How To Paint Plywood Cabinets

Are your plywood cabinets looking a little worse for wear? Are you tired of their dull, lackluster appearance? It's time for a change! Painting your plywood cabinets is a cost-effective and easy way to breathe new life into your kitchen or bathroom. With a few simple steps, you can transform your cabinets from drab to fab.

Think of it like giving your cabinets a makeover. Just like how a new haircut or outfit can make you feel like a whole new person, painting your cabinets can give your space a fresh, updated look. Plus, you'll feel proud of the work you've done and the money you've saved by not replacing your cabinets entirely.

So, roll up your sleeves and get ready to learn how to paint plywood cabinets like a pro.

Key Takeaways

  • Prepping cabinets by cleaning and sanding surfaces is important before painting.
  • Choosing the right type and color of paint is crucial for achieving a professional-looking finish and complementing decor.
  • The painting process involves using long, even strokes and waiting for each coat to dry completely.
  • Maintaining painted plywood cabinets requires regular cleaning with gentle cleaners, avoiding abrasive materials, and being mindful of hot pots or pans and harsh chemicals.

Prepare Your Cabinets

Get ready to transform your plywood cabinets by prepping them with these simple steps! The first thing you need to do is clean all the surfaces of your cabinets. This includes the cabinet doors, drawers, and frames. Use a damp cloth or sponge and a mild detergent to wipe away any dirt, grease, or grime that has accumulated on the cabinets over time.

Allow the cabinets to dry completely before proceeding with the next step. Once your cabinets are clean and dry, it's time to start sanding. Sanding is important as it provides a rough surface for the paint to adhere to. Use sandpaper with a grit of 120 or 150 and sand the entire surface of your cabinets, paying particular attention to any rough spots or areas where the previous finish has peeled or chipped away.

After sanding, wipe down the cabinets with a clean, damp cloth to remove any sawdust or debris. With these steps complete, you can now move on to choosing your paint.

Choose Your Paint

When choosing your paint for your plywood cabinets, there are a few key points to consider. First, think about the type of paint that'll work best for your particular project.

Second, select a color that'll complement your overall design scheme.

Finally, make sure to purchase all of the necessary supplies to ensure a successful painting process.

By taking these steps, you can ensure that your plywood cabinets look great and last for years to come.

Consider the Type of Paint

To achieve a smooth and durable finish, it's best to choose a high-quality paint that is specifically formulated for use on cabinets, such as a semi-gloss or satin finish. When considering the type of paint to use on your plywood cabinets, there are a few options to choose from. Here's a breakdown of the different types of paint and their benefits:

Type of Paint Benefits Best Used For
Oil-based paint Durable and long-lasting Cabinets in high-traffic areas
Latex paint Quick drying and easy to clean up Cabinets in low-traffic areas
Chalk paint Versatile and can be distressed for a unique look Cabinets for a vintage or rustic style

Each type of paint has its own strengths and weaknesses, so it's important to consider your specific needs before making a decision. Once you've chosen your paint, the next step is to select a color that will complement your kitchen decor.

When it comes to painting plywood cabinets, choosing the right type of paint is crucial for achieving a professional-looking finish. Now that you're familiar with the different types of paint available, it's time to move on to the next step: selecting a color that will give your cabinets the perfect look and feel for your kitchen.

Select a Color

Now it's time for you to bring your kitchen to life with a splash of color that'll make you excited to cook and entertain in your newly refreshed space. When selecting a color for your plywood cabinets, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, consider color matching with the rest of your kitchen decor. You want your cabinets to complement the rest of the room, not clash with it.

Secondly, think about color contrast. If your walls and countertops are light, consider choosing a darker cabinet color to add some depth to the space. On the other hand, if your walls and countertops are already dark, a lighter cabinet color can brighten up the room.

Don't be afraid to get creative with your color choices – a pop of unexpected color can add some personality to your kitchen.

When you've decided on the perfect color for your plywood cabinets, it's time to move on to the next step: purchasing the necessary supplies.

Purchase the Necessary Supplies

Before diving into your kitchen refresh project, make sure you have all the needed materials on hand, so you can avoid any unnecessary trips to the hardware store. Here's a list of supplies you'll need to paint your plywood cabinets:

Supplies Where to Buy Cost Effective Options
Primer Local hardware store or online retailers Kilz or Zinsser primer
Paint Local hardware store or online retailers Behr or Sherwin Williams paint
Paintbrushes Local hardware store or online retailers Purdy or Wooster brushes
Sandpaper Local hardware store or online retailers 120 grit sandpaper
Painter's tape Local hardware store or online retailers 3M or Frog Tape

Make sure to do your research and compare prices before purchasing your supplies. You can often find cost-effective options at online retailers or discount stores. Once you have all your supplies, you can move on to the next step of applying the paint.

