How To Change The Color Of Your Kitchen Cabinets Easily and Effectively

So you’ve decided it’s time to give your kitchen cabinets a fresh new look, but you’re not quite sure where to start. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! In this article, we’ll walk you through a step-by-step guide on how to change the color of your kitchen cabinets. From choosing the right paint to prepping the surfaces and applying the final coat, we’ll provide you with all the tips and tricks you need to transform your kitchen cabinets into a stunning focal point of your home. So let’s get started and bring some new life to your kitchen!

Choosing the Right Color

Consider your kitchen’s overall style

When choosing a color for your kitchen cabinets, it’s important to consider the overall style of your kitchen. Think about the existing color palette and the overall aesthetic you want to achieve. If your kitchen has a modern and minimalist design, you might consider choosing a sleek and neutral color like white or gray. On the other hand, if your kitchen has a more traditional or rustic style, you might opt for warmer and richer tones like a deep cherry or espresso brown.

Look for inspiration

If you’re unsure about which color to choose for your kitchen cabinets, it’s always a good idea to look for inspiration. Browse through interior design magazines or websites, visit home improvement stores, or even take a walk around your neighborhood to see if any particular color catches your eye. You can also gather inspiration from social media platforms like Pinterest and Instagram, where you can find an endless array of kitchen cabinet color ideas shared by homeowners and design professionals alike.

Think about the size of your kitchen

The size of your kitchen is an important factor to consider when selecting a color for your cabinets. If you have a small kitchen, lighter colors can help create a sense of openness and make the space appear larger. On the other hand, if you have a large kitchen, darker colors can add depth and coziness to the room. It’s also worth noting that bold and vibrant colors can make a statement in a larger kitchen, while they might overwhelm a smaller space. Take some time to evaluate your kitchen’s size and choose a color that will complement its scale.

Consider the lighting in your kitchen

Another crucial aspect to keep in mind when choosing a color for your kitchen cabinets is the lighting in your kitchen. Natural light and artificial lighting can significantly affect how colors appear in a room. If your kitchen is blessed with abundant natural light, you have the flexibility to explore a wide range of colors. However, if your kitchen has limited natural light or relies heavily on artificial lighting, it’s advisable to choose lighter colors as they tend to reflect light better and can brighten up the space. It’s a good idea to observe your kitchen at different times of the day and under different lighting conditions to get a better sense of how various colors will look in your space.

Preparing the Cabinets

Remove all the items from the cabinets

Before you can start the process of changing the color of your kitchen cabinets, it’s essential to remove all the items stored inside. Emptying the cabinets will not only make it easier to work on them but also protect your belongings from dust and paint splatters. Take the time to sort through the items and declutter as necessary. This is also a great opportunity to reorganize your kitchenware and get rid of any items you no longer use or need.

Take off the cabinet doors and hardware

To ensure a smooth and even paint application, it’s best to remove the cabinet doors and hardware. This step allows you to paint the cabinets without obstructions and reduces the risk of dribbles or brush marks. Use a screwdriver to remove the hinges and other hardware from the doors. It’s a good idea to label each cabinet door and its corresponding hardware to make reinstallation easier later on.

Clean the cabinets thoroughly

Properly cleaning your cabinets is crucial to ensure that the paint adheres well and provides a long-lasting finish. Use a gentle cleaner, warm water, and a soft cloth or sponge to clean the cabinets inside and out. Be sure to remove any grease, grime, or stains that may have accumulated over time. Pay extra attention to areas around the stove and sink, as they tend to have a buildup of oil and food residue. Rinse the cabinets with clean water and allow them to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Sand the cabinets

Sanding is an essential step in preparing the cabinets for painting. It helps to create a smooth and even surface, removes any imperfections, and allows the primer and paint to adhere better. Start by using a medium-grit sandpaper and lightly sand the cabinet surfaces, including the doors and drawers. This will help remove the existing finish or paint and provide a rougher texture for better adhesion. Sanding creates dust and debris, which should be cleaned up with a damp cloth or a vacuum. Finish with a fine-grit sandpaper to get an even smoother finish. Once again, ensure that all the dust is removed before proceeding.

How To Change The Color Of Your Kitchen Cabinets?

Priming the Cabinets

Choose a suitable primer

Priming your cabinets is an essential step in the painting process. It helps create a smooth and even surface for the paint to adhere to, enhances the durability of the paint, and prevents the wood from absorbing moisture. When selecting a primer, look for one that is specifically designed for use on cabinets or wood surfaces. Consider factors such as stain-blocking properties, fast drying time, and adhesion. It’s also recommended to choose a primer that is similar in color to your paint to ensure better coverage and true color representation.

