Man holding paint roller in kitchen

Are your kitchen cabinet doors old and need a makeover? Is the color dated and out of style? Or do you just want to change it up? It sounds like it’s time to repaint! Painting your kitchen cabinet doors on your own can seem intimidating. Read our step-by-step guide on how to professionally paint them yourself.   

Before You Begin Painting

Before you jump right into painting, be sure to follow these tips. 

Define a Style 

If you are buying new cabinets to paint, consider which style you want to go with. There are different styles to choose from. There is modern, contemporary, traditional, or perhaps even a mix of two.

Determine What Type of Paint 

Latex paints dry quickly and are easier to clean up, however, they take a few weeks to fully cure. Oil-based paints are more durable and have a harder paint film when dry. Spray paint is also an option for a smooth look. However, spray painting requires equipment and may be tricky to master for a beginner. Another option that you can never go wrong with is a high-quality 3 or 4 inch brush.  

Woman painting kitchen cabinet doors

Steps to Painting Kitchen Cabinet Doors 

After you have completed the tips above, it’s time to paint! Follow these steps below to flawlessly paint your cabinets.   

Prep the Room 

First, begin by removing everything from the cabinets and the areas around them. Next tape plastic sheets over all countertops, backsplash, walls, flooring, and any other surfaces you do not want to get paint on. 

Remove Doors, Shelves, and Drawers

Remove every kitchen cabinet door, shelf, and drawer, and make sure to label them. This makes it easier later on when you are reassembling. Next, remove door knobs, drawer handles, and all hinges. While that is all removed, wipe everything down with everyday cleaners. 

Liquid Deglosser

Before applying liquid deglosser, make sure some windows are open to allow for ventilation. Grab an abrasive pad soaked in liquid deglosser and scrub the surfaces. You might want to keep an extra rag around to wipe away any excess that drips. Before it dries, wipe it away with a rag dampened with deglosser. After about 5 minutes, remove any excess with a paint scraper. Then sand any surfaces where it seems necessary and vacuum the inside of the cabinets to remove any excess dust. 


Using an oil-based or acrylic primer and a brush or roller, make sure every area of the cabinet door is covered with primer. Start at the top and work your way down moving the brush across the grain. Then make sure to “tip off”, which means to lightly go over it again in the direction of the grain. Inspect the seams and molding and caulk any open areas. After the caulk has dried, sand the surfaces with sandpaper. Don’t forget to vacuum out the cabinets in case there is any dust. 

Time to Paint 

Just like the primer, start at the top and work your way to the bottom across the grain. Make sure to “tip it off” after. It works best if you paint the interior panel first using a roller. Then paint the top panels. Use a paintbrush to paint any areas the roller cannot reach. Repeat the previous steps with each coat. After the paint is dried, sand the surfaces and vacuum up the dust. 

Finishing Up

After the cabinets are completely dried, now it is time to put the pieces back together. Put the doors back on and the shelves and drawers back in. Lastly, add the door knobs and drawer handles


Finally, enjoy your beautifully painted kitchen cabinet doors!  

Need Our Help?

Cleveland Cabinets can help with kitchen design, cabinet installation, countertop installation, and much more. We also sell high quality cabinets, countertops, hardware, and sinks. Give us a call at (216) 459-7676 or visit our website to learn more about our products and services!

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