It is often said that the kitchen is the heart of a home. We all can agree kitchen cabinets get a lot of use. They can become scratched or chipped, or dull after years of use. They may have a finish that no longer matches the rest of your home’s interior if they are older.  

Thankfully, the idea to repaint kitchen cabinets sounds much more affordable than ever in today’s economy.  

Here we share why you should repaint kitchen cabinets using a local painter instead of refacing them.

Completely refacing the cabinets in your kitchen can be an expensive choice, and you could end up with lower-quality cabinets than you have now. Instead, consider keeping your current cabinets and simply having them repainted.

When you repaint your kitchen cabinets instead, you can expect them to offer a fresh, clean feel without the massive cost of a complete cabinet replacement or renovation.

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Repainting Cabinets Saves Lots of Money!

The cost to completely replace the cabinets can be considerable. The cost to paint cabinets instead is typically only 1/3 to 1/2 the replacement cost. If the correct paints and preparation are used, the finish will be durable and last just as long as new cabinets.

If the cabinets are still in sound shape and are functioning correctly, and the homeowner is happy with the kitchen’s layout and the look of the doors and drawers, having them repainted can make them look as good as new!

Is Cabinet Painting a DIY Job?

Individuals who consider themselves handy may consider repainting the cabinets themselves. But painting cabinets properly takes expertise and know-how, especially with the preparation required. It takes more than just following instructions on Pinterest.

Neglecting the required steps in preparation may deliver results that look streaked and gritty.

The paint may also chip and crack if it doesn’t adhere properly. The best way to paint kitchen cabinets is to hire cabinet painting professionals to do it for you, but if you decide to take on the task yourself, there are essential steps you should follow.

Preparation Is Key

Prepping Cabinets for Paint

There are several preparation steps to take before even opening the paint can. It’s essential to follow them to get the best, longest-lasting results.

  • Check existing surface. If the cabinets are painted, and the paint is in good condition (no chips or scratches), they can be painted over. If the surface is not smooth, the paint must be stripped. That requires applying a stripping compound, scraping off the paint, then sanding it smooth.
  • Remove doors, drawers, and hardware. This eliminates the need to tape around them. It’s a good idea to label them for later re-installation.
  • Clean surfaces. Use a cleaner like trisodium phosphate (TSP) to remove built-up dirt, grease, and grime from the surfaces.
  • Repair damage. If there are any dents, deep grooves, or scratches, fill them with wood filler and smooth them out with a putty knife. Allow them to dry completely.
  • Cover surrounding areas. Use painter’s tape around cabinets to avoid getting paint on countertops, floors, appliances, and other adjoining surfaces.
  • Sand the surface. Use medium-grit sandpaper to smooth out the cabinet surfaces.
  • Get rid of the dust. Use a vacuum and tack cloth to remove the remnants of the sanding.
  • Prime. Apply primer with a brush or roller to all surfaces to be painted. After the first coat, go over the surface again to eliminate any excess primer.

Only after all these steps are completed can painting begin.

Understanding the Options

Choosing your paint, application option, and finish are also critical decisions. Knowing which paints will give you your desired look, and the best way to apply them can get confusing with all the options available. Professional cabinet painters can help you, but there are a few basics that can get you started.

Application Options

Kitchen cabinets painted by HBP Painting Contractors

Choosing the best application for your project is often simply a personal preference. Each option has advantages and disadvantages depending on the amount of work needed and your skill level.

Repainting options include:

  • Spraying may give you the smoothest outcome, but it takes a specific skill set. You will likely also need to rent a spray machine, as most people do not own one. With this process, it is necessary to do a ton of prep work in the area. Tarping and taping all the areas in the kitchen that are not to be painted is a daunting but necessary task.
  • Brushing gives you a choice between a natural or synthetic bristle brush or a foam brush. You will need a large area brush for the flat spaces and a smaller angled brush for the hard-to-reach corners. Make sure to use a natural brush for oil-based paint and a synthetic brush for latex.
  • Rolling with a small roller for your larger surfaces may work best for you instead of a brush. This is about preference, but you may need a small brush to reach the corners and ensure the finished product is smooth.

