If your kitchen is looking old and tired, a lick of paint on the kitchen cabinets can really make a difference. A good job can really freshen up your kitchen and lend it a style that can catch the eye of visitors. The problem is that many homeowners rush into this job thinking that it’s easy and shouldn’t take too long. Of course, it’s more involved than that and people tend to make the following common mistakes:

It Can Take Longer Than You Think.

The truth is that if you plan to do a good job of painting your kitchen cabinets, it’s going to take longer than a single weekend. In fact, most people find that it can take up to a week of preparation, painting, and finishing to get the job done right. If you’re not in the mood for a medium-term project, kitchen cabinets may not be your thing.

You Need to Wash the Surfaces.

Even before you pick up a paintbrush, you will need to thoroughly wash down and scrub all surfaces that are to be painted. The problem is that oil and grime build up quickly in the kitchen and this can cause issues with paint adhesion. It may even cause paint to flake, peel, and bubble, leading to a poor finish.

Wood Grain Is a Problem.

If your kitchen cabinets are made of wood and have a visible grain, you may need to lower your expectations a little. One of the problems with wood grain is that it will show through the finished paint job. Using a thick primer can alleviate this to some degree but unless you’re prepared to fill each and every textured surface with putty and then sand it back, the finish may not be as smooth as you expect.

You Need to Take The Doors Off and the Drawers Out.

Some people prefer to take the shortcut to painting their kitchen cabinets and they leave the doors on. They try to paint around the hinges and so on. Apart from the fact that mistakes can be made, it can also look tacky because some areas just can’t be painted unless you’re willing to remove doors and drawers.

You Need to Sand Down the Wood.

As well as washing all surfaces, you should also sand down all of the surfaces that are to be painted. By using a medium grit, you can add tooth to the surface and make sure that the paint adheres better. This will also produce a more durable, smoother finish.

They Choose the Wrong Paint Color.

Because painting kitchen cabinets is not a small job, you want to make sure that you choose the right paint the first time. Before you paint anything, get some paint pot samples or some color swatches and hold them up against the existing kitchen colors and style. This will give you some idea of what to expect.


Painting your kitchen cabinets is a great way to freshen up your living space. By avoiding the most common mistakes, you can minimize the risk of it being a bad job.

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