Can You Paint Cheap Laminate Cabinets

Are you tired of looking at your outdated and worn laminate cabinets? Do you want to give your kitchen a fresh new look without breaking the bank? The good news is that you can paint your cheap laminate cabinets and transform them into something beautiful and modern.

In this article, we will guide you through the process of painting your laminate cabinets step by step. We will provide you with all the necessary materials and tools, as well as tips and tricks to ensure a successful outcome.

By the end of this article, you will have the confidence and knowledge to paint your laminate cabinets and give your kitchen a much-needed makeover. So let's get started!

Key Takeaways

  • Painting laminate cabinets can give them a fresh new look without having to replace them.
  • Proper preparation of the surface, including cleaning, sanding, and filling holes or cracks, is crucial for proper adhesion of primer and paint.
  • Removing hardware before painting and using thin, even coats of primer and paint will result in a professional-looking finish.
  • Regular cleaning with gentle cleaners and proper ventilation can help maintain the painted cabinets for years to come.

Gather Your Materials and Tools

You'll need to grab some basic supplies and tools to get started on transforming those drab laminate cabinets into something beautiful and stylish! Gather essentials such as sandpaper, primer, paint, brushes, and rollers. It's crucial for achieving a great finish.

When selecting colors, consider the overall aesthetic of your kitchen and choose a shade that complements it. It's also important to note that darker colors tend to show imperfections more easily. So, if your cabinets have any dents or scratches, it may be best to opt for a lighter color.

Once you have everything you need, it's time to prepare the surface. This step is crucial as it ensures that the paint adheres properly and lasts longer. By sanding the cabinets, you'll remove any glossy finish and rough up the surface, allowing the primer and paint to stick better.

Preparing the Surface

Before you begin painting your laminate cabinets, it's crucial to properly prepare the surface. This involves cleaning and sanding the cabinets to create a smooth and even base for the paint. Additionally, you'll want to fill any holes or cracks in the cabinets with wood filler and remove all hardware to ensure a clean and professional finish.

Taking the time to properly prepare your cabinets will result in a beautiful and long-lasting paint job.

Cleaning and Sanding

To get your cheap laminate cabinets ready for painting, it's important to clean and sand them thoroughly. Before you start sanding, make sure to degrease the cabinets with a solution of warm water and dish soap. This will remove any built-up grease or grime that can prevent the primer and paint from adhering properly.

When sanding, use a fine-grit sandpaper to lightly rough up the surface of the cabinets. This will provide a better surface for the primer and paint to stick to. Be sure to sand in the direction of the wood grain to avoid any unsightly scratches.

After sanding, wipe down the cabinets with a damp cloth to remove any dust or debris. This will ensure a smooth and even finish when it's time to paint.

Now that you've cleaned and sanded your cabinets, it's time to move on to filling any holes or cracks in the surface.

Filling Holes and Cracks

Once the surface of your cabinets is clean and sanded, it's time to fill any holes or cracks using spackle. Spackle acts as the "plastic surgery"for your cabinet's imperfections. DIY alternatives to spackle include wood filler or putty, but be wary of using caulk as it may crack over time.

Apply the spackle to the holes or cracks using a putty knife. Make sure to smooth out the surface as much as possible. Allow the spackle to dry completely before sanding it down to be flush with the rest of the surface. Repeat this process until all imperfections have been filled and sanded.

If you're not confident in your DIY skills, don't hesitate to seek professional assistance. A contractor or handyman will have the expertise and tools to efficiently and effectively fill any holes or cracks in your cabinets.

Once this step is complete, you can move on to removing the hardware from your cabinets.

Removing Hardware

Now it's time to get your hands dirty by removing all the hardware from your cabinet doors, such as knobs, handles, and hinges, using a screwdriver. This step is crucial to ensure that you don't accidentally paint over any of the hardware, which can ruin the look of your cabinets. Additionally, removing the hardware will make it easier to apply the primer and paint evenly.

To make the process of removing hardware easier, consider creating a table to keep track of where each piece goes. This will save you time and frustration when it comes to hardware replacement. Here's an example of what your table could look like:

Cabinet Door Hardware Type Location
Left Door Knob Top
Left Door Handle Bottom
Right Door Hinge Top
Right Door Knob Bottom

Once you've removed all the hardware and created your table, you're ready to move on to the next step: applying the primer and paint. By removing the hardware and keeping track of where each piece goes, you'll be able to achieve a professional-looking finish without the need for alternative refinishing techniques.

Applying the Primer and Paint

First, prep the cabinets by cleaning them thoroughly with a degreaser to ensure the primer and paint adhere properly. Once the cabinets are dry, it's time to apply the primer.

You can use either a brush or a spray, but it's important to note that each method has its benefits and drawbacks. A brush will give you more control over the application and ensure that all areas are covered, but it may leave brush marks. On the other hand, a spray will give you a smoother finish, but it can be messy and difficult to control.

