How To Paint Ikea Cabinets

If you're looking to update your IKEA cabinets without breaking the bank, painting them may be the perfect solution. With a bit of preparation and the right paint, you can transform your cabinets into a beautiful and personalized feature in your home.

In this article, we'll guide you through the process of painting IKEA cabinets, from selecting the right paint to reassembling your cabinets after they've been painted.

To begin, it's important to choose the right paint for your cabinets. Not all paints are created equal, and you'll want to select a paint that is specifically designed for use on cabinets and furniture. Look for a paint that is durable, easy to clean, and has a smooth finish.

Additionally, consider the color you want to paint your cabinets and whether you'll need a primer before painting. With the right paint and a little bit of elbow grease, you can achieve a stunning new look for your IKEA cabinets.

Key Takeaways

  • Properly prep the cabinets by removing doors and hardware, cleaning, sanding, and filling holes.
  • Choose the right paint for durability and finish, considering color and finish options.
  • Apply multiple coats of paint for a smooth and even finish, allowing each coat to dry completely before applying the next.
  • Label doors and hardware for easy reassembly and double-check everything to avoid overlooking small details.

Choose the Right Paint

Selecting the appropriate paint is crucial in order to achieve a polished finish when refinishing your IKEA cabinets. When choosing a color, consider the overall aesthetic of your kitchen or room. Do you want a bold pop of color or a more neutral tone? Keep in mind that lighter colors tend to show dirt and wear more easily, while darker colors can make a space feel smaller.

In addition to color selection, the paint finish is also important. A high-gloss finish will give your cabinets a modern, sleek look, but it may also show imperfections more easily. A satin or semi-gloss finish is a good compromise, as it provides a smooth finish while still being forgiving of minor flaws.

Once you've selected your paint color and finish, it's time to prep your cabinets for painting.

Prep Your Cabinets

Before you begin painting your IKEA cabinets, it's important to properly prep them.

This involves removing the doors and hardware, cleaning and sanding the cabinets, and filling any holes or gaps.

By taking these steps, you'll ensure a smooth and even finish that will last for years to come.

Don't skip this important step in the painting process.

Remove the Doors and Hardware

To start, take off the cabinet doors and unscrew all the hardware, which can account for up to 20% of the total time spent painting the cabinets. Before you begin, take note of the door style and hardware maintenance required.

Some doors may have hinges that need to be unscrewed, while others may have push latches that need to be released. As for hardware, knobs and pulls can be easily removed with a screwdriver, but if you have handles that are integrated into the door, you may need to use a drill to unscrew them.

Once you've removed all the doors and hardware, place them in a safe and organized area. Label each door with a piece of masking tape and a marker to ensure they are put back in the correct spot. This will save you time and frustration when it comes time to reassemble the cabinets.

With the doors and hardware out of the way, you can move on to cleaning and sanding the cabinets to prepare them for paint.

Clean and Sand the Cabinets

Now that the doors and hardware are out of the way, it's time to get your hands dirty and clean and sand those cabinets until they're silky smooth, making you excited to see the end result. Before starting, gather all your cleaning supplies, such as a degreaser, sponge, and clean water. Begin by removing any grease or grime buildup on the cabinets. Once the cabinets are clean, allow them to dry completely.

Next, it's time to sand the cabinets. Sanding is an important step in ensuring a smooth and even finish. Start by using a coarse-grit sandpaper and then work your way up to a finer-grit sandpaper. Be sure to sand in the direction of the grain to avoid damaging the wood. A helpful tip is to use a sanding block to keep the pressure even and prevent any accidental gouges. Once the sanding is complete, wipe down the cabinets with a clean cloth to remove any dust.

With the cabinets now thoroughly cleaned and sanded, it's time to fill any holes or gaps before moving on to the next step.

Fill Any Holes or Gaps

Once you've thoroughly sanded the cabinets, it's time to inspect them for any holes or gaps in the wood that need to be filled to ensure a flawless finish.

First, identify any areas that need attention. This could be holes left from previous hardware or gaps in the wood. Once you've identified these areas, choose from a variety of wood filler options.

When selecting a wood filler, consider the color of your cabinets and the type of wood they're made from. You want to choose a filler that's a close match in color and texture to the surrounding wood. Apply the filler with a putty knife or a small spatula, following the manufacturer's instructions.

Once the filler has dried, use sanding techniques to smooth it out and make it level with the surrounding wood.

With your cabinets now free of any cracks or holes, you can move on to priming them for painting.

Prime Your Cabinets

Before starting, it's important to prep your cabinets by sanding and cleaning them thoroughly. Once you've filled any holes or gaps, it's time to prime your cabinets. This step is crucial to ensure that the paint adheres properly and provides an even finish.

