A popular step in most kitchen remodels or general cleanups is to redo the cabinets. Replacing them can be costly and time-consuming, so many homeowners opt to repaint instead. Done correctly, this procedure can make a kitchen or bathroom look almost new, as the cabinetry is a major focal point of the room.
The job usually spans a few days, and pros typically charge for painting cabinets by the unit or square foot. Prices can range from $5 to $15 per square foot of surface area or $30 to $100 per unit or opening—keep in mind that the surface area of the back of the doors and inside the cabinets will add to the total. Several details affect the cost of painting cabinets; here’s an overview of the tasks and costs involved.
If your paint, stain, or laminate is worn and dirty from use, painting over it is often a viable solution. Removing doors, drawers, and hardware is a necessary first step before sanding, stripping, or scraping the existing finish to prepare for new paint. In some cases it’s possible to use a deglossing agent, instead of sanding or stripping, on surfaces that have a glossy finish.
If you have bare solid wood or wood veneer cabinets, staining them will preserve and emphasize the natural woodgrain. Many people prefer this look to paint, and it can be done without too much hassle. The wood will need to be sanded very smooth (and in the case of painted cabinets, stripped of the original paint and then sanded). Some surfaces may need a conditioner applied before the stain to ensure even coverage and coloring. The stain is typically applied with a brush and then rubbed into the wood with a cloth, then a protective varnish is sprayed or brushed on. Thanks to the extra prep and finishing steps involved with staining, the job could cost 20 to 50 percent more than painting.
Cabinet Painting at Home
Most homes have built-in cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom that can be painted or stained to good effect; your painter can make recommendations for the finish to complement the room. Preparation is important to make sure the painting causes minimal disruption, since cabinets are often in high-traffic areas. It makes sense to have drop cloths deployed and furniture removed where practicable, even if doors and drawers are removed for painting off-site or in another area. The extra preparation and teardown are worth the hassle to protect surfaces from spills and overspray and to get your room back together quickly.
Cabinet Painting in Apartments
Apartment layouts are typically more compact than you’ll find in a single-family home, so the cabinetry may be a little more integrated into the structure than in houses. Hence, the cabinet sides and doors may not always be the same coloring – your painter should be able to suggest workable color schemes for such instances. As with houses, efficient preparation and wrap-up will minimize disruptions to your most-used rooms, but working in tight quarters or without a work area in close proximity can raise the difficulty of the job.
Cabinet Painting at Businesses
Cabinets in a business setting can sometimes be painted without significantly disrupting the pace of work, although expediency is still appropriate. If needed, operations can be undertaken after hours, or moved to another spot in the building while stain or paint is applied and adequate ventilation employed to keep fumes at a minimum. Unless the business is located in a residential building, odds are that the cabinetry will be fairly accessible if it is not built-in to the walls and alcoves.
|$600 - $950||$1,250 - $2,800||$2,500 - $8,000|
The details can make all the difference in the price of a cabinetry painting job. Our examples illustrate how your choice of finish can affect the price of painting cabinets in a 120 square foot kitchen.
Simple Sprucing Up: $600 - $950
- • Cabinet Style: Flat panel door and drawer fronts make for easy prep and painting, helping to keep labor costs low.
- • Finish Choice: Painting a single, solid color on-site with brushes and rollers is usually the most economical approach to the job, and is often very DIY-friendly.
- • Scope of Work: With kitchen cabinets in good shape, a thorough cleaning and light sanding are all that’s needed before applying primer and paint.
Factory Finish: $1,250 - $3,200
- • Cabinet Style: A raised-panel door style is a little tougher to work with. The added time needed to prep and paint a more intricate design adds labor time (and expense) to the job.
- • Finish Choice: To get a showroom finish, doors and drawer fronts are removed for a sprayed-on finish applied at the pro’s shop. To get the same results on the boxes and frames, careful masking at the site is required.
- • Scope of Work: Taking kitchen cabinet parts off-site and properly masking the area on-site raises the complexity of prep work a few notches, but provides for the best results.
Custom All The Way: $2,500 - $8,000
- • Cabinet Style: A beaded panel kitchen cabinet style can make for tedious prep work. The careful sanding involved is needed to get a crisp, clean paint application.
- • Finish Choice: This custom job starts with a sprayed-on finish, but is topped off with hand-applied distressing and sealing for an aged look that is well-protected.
- • Scope of Work: Removing kitchen cabinet doors and drawers is just the beginning on this job. In addition to standard sanding and priming, two colors of paint are applied before distressing, which is followed by a protective coat of varnish.
Find Cabinet Painting & Staining Professionals Near You
If you are ready to line up your cabinetry painting project, contact a Cabinet Painting Pro in your area to discuss the job. All of the Pros in our network have been background checked and our in-house staff has verified their credentials and insurance coverage. Hiring a trusted Pro can give you the assurance the job will be done right, every step of the way.