Whichever method you choose, make sure to apply the primer in thin, even coats and allow it to dry completely before moving on to the paint.

When it comes to choosing the right color scheme, consider the overall look you want to achieve in your space. Do you want a bold pop of color or a more neutral, understated look? The color of your cabinets can set the tone for the entire room, so take your time in choosing the perfect shade.

Once you have your color selected, it's time to apply the paint. Again, you can use a brush or a spray, but make sure to apply thin, even coats and allow each coat to dry completely before adding another.

Now that your cabinets have been primed and painted, it's time to add the finishing touches.

Adding Details and Finishing Touches

To elevate the look of your newly painted cabinets, consider adding decorative accents and finishing touches to give them a more unique appearance.

There are many options available, such as decorative knobs and handles, which can add a touch of elegance to the cabinets. Molding is another great option that can give them a more refined look. Installing crown molding can provide an upscale feel, while beadboard or shaker-style panels can add charm and character.

Another way to add interest to your cabinets is by experimenting with color options. If you painted your cabinets a neutral color, consider adding a pop of color to the interior of the cabinets or choosing a bold color for the hardware. You can also use stenciling or decals to create a pattern or design on the doors or drawers.

Whatever you choose, adding these details and finishing touches is sure to give your cabinets a personalized and upscale feel.

To maintain your newly painted cabinets, there are a few things to keep in mind. Regular cleaning with a soft cloth and gentle cleaner will help keep them looking their best. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials, as they can damage the finish over time.

Additionally, be mindful of any moisture or humidity in the area, as this can cause the paint to peel or warp. By taking care of your cabinets, you can ensure that they remain beautiful and functional for years to come.

Maintaining Your Newly Painted Cabinets

Maintaining your newly painted cabinets is important for their longevity. Neglecting proper maintenance can lead to peeling and warping of the paint due to excessive moisture and other environmental factors. To ensure that your painted cabinets last as long as possible, here are a few tips to follow:

  1. Wipe down your cabinets regularly with a soft cloth or sponge and mild soap and water. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrubbers that can scratch the paint or damage the finish.

  2. Avoid exposing your cabinets to excessive moisture or heat, which can cause warping or cracking. Keep your kitchen well-ventilated and use exhaust fans when cooking to help reduce moisture levels.

  3. Use the right cleaning products for your painted cabinets. Look for gentle, non-toxic cleaners that are specifically designed for painted surfaces. Avoid using products that contain harsh chemicals or solvents, as these can damage the paint and cause it to peel or fade over time.

By following these simple tips, you can help ensure that your painted cabinets stay looking beautiful and functional for years to come. Remember to clean them regularly, avoid excessive moisture and heat, and use only gentle, non-toxic cleaning products. With proper care and maintenance, your painted cabinets can continue to enhance the look and feel of your kitchen for many years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it necessary to sand the cabinets before painting them?

For the best results, it is highly recommended to sand the cabinets before painting them. Sanding creates a rough surface for the paint to adhere to, ensuring a smooth and long-lasting finish. Alternative priming methods may be used, but sanding provides the most effective and reliable outcome.

Can I use regular wall paint instead of specialty cabinet paint?

While it is possible to use regular wall paint on cabinets, specialty cabinet paint is recommended for its durability and resistance to wear and tear. Pros of using cabinet paint include a longer lifespan and a smoother finish. Cons include a higher cost compared to regular wall paint.

How long does it take for the paint to fully cure?

After painting, it takes about 7-10 days for the paint to fully cure. During this time, avoid heavy use and take care when cleaning. Regular paint maintenance, like wiping down with a damp cloth, will help extend the life of your paint job.

Can I use a brush instead of a roller to apply the paint?

Yes, you can use a brush to apply paint to laminate cabinets, but a roller may provide a smoother finish. Pros of using a brush include more control and easier application in tight spaces. Best paint types for laminate cabinets are oil-based or specialty cabinet paints.

Should I remove the cabinet doors and drawers before painting them?

Removing cabinet doors and drawers before painting allows for easier access to all surfaces and reduces the risk of accidentally painting cabinet hardware. When using painting techniques, it's important to take these steps to achieve a professional-looking finish.


Congratulations, you've successfully transformed your cheap laminate cabinets into a work of art! It was a challenging process, but the end result is worth all the effort and investment.

You've saved yourself a lot of money by not having to replace your cabinets entirely, and now you have custom-made cabinets that suit your personal taste. But wait, there's more!

Not only have you discovered a new talent in DIY home improvement, but you've also contributed to the global effort of reducing waste and recycling old materials. You're now a part of the eco-friendly movement, and your newly painted cabinets are proof that you care about the environment.

Keep in mind that maintaining your newly painted cabinets is crucial to ensure that they last for years to come. Avoid using abrasive cleaners and scrubbers, and wipe away spills and stains as soon as possible. Remember, prevention is key!

With these simple steps, you can extend the life of your cabinets and continue to enjoy your newly painted masterpiece. Congrats again on a job well done!

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