How to Paint Cabinets: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Paint Cabinets – Zeromedia

Hello Zeromedia readers,

If you’re looking to give your kitchen or bathroom a fresh new look, painting your cabinets can be a great way to achieve that without breaking the bank. With the right tools and techniques, you can transform your outdated or worn out cabinets into a beautiful, professional-looking finish. In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about how to paint cabinets.

Tools and Materials You’ll Need

  1. Paintbrushes and/or rollers
  2. Sandpaper (medium grit and fine grit)
  3. Tack cloth or damp rag
  4. Primer
  5. Paint
  6. Screwdriver (if removing cabinet doors)
  7. Painter’s tape
  8. Drop cloth or plastic sheeting
  9. Gloves and safety goggles

Before you get started, make sure you have all the tools and materials listed above. You don’t want to get halfway through the project only to realize you’re missing something crucial.

Step 1: Prepare the Cabinet Surface

The key to a successful painting project is in the preparation. Start by removing all the cabinet doors and hardware, including knobs and handles. Lay the doors and hardware on a drop cloth or plastic sheeting. Use painter’s tape to cover any hardware or fixtures you won’t be removing.

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Next, use medium grit sandpaper to sand the cabinet surface. This will help the primer adhere better. Wipe down the surface with a tack cloth or damp rag to remove any dust or debris. Then, use fine grit sandpaper to smooth out any rough spots or imperfections.

Step 2: Prime the Cabinets

Apply a coat of primer to the cabinet surface. A good primer will help the paint adhere better and prevent any stains or discoloration from bleeding through. Use a paintbrush or roller to apply the primer in smooth, even strokes. Allow the primer to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Step 3: Paint the Cabinets

Now it’s time to paint! Use a paintbrush or roller to apply a coat of paint to the cabinet surface. Start with the backside of the cabinet doors, then move onto the front. Allow the paint to dry completely before applying a second coat. Depending on the type of paint you’re using, you may need to apply a third coat for complete coverage.

Step 4: Reassemble the Cabinets

Once the paint is completely dry, it’s time to reassemble the cabinets. Attach the hardware back onto the doors, then reattach the doors onto the cabinets. Use a screwdriver to tighten any loose screws.


How long does it take to paint cabinets?

The process of painting cabinets can take anywhere from a few days to a week depending on the size of your kitchen or bathroom. Allow time for the paint and primer to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

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What type of paint should I use?

You’ll want to use a paint that is specifically formulated for cabinets. Look for a paint that is durable and has a smooth, hard finish. Semi-gloss or satin finish paints work well for cabinets.

Do I need to sand the cabinets before painting?

Yes, it’s important to sand the cabinet surface before painting. This helps the primer and paint adhere better and creates a smooth surface. Use medium grit sandpaper followed by fine grit sandpaper for the best results.

Can I skip the primer?

No, it’s important to use a primer before painting cabinets. Primer helps the paint adhere better and prevents any stains or discoloration from bleeding through. It also creates a smooth surface for the paint to adhere to.

Tips and Tricks

  • Use a paint sprayer for a smoother finish, but be sure to practice on a test surface first.
  • Label all the cabinet doors and hardware so you know where everything goes when it’s time to reassemble.
  • Consider replacing old hardware with new knobs or handles for a fresh new look.
  • Use a tack cloth or damp rag to clean up any drips or spills immediately. Don’t let paint dry on the surface.
  • Consider adding a polyurethane topcoat for added durability.


We hope this guide has been helpful in teaching you how to paint cabinets. Remember to take your time and be patient, as the preparation and drying time are just as important as the painting process itself. With the right tools and techniques, you can achieve a beautiful, professional-looking finish that will last for years to come.

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Thank you for reading, and happy painting!

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