March 5, 2014


There are many ways to paint kitchen cabinets, but most of those ways will leave you with a disappointing finished product full of dried brush strokes, paint dribbles, or rough texture.  There are two ways, in my experience, to do it right.  One involves spraying, which is difficult in an existing kitchen, and the way I’m showing you today.  I’ve used this technique to paint many a cabinet– from bathrooms to kitchens to furniture– and if you’re going to update your current kitchen, while living in your home, this is the way to do it.  Today I’m sharing my technique for how to paint kitchen cabinets.

Painting your cabinets is no doubt a big job.  Here are a few things to keep in mind before you start.

1)  It’s important to do it the right way.  If you can paint your cabinets and make it look professionally done, it raises the value of your home.  If it’s done the wrong way, it’s easy to tell.

2)  This is a project that takes some time and patience.  It’s best done in phases so it doesn’t disrupt your life too much, and so you don’t get burned out.

3)  It takes a combination of using a brush and using a roller, and knowing when to use which tool.

4)  The quality of the products and paint you use makes a huge difference.  In the video I give specifics about the paint and rollers we used.  It’s been through trial and error we have found our favorite products and I recommend them thoroughly.

I hope this video tutorial helps explain a bit more, and visually helps you get the idea.

It’s a lot of information to digest, but I promise if you follow these steps, your kitchen will look amazing!

We still have a lot of work to do in there, but it’s starting to take shape.  I can’t even express in words how amazing it is every time I see those bright white cabinets.  Hoorah!

Jen Signature photo JenSignature_zpse63747c4.jpg

  1. apartments in sandy springs ga

    March 5th, 2014 at 5:54 am

    hi!,I like your writing very a lot! share we keep in touch extra about your
    article on AOL? I need a specialist in this house to unravel my problem.
    May be that’s you! Looking forward to peer you.

  2. Laura Hatch

    March 5th, 2014 at 9:34 am

    You have no idea how much I needed this article right now! Thanks you!!!!!

  3. Jen

    March 5th, 2014 at 9:41 am

    So glad you found it helpful, Laura! Hope your remodel goes great!

  4. Morgan {Style Oyster}

    March 5th, 2014 at 10:51 am

    We painted our maple cabinets white last year. My husband is a carpenter so all upgrades must be done right, or he deems them cheap and trashy. We took off all of the doors, sanded the cabinet bases and doors/drawer faces, then primed and painted each one. We used a foam roller made for cabinetry as well as a brush to ensure we got the cracks and crevices. It’s absolutely worth doing it the right way!

  5. Marisa

    March 6th, 2014 at 5:49 am

    Hi!!! Your kitchen looks amazing!!! Great job! I am hoping to tackle this project soon in my home. Did you primer the cabinet doors or
    Just the inside of the drawers?

    THanks so much!

  6. Jen

    March 6th, 2014 at 8:29 am

    Thank you Marisa! I only primed the insides. The paint we used is so high quality that we were able to skip the priming step on the outside. Thank you for reading!

  7. Shavonda@AHomeFullOfColor

    March 9th, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    Great video Jen! We used Aura on our upper cabinets and Advance on our lowers. I absolutely love Ben Moore paint for cabinets!


    March 10th, 2014 at 5:01 am

    […] kitchen is looking so bright and fresh thanks to the new paint job.  Can’t wait to get moving on that backsplash.  Always a project to do, my friends.  Good […]

  9. Eleanore

    March 12th, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    I realize it sounds cheap, however, I ran across a gorgeous vintage
    outdoors lantern on a hard rubbish collection on the
    weekend! At this time I am looking for wrought iron patio chairs to
    match. You know precisely what they say,
    one mans trash is another mans treasure!

  10. Jen

    March 12th, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    Love it, Eleanore! For sure that is the truth.


