How to Paint Old Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen Cabinets

You can give your kitchen cabinet a new and revamped look with a fresh paint job. Here are a few ways as to how.

Remove Cabinet Doors and Drawers

Remove the doors and drawers of the cabinets. Remove all knobs, latches, pulls and other hardware from them as well. Place the screws and other hardware inside plastic bags within the cabinets where they’ll be easier to locate when ready to reassemble.

Clean the Cabinets

Clean the Cabinets

Even if they do not seem dirty, grime and grease have worked their way into the cabinets’ surface. While wearing gloves, sponge some trisodium phosphate dissolved in water on both sides of the cabinets and wipe it with a clean cloth.

Repair Holes, Dents And Gouges

If the cabinets have any gouges and holes, now would be an excellent time to repair them. If you are using hardware which is a different size than the original, fill the old hardware holes before applying paint. Stick some tape on the back surface of the cabinet doors beneath those holes. After that fill those holes with wood filler. Wipe any excess away with a damp cloth.

Sand And Clean the Surfaces


The filled areas are to be allowed to dry after which sandpaper can be used to smooth out the cabinets’ surface. If this is just a refinishing work for the cabinets, there is no need to sand and paint their insides. Simply mask the interiors with tape for a neat finish and sand just the front surfaces and visible edges of the cabinet frames. If sanding has been done, thoroughly vacuum the dust from all surfaces. If you have a pneumatic air compressor, blast air into crevices or moulding details to blow the dust out of them. Wipe down the areas that need to be painted with a tack cloth in order to pick up any sanding residue.

Apply the Primer

Apply the Primer

Use a top tier 3-inch brush to apply an evenly distributed coat of primer-sealer on all surfaces to make sure that a well-bonded finish coat is applied. Primer-sealers reduce the requirement of sanding and deglazing previous finishes before repainting as well. Another advantage of using a primer-sealer is that it gives a good base for water-based semi-gloss paint. High-gloss enamel paints used to be the preferred finish for kitchen cabinets due to its resistance to stains and water and can easily be cleaned. However, the water-based finishes that are available today are easier to work with and give an equally durable finish.

Apply Semi-Gloss Latex Paint

Paint the inside edges and openings of the frames, outer cabinet sides, and the face frame fronts. This order helps you work quickly in less critical areas and enables you to correct any smudges or drips on the most visible areas. After that, paint the cabinets’ doors and drawer fronts, and any separate wood pieces or mouldings.