Painted Kitchen Cabinet Ideas

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Painting your kitchen cabinets is a great idea.
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If you're looking for a relatively quick and inexpensive way to update your kitchen, you might be considering painting your cabinets. After all, cabinets take up a large portion of the visual space in your kitchen, and changing their look can create a tremendous aesthetic impact. Depending on the look you are seeking, you can paint your cabinets with a number of media and using several techniques.

Painting Safety Basics

Whenever you are painting, ensuring adequate ventilation is essential. Paints vary in their chemical composition, but certain types are extremely toxic if inhaled over a long period of time. If you will be painting your cabinets in place, open any doors and windows that you can and use fans when possible. If you're planning to remove cabinet doors from their hinges and paint them elsewhere, be sure you are not in an area with poor airflow.

Cabinet Painting Prep Work

Regardless of the painting method you choose, you will need to remove cabinet hardware before getting started. Set it aside in storage containers or zipped plastic bags to avoid losing pieces. If you'll be removing the cabinet doors to paint them elsewhere, lay down drop cloths or newspapers to protect the edges of your floor from paint.

If you will be painting the cabinets in place, tape off the edges of the cabinets to protect the wall beyond from getting painted. In addition, cover your countertops and tape the edges to keep them from getting splattered with paint.

Painting Kitchen Cabinets

If you will be painting your cabinets using traditional colored paint, you might wish to select an oil-based paint. Latex paints can peel over time if a chip or scratch is started, and this is more likely in a heavily-trafficked area like a kitchen.

Sand the cabinets before you get started to rough up the surface. This is especially important if you are working with a polished or shiny surface. Then, clean the dust from sanding off the cabinets thoroughly. Apply an oil-based primer using a brush or roller (or both, if you wish to roll the center of the cabinet door's surface and cut in on the edges with a brush).

Then, you can paint the cabinets. Again, the choice of using a roller or brush is yours. Brush strokes may be more apparent on cabinet doors that you come into close contact with on a regular basis than on walls you don't see up close very often. However, rolling paint on small surfaces can be tricky at times.

Alternatives to Paint

You can choose several other ways to coat your cabinet doors. For instance, you can use a gel stain to easily cover your cabinets. Maison de Pax explains that you may wish to wear a respirator mask for this project, as well as rubber gloves. The actual gel application is very similar to painting, with a second coat likely required 24 hours later.

House Painting Info explains that crackle painting is a very popular technique, especially when you are seeking the farmhouse style for your kitchen. For this technique, you'll first paint the cabinets, then apply a crackle glaze over the top. You should apply the glaze in the direction of the wood grain.


Danielle Smyth is a writer and content marketer from upstate New York. She holds a Master of Science in Publishing from Pace University. She owns her own content marketing agency, Wordsmyth Creative Content Marketing (, and she enjoys writing home and DIY articles and blogs for clients in a variety of related industries. She also runs her own lifestyle blog, Sweet Frivolity (

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