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Tips and Tricks for Painting Cabinets like a Pro


Painting the cabinets in your kitchen or bathroom can give it an instant facelift. Follow these tips for painting cabinets for a professional-looking outcome!More often than not, an outdated kitchen or bathroom can be given a dramatic facelift simply by painting the cabinets and switching out the hardware. As long as the cabinets are in good shape, you don’t have to replace them. This is a project you can easily do yourself, so it’s budget-friendly and delivers great results.

If you’ve decided to take on the project of painting your cabinets, we have some tips and tricks that will make it go a lot smoother. Follow this guide to make the finished product look like it was done by the pros:

Pro Tips for Painting Cabinets


  1. 5-inch angled brush
  2. 4-inch foam roller
  3. At least one paint tray (have one per person; cover them in aluminum foil to easily re-use the next day)
  4. Painter’s tape
  5. Plastic sheeting
  6. Rosin paper
  7. Sand paper (and optional: an electric sander)
  8. Primer
  9. Paint

Prep the Space

Before you get started on the actual task of painting the cabinets, you need to do some very important prep work.

  1. Empty the cabinets, clear off the countertops, and remove any appliances that aren’t attached to the cabinets.
  2. Give the cabinets a deep cleaning. Make sure there is no dust or grime left behind.
  3. Remove the doors and drawers from the cabinets. Keep track of all the hinges and screws by separating them in baggies, then clearly number them. Write the corresponding number on a piece of masking tape and stick it inside the cabinet.
  4. Tape around all the edges to keep paint from going onto your walls, countertops, backsplash, appliances, and flooring. If you want to be especially careful, you could cover them with paper or plastic sheeting. You can also cover the doorways with plastic sheeting to keep the fumes from escaping into the rest of the house.
  5. Make sure you have plenty of lighting and surface space on which to work!

Get the Cabinets Ready

  1. Repair any damages on the cabinets so you’ll get a smooth paint finish.
  2. Remove old layers of paint or polyurethane by sanding down the cabinets. You can use an electric sander or sand them by hand. (We recommend a mixture of both.)
  3. Prime the cabinets with a nice primer. There are different primers for different types of surfaces, so consult with a professional to find out which one you need.

Other Tips

  1. Cut around the edges with the brush and use the foam roller for the rest. You could even paint the entire surface with the brush and then go over it with a foam roller while it’s still wet, because the foam roller will give you a nice smooth finish without brush strokes.
  2. Clean and sand the surfaces after every coat has dried (except the final one) for a flawless finish.
  3. Give yourself plenty of time to complete the project. It’s going to take you several hours a day for a few days to a week, depending on the size of your kitchen. But’s well worth it!
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