Pack a punch with freshly painted kitchen cabinets. This time-tested method of giving cabinets a clean look has been advanced with newly developed paints that make your job easier. When you contrast the minimal cost of paint and materials to the incredibly high cost of new kitchen cabinets, painting your cabinets is a clear winner.
Before launching head-first into this project, though, remember that this project is more than a quick, one-day job. Every item in your kitchen cabinets must be removed and safely stored. Doors and drawers need to be removed. Every surface that you intend to paint first requires thorough cleaning. Choose one of two directions when painting kitchen cabinets: using materials assembled individually or working with all-in-one surfacing kits made especially for cabinets.
Painting Cabinets From Scratch
Buying supplies separately for painting cabinets offers the greatest flexibility and range of color choices. Supplies, including primer, paint, and tools, are relatively inexpensive and are easy to obtain. These include:
- 100-percent acrylic or oil-based paints
- TSP (tri-sodium phosphate), a low-cost cleaning solution
- Bucket and clean sponges
- Tack cloth
- Putty and putty knife
- Roller frame
- Roller covers
- Electric oscillating sander
- High-quality paintbrushes
- High-volume, low-pressure (HVLP) paint sprayer (optional)
Painting Cabinets Using a Kit
Cabinet painting kits include much, but not all, of the materials you need. Cabinet painting kits tend to be expensive, often more costly than the sum of their parts. One prominent brand, Cabinet Transformations from Rustoleum, offers a multi-stage process that lets you paint not only wood cabinets but melamine and laminate cabinets, as well.
Cabinet painting kits help you to revitalize your cabinets through a four-step process:
- Apply a deglosser, then wipe it off with a clean rag.
- Roll or brush on a bond coat, which acts as a type of primer and color base for the subsequent glaze.
- Apply the decorative glaze.
- Apply the protective top coat.
Here are 30 kitchens with painted cabinetry to inspire your renovation project.
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Earthy Olive Green Cabinets
Earthy olive green paint adds color to this remodeled midcentury modern kitchen in Northern California from Cathie Hong Interiors.Continue to 2 of 30 below.
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Forest Green Cabinets
Forest green paint on the cabinetry, oven hood, and kitchen island add depth to this bright white kitchen from Leclair Decor.Continue to 3 of 30 below.
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Two-Tone Painted Cabinets
Is it possible to paint your kitchen cabinets without the added hassle of prior sanding and priming? Blogger Tasha Agruso from Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body decided to try painting without sanding and priming. Rather than just brushing on paint and hoping for the best, Tasha entered the project with near-scientific precision, and it worked. She concluded that it is possible to paint your cabinets without sanding and priming, but it takes focus and care.Continue to 4 of 30 below.
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Pale Minty Green Cabinets
Soft mint green paint cabinets that reach the ceiling with pale wood door and drawer pulls complements this light and airy Japandi-style kitchen from Cathie Hong Interiors.Continue to 5 of 30 below.
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Kitchen cabinet on the outside, chalkboard on the inside. This surprising touch is simple to achieve with chalkboard paint. Just roll it on the inside of the doors. Chalkboard paint is inexpensive and water-based, so it cleans up well. This kitchen from home improvement blogger Virginia Plunkett of Live Love DIY takes just 10 easy steps.Continue to 6 of 30 below.
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Neon Yellow Lower Cabinets
You don't have to paint all of your kitchen cabinets to make an impact with color. In this simple modern kitchen from A Beautiful Mess, neon yellow lower cabinetry gives the otherwise neutral space a shot of energy and cheer.
Continue to 7 of 30 below.
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Painted Open Cabinetry
For high-visibility areas like these open cabinets, it is important to purchase higher-quality products that ensure long-lasting results. Blogger Diane Henkler of In My Own Style gave her open kitchen cabinets a coat of fresh paint using Valspar Bonding/Sealing Primer followed by paint from the ProClassic brand by Sherwin-Williams. "Spring for high-quality paint," Henker says.Continue to 8 of 30 below.
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Match the Cabinets to the Walls
In this St. John's Square, London kitchen designed by Sebastian Cox for deVOL Kitchens, matching matte antique blue paint on the walls and the minimalist wood cabinetry creates a cohesive and timeless look.
Continue to 9 of 30 below.
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A cool, measured balance of classical elegance informs these painted kitchen cabinets, like these from Williamsburg, VA-based decorator Jennifer Hudson of Dear Lille Studio.Continue to 10 of 30 below.
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Taupe Kitchen Cabinets
Taupe painted upper and lower cabinetry add a bit of depth that complements the white tile and grayish white countertops of this kitchen from Brexton Cole Interiors.Continue to 11 of 30 below.
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Blogger Kassandra Dekoning of The Little Dekonings transformed red oak cabinets by painting them using Zinsser Bulls Eye 123 Water-Based Primer and Benjamin Moore's Advance Paint in Pearl Finish. The result is a sleek, sophisticated color scheme that bears no resemblance to the previous country style and cost considerably less than replacing the cabinets altogether.Continue to 12 of 30 below.
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Blogger Aniko from Place of My Taste gave Shaker-style cabinets a two-toned paint treatment, spraying the uppers in Behr's Ultra Pure White, and the lower cabinets in Behr Night Club in a satin finish.Continue to 13 of 30 below.
