When I first mentioned I wanted to paint my cabinets, I was met with responses like, “Oh, I’ve heard that’s hard.” and “Are you sure? That’s a lot of work.”
I knew it wouldn’t be simple, but I also knew any hard work I would have to do would be worth the outcome. I refused to think I would make myself live with cabinets I didn’t love just because I didn’t want to do the work.
So I would smile and respond with, “Yep, I’m sure!” and “It’ll be worth it.” every time.
And you know what I discovered? While it’s a lot of work, it really isn’t too hard. You simply have to follow the right steps and prepare yourself for each task.
So before I jump into all the steps, I just want you to know that you can absolutely do this. Yes, it’ll take a few days and lots of work, but it’s completely worth it to get the look you’ve been dreaming about!
Okay, now that we have our little pep talk out of the way, let’s jump into all the steps involved!
PAINT YOUR CABINETS LIKE A PRO & FINALLY GET THE LOOK YOU’VE BEEN DREAMING ABOUT
First things first, do a little research depending on the look you want and the materials you’re planning to use.
Determine what your cabinets are made out of and measure your hardware.
My cabinets were wooden with 3″ hardware holes.
This determined what kind of primer I needed to use, and the hardware measurements helped me determine if I wanted to keep the same size or fill my holes and find new.
These initial steps will help you plan accordingly as you dive in.
Now let’s dig into the details.
STEP 1: GATHER YOUR MATERIALS
After you know what you’re working with, it’s time to gather your materials.
Here’s what I used…
- Bulls Eye Primer
- Valspar Cabinet & Furniture Paint in Pure White by Sherwin Williams (Satin Finish)
- Cabinet Door Pulls
- Cabinet Drawer Pulls
And here are the tools I needed…
- HART Tools Drill
- HART Tools Orbital Sander
- Yattich Paint Sprayer
- Foam Paint Rollers
- Wooster Paint Brushes
- Plastic Tarps
STEP 2: DISASSEMBLE YOUR CABINETS & FILL YOUR HARDWARE HOLES IF NEEDED
This is as simple as it sounds! Simply take all your cabinet hardware off, take your cabinet doors off their hinges, and remove the hinges from the cabinets.
Don’t forget to remove your drawer faces, too.
Make note of which cabinet door and drawer belongs where, and same goes for the hinges! This will make reassembly much easier.
I used sticky notes to tell me which door belonged where and kept my hinges placed in the cabinets next to where each belonged. You could also use plastic bags to label your hinges.
If you’re planning to purchase a different size of hardware for your doors and drawers, this is where you would fill your hardware holes with a plastic wood.
If you’re using the same size hardware, just leave them as is.
STEP 3: SAND THEM DOWN
Also a simple step! Just take your cabinet doors and drawers and lightly sand them down.
I used an electric sander, but you could also use a fine-grit sandpaper to do the job.
You don’t need to completely remove the finish. You’re just giving your primer something to bond to with this step.
If you filled your hardware holes, make sure you sand those down until they’re flush with the wood.
STEP 4: PRIME
Once your doors and drawers are sanded, it’s time to prime! The primer I used is made to adhere to wood and other materials.
Depending on what your cabinets are made of, you might need to purchase a special primer.
This includes the cabinet frame! Don’t forget about that.
STEP 5: PAINT
Allow your primer to dry completely, then you can start painting.
For the cabinet frame, I just used my brush and roller to apply my paint. This paint is a little more drippy than others I’ve used before, so I needed 3 total coats with this method.
I would brush on the paint, then lay it off with my roller. Ultimately, the paint gave me a really great finish, but it was a little harder to work with due to the enamel.
Once I was done with the frame, I moved on to the doors and drawers.
For this step, I used my paint sprayer.
I tarped my garage, wore a mask, and prepped for overspray. Then I got to work!
In the most professional way, I propped my doors and drawers up on paint cans to spray them. I started with the backs, then laid them flat to dry on pieces of scrap wood to elevate them off the ground.
Once they were totally dry, I moved on to the fronts. I did two total coats on the fronts while also getting two coats around the sides and edges.
If it’s dripping on the sides for you, grab a roller and simply roll the sides to help solve that issue.
Lay them out to dry (elevated again so the edges aren’t touching the ground). And make sure they’re level with the ground so paint doesn’t pool in one area.
Once you have 2 coats on and they look like you want them to, allow them to dry completely, then move on to the next step.
STEP 6: ADD YOUR HARDWARE
Now it’s time to add your hardware! If you’re using the same hardware or even the same size hardware, this is simple. Just screw them into place!
If you’re changing up the sizing, grab one of these hardware templates to help you determine where to drill your holes.
Trust me, they make your life way easier! Just grab your drill and a drill bit and drill holes for your new hardware. Then assemble!
For your cabinet drawer faces, you’ll likely have to reattach them to the frame before you add your hardware.
Note: The longer screws are for the drawers, and the shorter screws are for the doors.
STEP 7: REASSEMBLE YOUR DOORS AND DRAWERS
Once your hardware is on, put your hinges back on their corresponding doors and reattach!
Adjust your hinges as needed, if needed. If you kept them organized for each door, this should be minimal.
Then step back and admire all your hard work!
I was able to paint these kitchenette cabinets and reassemble in 5 days.
Completely worth it if you ask me!
As you can see though, I’m far from done as far as this project goes. Make sure you follow along with me on Instagram to see what’s next!