush (my fav is a badger brush). If a second coat is needed, sand lightly, tack off, and then do your second coat.

  • Annie Annie on Aug 14, 2020

    First they will beed a good washing, Then a sanding and start with a good primer/sealer. Then paint with a good kitchen/bathroom paint that can be washed. Good luck

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Aug 31, 2020

    I see lots of sending to get rid of excess of existing paint ... lots of work but I know it will be so worthy

  • Holly Lengner - Lost Mom Holly Lengner - Lost Mom on Dec 22, 2020

    There are lots of posts here that can help you: Home and Garden DIY Ideas | Hometalk