Should I paint my kitchen cabinets?

Real Mom Problem

“Have you painted your kitchen cabinets and cupboards? Any tips?”

by berlgirl1224 berlgirl1224

Quick Tips

  • 1. Make sure cabinets are clear of grease and dirt before painting
  • 2. Remove all hardware before you begin
  • 3. Cabinets should be taken off of their frames to be painted
  • 4. Before painting, sand and prime your cupboards
  • 5. Consider purchasing new cabinets, or finding other ways to spruce up your kitchen if painting is too big an undertaking

Real Mom Solutions

Kitchen cupboard painting: Easy makeover trick or more trouble than it's worth? The moms of CafeMom weigh-in -- and share tips for success.

Some Moms Say Go For It!

  • mom2ellasophia

    It took me about 150 hours of paint time. I did it alone for a week straight! Not fun, but it looks amazing! I would do it again in a heartbeat!

  • Junction216

    I painted the cabinets in my last house. I used some KILZ primer to seal in any dirt/oil that didn't come off when I cleaned them. Then I painted the cabinets a semi-gloss cream. Our walls were a sage green and it was so pretty.

  • TheJerseyGirl

    I painted my cabinets and I LOVE LOVE LOVE them! It was so silly of me to be afraid to do it because it's my favorite thing I've ever done!

  • RobinMarie

    I painted my oak cabinets white. It wasn't too difficult and I think the results are good.

Other Moms Say Don't Bother

  • Beth100

    I had really dark cupboards in one of my homes so I painted the cupboard doors. It was a MAJOR undertaking. I wouldn't want to do it again! If you are going to give your house a makeover, I suggest you wait and do some new cupboards. If you can't wait and don't want to spend the money for new cupboards, how about a large panel of light-colored contact paper in the middle of each cupboard door? Might be enough to lighten your kitchen up a bit.

  • moliphant28

    When we bought our house the cabinets were painted a flat white and I hated them! So I decided to paint them. It's not fun and I will never do it ever again!

Plus: Try These Helpful Tips

  • meme4x

    When we painted the cabinets we first numbered each cabinet door to correspond with the frame we removed it from. We took down all doors and removed all hardware. We sanded down to the grain of the wood (the hardest part), then primed, caulked (around the center panel of the doors), and painted. I could not afford new hardware, so I took it all outside and lined it up neatly (assembly line style) sprayed it with Greased Lightening to remove any grease as well as any glossy surface, sprayed it off with a water hose after fifteen minutes, and let it dry overnight. Next day I sprayed it with primer, let it dry, and sprayed it with textured black paint to give the wrought iron look. Five years later they are still holding up. I say go for it, but just know it will take about a week (depending on how many cabinets you have). I had 35 cabinets and 5 drawers. And I still love my cabinets.

  • carebear1120

    I was told to wash the cabinets down with TSP Cleaner to get rid of all the sticky, greasy buildup that tends to be on cabinets from cooking, then prime, then paint.

  • designer13

    No matter what you are painting, the prep work is crucial. If you are painting over stained or painted cabinets, there is a certain amount of sanding that needs to be done, and then use Bondo; a product that will fill in any holes from knobs or handles. Next, prime the cabinets, in fact always user a primer on anything you paint, golden rule! A very popular look and always timeless are white cabinets. If your kitchen is small this is a good choice. Glazing over the cabinets is popular too!

  • Ladywithtwo

    I tried to skip sanding and it was a disaster! I learned my lesson!

  • TwinkleLites

    I painted my very dark stained cabinets to a beautiful off white. I sanded each one and then proceeded to prime them. The doors of course have to be taken off and worked on. The entire project took me two weekends as I was the only one doing it. They came out beautifully. I would suggest spraying if you can because the finish comes out smoother. I used a very smooth textured roller for the large areas and a small sponge brush to avoid brush marks. Remember, take off all hardware first. I would say it's a fairly easy project, but does take time.

  • justgrape723

    Proper prepping will solve any problems. Sand shiny surfaces just enough to take off the shine. Wash them to be sure to remove any oils, dirt etc. I use KILZ on anything I think might have an issue of bleeding through or that has designs or water stains I need/want to hide. Pick the brain of associates at your local hardware/home improvement store. I try to use foam rollers whenever possible when painting cabinets; no brush strokes to worry about. Google "painting kitchen cabinets" or go to