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    Step-by-step guide to painting kitchen cupboards

    Published on 18 June 2014, Wednesday, 2:45 AM

    If your home is in need of a spruce up, there are plenty of jobs that can be done. One of which is to rejuvenate the space with a spot of house painting.

    However, if it is not going to be enough to paint the walls and ceiling, why not freshen up those kitchen cupboards with a lick of paint, too? Here are a few tips to get you started.


    In order to create the best look possible, it is essential that you remove the doors and drawer fronts of your cabinets and any other items that may be attached to these, such as door knobs, hinges or hooks.

    At this stage, it is important to make sure your bench space and floor is covered by plastic sheets or drop cloths so that they don't receive a splash of paint.

    An expert tip is to make a plan of where each door goes to make reassembling your kitchen a breeze.


    Before you can paint your cupboards, you will need to ensure they are sparkling clean as this will mean that the paint can stick better to the surfaces. Make sure that you remove all traces of paint and clean your cupboards of any chemical residue.

    A degreasing paint is great for this job as it can remove any lingering grease stains from the area.


    Arguably the most important step, sanding will ensure you have a smooth and even surface to work on. The grit you need depends on the grain of the wood. For example, an oak cupboard has a more open grain finish, so will require a heavier grit sandpaper.

    Choose your paint

    A lot of work goes into paint selection. There is not only colour to choose from, but finish. 

    A glossy finish looks great, but remember that any imperfections will show up more easily. On the other hand, an eggshell or a matte finish will allow for any brushwork that is less-than-perfect.

    Do a test run

    Before you start slapping on the primer and paint, it is important to test it out to see if you like the colour and that it adheres properly to your cupboards.

    Sometimes the paint may look different on the wall than it did on the tester.


    Make sure you prime your cupboards before you begin to paint them. Apply a coat of primer and let dry. Often a roller works well on the larger, flat surfaces while a tapered brush may be ideal for the detailing or sides of the doors.


    Before you dip that brush (or roller) in, make sure you stir the paint well. Apply thin layers of paint, as this will drip less. If you want to prevent certain parts of the cupboard from getting painted, don't be nervous to use painter's tape, as this can provide protection where it is needed.

    It is important, however, to make sure you allow each coat of paint to air dry sufficiently before you apply the next layer.

    Nathan Mills portrait image
    Nathan Mills
    Nathan is a seasoned Kennards Hire team member passionate about empowering DIYers in their projects. He loves everything DIY and brings together years of equipment and project experience to help customers get the right tools for their next job.