Transitioning to the next section, it's important to note that before applying the paint, you'll need to properly prepare your cabinets by cleaning and sanding them.

Apply the Paint

You're ready to start painting those plywood cabinets, so grab your paintbrush and get to work! First, apply a thin coat of paint using long, even strokes. To avoid visible brush marks, use a paintbrush with soft, fine bristles. Make sure to paint in the direction of the wood grain to create a smooth finish.

Allow the first coat to dry completely, then apply a second coat. This coat should be slightly thicker than the first, but still thin enough to avoid drips or globs. Use the same paint application techniques as before, and be sure to wait for the paint to dry completely between coats.

Drying time may vary depending on the type of paint you use, so be sure to check the label for specific instructions. Once the second coat is dry, you're ready to move on to reattaching cabinet doors and hardware.

Reattach Cabinet Doors and Hardware

Now that you've successfully painted your plywood cabinets, it's time to reattach the cabinet doors and hardware.

To do this, you'll need to install hinges and handles back onto the doors. Once the hinges and handles are secured, you may need to adjust the cabinet doors to ensure that they are properly aligned and open and close smoothly.

Install Hinges and Handles

Attachin' hinges and handles can bring your plywood cabinets to life and make them look like a professional job! Before you start, make sure you have the right tools and materials, including a drill, screws, hinges, and handles. The first step is to choose the right size of hinges and handles that will fit your cabinet doors and drawers. You can refer to the previous subtopic for tips on proper alignment and adjusting tension.

Once you have the right size, you can start installing the hinges. Using the table below, mark where you want to install the hinges on both the cabinet and door. Then, drill pilot holes on the cabinet and screw the hinges in place. Finally, attach the door to the cabinet by aligning the hinges and screwing them together. Repeat this process for each cabinet door and drawer. After you have attached the hinges, install the handles using the same process. With these simple steps, you can easily add the finishing touches to your plywood cabinets and make them look like a professional job.

Transition: Now that you've attached the hinges and handles, it's time to adjust the cabinet doors to ensure they hang properly.

Adjust Cabinet Doors

Like a musician tuning their instrument, ensuring your cabinet doors hang properly is key to creating a harmonious and functional kitchen space. Door alignment and hinge adjustment are crucial steps to getting your cabinets to open and close smoothly. Here are some tips to help you adjust your cabinet doors correctly:

  • Start by checking the alignment of your cabinet doors. If the doors are uneven, you'll need to adjust the hinges to level them out.
  • Check the top and bottom of each door to see if they're level with each other. If they're not, you'll need to adjust the hinges accordingly.
  • Use a screwdriver to loosen the screws on the hinge and move the door up or down until it's level.

Once your doors are level, you can adjust the hinges to ensure they open and close smoothly. If your doors are too loose, tighten the screws on the hinges to pull them closer together. If your doors are too tight, loosen the screws to allow them to move more freely.

By adjusting your cabinet doors, you'll not only improve the functionality of your kitchen, but also the overall appearance of your painted cabinets. Now that your doors are properly adjusted, it's time to learn how to maintain your painted cabinets for a long-lasting finish.

Maintain Your Painted Cabinets

To keep your painted plywood cabinets looking their best, make sure to regularly clean them with a gentle cleaner and soft cloth. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or rough sponges, as they can scratch or damage the painted surface. Instead, use a mild soap and water solution or a designated cabinet cleaner to wipe down the surfaces.

Be sure to dry the cabinets thoroughly after cleaning to prevent any water damage. In addition to regular cleaning, it's important to maintain your painted cabinets to ensure a long lasting finish. Avoid placing hot pots or pans directly on the painted surfaces, as this can cause the paint to bubble or peel.

Also, be mindful of any harsh chemicals that may come into contact with the cabinets, such as bleach or ammonia. If any spills occur, clean them up immediately to prevent any damage to the paint. By taking these simple steps, you can keep your painted plywood cabinets looking beautiful for years to come.


Congratulations on successfully painting your plywood cabinets! Your hard work has paid off and now you've got a fresh, new look in your kitchen.

But, before you sit back and relax, there are a few things you should keep in mind to maintain your newly painted cabinets.

Firstly, to keep your cabinets looking their best, avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners. Instead, opt for a gentle cleaner or simply wipe them down with a damp cloth.

Additionally, be sure to handle your cabinets with care to avoid chipping or scratching the paint.

Lastly, remember that maintenance is key to keeping your cabinets looking great in the long run. Regular touch-ups and maintenance will go a long way in preserving the beauty of your painted plywood cabinets.

As the saying goes, "a stitch in time saves nine,"so don't wait until the paint is chipping to address any issues. With a little bit of care and attention, your plywood cabinets will continue to look fresh and new for years to come.

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