How To Paint Laminate Kitchen Cabinets

Are your laminate kitchen cabinets looking dull and outdated? Painting them is a cost-effective way to give your kitchen a fresh new look without the expense of replacing them. While painting laminate cabinets may seem daunting, with the right tools and techniques, it can be a straightforward DIY project that anyone can tackle.

Before you get started, it's important to choose the right paint and primer for your cabinets. Laminate is a smooth, non-porous surface that can be difficult for paint to adhere to without the proper preparation. In this article, we'll guide you through the steps of selecting the best paint and primer for your cabinets, removing the doors and hardware, applying the paint and primer, and reattaching the doors and hardware.

By following these steps, you'll be able to transform your kitchen cabinets into a beautiful and durable surface that will last for years to come.

Key Takeaways

  • Use a primer specifically designed for non-porous surfaces when painting laminate cabinets.
  • Prepare cabinets by cleaning with a degreaser and sanding to roughen up the surface for better adhesion.
  • Spraying provides a smoother finish and looks more professional, but brushing is more affordable and requires less equipment.
  • Regular cleaning with a gentle cleaner is important to maintain the appearance of painted cabinets, and avoid using abrasive sponges or harsh chemicals that could damage the surface.

Choose the Right Paint and Primer

It's important to choose the right paint and primer for your laminate kitchen cabinets to ensure a smooth and durable finish that will last for years to come.

When it comes to painting laminate, it's important to use a primer specifically designed for non-porous surfaces. This will ensure that the paint adheres properly and doesn't peel or chip over time. Look for a high-quality primer that is formulated for use on laminate surfaces, and make sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully.

Before you start painting, you'll also want to consider your color selection. Laminate can be tricky to paint, as it doesn't always take to color as well as other surfaces. To ensure the best outcome, choose a light color or a shade that matches your existing kitchen decor.

Once you've selected your paint and primer, it's time to move on to the next step: removing the cabinet doors and hardware.

Remove Cabinet Doors and Hardware

To give your cooking space a fresh new look, start by taking down all the doors and knobs! Proper cleaning is the first step in preparing the cabinets for painting. Use a degreaser to remove any grease or grime build-up. You can also use a mixture of warm water and dish soap.

Rinse the cabinets with clean water and let them dry completely before moving on to the next step. Once the cabinets are clean, it's time to sand them. Sanding techniques will depend on the type of laminate used in your cabinets. If it's a smooth surface, use a fine-grit sandpaper to roughen it up a bit so that the primer will adhere better. If it's a textured surface, use a coarser sandpaper to remove any bumps or imperfections.

After sanding, wipe down the cabinets with a damp cloth to remove any dust or debris. With the doors and hardware removed, you're now ready to apply the paint and primer.

Apply the Paint and Primer

Now that you've removed the cabinet doors and hardware, it's time to apply the paint and primer.

When it comes to the application process, you have two options: brushing or spraying.

Multiple coats will be necessary to achieve the desired finish, and you'll need to be patient during the drying time.

Let's dive into these key points to ensure a successful painting project.

Brushing vs. Spraying

You'll love the smooth and even finish that spraying your laminate cabinets will give you, but if you prefer a more traditional approach, brushing will also do the trick. Spraying versus brushing has its pros and cons, so it's important to weigh them before deciding which method to use.

For spraying, you will need a paint sprayer, an air compressor, and a spray booth or a well-ventilated area. Spraying is faster and provides a smoother finish that looks more professional. It also allows you to reach tight corners and tricky angles that brushing cannot. However, spraying requires more preparation and clean-up time, as well as more paint, which can make it more expensive.

Method Pros Cons
Spraying Smooth and even finish, faster, professional look, reaches tight corners and angles. Requires more preparation and clean-up time, more paint, and expensive equipment.
Brushing More affordable, easier to clean up, and requires less paint. Can leave brush marks, takes longer, and may not reach tight corners and angles.

On the other hand, brushing only requires paintbrushes, rollers, and trays, which are more affordable and accessible. Brushing gives a more textured finish that can hide imperfections, but it can also leave brush marks if not done properly. It takes longer to apply and may not reach tight corners or angles. However, brushing is easier to clean up and requires less paint, making it a more budget-friendly option.

Now that you know the pros and cons of spraying versus brushing, you can choose the method that works best for you. The next step is to apply multiple coats and give them enough drying time to ensure a durable and long-lasting finish.

Multiple Coats and Drying Time

After applying a few coats of your chosen finish, it's important to give it enough drying time to prevent any mishaps like smudging or bubbling. To ensure a smooth and even finish, use sandpaper grit to lightly buff the surface in between coats. This will help the subsequent coats adhere better and create a professional-looking finish.

While waiting for the coats to dry, it's important to maintain a clean and well-ventilated space. Use a cleaning solution to wipe away any dust or debris that may have accumulated on the surface. Consider using a fan or opening windows to improve air circulation, which can speed up the drying process.

After the final coat, give the surface at least 24 hours to dry completely. This will ensure that the paint has fully cured and is ready for reattaching doors and hardware.

With the paint fully cured, it's time to reattach the doors and hardware to complete the transformation of your laminate kitchen cabinets.

Reattach Doors and Hardware

Reattaching the doors and hardware can be accomplished by carefully aligning them with the cabinets and securing them with screws. When reattaching the doors, it's important to adjust the hinges so that they're level and properly aligned with the cabinet frames. This will ensure that the doors open and close smoothly without any misalignment or unwanted gaps.

Updating hardware is also a great way to give your cabinets a fresh new look. When replacing hardware, make sure to choose pieces that fit the existing holes in the cabinets. If new holes need to be drilled, measure carefully and use a template to ensure accuracy.

Once the doors and hardware are reattached, your cabinets will look brand new with their fresh coat of paint.

To maintain your painted cabinets, regular cleaning and touch-ups may be necessary.

In the next section, we'll go over some tips for keeping your cabinets looking their best.

Maintain Your Painted Cabinets

To keep your newly painted cabinets looking fresh, it's important to regularly wipe them down with a gentle cleaner. Use a soft cloth or sponge and avoid using abrasive sponges or harsh chemicals that could damage the surface.

You can use a mixture of warm water and mild dish soap to clean your cabinets. Simply dip your cloth or sponge into the solution and wring out any excess water before wiping down the cabinets. Be sure to dry the cabinets thoroughly with a clean, dry cloth to prevent any water damage.

In addition to regular cleaning, you can also maintain the color of your painted cabinets by avoiding direct sunlight and extreme temperatures. Direct sunlight can cause the color to fade over time, so it's best to keep your cabinets away from windows or use curtains or blinds to block out the sun.

Extreme temperatures can also cause the paint to crack or peel, so be sure to keep your kitchen at a moderate temperature. By following these cleaning tips and color maintenance techniques, you can keep your painted cabinets looking beautiful for years to come.


Congratulations! You've successfully transformed your laminate kitchen cabinets with a fresh coat of paint.

Now, to maintain their pristine appearance, follow these practical tips.

Firstly, keep your cabinets clean by wiping them down regularly with a damp cloth. Avoid using abrasive cleaners that can damage the paint.

Secondly, be gentle with your cabinets by avoiding harsh impacts or scratches. You can also apply a protective coating to prevent damage from moisture or heat.

Remember, your painted cabinets are not just functional, but also a focal point in your kitchen. So, give them the care they deserve to keep them looking as good as new.

With the right paint, primer, and maintenance, you can enjoy your beautiful and affordable kitchen upgrade for years to come. Happy painting!

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