How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets| DIY for under $150!

Well, before I started this project I read a bunch of blogs and watched a bunch of videos on how to paint cabinets on your own. Everyone had slightly different ways of doing this project so I am going to share the steps I took and add my thoughts and suggestions along the way. Here we go!

  • Time needed for this project: 2 Days 
  • Cost for my kitchen cabinet makeover: Just under $150 (see breakdown below with links to products used)

Disclaimer: I am not getting paid to promote any of these products

My List of Purchases…

Paint Sprayer



BEHR Premium Plus Ultra – 1 gal (Home Depot)





Used these to set the cabinet doors on to dry




The Before

Here’s a few before photos of the kitchen cabinets…

I should have taken an up-close photo of the cabinets because the bottom cabinets looked worn before, same with the handles/hardware. Also, I couldn’t stand that the cabinets were almost the same color as the floor and just didn’t look right with the countertop and backsplash! Blah. The florescent lighting doesn’t help either but that isn’t on the to-do list anytime soon. 🙂


Take it all off!

Alright, so first I took all of doors and drawers off, that was easy. I used my drill and as I took the doors and draws off I labeled and set aside the hinges and screws so they could go right back where they belonged when it was time to put everything back together. See the photos below…


Don’t mind the not-so-organized interior of the cabinets haha. Once all of the doors and drawers were off the fun part started. (kidding it was tedious) I washed all of my cabinets with dawn dish soap and warm water with a rag to remove any grease, then I scrubbed in the sander deglosser on everything I was going to paint…doors, drawers, and frames. I did that process twice.

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS STEP: I used the sander deglosser INSTEAD of sanding  because I saw in a few blogs and videos it was used instead of sanding…BUT if I were to do this all over again I would have taken the extra time to sand everything down. I feel like the paint will stick better over time that way. So far, a few months later, the paint is holding up very well but I personally would prefer sanding instead of only using the sander deglosser if I did it again.


Are you keeping your hardware or switching it out?

The original hardware had two holes, I could have put the same handles back on but they were gross so I bought new ones and the ones I bought just needed one hole so…I used wood filler to fill the unused holes. On the cabinet doors I left the holes that were closer to the corners and for the drawers I filled both and drilled new holes in the center. Once it dried I sanded until flush with the surface.

Note: I did not add the wood filler to the list because not everyone will need it but here’s what I used… ($4 at Home Depot)



Set Up Your Zones

Before I started painting I set up a “Paint Zone” and a “Dry Zone”. I do not have pictures of my paint zone but I used painters plastic and duct tape to make a backdrop on my screened-in patio. (Did this outside so the fumes stayed out there and I didn’t get paint on anything inside) If you do not have painters plastic or anything to make a backdrop you can always purchase something like this (the one below comes in 2 sizes – large is pictured – link to example)…


I used an old sawhorse to set the doors and drawers on when painting. (The sprayer instructions will show you the way to hold and spray – the sprayer shouldn’t be tipped at all so all objects being painted need to be upright NOT FLAT!)

My “Dry Zone” was in the living room. I could have probably done a better job at organizing this zone, but it worked for me.


As you can see in the photo above, I had some of the cabinets propped up on something other than the painter’s pyramids because I did not buy enough. I had left over plywood so I pounded nails through the wood to make my own props for drying.


Let’s talk about the Sprayer…

At this point, I had a home for every cabinet door and drawer in the dry zone so I was ready to move on to the painting part of this project.

I just have to say that that sprayer I purchased is AMAZING! (My opinion) I was so nervous to buy it because there were mixed reviews BUT…if the instructions are followed there shouldn’t be an issue.

I made more work for myself on this step of the project because…I was afraid to use the sprayer at first so I HAND PAINTED the cabinets for the first TWO coats…what a pain! After I was finished with the second coat I THEN decided to test the sprayer because my cabinets looked streaky and not evenly painted…so I took the time to read the instructions and tested the consistency while the cabinets were drying. Per the sprayer instructions – I had to add water to the paint to make the spray come out flawless so maybe you can see why I was hesitant to use the sprayer originally. I added a little at a time and sprayed on a test object (per the instructions) until I had the right amount of water-to-paint ratio to make a smooth, drip and bump free spray!

MY THOUGHTS: Read the sprayer instructions carefully and take the time to test and get the sprayer right so you don’t have to hand paint anything! It was so fast and EASY. (For the hand painting I used a combo of a small foam roller, paint brushes and sponge brushes…work I didn’t need to do and it didn’t come out as flawless as I was hoping – the ridges in my cabinets didn’t help but flat cabinets may be okay to hand paint)


Let’s Paint!

Hopefully you can skip the hand painting and start out with the hand sprayer. I will briefly explain the steps I took when painting, but I will also describe the way I wish I would have painted them. (See My Suggested Steps)

(My estimated time per door: Hand Paint5 Minutes | SprayerLess than 30 Seconds)

My steps went like this:

Hand painted all the backs, dried, hand painted all the fronts, dried, painted the frame, hand painted the backs again, dried, hand painted all the fronts again, dried, painted the frame again, then decided to use the sprayer for the final coat starting with the backs and finishing with spraying the fronts.

My Suggested Steps:

FIRST COAT PART 1: Paint the backs of all cabinet doors and drawers (to avoid any smudges or marks from the props on the front of them when they dry)

FIRST COAT PART 2: Once the first coat on the back sides are dry take them back out one by one to the paint zone to spray the fronts of all of the cabinet doors and drawers.

INTERMISSION COAT 1: After painting the first coat on the doors and drawers paint the FIRST COAT on the cabinet frames with a combination of whatever works for you, I used a sponge brush, sponge roller and angle brush.


SECOND COAT PART 1: Once the paint is dry on the front of the doors and drawers, head back to the paint zone (again one at a time this is to avoid any dings) to paint the backs again.

SECOND COAT PART 2: Once the second coat on the backs are dry take them out for the second coat on the fronts.

INTERMISSION COAT 2: After painting the second coat on the doors and drawers paint the SECOND COAT on the cabinet frames again with whatever works for you.

Once the paint is dry, be sure to check the doors, cabinets and the frame all over. If it looks as though you need another coat, put another on. It won’t hurt. It is very important that the sprayer and the paint consistency is perfect before spraying, if it is done right the cabinets will come out looking like they were done by a pro.


Putting everything back together…

Once everything was dried I started adding the hinges one door at a time. I first attached the hinge to the frame then attached the door to the hinge. (I had help from my husband so I didn’t ding the doors while hanging them)


The Finishing Touches

When I was done hanging the doors and attaching the drawers I then added the new knobs!


The After!



I love before and afters…


SO MUCH BRIGHTER! I am very happy with the way my cabinets turned out. The cabinets now stand out from the countertop, backsplash and floors.

I actually like the white on the cabinets because I am able to see if something drips on them. I do not use any chemicals to clean the cabinets either so all I need is water and a paper towel. 🙂

Enjoy your kitchen cabinet makeover!


-A project thought of, is another project to be conquered


One thought on “How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets| DIY for under $150!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: