How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets Without Brush Marks
Interior House Painting

How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets Without Brush Marks

Posted on December 15, 2022

How do you feel when you walk into your kitchen? Besides the occasional “why did I come in here” thought; hopefully, you feel happy with the look and feel of your kitchen, especially your kitchen cabinets.

Your kitchen cabinets are a major fixture in your kitchen. They determine if your kitchen is a cohesive, harmonious meeting place or a heavy, disjointed utility room. Whether you refinish or repaint, you’re taking a big step in refreshing your home! This project can be time-consuming, so make sure you’re fully prepared so this project goes as smoothly as possible.

Choosing the Right Paint for Kitchen Cabinets

paint can of oil paint and latex paint to paint kitchen cabinets

The type of paint you choose for painting your kitchen cabinets will change the aesthetic of your kitchen. For example, if you’re interested in staining your cabinets, you’ll need wood staining products to maintain the wood grain look. However, you’ll need latex or oil-based paints if you are looking to paint your kitchen cabinets.

Need help determining which look you’re going for? Check out our article about cabinet refinishing versus repainting!

Below we’ll go over the performance characteristics of each type of paint to help you decide which is best for your kitchen cabinets.

Painting with Oil Paint

There are many upsides to opting for oil-based paint. A thicker paint, oil paint dries harder, which makes it much more durable than latex. In addition, it has incredible stain-blocking power and features a glossy, durable finish.

But oil paints have a long dry time. Therefore, it’s recommended to wait 24 hours after the first coat of paint to add another layer. However, because it is a thicker paint, you may be satisfied with the coverage after only one coat.

It’s also important to note that you must have proper ventilation to use oil paint for painting cabinets due to its strong odor.

Painting with Latex Paint

Latex paint is the most popular choice for painting kitchen cabinets due to its affordability and versatility.

It is still recommended to ventilate your work area when painting with latex paint, but it has far less odor than oil paint. In addition, the dry time between coats is a mere 4 hours, with surfaces being dry to the touch in as little as 1 hour.

On the downside, latex paint is less durable and is prone to chipping after heavy use.

How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets

man painting kitchen cabinets

Painting kitchen cabinets is a tedious project, and it cannot be rushed if you’re looking for a flawless finish. Following the steps below, you’ll be closer to beautiful painted kitchen cabinets and a refreshed kitchen.

Let’s get started!

Prep Your Space

Prepping the space around your cabinets will help the process go smoother and make clean-up a breeze.

Tape off the edges of your cabinets and your walls. Cover countertops, tables and appliances with a tack cloth or drop cloth to keep them clean and protected. Finally, ensure your area is well-ventilated by opening windows or placing oscillating fans in the room.

Remove Hardware and Doors

kitchen cabinet hardware being removed

Your instincts might tell you to paint kitchen cabinets while assembled. But, removing kitchen cabinet doors, drawers and hardware are more efficient.

Using a screwdriver, remove your kitchen cabinet doors, drawer fronts and their hardware. Remember the cabinet hinges!

Prep Your Cabinets

After removing cabinet doors, knobs, hinges and other hardware, clean and sand your cabinets.

To cut through grease on your cabinets, use a mixture of Trisodium phosphate (TSP) and water. Use a quarter-cup TSP per gallon of water.

Fill any dents or holes with wood filler using a putty knife. Finally, use sandpaper to smooth the surface further, ensuring you get into corners and creases.

Brushing vs. Spraying

image of professional spraying kitchen cabinets

A paint sprayer is, as its name implies, a tool used to spray paint on a surface, resulting in a flawless, professional finish. A more expensive option, the secret sauce to paint sprayers is in the prep work. The little time it takes to apply the paint is offset by the prep work required to achieve the finished product.

Opting for brushes or paint rollers is the DIY go-to method. It is cheaper and more approachable for the average homeowner. Using brushes to apply paint will give you the antiqued brushstroke look typically seen in older homes.

Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets

Now it’s time to put paint on cabinet boxes, doors and drawers! The first step is applying a thin layer of primer coat to all the surfaces.

Once the primer has dried completely, you can apply your first coat of paint. Starting with the cabinet box interior, make your way to the outer frame and sides.

After finishing the cabinet interior, move on to the cabinet doors and drawers. If you’re using a brush, maintain a particular direction to avoid noticeable streaks.

As you’re working, if you notice any drips or blemishes, use a damp cloth or paper towel to correct these before the paint dries.

Allow Cabinets to Dry Completely

[INSERT IMAGE – image of cabinet doors drying]

After every coat, you must allow the paint to dry completely. Depending on the type of paint you’re using to paint your kitchen cabinets will determine how long to wait between coats.

  • For oil-based paint: 24 hours between coats.
  • For latex paint: 4 hours between coats.

It usually takes between two or three coats to achieve a flawless finish.

Is DIY worth the cost savings?

Suppose you’re considering going the DIY route or hiring a professional painter to paint your kitchen cabinets. In that case, the two main factors to consider are time and money.

Professional painting crews are, well, professionals. They have years of experience and nuanced knowledge about completing projects quickly and flawlessly. They also have access to high-quality paint and tools, which are included in the all-in price of hiring them.

What could take a professional crew a day to complete could take you an entire weekend or week.

When you go the DIY route, what you’ll save in cost, you’ll spend in time.

Trust the Professionals at CertaPro Painters®

professional painter painting kitchen cabinets

Now that we’ve discussed how to paint kitchen cabinets, we’re so excited for you to enjoy your refreshed kitchen! Painted kitchen cabinets are a great way to upgrade your space and help you fall in love with your kitchen again.

At CertaPro Painters®, we’re dedicated to serving our clients with beautifully painted cabinets and leaving them with a finished product they love.

Ready to paint your cabinets? Schedule an estimate with CertaPro Painters® today!