Apply the primer to the cabinets

Before applying the primer, make sure the cabinets are clean and free from dust. Use a paintbrush or a foam roller to apply the primer to the cabinet surfaces, working in smooth and even strokes. Start with the backside of the cabinet doors and then move on to the front, followed by the cabinet frames. Be sure to reach all the nooks and crannies, including inside the cabinets if desired. Take your time to ensure an even application and pay attention to any drips or excess primer that may accumulate.

Let the primer dry completely

Please wait until the primer has dried before proceeding. The drying time will vary depending on factors such as the type of primer used, the humidity in your area, and the ventilation in the room. Read the instructions on the primer label for specific drying times. It’s advisable to wait at least 24 hours before proceeding to ensure that the primer is fully cured and ready for the next step. During this time, it’s crucial to keep the area well-ventilated and avoid touching or disturbing the primed surfaces.

Choosing the Right Paint

Select the type of paint

When it comes to painting your kitchen cabinets, choosing the right type of paint is essential for achieving a professional and durable finish. Acrylic latex paint is a popular choice due to its durability, ease of use, and quick drying time. It also offers excellent coverage and can withstand frequent cleaning. Another option is oil-based paint, which provides a hard and durable finish. However, oil-based paint requires a longer drying time and emits strong fumes, so it’s recommended to use it in a well-ventilated area. Consider your personal preferences, the desired finish, and the level of durability you need when selecting the type of paint.

Consider the finish

The finish of the paint can significantly impact the overall look and feel of your kitchen cabinets. The most common options for cabinet finishes include satin, semi-gloss, and high-gloss. Satin finishes have a subtle sheen and are popular for concealing imperfections, making them a great choice if your cabinets have any flaws you want to minimize. Semi-gloss finishes offer a slightly more reflective surface and are relatively easy to clean, making them ideal for kitchens. High-gloss finishes provide a shiny and polished look but can be more challenging to maintain, as they tend to show fingerprints and smudges more easily. Consider the level of shine you prefer and the level of maintenance you’re willing to undertake when selecting the finish.

Pick the color

Now comes the exciting part – choosing the color for your kitchen cabinets. Take into account the factors mentioned earlier, such as the overall style of your kitchen, the size of the space, and the lighting conditions. If you’re looking for a timeless and versatile option, neutral colors like white, beige, or gray are always a safe bet. They can easily blend with any kitchen style and provide a fresh and clean look. If you want to add a pop of color or make a bold statement, consider shades of blue, green, or even darker tones like navy or black. It’s important to select a color that you love and that complements the other elements in your kitchen.

Get the necessary supplies

Before you can start painting, make sure you have all the necessary supplies on hand. This includes paintbrushes or foam rollers for the larger areas, small detail brushes for corners and edges, drop cloths or plastic sheets to protect your surrounding surfaces, painter’s tape for clean lines, and a paint tray or bucket for the paint. It’s also a good idea to have some clean rags or paper towels nearby for any spills or drips. Check the labels on your chosen paint to see if any specific brushes or tools are recommended. Having all the supplies readily available will make the painting process smoother and more efficient.

How To Change The Color Of Your Kitchen Cabinets?

Painting the Cabinets

Prepare the painting area

Before you start painting, it’s essential to prepare the painting area to ensure a clean and organized workspace. Protect the floor and nearby furniture from paint drips by laying down drop cloths or plastic sheets. Use painter’s tape to mask off any areas you don’t want to paint, such as walls, countertops, or appliances. This will help you achieve clean and crisp lines. Make sure the area is well-ventilated by opening windows or using fans to circulate the air. Additionally, it’s a good idea to wear old clothes or an apron to protect yourself from paint splatters.

Apply the first coat of paint

Start by applying the first coat of paint to the cabinet frames. Use a brush or roller, depending on your preference and the size of the surface area. Work in long and even strokes, applying a thin and even layer of paint. Take your time and ensure that you cover all the surfaces, including corners, edges, and any intricate details. If using a brush, be mindful of visible brush strokes and try to minimize them by using smooth and consistent motions. If using a roller, use a smaller brush for any hard-to-reach areas.

Allow the first coat to dry

It’s important to wait until the initial coat of paint has dried before adding any more layers. The drying time will depend on the type of paint, the thickness of the coat, and the environmental conditions. Check the paint can label for specific drying times. It’s crucial to resist the temptation to rush the drying process as this can lead to smudges or uneven texture. Wait for the paint to dry completely. During the drying time, keep the room well-ventilated and avoid touching or moving the painted surfaces.

