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The Home Depot

Ins and Outs of Cabinetry Painting

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Cabinets & Countertops > Ins and Outs of Cabinetry Painting
Ins and Outs of Cabinetry Painting

Tired and worn cabinetry can detract from the entire appearance of a room. With daily use, it’s common for the cabinetry surfaces to wear and become unsightly. Although replacing your cabinets is one option, perhaps you’d rather redo your cabinets less expensively.


Renovating your home requires careful planning and execution. Visit the Environmental Protection Agency for important information about renovating and making improvements to a home. As you work with cabinetry to refinish the surfaces, you’ll be working with a variety of tools and chemicals, so proceed carefully to ensure safety.


Once you know the ins and outs of cabinetry painting, you’ll be ready to proceed with confidence, knowing that the finished results of your work will be of high quality.

  1. If you’d rather skip the extensive sanding of the surfaces, you could apply a liquid sandpaper product to prepare the surfaces instead.

    1.Materials and Equipment

    You probably already possess a lot of the equipment and materials you’ll need to paint your cabinets. You’ll need basic hand tools such as screwdrivers. You’ll also need sandpaper, a tack cloth, paintbrushes, a paint roller, primer and paint. If you’d rather skip the extensive sanding of the surfaces, you could apply a liquid sandpaper product to prepare the surfaces instead.

  2. 2.Surface Preparation

    Remove the cabinet doors from the cabinets to enable you to work on them. Remove all hardware from the cabinets, including knobs and handles. One of the easiest ways to paint cabinet doors is to set up a work station with drop cloths on the floor and sawhorses over the drop cloths to hold the cabinet doors horizontal while you work.


    Prepare the surfaces of the cabinets first by either sanding with medium-grit sandpaper or applying the liquid sandpaper over the surfaces with a paintbrush. It’s important to create roughness on the surface of the cabinet doors for proper application of the new primer and paint. Either allow the liquid sandpaper product to dry completely or wipe down the surfaces thoroughly with a tack cloth to remove excess dust.

  3. 3.Applying Primer and Paint

    Apply the primer to the cabinet doors first, using a paintbrush. Follow the grain of the wood as you apply the primer and make sure you coat the front and back of each cabinet door with a thin and even layer of primer. Allow the primer to dry and then sand the surface lightly with fine-grit sandpaper to prepare it for painting. Wipe the surfaces thoroughly with a tack cloth to remove dust.


    Apply the paint to the cabinet doors using a paintbrush or a paint roller. Work carefully to ensure that you coat the cabinets with a neat and even layer of paint. Allow the first coat of paint to dry and then apply a second coat of paint for the best effect.

  5. 4.Finishing the Project

    Allow the cabinet doors to dry thoroughly before you try to rehang them – at least 48 hours. If you place them back onto the cabinets before the paint dries completely, you may mar the freshly painted surfaces. Remount the knobs and handles on the cabinet doors. Screw the hardware back into the hinges to rehang the cabinet doors on your cabinets.


    With just a little time and effort, you can easily redo your cabinetry doors to give your interior room a fresh look.

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