A Guide to Painting Kitchen Cabinets

A Guide to Painting Kitchen Cabinets

If you have decided to paint your kitchen cabinets we have a guide to provide guidance so that you get the professional finished look you want.

Choosing the correct paint

First choose the correct paint and colour. If your cabinets are wood then you want to choose a semi-gloss to stand up to scrubbing.

You will need to prep the cabinets by removing the doors and drawers, remove the hardware, then give each a scrubbing and a light sanding, wipe down after the sanding.

If the cabinet is darker than the paint colour you have chosen or there are grease and oil stains then you may wish to use a separate primer that also has a sealer in it. This will keep the oil and grease from bleeding through the fresh paint.

If the doors have raised panels, start with those first, then move to the frame area around the panels. Do not forget to the sides of the door also. Do the same with the drawers.

Next you will paint the face frames of the cabinets, also any sides which show.

Allow them to dry as instructed and if needed apply a second coat of paint. Once the paint is completely dry you can remount the hardware to the doors and drawers and rehang the doors to the cabinets.

Decorative finishes with paint

If you would like to paint your kitchen cabinets with a decorative finishes, once you have decided on the type of finish you want to do it is best to use an old piece of wood or two to practice on first.

This decorative finish is fairly simple and easy to do. It is a crackle finish.  You will need two colours of paint; one darker colour and the other a lighter colour that accents nicely, example black and white or sage green with an olive accent.

Start bt applying the darker colour sage green and allow to dry completely.

Once the base coat is dry, apply a thin layer of the crackling medium this can be all-purpose glue. The thicker the layer the larger the crackling effect will be. If you want a find crackle finish use a light layer of glue.

This is the most important part of doing a crackle finish; the glue will dry quickly so you MUST apply the top coat (olive green) immediately.  Apply the top coat lightly with a brush and as the glue dries under the top coat it will make a crack finish in the paint.

Allow the top coat to dry completely you can help this step along with a heat gun if you wish. Once it is completely dry it is time to finish it off with a coat of clear polyurethane. Allow the polyurethane to dry completely then you replace the hardware and remount the doors and drawers to your cabinets.


Painting your kitchen cabinets can add a fresh new look to your kitchen and you can achieve many different looks with paint.

Additional Articles about Painters Toronto: