How To Paint Already Painted Cabinets

If you've been staring at the same old, tired cabinets in your kitchen, it may be time for a change. Painting your already painted cabinets is a cost-effective and relatively easy way to give your kitchen a fresh new look. With the right tools, techniques, and a little bit of patience, you can transform your cabinets from drab to fab in no time.

Before you get started, it's important to assess the condition of your cabinets. If they're in good shape and just need a fresh coat of paint, then you're in luck. However, if they're damaged, warped, or have peeling paint, you may need to consider other options, like replacing or refacing.

Once you've determined that your cabinets are suitable for painting, it's time to properly prepare them for a flawless finish.

Key Takeaways

  • Properly assess cabinet condition before painting and consider other options for damaged or warped cabinets.
  • Use sanding techniques to prepare the surface for painting and choose a semi-gloss or high-gloss finish for durability and easier cleaning.
  • Stick to neutral or classic colors for a timeless look and apply multiple thin coats of paint for a smooth finish.
  • Use quality brushes and rollers for a professional-looking finish and allow proper drying time between coats while following manufacturer's instructions.

Assess the Condition of Your Cabinets

You'll want to take a close look at your cabinets to see if there are any areas that need extra attention before painting them again. Check for damages such as chips, cracks, or dents that may need to be repaired before proceeding with the painting process.

If your cabinets are made of wood, you'll also want to inspect them for any signs of water damage or warping.

Once you've checked for damages, the next step is to clean your cabinets thoroughly. Use a mild cleaner and a soft cloth to wipe down the surfaces and remove any grease or dirt that may have accumulated over time.

Make sure to remove all hardware, such as knobs and hinges, before cleaning to ensure that you don't miss any spots. Properly preparing your cabinets will ensure that the paint adheres properly and that the end result is a smooth and even finish.

Properly Prepare Your Cabinets

Before even thinking about slapping some fresh color on those boxes holding your dishes and snacks, it's imperative that you give them a good scrub down to rid them of any remnants from their previous life.

Start by removing all cabinet doors and hardware, and then clean them thoroughly with a degreaser or a TSP solution. Once they're dry, use sanding techniques to rough up the surface, which will help the primer adhere better. Be sure to use a fine-grit sandpaper, such as 220-grit, and sand in the direction of the grain to avoid any scratches.

After sanding, it's important to clean the cabinets once again to remove any dust or debris. Use a tack cloth to wipe down all surfaces and ensure there's no dust left behind.

Once your cabinets are clean and prepped, you can move on to choosing the right paint. Remember, proper preparation is key to achieving a smooth and long-lasting finish.

Choose the Right Paint

Now that your cabinets are clean and prepped, it's time to select the perfect hue that will give your kitchen a fresh, new look.

When choosing the right paint for already painted cabinets, there are two important things to consider: paint finish and color selection.

For the paint finish, it's best to choose a semi-gloss or high-gloss finish as they're more durable and easier to clean. Avoid matte or eggshell finishes as they tend to show more wear and tear over time.

As for color selection, stick to neutral or classic colors that'll stand the test of time. White and shades of gray are popular choices that can make your kitchen look bright and spacious.

Once you've selected the right paint finish and color, it's time to move on to the next step: using the right tools and techniques to ensure a flawless finish.

Use the Right Tools and Techniques

When it comes to painting your already painted cabinets, it's important to use the right tools and techniques. Investing in quality brushes and rollers can make a big difference in the final result. Cheap brushes and rollers can leave streaks and brush marks, while quality ones will provide a smooth and even finish.

Another key point is to apply multiple thin coats of paint instead of one thick coat, which can lead to drips and unevenness. With the right tools and techniques, your cabinets will look like they were painted by a professional.

Invest in Quality Brushes and Rollers

Don't skimp on good brushes and rollers if you want to achieve a smooth and professional finish on your already painted cabinets. When it comes to brushes and rollers, you have two options to choose from: brush or roller. Both have their pros and cons.

For instance, a brush is perfect for painting small crevices and corners, while a roller is ideal for covering larger surfaces. Choosing the right bristles is also essential for a successful painting job, as different types of bristles are better suited for different types of paint.

While it's possible to do the painting yourself, you might want to consider hiring a professional painter if you're unsure of your skills or if you're dealing with cabinets that require special attention, such as those made of wood or metal. A professional can also help you choose the right brushes and rollers for the job, ensuring a flawless finish.

With the right tools and techniques, you'll be able to achieve a smooth, even coat of paint on your already painted cabinets. Apply multiple thin coats of paint to ensure that the finish is even and long-lasting.

Apply Multiple Thin Coats of Paint

Achieving a flawless finish on your cabinets requires applying several thin coats of paint. Rather than trying to cover the existing color in one thick layer, it's important to build up the paint gradually. This helps prevent drips, sags, and other imperfections that can ruin the look of your cabinets. Additionally, applying multiple thin coats of paint allows you to achieve a more even and consistent color across all surfaces.

When selecting your paint color, keep in mind that darker colors may require more coats to achieve the desired opacity. Drying time is also an important factor to consider. Make sure each coat is fully dry before applying the next, as this helps prevent the paint from peeling or chipping. Refer to the manufacturer's instructions for recommended drying times and wait at least that long between coats.

To achieve the best results, refer to the following table for guidance on color selection and drying time:

Color Selection Drying Time
Light colors 2-4 hours
Medium colors 4-6 hours
Dark colors 6-8 hours

Once you have applied multiple thin coats of paint and allowed ample drying time, you can move on to the final steps of finishing and reinstalling your cabinets.

Finish and Reinstall Your Cabinets

Now it's time to put the finishing touches on your newly painted cabinets and reinstall them, so you can enjoy your refreshed kitchen. First, take a moment to admire your handiwork and make sure the paint is completely dry before proceeding.

Then, follow these steps to finish and reinstall your cabinets:

  • Reinstalling hardware: Once the paint has dried, it's time to put the hardware back on your cabinets. Make sure to clean all the hardware thoroughly before reinstalling, as it likely collected some dust during the painting process. Use a screwdriver to securely attach the hardware to the cabinet doors and drawers.

  • Repainting interiors: If you've decided to repaint the interiors of your cabinets, now is the time to do so. Use a small foam roller or brush to apply paint to the interior surfaces, taking care to avoid drips and streaks. Allow the paint to dry completely before reinstalling the shelves and other interior components.

  • Reinstalling cabinets: Finally, it's time to reinstall your cabinets. Enlist a friend or family member to help you lift and position the cabinets back into place. Use a level to ensure that each cabinet is straight and even. Then, secure the cabinets to the wall using screws and brackets.

Once all the cabinets are in place, reattach the doors and drawers and stand back to admire your newly refreshed kitchen.


Congratulations! You've successfully completed the task of painting your already painted cabinets. By following the steps outlined in this article, you've ensured that your cabinets will look fresh and new for years to come.

As you stand back and admire your handiwork, ask yourself: How much better does your kitchen look now? Can you believe the transformation that a simple coat of paint can bring?

With a little bit of elbow grease and the right tools, you've saved yourself the expense and hassle of replacing your old cabinets.

Now, sit back, relax, and enjoy your newly painted cabinets!

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