Painted kitchen cabinets is very trendy right now. White, gray, black and many other colors are being painted onto kitchen cabinets for the farmhouse look or even a more modern look. If you are trying to paint your kitchen cabinets, there are necessary steps to take to ensure the paint adheres properly and doesn't simply peel off - which can be a costly mistake. Read on for instructions and tips for beautifully painted kitchen cabinets.

What You'll Need:

  • Paint (chalk, milk or acrylic paint)
  • Rollers and brushes
  • Painter's tape
  • Screwdrivers
  • Drop cloths
  • Wood fill and a sanding block (to fill in holes if need be)
  • Top coat (optional)
  • Deep cleaning degreaser (such as TSP)


  1. To start, you should remove all of the cabinet door fronts and drawers. Remove the hardware as well from the cabinet/door fronts. Remove the hinges as well. Write down where each hinge belongs and where each cabinet belongs as well.
  2. Next, you'll need to give your cabinets a good scrubbing with a degreasing agent such as TSP. Follow the manufacturer's instructions on the degreaser and be sure to rinse the degreaser from your cabinets when you're finished. Skipping this step could result in your paint simply peeling off.
  3. Fill in any holes in your cabinet doors and drawers from hardware holes if you are going to use different types of hardware. Use wood filler, allow it to dry and then sand down area so it's smooth.
  4. Using your paintbrush, begin painting your cabinets in smooth even coats around the edges and around any trim work. Lay your cabinet doors on a flat surface.
  5. Then use the roller to roll the paint onto your cabinets on the smooth areas. Smaller rollers will probably be best, unless your cabinets don't have a lot of trim and are mostly smooth.
  6. When you finish with the first coat, go over the cabinets to be sure you don't have any drip marks anywhere. If you do, give it a light sanding and paint over the area.
  7. Add a second coat, repeating the same process as the first coat. If the color and coverage is not what you want, add a third coat. Add a topcoat to the finished cabinets if you prefer.
  8. When completely dry and set (usually 24 hours), turn them over and paint the other side in the same manner that you painted the first side.
  9. Paint the cabinet fronts and shelves as well, using the same amount of coats.
  10. Allow the paint to dry and set, then return the cabinet doors and drawers to your kitchen. Replace the cabinet hardware to your cabinets.

If your cabinets are in good shape, painting them to give them an updated look is a cheaper option than replacing the cabinets altogether. Take your time when painting your cabinets and don't skip any steps that could give you poor results. Hire a professional painter to paint your cabinets for you to ensure your cabinets are painted correctly.