Learn how to easily paint kitchen cabinets you will love and admire for many years. I’ll teach you the right tools for the job and the complete how-to process.
A big “Thank you” to Wagner for sponsoring today’s post.
If I can only teach you one thing from this whole post it’s to never under estimate the power of paint. One simple can of paint can give you a completely different look. Just like the HUGE transformation of my own kitchen cabinets. This makeover project may seem a bit overwhelming, but I promise you. If I can do it…so can you!
And I’m even going to make it easier for you because I’ll share with you all my tricks and tips I learned along the way. Plus, I’ll talk about the tools/supplies you need and share my step-by-step process. My goal is to teach you how to easily paint kitchen cabinets that you will love to see. Every. Single. Day.
So I’m going to start this tutorial off by telling you how to select the right products for the job.
Selecting the Right Primer
The primer is the foundation of your paint job so you want to pick a quality primer. Especially if you have builder grade cabinets like mine. I used a Sherwin Williams multi-purpose latex primer. I found this primer to stick well and cover with ease. I’ve talked with many professional painters and this is their primer of choice.
Selecting the Right Tools
To achieve painted cabinets that you will really love, you need the right tools for the job. Here are all the items I used for this project: (disclosure: some affiliate links used )
- KRUD Kutter (to remove all the grease and grim off my cabinets)
- Paint Sandpaper (for after primer and paint)
- Orbit Sander
- Wagner Flexio 890 Hvlp Paint Sprayer Station. (for cabinet doors and drawer fronts)
- Small Roller (for cabinet frames)
- A Paint Brush (for cabinet frames)
- Paint Trays (for cabinet frames)
- Paint (I used Benjamin Moore Advanced — color Chelsea Gray)
Selecting the Right Paint
Now that I’ve talked about the right primer and tools for painting, it’s time to talk about the actual paint! For my project I chose Benjamin Moore Advanced Interior paint in Satin (in Chelsea Gray). The reason I picked this particular brand and line is because it acts like an oil base paint. It’s self-leveling (no brush strokes), blocks stains, reduces wood grain raise (great for builder grade cabinets) and seals great for durability. But it also acts like a water base with easy soap and water cleanup. low order and low VOC. It’s just fantastic and I couldn’t be more happy with how my cabinets turned out.
Now that I’ve shared the details on selecting your tools and supplies, I’m going to share the step-by-step on actually painting the cabinets.
I started by removing all the cabinet doors and drawers from the kitchen frames.
TIP: Place the cabinet hinges in a simple ziploc bag and then insert that bag inside the correlating cabinet. They will be safely stored until you rehang the doors.
Then I placed all the doors and drawer fronts out in my garage. I wiped them all down with the KRUD cleaner to remove all grease and grim.
My next step was to sand them all, lightly. The reason for this step is to remove any shine or varnish off the doors and drawers so the new paint can absorb into the wood. So although this sounds like a HUGE step it only took me about an hour to lightly sand them all down.
After the sanding was finished, I vacuumed and wiped down each and every door to remove any trace of dust. You do not want little dust particles in your primer because you’ll see it show up in the finished paint.
Now it was time for the really fun stuff….spray painting! This is where my favorite new painting tool came into the picture…my Wagner Flexio 890 Hvlp Paint Sprayer Station. This sprayer was amazing from the very beginning. I love how everything you need (all nozzles, cups, hose and cord) is housed in this sturdy holder.
I also loved how easy it was to use. The powerful x-boost turbine can spray any coating, including primer or unthinned paint. That feature is awesome cause who’s got time for thinning paint.
This paint sprayer station also comes with two different nozzles. One is a detail finish nozzle for smaller projects (like painting cabinets) and has a smooth finish. The other is the iSpray nozzle for large projects (like home walls) and has a light texture finish. Be sure to pay attention to your nozzles. I’m just saying at one point I may have grabbed the wrong one and did some painting. OOPS! Don’t be like me!
So, using the detail finish nozzle, I filled up my cup with primer and prepared to change the look of my cabinets forever. I started spraying the primer on the back side of the cabinet doors and drawers first.
TIP: Start with the back so you finish the whole painting process on the front. Then it’s less likely to nick or scrape any paint. No one will really study the inside of your cabinet doors right…but the outside. 😉
I stopped mid paint on this door to show you how fine of mist the sprayer applies. It makes for a super smooth surface. Just beautiful!
I spray painted all the doors and drawers and let them sit for about an hour, then flipped and sprayed the other side. I gave each side one coat of primer. Once completely dry I had a few areas that needed some sanding. For this step you don’t want to use regular sandpaper…use prograde sand paper made for paint. It will smooth out any mistakes like accidental splatters and drips without taking off the primer or paint.
After everything was primed, it was time to repeat those same steps, but with my Chelsea Gray paint. Starting again on the back side…I spray painted each door and drawer. Then I let them dry for up to 48 hours before flipping to paint the fronts. I gave each side two coats of paint.
TIP: While waiting between coats…start priming and painting the frames.
It’s important to give newly painted cabinet doors and drawers plenty of time dry. So I decided while they cured I would prime and paint my frames. I taped everything off, including a tiny bit of the inside of my cabinet shelves (see blue tape in picture below) to catch any accidental paint marks. I painted everything I could with the roller first because it gives a really nice smooth coat. Then I went back with the angled brush to cover any areas missed.
I allowed that to dry overnight then I repeated the same process but with my paint.
And that’s pretty much the process. It took me about two weeks from start to finish because I did this all on my own. But as you can see… the results are well worth it! From boring builder grade cabinets…..
To fabulous painted cabinets that I’m going to love for years!
A few more before and afters for you to see the magnificent power of a wonderful paint sprayer and some simple paint….
If you want to learn how I easily added height to my kitchen cabinets, check out this post here….
I also have a great tutorial on how I installed the kitchen subway tile! Click here to see the complete tutorial.
UPDATE: If you would like to see the details on the whole kitchen makeover, check out this post here…
I also have a great post on the ways I organize my new kitchen found HERE:
I hope this post inspires you to beautify your own kitchen cabinets.
If you have any question, please ask away and I’ll try my best to answer them.