How To Paint A Stained Cabinet

Are you tired of the outdated look of your stained cabinets? Painting them is a cost-effective way to give your kitchen a fresh and modern look.

Not only is it an easy DIY project, but it is also a great way to customize your cabinets to fit your style and color preferences.

Before you start painting, it is important to properly prep the surface. This includes cleaning the cabinets thoroughly, removing any hardware, sanding down the surface, and filling in any cracks or holes.

Choosing the right paint and finish is also crucial in achieving a professional-looking finish. With the right tools and techniques, you can transform your stained cabinets into a beautiful and updated focal point in your kitchen.

So, let's get started!

Key Takeaways

  • Properly prepping the surface before painting is crucial for achieving a professional-looking finish.
  • Choosing the right paint and finish is important for adhesion and durability, with high-quality paint formulated for cabinets being recommended.
  • Applying paint in thin, even coats and allowing it to fully dry between coats is important for a smooth and even finish.
  • Reinstalling hardware, choosing knobs and handles that complement the cabinets, and using a level for proper alignment are important finishing touches.

Prep the Surface

You'll need to grab some sandpaper and give those stained cabinets a good roughing up to ensure the new paint will stick, creating a smooth and flawless finish.

Start by sanding the surface with a fine-grit sandpaper (220-grit or higher) to remove any glossy finish or rough spots. If the cabinets have intricate details, use a sanding sponge to reach those hard-to-reach areas.

After sanding, wipe down the cabinets with a cleaning solution to remove any dust or debris. You can use a mixture of warm water and mild detergent or a degreaser to thoroughly clean the surface.

Don't forget to rinse the cabinets with clean water and let them dry completely before moving on to the next step. Once the surface is clean and dry, you're ready to choose the right paint and finish that will best suit your cabinets.

Choose the Right Paint and Finish

When selecting the ideal color and texture for your cabinet, it's important to consider the overall ambiance of the room. Painting techniques play a crucial role in achieving the desired finish.

Opt for a high-quality paint that is specifically formulated for cabinets, as this will ensure better adhesion and durability. Matte or eggshell finishes are perfect for cabinets as they don't show imperfections easily.

When it comes to color selection, consider complementing the existing color scheme of the room. Neutral colors like white, gray, or beige are timeless and versatile. On the other hand, bold hues like navy blue or emerald green can add a pop of color and inject personality into the space.

To achieve a professional-looking finish, brush on the paint in thin, even coats, and avoid overloading the brush. Allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next one. If you're using a roller, use one with a high-density foam roller cover to avoid roller marks.

Additionally, consider using a paint sprayer for a smoother and more uniform finish. Whatever painting technique you choose, make sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions and wear protective gear.

Once you've painted your cabinets, the next step is to prime them.

Prime the Cabinets

Before priming, it's important to thoroughly clean your cabinets to ensure the primer adheres properly. Use a grease-cutting cleaner to remove any dirt, grime, or residue from the cabinets.

Once the cabinets are clean and dry, lightly sand them with a fine sandpaper grit. This will help the primer adhere better and ensure a smooth surface for painting.

When priming the cabinets, use a high-quality brush and apply the primer in thin, even strokes. Be sure to brush in the direction of the wood grain to avoid visible brush strokes.

Allow the primer to dry completely before moving on to painting the cabinets. With a properly primed surface, the paint will adhere better and create a more durable finish.

Now that your cabinets are primed, it's time to paint them.

Paint the Cabinets

When it comes to painting your cabinets, it's important to apply the paint in thin layers to achieve a smooth and even finish. Avoid the temptation to apply too much paint at once, as it can lead to drips and an uneven application.

Additionally, be sure to allow the paint to fully dry between coats to avoid any smudging or lifting of the paint. By following these steps, you can ensure a professional-looking paint job on your cabinets.

Apply the Paint in Thin Layers

To achieve a smooth and flawless finish, it's important to apply the paint in thin layers, building up the coverage gradually. Technique tips for applying paint in thin layers include using a high-quality paintbrush or roller, and avoiding overworking the paint.

Here are some paint thickness guidelines to help you achieve the best results:

  • Apply a thin first coat of paint, focusing on even coverage rather than complete coverage.
  • Allow the first coat to dry completely before applying a second coat.
  • Apply subsequent coats in thin layers, building up the coverage gradually until you achieve the desired finish.

By applying paint in thin layers, you'll avoid drips and uneven coverage, resulting in a professional-looking finish. Remember to allow the paint to dry between coats, as this helps ensure adhesion and a smooth finish.

Allow the Paint to Dry Between Coats

Waiting patiently for each coat of paint to dry is crucial for achieving a professional finish that will make your project stand out. Before applying the next coat of paint, allow the previous coat to dry completely. Depending on the type of paint used, drying time can vary, so be sure to read the instructions on the label.

If you try to apply the next coat of paint before the previous coat is dry, you risk causing the paint to bubble or peel. In addition to allowing the paint to dry between coats, there are other things you can do to ensure a smooth finish.

Before painting, make sure to sand the cabinets to create a surface that the paint will adhere to. This will also help to remove any imperfections in the wood. To speed up the drying process, open windows or use a fan to promote air circulation.

By following these tips for drying and sanding, your cabinets will look as if they were professionally painted.

Now that your cabinets are painted and dry, it's time to reinstall the hardware and enjoy your new cabinets!

Reinstall Hardware and Enjoy Your New Cabinets!

Now that your cabinets are painted and looking brand new, it's time to put the finishing touches on them by reinstalling the hardware and admiring your hard work! Before you start, make sure that you have all the necessary tools, such as a Phillips head screwdriver and a level. You will also need to choose the right knobs and handles that complement your newly painted cabinets. Refer to the table below for some helpful tips on hardware placement and choosing the right knobs and handles.

Hardware Placement Choosing Knobs and Handles Cleaning the Cabinets
Place knobs on cabinet doors Choose knobs that match your cabinets' color Remove all stains and grime from the cabinets
Place handles on drawers Choose handles that complement your cabinets' style Use a degreaser to get rid of any grease or oil buildup
Make sure the hardware is level Consider the size of your cabinets when choosing hardware Dry the cabinets thoroughly before installing new hardware

Once you have all the necessary tools and hardware, start by removing the old hardware from the cabinets. Use a screwdriver to unscrew the knobs and handles, and set them aside. Next, clean the cabinets thoroughly using a degreaser to remove any grease or oil buildup. Dry the cabinets thoroughly before installing the new hardware. Finally, use the level to ensure that the hardware is straight and properly aligned. Enjoy your newly painted cabinets with their new and improved hardware!


Congratulations! You've successfully painted your stained cabinets and transformed the look of your kitchen or bathroom. By following the steps outlined in this article, you've prepped the surface, chosen the right paint and finish, primed the cabinets, and painted them with precision and care.

However, you may be thinking, "But what about the cost?"Yes, it's true that purchasing the necessary supplies and paint can add up, but consider this: painting your cabinets is a cost-effective way to give your space a fresh new look without the expense of a full renovation. Plus, by doing it yourself, you're saving money on labor costs.

In conclusion, painting stained cabinets can be a rewarding DIY project that can make a big impact on the overall look and feel of your space. With the right tools and techniques, anyone can achieve a professional-looking finish. So, go ahead and give it a try—you may be surprised at how easy and affordable it can be!

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