A step by step guide: How to paint kitchen cabinets for a stunning transformation

Painting kitchen cabinets is an affordable and effective way to give your kitchen a fresh new look. With a little time, effort, and the right materials, you can transform your outdated cabinets into a stylish focal point that enhances the overall appeal of your kitchen. Our paint expert, Jon, has provided his insights to guide you through the step-by-step process of painting kitchen cabinets, ensuring a successful and professional-looking finish.

Step 1: Planning and Prep

Before diving into the painting process, proper planning and preparation are crucial for a successful cabinet transformation.

Assess your cabinets: Take a close look at your cabinets to determine their condition. Repair any damage, fill in cracks or holes, and ensure they are clean and free from grease or grime. Remove cabinet doors, drawers, and hardware.

Choose the right paint: Opt for a high-quality paint suitable for kitchen cabinets. Our Eggshell No. 17 is ideal due to its durability and resistance to moisture and stains. Simply pick your favourite colour from our range of over 70 shades.

Gather supplies: Ensure you have all the necessary tools, including paintbrushes, rollers, masking tape, sandpaper (medium and fine grit), dust sheets and cleaning materials.

The countertop in a kitchen.

Step 2: Cleaning and Sanding

Proper cleaning and sanding are essential for creating a smooth and clean surface, allowing the paint to adhere effectively.

Clean the cabinets: Wipe down the cabinet surfaces with a mild detergent or degreaser to remove dirt, grease, and stains. Rinse thoroughly and allow them to dry completely.

Sand the cabinets: Lightly sand the cabinet doors, drawers, and frames with medium-grit sandpaper to remove any existing finish, roughen the surface, and promote better paint adhesion. Finish by sanding with fine-grit sandpaper for a smooth texture.

Remove dust: After sanding, remove all dust particles from the cabinets using a tack cloth or a damp cloth. Ensure the surface is clean and free from debris.

A close up of hands sanding a wooden draw in preparation.

Step 3: Prime

Applying a primer is an essential step to ensure the paint adheres properly and achieves a smooth and long-lasting finish.

Choose a suitable primer: If your cupboards are made from melamine or MDF then you will need to use our Multi Purpose Primer before applying paint.

Apply the primer: Use a brush or roller to apply a thin, even coat of primer to all cabinet surfaces, including the doors, drawers, and frames. Allow it to dry completely – they will be touch dry within 30 mins and take 4 hours to cure before a second coat of primer can then be applied.

Once dried, allow 2-3 days before continuing to our next step.

If your cupboards are bare wood and have been prepped correctly, then you do not need to do this and can move straight to step 4.

Close up of hands painting a wooden draw using an Earthborn paint brush.

Step 4: Painting the Cabinets

Now for the fun part, painting! Our Eggshell No.17 is washable and scuff resistant making it perfect for use in the kitchen.

Choose your painting technique: Decide whether you want to brush, roll, or spray paint your cabinets. Each method has its advantages, so choose the one that suits your skills and preferences.

Apply the paint: Start with the cabinet frames, followed by the doors and drawers. Use smooth, even strokes and apply thin coats, allowing proper drying time between each coat, we recommend allowing 6 hours before adding another coat. Multiple thin coats are better than a single thick coat to avoid drips and ensure a professional finish.

Pay attention to details: Take extra care when painting cabinet edges, corners, and intricate details. Use a smaller brush or synthetic brush to achieve clean lines and consistent coverage.

Dependent on the absorbency of the surface will determine how many coats will need to be applied but we normally recommend 2-3 coats.

Step 5: Finishing Touches

Once your cupboards are painted and dry you can install your hardware.

Be sure to take care over the next few days, giving paint time to fully cure and harden.

That’s it! Stand back and admire your hard work just like @pandora.maxton who used Hobby Wood on her wall and kitchen cupboards.

Kitchen nook with the wall and cabinets painted green.

you might also like:

Welcome to the Earthborn family Georgina Burnett

Earthborn X Together Travel

Flora's Tale White's Pairings close up

Spotlight on Flora’s Tale

Melanie Johnsson stool painted in Flower Pot, Freckle, and Dorothy.

Unlock Your Creativity: Painting MDF Furniture with Eco Chic