Apply additional coats if needed

Once the first coat is dry, evaluate if additional coats are necessary. Lighter and more neutral colors might require an additional coat for better coverage, while darker or bolder colors might need fewer coats. Apply subsequent coats following the same techniques as the first coat, ensuring even coverage and smooth strokes. Don’t apply a new coat until the previous one has dried fully. It’s advisable to apply thin and even coats rather than thick layers of paint, as this will reduce the risk of drips, cracks, or a tacky finish. Take your time and remember that patience will result in a higher-quality finish.

Adding the Finishing Touches

Reattach the cabinet doors and hardware

After the final coat of paint has dried, it’s time to reattach the cabinet doors and hardware. Use the labels you placed earlier to match each door with its corresponding hardware to ensure proper alignment. Double-check that all the hinges and handles are securely fastened. Take some time to adjust the hinges if necessary to ensure that the doors hang straight and open and close smoothly. Having the doors and hardware properly installed will give your cabinets a cohesive and finished look.

Clean up the painting area

Before you can fully admire your newly painted cabinets, it’s important to clean up the painting area. Collect any drop cloths or plastic sheets and dispose of any paint cans or other containers properly. Remove painter’s tape from the surrounding surfaces, taking care not to peel off any paint. Wash your brushes, rollers, and any other painting tools with soap and water or according to the manufacturer’s instructions. It’s important to dry them completely to avoid damage or mold formation. Wipe down any surfaces that may have come into contact with paint splatters or drips. A clean and tidy workspace will make your kitchen look polished and ready to enjoy.

Let the cabinets dry completely

After all the painting and cleanup, it’s crucial to let the cabinets dry completely before using them. Even though the paint may feel dry to the touch, it’s important to give it enough time to cure fully. This can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks, depending on the type of paint and environmental conditions. Follow the instructions provided by the paint manufacturer for the recommended curing time. During this period, avoid placing any heavy objects on the cabinets or exposing them to excessive moisture or heat. Patience at this stage will ensure that the paint job remains intact and durable for years to come.

Reorganize and style your kitchen

Now that your cabinets are painted and dry, it’s time to reorganize and style your kitchen. Begin by placing the items back into the cabinets, taking the opportunity to declutter and organize as you go. Arrange your kitchenware and accessories in a way that is both visually appealing and functional. Consider adding some decorative elements, such as plants, artwork, or colorful kitchen gadgets, to further enhance the new look of your cabinets. Take a step back and admire the transformation you’ve accomplished – a refreshed and vibrant kitchen that reflects your personal style and taste.

How To Change The Color Of Your Kitchen Cabinets?

Tips and Tricks (How To Change The Color Of Your Kitchen Cabinets)

Work in a well-ventilated area

Ventilation is crucial when painting kitchen cabinets. Ensure that the area is well-ventilated by opening windows or using fans to circulate the air. This will help to dissipate any fumes and odors from the paint and create a more comfortable and safe environment for you to work in. If possible, consider setting up a box fan or exhaust fan to further enhance the ventilation.

Use a high-quality paintbrush or roller

Investing in high-quality paintbrushes or rollers can make a significant difference in the outcome of your paint job. Good-quality brushes and rollers will provide smoother application, better coverage, and reduce the risk of visible brush marks or roller texture. Look for brushes with durable bristles and rollers with high-density foam. Additionally, choosing the right size and type of brush or roller for different areas and details of your cabinets will ensure a more precise and professional finish.

Consider using a paint sprayer for large cabinets

If you have large cabinets or a substantial number of cabinets to paint, using a paint sprayer can be a time-saving option. Paint sprayers allow for quick and even application of paint on larger surfaces, resulting in a smoother finish. However, using a paint sprayer may require some practice and additional precautions, such as covering surrounding surfaces and utilizing a suitable respirator for safety. Consider renting or purchasing a paint sprayer if you have a significant painting project ahead.

Remove any dust or debris before painting

Before you begin priming and painting your cabinets, it’s crucial to ensure that the surfaces are free from dust or debris. Even minor particles can affect the adhesion and smoothness of the paint. Use a clean cloth or vacuum to remove any dust or debris from the surfaces after sanding. Additionally, wipe down the cabinets with a tack cloth or a slightly damp cloth to capture any remaining particles. Ensuring a clean and dust-free surface will result in a more professional-looking finish.

