Painted Kitchen Cabinet Ideas

  • 01 of 11

    Give Your Kitchen an Update

    Gorgeous Gray Painted Kitchen Cabinets
    Kassandra Dekoning / The Little Dekonings

    Pack a punch with freshly painted kitchen cabinets. It's an age-old method of giving cabinets a clean look that's been updated with newly developed paints to make your job easier.

    When you contrast the cost of paint and materials (under $200) to the incredibly high cost of new kitchen cabinets, painting seems like a no-brainer.

    Before launching head-first into this project, though, keep yourself in check by remembering that every single item must be taken out and stored, doors and drawers need to be removed, every surface to be painted needs thorough cleaning, and the insides of the cabinets need to be addressed somehow.


    There are two directions you can go when painting your cabinets: using materials purchased piecemeal at home improvement stores or buying all-in-one surfacing kits made especially for cabinets.

    Assemble Materials Yourself: These 100% acrylic or oil-based paints are your main ingredients for painting cabinets yourself. Since this project entails a significant amount of prep work, you will also need stripping and cleaning materials like TSP, sandpaper, tack cloth, primer, putty knife and so on. This process involves cleaning the kitchen cabinets with warm water and detergent, sanding, priming with a brush and then either brushing on the paint or using a high-volume, low-pressure (HVLP) paint sprayer.  

    Kit: Kits have a distinct advantage because they include most (but not all) of the correct materials you need. But kits tend to be expensive–often, more expensive than the sum of their parts. Cabinet Transformations from Rustoleum is a multi-stage process that lets you paint wood, melamine and laminate cabinets. This is a four-step process: deglosser, bond coat, glaze and top coat.

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  • 02 of 11

    Precision Counts

    Painted Kitchen Cabinets - Light and Dark
    Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body

    One of the sanest voices in this potentially crazy project is Tasha Agruso who calls herself Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body. Rather than slopping on paint and hoping for the best, Tasha approached her project with near-scientific precision. She concluded that it is possible to paint your cabinets without intermediate sanding and priming–and how great is that? If you think that this means that the paint will begin to fall off, Tasha reports that the paint finish is still going strong two years later.

    Painted Kitchen Cabinets from Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body

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  • 03 of 11

    Historic Elegance

    Beautiful Lampblack Painted Kitchen Cabinets
    Dear Lille Studio

    Each time you walk into this kitchen, you'll have your breath taken away by its measured balance of classical elegance. Decorator Jenni at the design blog Dear Lille Studio inherited these painted cabinets from the previous owner, and she believes the color is Benjamin Moore Lampblack. Lampblack was a charcoal-tinged color traditionally found in 18th and 19th-century wallpapers.

    Painted Cabinets from Dear Lille Studio

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  • 04 of 11

    Chalkboard Paint

    Fresh White Painted Kitchen Cabinets
    Live Love DIY

    You would not believe what an improvement blogger Virginia Plunkett made in her kitchen, simply by adding a fresh, crisp white coat of paint. Her hugely popular tutorial shows how to make this job as painless as possible, as well as how to add fun touches that make the cabinets shine.

    One touch is the chalkboards on the inside of some of the cabinets. Create a grocery shopping list or simply say "I love you" to your family member who happens to open the door next.

    Bright, White Cabinets With Chalkboards from Live Love DIY

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  • 05 of 11

    Quality Over Quantity

    High Quality Kitchen Cabinet Paint Job
    Diane Henkler / In My Own Style

    Gleaming chrome pulls, new subway tile and a Kohler sink are the finishing touches to Diane Henkler's completely remodeled kitchen. And the centerpiece of that? Her painted cabinets.

    If she has one word of advice, it's this: Quality. "Spring for high-quality paint," she says, and to that end, she chose Valspar Bonding/Sealing Primer followed by Sherwin-Williams ProClassic. Neither can be considered inexpensive, but for a project of this magnitude, it's important to spend a little more for products that ensure long-lasting results. 

    Top Quality Cabinet Paint Project from In My Own Style

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  • 06 of 11

    Calm and Cozy

    Painting Kitchen Cabinets, No Equipment Needed
    The Turquoise Home

    The star of this kitchen isn't just the gorgeous creamy white color and smooth finish, it's also the low-cost nature and lack of investment in high priced spraying equipment. Home design blogger Laura at The Turquoise Home, intent on having a fabulous kitchen without buying what she calls "fancy equipment," put in a lot of labor and a lot of swearing, but says she would do it all again in a heartbeat. Because the choice of paint is "huge," she picked two winners: Ace Hardware’s Door, Trim and Cabinet Paint, along with Benjamin Moore’s Advance Paint.

    Painting Kitchen Cabinets Without Fancy Equipment from The Turquoise Home

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  • 07 of 11

    Dark and Moody

    Dark Painted Kitchen Cabinets
    Abbey Hendrickson / Aesthetic Outburst

    Even though white and light, creamy colors tend to be favored by DIY cabinet painters, dark definitely has a place in the kitchen. Abbey Hendrickson at the design blog Aesthetic Outburst wanted a more classic and sedate mood for her upstate New York farmhouse kitchen.

    Dark Cabinets from Aesthetic Outburst

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  • 08 of 11

    Eye-Catching and Classic

    Tan Painted Kitchen Cabinets
    Kim Six / The Kim Six Fix

    Why make it hard when you can make it easy? That was Kim Six's mode of thinking when she decided to paint her kitchen cabinets. As a stay-at-home Mom, she knew this project had to be efficient. So this former laboratory scientist developed a procedure that would get the job done in nine days–while continuing to live her life as a Mom and wife. With the help of Benjamin Moore's Manchester Tan in Pearl finish and Kilz primer, the stunning result is nothing short of pure magic.

    Tan (Not White) Self Painted Kitchen Cabinets from The Kim Six Fix

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  • 09 of 11

    Personality Change

    Gorgeous Gray Painted Kitchen Cabinets
    Kassandra Dekoning / The Little Dekonings

    Not content to live with her oak cabinets and feeling positively "consumed by wood," Kassandra Dekoning took decisive measures and painted over the wood. Her plan of attack involved Zinsser Bulls Eye 123 Water-Based Primer and Benjamin Moore Advance Paint in Pearl Finish. The result? A sleek, sophisticated color scheme that bears no resemblance to the previous red oak country style. Best of all, she spent less than $200 for the entire project.

    Gorgeous Gray Painted Kitchen Cabinets from The Little Dekonings

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  • 10 of 11

    Professional Touch

    Oak Transformation White Painted Cabinets
    All Things Thrifty

    Did pro painters descend on Brooke Ulrich's kitchen and transform her dull oak cabinets into clean, white ones? It's easy to think so, given the premium quality of her light-gray glazed cabinetry. But Brooke did it all herself. Intent on making the job look like that of professionals, Brooke took her cabinets through the various stages that make a paint project sparkle: from fine-grit 220 sandpaper and deglosser to tinted pre-catalyzed lacquer and oil-based tinted glaze.

    Oak Transformation Cabinets from All Things Thrifty

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  • 11 of 11

    Elegant Masterpiece

    Black Milk Painted Kitchen Cabinets
    At Home With the Ellingtons

    Lush glossy black graces these DIY-painted kitchen cabinets. The secret is General Finishes Milk Paint in Lamp Black. Lifestyle blogger Tammy Ellington says that one challenge of painting in black is that "It’s so unforgiving. It shows every flaw in the wood along with brush strokes and mishaps, but it’s also beautiful when done well."  The milk paint fulfilled that need perfectly, as it goes on smooth and shows almost no brush marks.

    Black Milk Paint Cabinets from At Home With the Ellingtons