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Black Bottom Cabinets
Black painted lower cabinetry helps to ground this bright minimalist galley-style kitchen from Cathie Hong Interiors.Continue to 14 of 30 below.
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Immaculate White Cabinets + Multicolored Wallpaper
When in doubt, there is nothing wrong with choosing a flexible and classic neutral like stark white. In this kitchen from Michelle Berwick Design, immaculate white floor-to-ceiling cabinetry around the breakfast nook is contrasted with bold multi-colored floral wallpaper for a dramatic look that is easier to change up than changing the cabinet paint color down the road.
Continue to 15 of 30 below.
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Sky Blue Kitchen Cabinets
This Northern California kitchen from Cathie Hong Interiors mixes midcentury modern and Caribbean influences, with fresh sky blue upper and lower cabinetry that adds a note of fresh color that energizes the neutral space.
Continue to 16 of 30 below.
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Sage Green Cabinetry
This modern farmhouse kitchen from Ashley Montgomery Design has sage green cabinets that give it a soothing and timeless feel.Continue to 17 of 30 below.
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Deep Teal Cabinets
In this British family kitchen from Studio Peake, saturated teal paint on the small kitchen island and lower cabinetry adds punch and contrast with the dark wood cabinetry while complementing the traditional style of the room.
Continue to 18 of 30 below.
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Creamy White Cabinetry
Home design blogger Laura at The Turquoise Home painted these kitchen cabinets in creamy shades of white.Continue to 19 of 30 below.
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Candy Pink Painted Cabinets
In this Venice, CA home from White Sands, a bank of candy pink painted cabinets defines the home bar area in the open-plan kitchen space.Continue to 20 of 30 below.
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Ashley Montgomery Design painted these kitchen cabinets in a deep navy blue that has become a modern go-to color that works with everything, adding a hint of color that feels current but timeless.Continue to 21 of 30 below.
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Barely There Blue Cabinets
This basement kitchen designed by Velinda Hellen Design for Emily Henderson Design adds a wisp of color with cool luminous pale blue painted lower cabinetry that complements the gray countertops and white tiling of the space and is set off with warm gold-toned knobs and pulls.Continue to 22 of 30 below.
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Pearl Gray Painted Cabinetry
This Scandinavian minimalist kitchen from Fantastic Frank has pearl gray cabinetry that complements the light blond hardwood flooring, mixed metals, and barely there pink pink on the walls.Continue to 23 of 30 below.
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Gray + White Kitchen Cabinets
Lower cabinets painted in a medium-toned gray prevent this bright and airy kitchen from Cathie Hong Interiors from feeling too one-note, while mixed metals add interest to the neutral space.Continue to 24 of 30 below.
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Coastal Blue Kitchen Cabinets
Wrap-around upper and lower cabinetry in a medium toned grayish blue complements white vertical shiplap walls in this coastal Maine kitchen from Tyler Karu Design + Interiors.Continue to 25 of 30 below.
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From Dark to Light
A dark kitchen from Confessions of a Serial DIYer was given a bright makeover with white cabinets and a kitchen island painted a light blue shade (Campfire Ash from Behr). Mother-of-pearl tile for the backsplash adds shimmer.Continue to 26 of 30 below.
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All-Over Blue Cabinets
Medium-toned matte navy blue custom cabinetry gives this kitchen from Michelle Berwick Design a tailored look that doesn't overwhelm the light-flooded space. Navy velvet bar stools complement the cabinetry and contrast with the pale wood and gold-toned accents.Continue to 27 of 30 below.
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Greige Painted Cabinets
The painted light greige cabinetry in this modern farmhouse style kitchen from Jessica Nelson Design adds warmth and is complemented with a mix of antique bronze and shiny brass door pulls and knobs.Continue to 28 of 30 below.
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Blue + Cream Painted Cabinetry
In this kitchen adjacent butler's pantry from Ashley Montgomery Design, cream cabinetry is accented with painted blue door panels that lends them a custom retro look.Continue to 29 of 30 below.
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Dove Gray Cabinets + Mustard Walls
In this traditional British kitchen from deVOL Kitchens, Shaker cabinets are painted in a cool dove gray and set off by warm mustard-colored walls for a classic combination.
Continue to 30 of 30 below.
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Midnight Blue Kitchen Cabinets
Blogger Ursula Carmona of Home Made by Carmona used matte midnight blue paint on upper and lower cabinets of this kitchen that add contrast with earthtoned floor tiles and a large white central island.
How long does it take to paint your kitchen cabinets?
Painting kitchen cabinets takes around four to five days to do properly. The prep takes a while as all items have to be taken out of the cupboards, cabinet drawers, doors, and hardware removed, and all areas to be painted need to be prepped (e.g., sanding, priming, etc.) before the painting can even begin.
What is the downside to painting kitchen cabinets?
If the cabinets are damaged in any way, such as chipped, cracked, or warped, painting them will only make these defects stand out more.
Should you paint the inside of kitchen cabinet doors?
Yes, you should paint both the outside and the inside of kitchen cabinet doors. If you don't, every time you open the cabinet door, you will see that the inside is not painted and is the original color. If you're going to all this time and expense of painting the cabinets, it's best to paint both sides of the cabinet doors. You won't regret it.