Painting Stained Cabinets

Is your kitchen well and truly overdue for a makeover? You could spend thousands of dollars renovating and replacing all those old cabinets and thus postpone the job for another year or so. Or, you could consider painting stained cabinets with fresh new coats and improve your entire kitchen’s appearance by 100%!

The first thing you need to know is not to rush. Painting stained cabinets is a job that will reward you with stunning results if you take your time and do the best work you can. Many people don’t know that it’s possible to paint stained cabinets so they rip them out, dispose of them and start with new ones, all at considerable expense. Look at it as a labor of love; don’t be in a hurry to get your kitchen back to normal and thereby compromise the quality. Remain focused on the end result.


Start by removing all the stained cabinet doors, unscrew any hinges or knobs and put them in a container somewhere you’ll be able to find them when you need them again. At least, you’ll definitely need the hinges and screws again but while you’re painting your stained cabinets, you might want to update the handles and knobs to a more contemporary style.

Next you’ll need to sand any spots on the doors and bases that are rough. Be sure to clean off any sawdust on the surfaces before proceeding. Before painting stained cabinets, you must thoroughly clean them by applying denatured alcohol with a clean sponge.

Keep the room well ventilated and wear protection over your mouth, nose and eyes because denatured alcohol gives off fumes. Get into all crevices, knots and holes to remove all traces of grease and dirt, then allow the surfaces to air dry.


Now you can start applying primer-sealer in a good, even coat, following the wood grain at all times. Primer-sealer deglosses the wood before you begin painting your stained cabinets and it saves you having to sand it down more than necessary. You can also use a water based paint over this product. In roughly an hour, you can proceed to the next step.

Invest in a couple of good quality brushes. When painting stained cabinets, the end results are only as good as the brushes – and paint – that you use. Begin in the center of the cabinet and again, follow the grain. Two or three thin coats mean fewer brushstrokes, a finer finish and the surfaces will dry more rapidly, with better adhesion.

Cabinet Colors

Obviously, when you’re painting stained cabinets in a lighter color, the darker the stain, the more coats of paint you will need. Just don’t skimp on the paint because you don’t want to have to pull all the doors off again at a later date when you realize the original dark stain is peering through your fresh paint.

Once you put your cabinets back together, you can stand back and marvel at the astonishing results. Not only will your kitchen look a whole lot brighter, but it will feel more pleasant to work in. There’s nothing like a fresh coat – or three – of paint to make everything feel clean and new. Painting stained cabinets may not be a quick-fix, but it sure does save money and leave your kitchen with a new lease on life.

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