You may also like to read the article: How To Make Kitchen Cabinets Look Glossy?

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Skipping the prep work

One of the most common mistakes when painting kitchen cabinets is skipping the necessary prep work. Properly preparing your cabinets by cleaning, sanding, and priming them will help the paint adhere better and ensure a longer-lasting finish. Skipping these steps can lead to poor adhesion, peeling, or chipping paint over time.

Not using the right type of paint

Using the wrong type of paint can significantly impact the quality and durability of your cabinet makeover. It’s important to select paint that is specifically designed for use on cabinets or wood surfaces. Specialized cabinet paints offer better adhesion, durability, and resistance to moisture and daily wear and tear. Using regular wall paint or low-quality paint can result in a subpar finish that may not hold up well in the kitchen environment.

Rushing the drying process

Patience is key in achieving a high-quality paint finish. Rushing the drying process can lead to smudges, fingerprints, or damage to the paint. Allow each coat of paint to dry fully before applying the next one, and follow the recommended curing time before using the cabinets. It may be tempting to rush the process to get your kitchen back in order, but taking the time to let the paint dry properly will be well worth it in the long run.

Overloading the paintbrush or roller

Applying too much paint to your brush or roller can result in uneven and drippy application. It’s important to use a moderate amount of paint and avoid overloading your tools. This will help you achieve a smoother finish and prevent any excess paint from dripping onto the surfaces below. If necessary, you can always apply multiple thin coats to achieve the desired coverage and finish.

How To Change The Color Of Your Kitchen Cabinets?


Can I paint my cabinets without sanding?

While sanding is recommended for most cabinet painting projects, there are some alternatives available. If your cabinets have a previously painted finish that is in good condition, you may be able to skip the sanding step. However, it is advisable to thoroughly clean and degloss the existing paint to ensure proper adhesion of the new paint. Keep in mind that sanding helps create a rougher surface for better paint adhesion, so it is generally recommended for the best results.

How long does it take for the paint to dry?

The drying time of paint can vary depending on various factors such as the type of paint, environmental conditions, and thickness of the coats. Following the instructions provided by the paint manufacturer is crucial for accurate drying times. In general, latex-based paints can take anywhere from a few hours to a day to dry to the touch. However, it is recommended to wait at least 24 hours or longer before applying additional coats or reinstalling cabinet doors and hardware. For oil-based paints, drying times can be longer, so be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.

What if I change my mind about the color?

If you change your mind about the color of your kitchen cabinets after they’ve been painted, it is possible to repaint them. However, it will require some additional prep work. You’ll need to lightly sand the existing paint to create a rough surface for better adhesion, then clean the cabinets thoroughly to remove any dust or debris. Applying a new coat of primer before painting in the new color is also recommended for achieving the best results. Take the time to choose your color wisely to avoid the need for repainting in the future.

Do I need to remove everything from the cabinets before painting?

Yes, it is highly recommended to remove all items from the cabinets before painting them. Taking everything out of the cabinets will not only make the painting process easier and more efficient but also protect your belongings from dust, paint splatters, or accidental damage. Emptying the cabinets will also allow you to thoroughly clean and prepare the surfaces before painting. Use this opportunity to declutter and reorganize your kitchenware, discarding any items that are no longer needed or don’t spark joy.


Changing the color of your kitchen cabinets can be a transformative and cost-effective way to refresh the look of your kitchen. By considering your kitchen’s overall style, looking for inspiration, thinking about the size and lighting of your kitchen, and choosing the right color, you can create a space that reflects your personal style and enhances the overall aesthetic. Preparing the cabinets properly by removing items, taking off doors and hardware, cleaning, and sanding, sets the foundation for a smooth and durable paint finish. Priming the cabinets with a suitable primer helps the paint adhere better and ensures a long-lasting result. Choosing the right paint type, finish, and color, along with gathering all the necessary supplies, sets you up for a successful painting project. By following the proper painting techniques, allowing for proper drying time between coats, and paying attention to the finishing touches, you can achieve a professional and high-quality finish. Remember to work in a well-ventilated area, use high-quality tools, and avoid common mistakes like skipping prep work or rushing the drying process. If you have any doubts or questions, refer to the FAQ section for additional guidance. Embarking on a kitchen cabinet painting project can be exciting and rewarding. Enjoy the process and the transformation of your kitchen into a space that truly feels like yours.

How To Change The Color Of Your Kitchen Cabinets?

You may also like to read the article: Angled Base Kitchen Cabinet: Innovative and Functional