Choosing the right primer is essential. Look for a high-quality primer that is specifically designed for use on cabinets and furniture. It's also important to choose a primer that is compatible with the type of paint you plan to use.

Before applying the primer, make sure to stir it well and apply it evenly. Use a brush or roller and work in the direction of the grain for a smooth finish. Following these tips for even coverage will provide a solid base for your paint to adhere to.

With your cabinets now primed, it's time to paint them and bring your vision to life.

Paint Your Cabinets

To successfully paint your cabinets, it's important to use the right technique. Applying multiple coats will also ensure a smooth and even finish.

Allow each coat to dry completely before adding another layer to avoid any cracking or peeling. By utilizing these key points, you can achieve a professional-looking finish for your IKEA cabinets.

Use the Right Technique

Achieving a flawless finish on your IKEA cabinets is all about using the right technique. When it comes to painting, you have two options: the brush technique or the spray technique.

Here are three things to keep in mind when choosing a technique:

  1. Brush vs Spray Technique: Brushing is great for smaller, detailed areas, while spraying is perfect for larger surfaces.
  2. Blending Paint Colors: Make sure to blend the paint thoroughly before using either technique. This will ensure even coverage and prevent streaks or patches.
  3. Technique Practice: Practice your technique on a small area first to get comfortable with it before moving on to the larger surfaces.

Now that you know the right technique to use, it's time to apply multiple coats to achieve a fully finished look.

Apply Multiple Coats

Now that you've learned the proper technique, it's time to focus on applying multiple coats of paint to your IKEA cabinets.

Whether you choose to use a brush or a spray gun, it's important to apply several coats to achieve a smooth and even finish.

Using a brush may require more time and effort, but it allows you to control the amount of paint applied and to get into tight spaces.

On the other hand, spraying the cabinets can be quicker and give a more professional-looking finish, but it also requires more preparation and clean-up.

Regardless of which method you choose, make sure to allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next one. Depending on the type of paint you use, this can take anywhere from a few hours to a full day.

In the end, the extra time and effort will be worth it when you see the final results of your beautifully painted IKEA cabinets.

As you move onto the next step, it's essential to remember to allow time for your cabinets to dry. Rushing this process can lead to smudging, uneven coats, or even damage to your newly painted cabinets.

So, take a break, grab a snack, and let the paint dry completely before moving forward.

Allow Time to Dry

Make sure you take a break and give your freshly applied coats of paint on your cabinets enough time to dry completely before moving forward with the next step. The drying process is an essential part of painting your cabinets, and it's crucial to follow the optimal conditions for the paint to dry correctly.

If you're in a hurry and try to move forward with the next coat too quickly, the paint may not adhere correctly, and you could end up with a messy finish. To ensure that the drying process goes smoothly, make sure you're painting in a well-ventilated area with low humidity and moderate temperatures.

It's best to let each coat dry overnight before applying the next one. If you're in a hurry, you can use a fan or a hairdryer set on low to speed up the drying process, but be careful not to overdo it. When the paint is dry to the touch, gently run your fingers over it to ensure that it's completely dry before moving on to the next step.

With your cabinets now dry and prepped, it's time to move on to reassembling them.

Reassemble Your Cabinets

Once you've got all the pieces laid out, it's like putting together a jigsaw puzzle to reassemble your cabinets. But don't worry, it's not as complicated as it may seem.

First, make sure you have all the tools needed, such as a screwdriver and a hammer. Then, start by reattaching the doors to the cabinets, making sure they are aligned properly.

Next, attach any drawers that were removed during the painting process. You may need to adjust the drawer slides to ensure they fit snugly. Once the drawers are in place, reattach any shelves or additional hardware, such as door knobs or handles.

Finally, give everything a once-over to make sure it's all secure and properly aligned. With these tips for reassembling your cabinets, you'll have your newly painted IKEA cabinets back in place and looking great in no time.

Remember to take your time and double-check everything as you go. It can be easy to overlook a small detail that could affect the functionality or appearance of your cabinets. And don't forget to enjoy the fruits of your labor once you're done - your newly painted cabinets will be a beautiful and functional addition to your home.


Congratulations! You've successfully painted your IKEA cabinets and transformed the look of your living space. By following the steps outlined in this article, you were able to choose the right paint, prep your cabinets, prime them, paint them, and reassemble them with ease.

But your work isn't quite done yet. Now, it's time to sit back, relax, and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Admire the new color of your cabinets and how it complements the rest of your decor. Take pride in the fact that you were able to complete this DIY project on your own and save money in the process.

Remember, with a little bit of patience and the right tools, you can achieve anything you set your mind to. So, go ahead and tackle that next home improvement project with confidence!

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