How to paint wood veneer kitchen cabinet?


My kitchen cabinet are wood veneer material. They are cherry and I want to painted gray or white. Would the job will look good? Do I need to sand it? Any more tips on how to paint kitchen cabinets made of veneer?

  13 answers
  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on Jun 23, 2020

    Hi Jessica, yep you absolutely can paint them! I would remove all of the doors and drawers and then thoroughly clean everything really well. After that lightly hand sand everything you want to paint with fine grit sand paper before cleaning again.

    From there (when I painted out my Mom's kitchen) I used two coats of primer, three coats of paint and two coats of polycrylic. Good Luck!

  • If you use chalk paint you don't usually have to sand. Sanding veneer can be a tricky business, so if the finish is in good condition without scratches or gouges that need to be smoothed out, you could get away with a good cleaning, a good prime and paint. That's what we did with our veneer cabinets. Looked great, lasted a long time.

  • Nan W. Nan W. on Jun 23, 2020

    No... you do NOT have to sand. Just use a degreaser to make sure they are super clean. Here is a veneer project that I did:

  • on Jun 23, 2020

    I’m going to disagree. You need to sand. Even if it’s chalk paint - at least a little. If the old finish is too smooth the new paint won’t stick as long.

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Jun 23, 2020

    I have painted veneer, but, always sand it first. Be careful you don't go through the veneer, so you need a light hand. A good quality paint will look nice. I would seal with a product like Kilz before applying your choice of paint or you may get bleed through from the old finish. Good luck and stay safe!

  • Maura White Maura White on Jun 23, 2020

    Here is how I did it without sanding and this may totally work for you:

  • K. Rupp K. Rupp on Jun 23, 2020

    Always Always sand your projects if you want it to look professional. Your end product depends on the prep!!!!!! It depends on how great you want it to look in the end and if you want it to look GREAT ...believe me the PREP IS EVERYTHING.... it matters!!!! But definitely consider if these are cabinets that you will want keep for a long time and only go this route if you want to keep them for a while! The reason I say this is because this method will take a lot of your time and is tedious but will look like a professional finish job if you do it well.:

    To go all in to get a GREAT result, that means, prepping by SANDING, PRIMING(maybe KILZ) and using steel wool between coats of primer(to get that super smooth finish) all BEFORE you paint. ALSO...the paints are a huge factor for kitchens and bathrooms. You will want to use something super heavy duty for that kind of traffic! Consider using a home paint sprayer for the job to get that super sleek pro finish. If you are putting the time in to prep the cabinets well and paint them well you will want a good paint that will last. Start with Benjamin Moore primer and then paint with Benjamin Moore ADVANCE!! $50 per gallon but it's so worth it!!! That paint is an excellent cabinet paint and you don't need a topcoat. I seriously just wipe it down when it gets dirty.

    If you want to just change the color for a few years before you get new cabinets then there are definitely easier methods to paint them. I just wanted to give you a lasting solution in case you didn't want to deal with chipping, brush marks and lots of wear in a short few years using other methods. Good luck!

  • Joy Elizabeth Joy Elizabeth on Jun 23, 2020

    Sand lightly, kilz primer, and Benjamin Moore advance paint worked great for us! Use a roller to minimize brush strokes. :)

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Jun 24, 2020

    Hello Jessica,

    Use ESP Easy Surface Preparation first, then paint. If you use a roller or a foam brush you will avoid brush marks. A flat or eggshell paint would also give a better finish. Enjoy the process.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Jun 25, 2020

    No, you can wash with TSP and paint, I did that in my bathroom with no issues.

    Most of the time, I scuff with fine steel wool and then swipe with denatured alcohol as a prep on veneer.

  • I used a kit by Rust-Oleum called Cabinet Transformations to paint my cabinets. You can see how I did it here:

  • Michelle Leslie Michelle Leslie on Aug 05, 2020

    Hi Jessica, this step-by-step tutorial will help you repair your wood veneer -