DIY, Tutorials

How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets And Drawers

painted kitchen cabinets with island and bar stools
painted kitchen cabinets with island and bar stools
After: Painted Kitchen Cabinets And Island

One of our brand ambassadors owns an interior design company on the east coast of the United States. Recently, they painted an entire honey oak kitchen using House&Canvas Chalk Finish Furniture Paint in Angora. The result was stunning. It’s not surprising that they have lined up additional clients who want to have their kitchens painted too!

House&Canvas Chalk Finish Furniture Paint has been used for years to paint kitchens cabinets, bathroom vanities, mudrooms, and laundry areas.

This “step by step” guide on how to paint kitchen cabinets was put together with the help of @ZhooshDecor. These instructions are for kitchen cabinets and drawers but can be applied to bathroom vanities, laundry room cabinets, and other high traffic cabinetry.

There are some” how to paint a kitchen” guides that claim sanding and priming is not required. This is not the case if you want a professional long-lasting finish. Kitchen cabinet doors open and close more often than a furniture piece. They are exposed to heat, moisture, grease, grime, and cleaning solutions.

This has been done successfully by many. By following ALL of the steps below (including sanding and priming) you can enjoy a smooth, durable finish rather than the unintended chippy paint look.

unpainted kitchen cabinets white stove and stainless microwave
Before: Unpainted Kitchen Cabinets



Kitchen Cabinet Surface Preparation

  1. Clean cabinets using the cabinet cleaner, scouring pad, microfibre towels, and the scraper/spatula. Focus on removing dirt, debris, and grease. This is a VERY tedious but important step. Not cleaning the surface properly will compromise the quality of your project.
  2. Label each door using the sharpie and painters tape. Label doors from left to right. Start with the upper doors, write the door number along with the letter “U” (for “upper”) on the painter’s tape. Do the same with the lower doors, but use the letter “L” (for lower).
  3. Move on to labeling drawers with the painter’s tape. Give the drawer a number and put a letter “D” (for “drawer”) beside it.
  4. Use the sharpie to mark the letters “U”, “L” and “D” on the solo cups. These cups will hold the door and drawer hardware.
  5. Remove all doors and drawers using a screw gun, drill, or manual screwdriver.
  6. Clear tools, hardware, and any other belongings from counters, cabinets, and drawers.
  7. Lay drop cloths on all countertops and floors to protect against paint drips, spills, and dust.
  8. Lightly sand cabinet frames, doors, and drawers using medium sandpaper or a sanding block.
  9. Fill any holes, cracks, or damaged surfaces on cabinet frames, doors, and drawers using wood filler. Once dry, sand the areas where wood filler was used until it’s smooth to touch.
Unpainted kitchen cabinets shot horizontally white stove wood floor and countertop
Before: Kitchen Cabinets Before Painting
Kitchen Island Before Painting wood floor electrical outlet and black stools
Before: Kitchen Island Prior To Painting

Kitchen Cabinet Paint And Topcoat Application

  1. (Optional) Prime cabinet frames, doors, and drawers using a paintbrush and primer. Allow all surfaces to dry as per primer instructions.
  2. Apply one coat of House&Canvas Chalk Finish Furniture Paint in any color on drawers, doors, and cabinet frames using a paintbrush.
  3. Let paint dry for at least an hour between coats (dry time varies based on humidity and elevation).
  4. Repeat step 2 and apply a second coat of chalk finish paint.
  5. If needed, apply a third coat (if using a light color a third coat is recommended). Allow the paint to completely dry overnight.
  6. Seal cabinet frames, doors, and drawers using gloves, a paintbrush, and a poly Varnish. Two coats are recommended. Do not over brush and allow enough drying time between coats.
  7. When completely dry, begin re-installing doors and drawers. Use a screwdriver or drill, and the hardware you stored in the labeled solo cups.
  8. Add new drawer pulls or cabinet knobs if desired. If drilling holes for new knobs and pulls, a hardware template is highly recommended to ensure an easy, professional, finish.
painted kitchen cabinets white with stove microwave and wood floor
After: Painted Kitchen In House&Canvas Angora

Time Commitment And Cost:

Expect to spend approximately $150-200 on supplies. For a kitchen consisting of 27 cabinets and 10 drawers, including drilling holes for new drawer pulls and cabinet knobs expect 70-75 hours worth of work. To speed up the process and to avoid fatigue, it’s recommended that a project of this size is tackled by at least 2 people (or more). Once friends and family see how amazing a painted kitchen looks, people will be asking you left, right, and center, to help them paint their kitchen cabinets.

Painting a kitchen can be time-consuming, but it transforms your home dramatically. New kitchens are expensive and usually require tradespeople to move electrical, plumbing, or gas. Using chalk finish paint will extend the life of your kitchen. If you want a change in the future, your kitchen cabinets and drawers can be sanded down and restained or easily painted in new and exciting colors. By following the steps above, you can revamp the kitchen in your home, rental property, trailer, or cottage.

Thanks to Zhoosh Decor for supplying the pictures used in this post. They paint kitchens the right way- using House&Canvas products! Contact them for a quote if you are in the DC, MD, or VA metro area.