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How to Select the Best Paint for Your Kitchen Cabinets

If you want to update your kitchen but replacing the cabinets isn’t in the budget, consider changing the color scheme of the room with paint. Cabinets take up a remarkable amount of real estate in any kitchen, so if yours are dark, the room will be too. If current cabinets and framing are white, you can also try painting just the doors to create visual interest against the white framing.


Painting Your Kitchen Cabinets


Prep is Key


Paint can do a lot of wonderful things, but if the surface below isn’t properly prepared, your paint job will either

  • not wear well, because the new layer of paint is bonding to itself and not the cabinets, or
  • look as rough as the surface underneath.


Carefully assess the material your cabinets are made of. If they’re solid wood with a sealant coat, you can paint them after roughing up the urethane sealant. If they’re a laminate, consider living with the finish and upgrading the doors when you can afford it. Laminate doesn’t hold paint well.


Clean with a Degreaser


Get out some green scrubbing pads and a degreasing soap. Dawn dish soap is a great cleaner for the first pass. Mix up a basin of soapy water and, if you have the space, pull the cabinet doors so you can work them flat. Use plenty of liquid and get the doors good and soapy when laid flat, then scrub away to loosen any grease or greasy dust. You may be surprised at just how much grease and dirt you pull off the cabinets. When you’ve gotten the grease off, take care to rinse them thoroughly. They shouldn’t feel stick when they’re dry.


Knock Down Gloss


High gloss cabinets will need the shine knocked down before you start sanding. Many products on the market are designed to etch into the finish of a cabinet and dull the surface. Stanley and Kleen-Strip offer good products. Carefully review safety requirements, especially as there may be fumes associated. Wear gloves and eye protection for this portion of the project.




Go over the whole surface with a fine grade of sandpaper, such as 220. You’re not removing the gloss or stain, just roughing it up so the wet paint will cling better. Clean away any dust you generate with a tack cloth.


Prime and Paint


If you’re covering a dark finish, primer is key. If you have the time and the right ventilation, use alkyd paint. You’ll get better cling. If you don’t have the proper ventilation, use an acrylic. Use foam rollers or something else low-texture to apply both the primer and the paint. Be ready to discard and replace them frequently for the best finish, and allow plenty of drying time before you start turning cabinet doors over.


Painting your cabinets the wrong way will lead to a lot of frustration. You may see wearing of the paint finish around the handles or along the cabinet edges. If you don’t have the time to do the work effectively, contact the professionals at Ram Painting for a quote. This Henderson painter has been updating homes in the Las Vegas area for nearly 15 years. This painting company in Las Vegas wants you to be crazy about your kitchen. You pick the colors and we make it happen. Read these tips on selecting the best ceiling colors here.


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