Tip Tuesday: Painting Kitchen Cabinets

Last Spring I got the bright idea to paint my kitchen cabinets because we were preparing to lay down our new flooring. Since then I’ve had a ton of people ask me about them, so I wanted to take a moment to share my process and tools.

First off, painting cabinets is a huge freaking job. HUGE. This took me probably a full week, if not longer, and I cussed literally the whole time. BUT. It’s cheaper than replacing cabinets and a little bit of paint changes things so much! I am still in love with the outcome.


Prep Work

There is plenty of prep work involved with painting cabinets. Especially in an almost 70 year old house. First, I spent some time cleaning like a crazy woman. I mixed together some baking soda, dawn and warm water and used this to scrub everything down. WARNING: this will ruin the cabinets finish (I accidentally found this out when we moved in, long before I was ready to paint… whoops.) but since we were painting I didn’t care this time around.

After cleaning everything up I got some deglosser and went over all of the outside wood twice. Be sure to wear gloves, and safety glasses (yes you’ll look like a dork but that won’t matter if you get it in your eye and go blind will it?) and open a window.

I didn’t do any sanding, but the deglosser helped the paint to stick.

Next, remove the doors and drawers and number them. Don’t forget to take off all the hardware and hinges.

Now it’s time to paint!

I didn’t realize until I was WAY into the process that I should have used primer first. I wasted a lot of expensive paint because I didn’t primer all of it first. Get some primer. Let the guys at Sherwin Williams help you decide the right kind. The wall behind our cabinets was maroon (WHY?!) and I later found out that I should have gotten a pink tinted primer.

After primer, use high quality paint. I love the Emerald line from Sherwin Williams. Here is the paint I used for the tops of my cabinets in plain white. This paint is amazing, covers well and I have had no issues with chipping. It is pricey but worth it.

The bottom half I used the same type of paint… in indigo blue. And when I got done I HATED IT. I affectionately called it Trailer Trash Blue. It was way too bright and shiny. So, I did it again using the plaster paint recipe I posted yesterday. So much better and much more muted. Now I’m in love.


It was a lot of work but it was totally worth it. Have you ever taken on the task of painting kitchen cabinets?


One response to “Tip Tuesday: Painting Kitchen Cabinets”

  1. Amazing transformation and really like the floor and cabinet colors together.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: