DIY Painted Kitchen Cabinets

Completed cabinets
Completed project

I am including the steps of how I did my kitchen cabinets, but I’m definitely not an expert. Here’s a link to a great tutorial by Benjamin Moore.

My husband and I decided to buy a house the same year we got married (which was an adventure in itself!) I had the bright idea to paint the kitchen cabinets before we moved in. Let me forewarn you and say that this project is more time consuming that it may seem! Harrison was skeptical but I did a lot of research and was confident that I could do it. Keep in mind, the cabinets were a weird brownish green that had been painted with a cheap paint so the handle areas were rubbed off.

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Cabinets before with rubbed paint and olive color cabinets


  • LOTS of Plastic/Paper coverings
  • Painter’s tape
  • Krud Kutter Cleaning solution
  • Sander Deglosser
  • Tack Cloth
  • Sanding blocks
  • Primer
  • Paint Sprayer
  • Paint filters
  • Latex Gloves
  • Face Mask
  • Safety Glasses
  • Drill
  • Benjamin Moore Advance Paint
  • Wood Putty (if you are filling any holes)
  • Hardware (I used new hinges and knobs/pulls)


One of the most important steps to the success of the project is prepping the surface and your area! If you are using a paint sprayer, cover everything with plastic wrap. If you don’t, the moment you start spraying, you will regret it. What worked best for me was blocking in the whole area like a hazmat zone and placing heavier paper taped to the floor.

Remove all of the contents of the drawers and cabinets. Clean the surfaces, inside and out with Krud Kutter (this is the best!) Next, I used sander deglosser and a multi-purpose cloth to remove the gloss and prepare the surface for primer. This should replace sanding, but I did a little bit of extra sanding with a sanding block.

Next, remove all the hardware, doors, and drawers to be painted elsewhere. I decided to put on new hinges so I trashed the old ones but kept the pulls, just in case I wanted to use them again or get new ones.

Do the same prep work for the cabinet doors and drawers that you placed elsewhere.


If you have used a paint sprayer before, this project will be cake walk for you. If you haven’t there’s a little bit of a learning curve. First, you will put the filter over your spray container then pour in the primer. Only fill it up about half way and the rest with water. Mix it around with a paint stick and pop the paint sprayer onto the container.

Practice, practice, practice! Use a cardboard box or piece of wood to practice using the paint sprayer. You will figure out how much pressure to use and the direction you are comforable with.

Once you feel comfortable, start spraying the prepped cabinets. You will need to refill your sprayer multiple times, especially if you have a large area to cover.

Read the directions on the type of primer you selected and wait the allotted time until sanding and applying another coat.

While the paint is drying, I went out to my hazmat zone in the garage to spray the cabinet doors and roll the drawers.

I actually only did one coat of primer for this project and two coats of paint. If you have dark cabinets, two coats of primer may be the better way to go.

TIP: Wear a mask, safety glasses, latex gloves, old clothes, and even a hat. Overspray is a nightmare to deal with!


Once you have primed your surfaces and it has fully dried (according to the time standard on your primer), it’s time to lightly sand them again.

I used a sanding block and went in with a tack cloth to remove ALL of the sanded particles. This allows your paint to adhere to the primer for sturdy use (which is a MUST in the kitchen). You can even use a shop-vac to clean up the sanding mess.

TIP: Don’t use the sander deglosser at this point, that is ONLY for removing the gloss on the original paint and should not be used over primer or your new paint.


The BEST part (in my opinion)! I used Benjamin Moore Advance Paint because of it’s self-leveling properties. This means that if you are using a paint sprayer or roller, it levels out to provide you a smooth finish. I think it’s a great quality paint, the only tricky thing is that you have to find a Benjamin Moore retailer like Ace Hardware or something similar. I say tricky because they are quite a bit farther than Home Depot or Lowe’s for me.

I didn’t get my paint tinted, I just went with the white that comes in the can! I was tempted to paint the lower cabinets a navy or gray but decided to just go with white. Maybe next time! 🙂

Use the same process as the primer with half paint sifted and half water. This allows the paint to flow through the machine better and reduce the clog at the nozzle.

Spray your cabinets evenly with a good distance away, don’t spray them too close or your paint will start to pool up and drip. Once you finish your cabinets, head out to paint the cabinet doors and drawers.

TIP: Clean your nozzle EVERY time you finish using your paint sprayer. You can use paint thinner to get all the paint out of it. I even run some paint thinner through the paint sprayer when I’m done using it to keep it clean. If not, it’s very hard to unclog.

Repeat – Sand & Paint

Read your paint can to determine the drying standard before you can sand and apply another coat.

Once they are dry, lightly sand with your sanding block and clean up with the tack cloth. If there are any drips or imperfections, this is a great time to sand those guys out! Your next coat should be the final one so now is the time to make it super smooth!

Next, fill up your paint sprayer with half paint and water and get to work!

One of the best ways to achieve a smooth finish is SLOW & STEADY! (not super slow, but you know what I mean) I notice that when I start to speed up, things start getting crazy.

Don’t forget to add a second coat to your cabinet doors and drawers as well!

Finishing Touches

Read the time standard on your paint to determine how long you should wait before putting hardware back onto your cabinets. WAIT fot them to fully dry, you’ll save time in touch ups if you wait, trust me!

Once everything is dry, you can put on new hinges and hardware. Now, you have a fresh new kitchen for a fraction of the price of new cabinets!


2 thoughts on “DIY Painted Kitchen Cabinets

  1. Such an informative blog! One thing I would like to say that before starting painting we should keep our project dust-free by using a tack cloth. Everyone should follow the tips provided by you, it will make their work easier. Thank you for sharing! I will share it to all my friends and relatives. Keep Posting! Keep Sharing!


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