If you can’t stand looking at your old and dated kitchen anymore, and you desperately want to update your cabinets, here are my tips on how to ‘Paint your kitchen cabinets the easy way’.
I painted all of my cabinets (and I have a big kitchen) in about 5 days (working about 4 hours per day) and spent $ 150 on all of the paint supplies.
I had never painted kitchen cabinets before. This is why I started with a bathroom vanity and it came out great. So why not paint kitchen cabinets especially when they are so dated?
Update 12/2021: Meanwhile I have painted many kitchen cabinets and I am very confident in what I am doing now.
Let’s start by answering some questions on how to paint your kitchen cabinets the easy way:
Is it hard to paint cabinets?
It is definitely not hard to update your kitchen. You have to be committed and do one step after the other. No need to be scared or overwhelmed.
I painted all of my cabinet doors, front and back. Of course, you can decide to only paint the front. This will cut the time in half.
If you want it to look good take your time, get the right material and take it easy. Do not skip a step from the Checklist, and you will be so happy when you are done. I love looking at my kitchen now that it is updated.
Especially if you want to make your kitchen look more modern, brighter, cleaner looking.
Does your kitchen look similar to this one? Dated and dark?
How to paint cabinets without sanding and priming:
- Take the hardware off.
- Use Deglosser to clean the cabinets inside and outside.
- Take the cabinet doors off and bring them outside (Mark them if you take all of them down at once)
- Lay them on a tarp (or similar).
- Use a brush and a foam roller and add two layers of Milk Paint.
- Let dry in between paint layers.
- Paint the outside of the cabinets twice.
- Let dry.
- Use a brush and add 3 layers of Top Coat over the paint. Let dry.
- Attach the doors and the hardware.
So this is all that you have to do. If you want to get more details on how to paint your kitchen cabinets without sanding and priming, here you go:
This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. Please read my full disclosure here.
Material List for painting kitchen cabinets:
Top Coat (to protect the paint from scratches)
Foam Roller, Paint Tray, Brushes
Print out the Material List and Checklist right here:
Checklist Paint Kitchen Cabinets
Paint your kitchen cabinets the easy way
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How to paint kitchen cabinets
The easy answer is to get your Milk Paint, stir it well, pour paint into the paint tray, get a brush and start painting all the edges and corners of the doors. Then get your medium size foam roller and paint the doors in one direction until everything is covered. Let dry and add another coat. Let dry and add Top Coat for protection. Done.
What is the best paint to paint cabinets?
I use Milk Paint for almost everything. Milk Paint is not as expensive as Chalk Paint and way better to paint with. It also covers darker colors great, therefore I don’t use a primer. Try it out if the cabinet is very dark.
Do I have to sand before painting?
NO – Seriously, I would not have done this project if I had to sand all of my cabinets. No way. My kitchen is huge and it scared me. When I tested Milk Paint it worked so well, that I started my kitchen remodel. Try it out before you start.
Do I have to prime before painting?
I didn’t, my cabinet color was a medium brown and the Milk Paint covered it perfectly. If you have very dark cabinets, you want to try it out first if the Milk Paint covers well. If not, use a primer first.
I also recommend using a primer if you want to save on the Milk Paint. Primer is cheaper and adding a primer might save you a coat of Milk Paint.
What is the fastest way to paint cabinets?
Take the hardware off, wipe it down with deglosser, use a foam roller and a brush and paint the outside of the door. Let it dry (about 2 hours) and paint it again. Meanwhile paint the outside of the cabinets the same way. Let dry. After the paint is dry use Top Coat and add 2-3 layers of Top Coat (let dry in between coats for about 20 minutes). Attach the hardware and screw the doors back on. Done.
How long does it take to paint all of the kitchen cabinets?
Of course it depends how big your kitchen is. My kitchen is huge and it took me about 5 days. I painted the inside and outside of the cabinet doors. If you paint only the outside of the doors, it will save you at least one day.
A medium-size kitchen can be done in 3 days easily. Just stay focused and do one step after the other.
How much does it cost to paint kitchen cabinets?
I had to buy everything new. I bought deglosser, 1 quart of light grey and 1 quart of dark grey Milk Paint, brushes and rollers, and Top Coat. All together I spent about $ 150. I added new hardware which was another $ 50, but you can also spray paint your hardware.
Anything important I should know before I start painting my cabinets?
If you want to be happy about your kitchen project, don’t skip the Top Coat step. Seriously, you want to add 3 layers of Top Coat to protect the paint from scratches. Use a brush to apply the clear coat. It dries fast.
Let the paint dry long enough. Best tip is to let the paint dry overnight when you are done with both layers. The next day add the 3 coats of Top Coat. Top Coat dries fast. So it doesn’t take long.
Outcome of How to paint kitchen cabinets the easy way
Pictures of the updated kitchen:
And this is how my kitchen looked before painting the kitchen cabinets:
So, just to give you some more confidence. It is not hard to paint cabinets. You can do this in a couple of days if you stay on the job. If you want to be super fast, just paint the outside of the cabinet doors. Depends on you, how much time you have, what you want to do.
But I can already promise you, no matter what you do it will look so much better. Decide on a good color for your cabinets – always go light on top and dark for your lower cabinets if you want to do it in two different colors.
If your kitchen is small and you want to stick with a light grey, maybe you want to add a funky backsplash. But that depends also on your countertop. Mine is really busy, so I did not add a backsplash.
So get started, what is holding you back????
Where can I buy the Milk Paint?
This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
If you want to start painting as soon as possible, here are some links I am sharing with you.
I haven’t seen Milk Paint at Lowe’s or Home Depot but you might find it somewhere else. I bought it on Amazon:
Not sure yet?
Here is my blog post I wrote 3 years ago. The steps are much more detailed in How to paint your kitchen cabinets without sanding or priming
The cabinets are still looking the same. I still love it.
Want to see a video of my kitchen? Here you go:
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I know you can do it, just start and you are going to be so happy you did this project. Have any questions? Ask here in the comments.
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