Is there any way to paint your kitchen cabinets without removing them?

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I have really old cabinets that I cannot afford to replace and do not know how to take them down. Is there a way I can paint kitchen cabinets without removing them from the wall? Also, would high gloss paint be the best to use?


  10 answers
    • Nathaniel Swan Nathaniel Swan on Aug 23, 2020

      I had my cabinet doors professionally done about 4 years ago but over time, my finger nails have scratched them and now need another painting. This time is there a clear sealer that is hard enough to protect. the doors from scratch markes?

  • Amanda Amanda on Dec 12, 2017
    Hi Dorothy. Can you remove the doors off of the cabinets? If you can it makes it easier to paint. Also remove the hardware. You can just tape off the wall where the cabinets meet it. I would also prime them. Satin paint would be best. High gloss would be very shiny. Here is a link with more info.https://www.remodelista.com/posts/painting-kitchen-cabinets-how-to-paint-kitchen-cabinets-5-tips-from-master-painter/

  • Joyce Joyce on Dec 12, 2017
    I have painted my kitchen cabinets several times. It never occurred to me to take them down! I just use a step stool or folding ladder and paint away! If you’re concerned about the floor, cover with a sheet of plastic. Just buy paint for doors/trim. Good luck!

  • Michele Pappagallo Michele Pappagallo on Dec 12, 2017
    You can definitely paint them without removing them from the wall. Just remove the doors to make it easier to paint. High gloss paint would work, but it would be a little unusual for kitchen cabinets. You might consider a satin or semi-gloss finish. That would be easy to wipe clean and would stand up well to wear and tear.

  • Emily Emily on Dec 12, 2017
    I have open shelving in my kitchen and used oil based semi-gloss paint. But this is old paint, not as smelly as currant oil based paint. I would not use current oil paint inside.

  • Sharon Sharon on Dec 12, 2017
    You just need to take the doors off, number them and make a chart where they go back. Any paint from satin, semi-gloss to gloss will work well and be easier to maintain. I like a nice Kitchen and Bath paint, it holds up well.

  • 27524803 27524803 on Dec 12, 2017
    Painting with a small (4 inch X 1 inch) roller and a brush is doable and if you want a smoother finish use a sprayer.... spraying will just mean you have to mask the area around the cabinets really well.

  • William William on Dec 12, 2017
    NO need to remove the cabinets, just the doors.

    Make sure they are clean and dry. Remove the doors and hardware. Mark the doors and cabinets with tape where they go. Lightly sand the doors and cabinets to remove any gloss and roughen the surface for paint with 120- to 220-grit sandpaper. Use a tack cloth or damp rag to remove dust after sanding. Prime with a stain blocking primer like Zinsser 123, KILZ,or BIN and have it tinted to the color of the top coat. This will prevent dark or stained surfaces from showing through the top coat. Acrylic, or water-base, paints are low-fume and clean up easily with water. Alkyd, or oil-base, paints require good ventilation because the paint contains solvents that can irritate your lungs and make you feel sick. Alkyd options require mineral spirits for cleanup, but they provide a hard, durable paint finish. Whichever you use, buy the best-quality paint you can afford for a lasting kitchen cabinet finish. Seal with at least three coats with a water based polyurethane. Use a small foam roller and foam brush for a smooth finish.

  • Teresa Teresa on Dec 12, 2017
    I repainted my previously painted cupboards in a very old house. I removed all the doors, drawers, handles & hinges and cleaned them up. I painted the doors on both sides while they were off and painted the front edges of the shelves and front and end panels of the cabinets. . The shelves were not easily removable so I left them where they were. The drawers were repainted on the front only. I did not paint the insides of the supboards but one could also do that most easily when the doors are removed. As for paint, I've been told not to paint w/latex paint over oil-based, but it's ok to paint oil-based over latex.

  • Sallie Wolff Sallie Wolff on Dec 12, 2017
    You can leave them up & tape them off but it is well worth the work of taking down the doors & removing the hardware. With them down it is a lot easier to give them a good cleaning with Dawn or Murphy's Oil soap then wipe with vinegar to get rid of any residue, once they are dry lightly sand so the paint will adhere better. If there are any larger holes or pits fill with wood putty then sand so they are leveled out. If you are unsure if they were painted with a oil paint previously latex paint will not adhere you can try one door & let dry then test. Oil paint will cover both types of paint but it is not as easy to clean up, you will need paint thinner for cleaning up unlike latex which soap & water takes care of the mess. Once done you will be amazed at how much your work has paid off it will make your kitchen look new again.