How To Paint Stained Cabinets

Are your stained cabinets making your kitchen or bathroom feel outdated and dull? Painting them can give your space a fresh and modern look without the cost of completely replacing them.

With a bit of elbow grease and patience, you can easily transform your stained cabinets into something beautiful. In this article, we'll guide you through the steps to paint your stained cabinets like a pro.

The first step is to remove the cabinet doors and hardware. This will make it easier to paint the cabinets and ensure that you don't accidentally paint over the hardware.

Once you've removed the doors and hardware, clean and sand the cabinets to remove any dirt, grime, and rough spots. This will also create a rough surface that will help the primer and paint adhere better.

With these initial steps out of the way, you're ready to prime and paint your cabinets, giving them a brand new look that you'll love.

Key Takeaways

  • Proper preparation such as removing cabinet doors and hardware, cleaning and sanding the cabinets, and priming is crucial for a smooth and professional-looking finish.
  • Choosing the right paint finish and color is important, with options such as satin, semi-gloss, gloss, matte, white, gray, beige, navy, and black.
  • Applying paint with a high-quality brush or roller using long, even strokes and painting doors and cabinet frames separately ensures even coverage.
  • Paying attention to details during reassembly and taking time to not rush the process is important for a streak-free finish.

Remove Cabinet Doors and Hardware

Now it's time to get up close and personal with those cabinets, so take a deep breath and get ready to remove the doors and hardware.

First things first, you want to make sure you've got proper storage for the cabinet doors so they don't get damaged during the painting process. Find a clean, safe place to store them, such as a spare room or garage. Label each door with a piece of tape and a marker, indicating where it belongs in case of any confusion during re-installation.

Next, you'll want to minimize the mess during the removal process. Lay down a drop cloth or old sheet to catch any paint chips or dust that may fall during the process.

As you remove each cabinet door, take the hardware off and store it in a labeled plastic bag. By keeping the hardware organized, you'll save time and frustration when it comes time for reinstallation.

With the doors and hardware removed, you're ready to move on to the next step: cleaning and sanding the cabinets.

Clean and Sand the Cabinets

Before you start transforming your kitchen, take a deep breath and imagine the feeling of smooth, clean wood under your fingertips. To achieve this, the first step is to clean and sand the cabinets. This will create a smooth surface for the paint to adhere to and ensure a professional-looking finish.

When choosing sandpaper, it's important to consider the level of damage on your cabinets. If there are deep scratches or gouges, start with a lower grit sandpaper (around 150 grit) and work your way up to a higher grit (around 220 grit) for a smoother finish. Additionally, make sure to use a cleaning solution to remove any grease or grime on the cabinets before sanding. This will prevent the sandpaper from getting clogged and ensure that the surface is properly prepped for painting.

Now that your cabinets are clean and smooth, it's time to move on to the next step: priming the cabinets.

Prime the Cabinets

To make your dream kitchen a reality, you'll want to start by giving your cabinets a fresh new look with a coat of primer that will ensure a flawless finish. Priming your stained cabinets is an essential step that shouldn't be skipped.

It not only helps the paint adhere better, but it also covers up any existing stains, marks, or discoloration on the cabinets.

When it comes to priming techniques, you have a few options. You can use a brush, a roller, or a sprayer. A brush is best for small areas or hard-to-reach corners, while a roller is more efficient for larger surfaces. If you have a lot of cabinets to cover, a sprayer is the fastest option.

Regardless of the tool you choose, make sure to apply the primer evenly and thoroughly. The benefits of priming are well worth the effort, as it'll help your paint job last longer and look more professional.

With the cabinets primed, it's time to move on to the next step of painting them.

Paint the Cabinets

Now that your cabinets are primed, it's time to move on to the fun part - painting!

But before you start, it's important to choose the right paint. Look for a high-quality paint that's specifically formulated for cabinets and will provide a durable, long-lasting finish.

When it comes to applying the paint, take your time and use a brush or roller to ensure even coverage. Don't rush the process or you may end up with a streaky or uneven finish.

With the right paint and a steady hand, your cabinets will look brand new in no time!

Choosing the Right Paint

Selecting the proper paint is crucial when painting stained cabinets. There are a variety of paint finish options and color selection tips to consider before making your final decision. The table below outlines some of the most common paint finishes and their characteristics, as well as some tips for selecting the perfect color for your cabinets.

Paint Finish Characteristics
Satin Low sheen, easy to clean, good for high traffic areas
Semi-gloss Shiny finish, durable, great for moisture-prone areas
Gloss High sheen, very durable, reflects light well
Matte Flat finish, hides imperfections well, not as durable as other finishes

When selecting a color for your cabinets, it's important to consider the overall look and feel of your kitchen or bathroom. Neutral colors like white, gray, and beige are timeless and versatile, while bold colors like navy and black can add drama and sophistication. If you're unsure about which color to choose, consider bringing home a few paint samples and testing them out on a small section of your cabinets before committing to a color.

Now that you've selected the perfect paint for your cabinets, it's time to move on to the next step: applying the paint.

Applying the Paint

Get ready to transform your kitchen or bathroom by giving your cabinets a fresh new look with a smooth and even coat of your chosen paint finish. To achieve a professional-looking finish, it's important to pay attention to your painting techniques and color choices.

Here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Start by removing all cabinet doors and hardware. This will allow you to paint the cabinets more easily and ensure that you don't get paint on any of the hardware.

  2. Use a high-quality paintbrush or roller to apply the paint. Be sure to use long, even strokes to ensure a smooth and even finish.

  3. Paint the doors and cabinet frames separately to ensure that you cover all areas evenly and don't miss any spots.

  4. When choosing a paint color, consider the overall look and feel of your kitchen or bathroom. Neutral colors are always a safe choice, but you can also go bold with brighter colors if you want to make a statement.

Now that you've applied the paint, it's time to reassemble the cabinets.

Reassemble the Cabinets

Assembling the stained cabinets is like putting together a puzzle, but with the added satisfaction of admiring your own handiwork once it's complete. Before starting, make sure all the pieces are properly aligned and in good condition. Check for any damage and repair if necessary before proceeding.

Begin by labeling all the hardware and placing it in a safe location. This'll make it easier to reattach the doors, handles, and hinges after the paint has dried. Take your time and make sure everything is in the correct place before tightening screws and bolts.

Once all the pieces are properly reassembled, step back and admire your newly painted stained cabinets.


Congratulations! You've successfully painted your stained cabinets and transformed your kitchen into a beautiful and updated space. Now, it's time to reassemble the cabinets and enjoy your hard work.

But before you do, let's investigate the truth of a common theory: that painting cabinets is a daunting and difficult task. While it may require some time and effort, painting cabinets is an achievable DIY project that can save you thousands of dollars compared to replacing them entirely.

By following the steps outlined in this article, you've learned how to properly prepare, prime, and paint your cabinets, resulting in a professional and long-lasting finish.

With a little patience and attention to detail, you can achieve a beautiful transformation in your home. So go ahead, grab a paintbrush, and give it a try - you may surprise yourself with the results!

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