11 Things to Know Before You Paint Your Cabinets

Has your bathroom been looking dull lately? Are you tired of looking at an outdated kitchen? Cabinet painting is a fantastic way to breathe new life into your kitchen or bathroom without the need for a full remodel. It’s a cost-effective and eco-friendly option, but before you dive into the world of cabinet painting, there are some essential factors to consider. In this guide, we’ll discuss the crucial things to know before having your cabinets painted.

1. Choose the Right Time

Before embarking on your cabinet painting project, consider the right time to do it. Weather conditions play a significant role in the success of the project. Ideally, choose a time when humidity levels are low, and the temperature is moderate. High humidity can extend the drying time, potentially causing paint drips and uneven finishes. In contrast, extremely dry conditions might cause the paint to dry too quickly, resulting in a rough texture. The spring and fall seasons are often the best times for cabinet painting, as they typically have the optimal drying conditions.

2. The Professional Painter Market Is Growing

The demand for professional painters is on the rise. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 31,600 openings for painters are projected each year, on average, over the next decade. This demonstrates the growing job market for skilled painters, including those who specialize in cabinet painting. This means that, when you go to select your painter, you’ll have plenty of professional options to choose from.

That being said, there are a few things you should look for in your painting team. Take a look at their reviews ahead of time to check for any glaring or reoccurring problems. You can also look at their site or reach out to them for photo examples of their previous work. If it’s a reputable painter, they should have no problem providing evidence of their past projects. You can also ask for an estimate ahead of time to help you compare your list of painters. That way, you can be sure you’re getting a fair price for the quality of work you’ll be receiving.

3. Choose the Right Paint Finish

Selecting the right paint is crucial for a successful cabinet painting project. Cabinets are subject to daily wear and tear, so the paint you choose must be durable and resistant to scuffs, stains, and moisture. Many professionals recommend using acrylic paint for cabinets due to its durability and ease of cleaning. Semi-gloss or satin finishes are popular choices because they provide a good balance between aesthetics and practicality. Consult with your painting professional to select the best paint for your specific cabinet material and desired look.

4. Decide on a Paint Color

After you select your paint finish, you’ll need to consider the color you want as well. It should go without saying that different colors can result in different aesthetics and bring out certain qualities in your space. For example, dark colors tend to make a space seem smaller. They can also make a space that is already a bit darker or that doesn’t have a lot of natural light look even darker. As such, you should only select a dark color if you have a lot of natural light in your kitchen and your space isn’t small. On the other hand, light colors help to make a kitchen feel brighter and larger. This is perfect for small spaces, but you may want to select a darker shade if your kitchen is large, and you want to help make it feel more intimate.

5. Cabinets Should Be Removed When Painting Them

One of the biggest misconceptions pertaining to kitchen cabinet painting is that the cabinets can be fully left in place during the painting process. However, in most cases, this isn’t the best option. The cabinet doors and drawer faces will often be removed. The rest of the cabinet may be removed as well. Removing these elements is important to ensure the entire cabinet can be painted evenly and smoothly. You should always be wary of a company that states that they are going to paint your cabinets without removing any of the parts of the cabinet system.

6. Proper Preparation Is Key

The key to a successful cabinet painting project lies in thorough preparation. Before painting, your cabinets need to be cleaned, sanded, and primed. This process ensures that the paint adheres properly and provides a smooth, professional finish. Additionally, all hardware should be removed, and any imperfections, such as dents or scratches, should be repaired. Neglecting these crucial steps can lead to a subpar result and reduced longevity of the paint job.

7. Sanding and Deglossing

Sanding is an essential step in cabinet preparation. It helps to roughen the cabinet’s surface, allowing the paint to adhere better. Deglossing is another vital aspect that shouldn’t be overlooked. This process involves removing the glossy finish from the cabinets to ensure proper paint adhesion. These two steps combined create an ideal canvas for the new paint, ensuring a smooth and lasting finish.

8. Use Quality Tools and Materials

Investing in quality tools and materials is the key to a successful cabinet painting project. Quality brushes and rollers will help achieve a professional finish, and using the right primer, paint, and other products ensures long-lasting results. Professional painters know the value of using the right tools and materials, and therefore typically only use quality products.

9. Ventilation and Safety

Painting can be a messy and sometimes hazardous job. Proper ventilation is essential to ensure the painting team stays safe and to prevent the inhalation of harmful fumes. They’ll always work in a well-ventilated area, use fans and respirators when necessary, and protect their eyes, skin, and lungs by wearing the appropriate safety gear. To help your painters, keep the area free from clutter to help them avoid accidents.

10. Patience Is a Virtue

Cabinet painting is not a task to rush through. Patience is essential in achieving a professional finish. Each coat of paint must be able to dry completely before applying the next one. Rushing the process can result in streaks, drips, and an uneven finish. Typically, it’s recommended to wait 24 hours between coats, and even longer in high humidity conditions. Allowing your painting team to take their time will yield better results in the long run.

11. How to Care For Your Freshly Painted Cabinets

The final thing that you need to know before painting your cabinets is how to care for them once the process has been completed. A cabinet painting service will ensure the paint is completely dry before installing the freshly painted items. However, you should avoid cleaning them or spilling any residue on them for a few days to a few weeks after they are installed.

Painting your cabinets is a fantastic way to transform your kitchen or bathroom with minimal cost and environmental impact. However, it’s crucial to be well-informed and prepared before starting your project. By paying attention to the essential aspects listed above, you’ll have beautifully painted cabinets in no time!

Are you ready to get started with a quality team for your cabinet painting project? Choose Legacy Applications. Our expert painters have many years of experience transforming homes like yours into dream spaces. Contact us today to learn more about our cabinet painting services!


When you’re ready to transform the look and feel of your home into something that reflects your unique personality and character, our team at Legacy Applications is here to help. Contact our team of exert house painters today.


When you’re ready to transform the look and feel of your home into something that reflects your unique personality and character, our team at Legacy Applications is here to help. Contact our team of exert house painters today.