How to paint kitchen cupboards

How to paint kitchen cupboards

The 5 steps on how to paint kitchen cupboards.

We often come across homeowners looking for a full home refurbishment. We are asked to paint rooms, hallways and woodwork, but instead of also respraying the kitchen cupboards the homeowner is considering to buying all new units, straight out of B&Q, Wicks or Magnet. Although getting a new kitchen comes with an element of excitement from designing to using, it is the install and cost that most people don’t consider. Most don’t even realise you can respray the kitchen cupboards.

Those considering or wanting a new kitchen can respray or repaint for just a fraction of the cost compared to buying new, it is just how to paint kitchen cupboards that is the question.

Painting kitchen cupboards is project that you can do yourself, it is the reason behind this blog. But even though, in this blog, we set out the 5 key steps to take on how to paint kitchen cupboards we advise strongly against it.

Read on to find out why!

It seems simple, there is many videos online showing you how to paint kitchen cupboards with a brush, roller and even a spray machine (which we prefer to use) but what they do not tell you is the things that can go wrong. Most commonly peeling. After just a few months your cupboards begin to peel due to paint not sticking correctly to the cupboard.

So, what are the steps we take when spray painting a kitchen cupboard.


The Preparation Stage

Step one – Removing the doors and/or masking.

The first step when considering how to paint kitchen cupboards is either remove all the cupboard doors from the units to paint freely away from the worktops, this avoids overspill and getting spray where it’s not meant to be. Or when that is not possible we mask all the areas around the doors, that we need to protect, with masking tape. We use frog tape in areas where we want to leave fine lines between the painted areas and what’s not to be painted, and plastic/cotton covers everywhere else.

Due to our experience, in some instances we able to paint around door or draw handles and hinges, but for anyone new to painting we advise always taking them off.


Step two – preparing the surfaces.

Technically you could switch step one and two around as its pre-painting. Step two is degreasing and sanding down the doors. These two points are important when thinking about how to paint kitchen cupboards, it is literally the glue that sticks it all together and makes everything work. Degreasing will remove that slimly silky film that has covered the doors over time. When degreasing we really do scrub hard as this along with sanding, which will make the doors rough and sticky for the paint to bind with door, will be what makes the kitchen cupboard doors last. We commonly see DIY’ers or less experienced painters not give this step the respect it deserves and create a poor final job.


The Painting Stage

Step three – choosing your method.

When it comes to painting the kitchen cupboard doors, we always choose to spray paint unless there is a unique reason to not. We do this as because spray painting can complete the project in less time than traditional painting, it has a lot less mess than new installations and it still gives the ‘off the shelf’ brand new look that people want. We appreciate that if you are trying this yourself spraying might not be an option. Yes, you can pick up a machine from B&Q for as little as £70ish but it is like trying to wash your car with a watering can. Although it may get your car clean it is never going to compete with a jet washer that can remove dirt and get in all the areas a watering can can not. It does not have the power you need. So, if you are DIY’ing it opt for a brush. Our machines are made by the worlds leading experts in spray paint technology and our staff have been trained by the UK’s leading spray painting academies to guarantee the finish you would expect.


Step four – applying the paint.

The things to note when painting is always use a separate primer to prime the doors before adding the colour, and make sure each coat has time to fully dry before applying the next. Do not use all in one primer and paint. When priming, it can take around 3 spray paint coats to get it fully primed. When painting it can take up to 5 spray painting coatings to get a neat even layer that will last.


Step five – putting everything back.

Painting kitchen cupboards can be time-consuming, but it is worth it for the transformation that it will make in your home. You will also feel better than paying over the odds for a new kitchen that will unavoidably require you to move out during the install, or at least not able to use the kitchen for weeks. When we spray paint kitchen cupboards, we either find a warm area of the home/garden or during the colder months bring heaters to dry the paint quickly. Spray paint tends to dry quicker then brush or roller as it is applied thinly and evenly which helps dry consistently.

Once everything is dry, reattach the handles and reattach the doors to the units. Then remove all the masking and additional covering from around the area. Be careful, if you did overspray or paint on the masking tape, it may still be wet. We have seen accidental paint transfer due to people not paying attention.


Conclusion and Final Thoughts

The benefits of painting kitchen cupboards are many. It will not only make your kitchen look more modern, but it is also a great way to add some colour to your kitchen. Maybe the colour it has always missed. The colour that has faded over time. Or to match the new theme and colour scheme of your home.

Painting kitchen cupboards is also a cost-effective solution to updating the look of your kitchen. Typically, it can be done in just a few days, and it does not require any renovation work.

Although you can do this yourself, we advise you seek the help of an experienced kitchen decorating company that knows how to paint kitchen cupboards. Be wary of any company that says they can do it within a day. It does not matter how many people you throw at it, you can only speed up the drying process to a certain degree. Quite often they will skip the preparation stage or not give it the number of coats required.

Please reach out to us at JS Decorating to understand further how we can help transform your kitchen. Please see some attached images below.


How to paint kitchen cupboards  How to paint kitchen cupboards How to paint kitchen cupboards How to paint kitchen cupboards