Deciding On a Finish

The finish you decide on will depend on your style and what goes best with the rest of your home. There are a lot of cabinet finish options, but the basic options are:

  • Painted – This is the easiest and most versatile option. Paint for kitchen cabinets comes in a large array of color options making it easy to match your cabinets to your home’s decor. Not only are there a lot of color options, but there are plenty of options for the kind of paint.

Paint Options

  • Matte – This paint dries flat and doesn’t reflect light or have any shine. With this choice, the dirt and grime may build up quickly, and your cabinets may be harder to clean.
  • Semi-Gloss – This option dries shiny and bright. It is the perfect choice for a bold statement. However, since semi-gloss paint reflects more light, dings and dents may be more visible.
  • Satin – Although this option dries a little flatter than semi-gloss, it still contains some shine. Satin paint holds up well in the humid and messy environment often found in the kitchen.
  • Enamel – This is a durable, high-gloss paint. It dries hard on cabinets for a smooth, easy-to-clean surface.

Cabinet Finishes

Besides these paint options, other cabinet finish choices include:

  • Stained – Stain is a good choice if you want to enhance your wood cabinets’ natural beauty. A bonus is if your cabinets get chipped or discolored, the stain is easy to touch up.
  • Glaze – Finishing your painted or stained cabinets off with a glaze can add a rustic or antique look to your cabinets. The glaze is usually applied over the entire cabinet’s surface and then wiped away, allowing it to settle into the bevels and lines. This technique highlights the details in the cabinet, making it a good choice for intricate, hand-carved cabinets. A glaze finish is often used in a farmhouse or classic-style kitchens.

Leave It to a Pro

Painting cabinets properly with high-quality results is a difficult task. It requires a lot of time and effort. Most home DIYers prefer a job that can be done in two days or less. Unfortunately, cabinet painting often takes longer than a weekend. In addition to the time and needed skillset, the choices for paint and finish can be overwhelming.

Professional painters are knowledgeable in all things paint and the proper procedures to keep cabinets looking great for years to come. Not only do they bring their expertise, but also their equipment. This makes your role as easy as hiring a professional, picking out the paint, and finishing with their guidance. The cabinet painters do the rest.

About HBP Painting Contractors

We’ve been a painting contractor serving St. Louis and surrounding cities since 1983. We’re locally owned and operated and offer residential, commercial interior, exterior, and cabinet painting services.

We’re s a proud member of Angie’s List, Home Advisor, the Painting Contractors Association, the BBB, and the local Chambers of Commerce. We provide free estimates for all painting projects. We also offer painting deals to the military, seniors, and all first-time customers.

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Watch our Cabinet painting video:

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Just Paint Over My Kitchen Cabinets?

Unless your cabinets are already painted, you must take multiple steps before you begin painting. These steps include filling in holes, sanding, and priming. Painting your cabinets without following the necessary steps could cause the finished project to be bumpy, gritty, or start to peel quickly.

Is Painting Kitchen Cabinets Worth It?

Yes! Painting kitchen cabinets can bring a fresh look and feel to your home without the cost of an entire remodel. Hiring professionals can make this upgrade to your home simple and worth it.

Can I Paint Over Painted Cabinets Without Sanding?

If your cabinets are already painted, and the paint isn’t chipped or scratched, it may be possible to paint over. But keep in mind that all the dirt and grime still need to be cleaned from the surface of the cabinet before painting.

Do You Paint Both Sides of Kitchen Cabinet Doors?

Yes! It is best to paint both sides of your kitchen cabinet doors. Because the kitchen cabinets are used often, both sides of the cabinet door are seen often. Painting both sides of the cabinet doors is recommended to give your kitchen a finished look.