    June 27th, 2014 at 6:58 am

    […] it and make it good as new, using the same technique we used on Ruby’s bathroom vanity.  and the kitchen cabinets.  I’ve had skilled contractors ask if our cabinets are new– they look that good. […]

  12. Remodeled Kitchen Reveal (video) - withHEART

    July 23rd, 2014 at 5:00 am

    […] so lets break it all down.  Demo for this room was minimal.  We only tore out the backsplash, and replaced the hood and cooktop (tutorial coming next week!).  The rest we pretty much worked […]

  13. Caroline Calcote

    July 24th, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    Hello! I was wondering how long it took you to paint all of your kitchen cabinetry from start to finish? We have a large kitchen and so.many.cabinets! From your video, it looks like maybe comparable to yours (although I have about a dozen glass-fronted cabinets to paint…two standard size cabinets and about 10 small glass-front cabinets. Anyway, just wondering what would be realistic time-wise. I feel like it would take me months to do them all while living in it. Plus, we don’t have a garage, so I think I would have to just do a few of the cabinet doors at a time so that I could move them inside to dry after painting. Or possibly paint them in my (fairly large) dining room, but still could only do them in stages. Also, was the dust insane with all the sanding? Did you empty all your cabinets? Another reason to do it in stages? Sorry for all the questions. I just really hate my honey oak 90’s cabinets in my otherwise large and pretty kitchen, and since they are fully functional they are pretty low on our long list of rehab priorities…unless I could possibly do them myself! Thanks for the inspiration.

  14. Jen

    July 30th, 2014 at 8:33 am

    Hi Caroline! First, we only very lightly sanded. No need to go crazy with the sanding if you have a quality paint, like we did. We did empty all of the cabinets out, which was a pain, but we did it in sections to limit the disruption. We completely finished one block before we moved onto the next. It did take a while, mostly because we were working on it at night the majority of the time, after work and our daughter went down for the night. If you dedicated a weekend, you could make a good dent! In the video, I go into a bit more explanation. Hope that helps!

  15. Kari H

    August 9th, 2014 at 5:45 am

    Hi Jen, I’m visiting you today via Thrifty Decor Chick….lovely job on your cabinets! I am wondering if your cabinets were real wood or MDF. I have 90’s real wood oak cabinets but am wondering how the finish will come out? Thanks for your help. I did watch your video several times.

  16. Jen

    August 9th, 2014 at 8:14 am

    Hi Kari, thank you so much for reading! My cabinets doors are wood, and the boxes are mdf. I think if you use a high quality paint, you should be fine!

  17. Kari H

    August 9th, 2014 at 8:56 am

    Thanks for the help! Gonna give it a try!!

  18. Ann C

    August 9th, 2014 at 11:29 am

    Just found your blog and I love it! Your videos are great and so very helpful. Only thing I might suggest is changing the color of your highlighted text. It’s very difficult to read, they are so pale. I had to make the screen quite big to be able to make the words readable because they were so light. I have subscribed and will continue to follow you. I am at a point where I want to paint my kitchen cupboards and your video was great. Thanks again.

  19. Jen

    August 10th, 2014 at 8:25 am

    Hi Ann, thank you so much for reading! I’ve never had anyone say that before– I’ll look into darkening it bit. So glad you found withHEART!

  20. Lilly

    September 24th, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    Hi Jen,

    I just discovered your website. It’s wonderful!

    Just wondering what type of paper shelf did you use? Does it have to be a special kind for the inside of kitchen cabinets and drawers?

    Thank you!

  21. Anastasia

    January 26th, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    Great video! So the B.Moore paint is totally fine to paint right on pre-sanded cabinets without paint? This is a major time saver 🙂 Thank you!

  22. Jen

    March 23rd, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    Correct! Do the Benjamin Moore Advance line and no priming required.

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She’s Jen. He’s Jon. We’re believers in the power of home, fearless DIYers, and eternal optimists who know with a can-do spirit, elbow grease and some guidance, you can create a home you love. We love a good project—or 20. Stick around and we’ll have you pulling out the paint brushes and fluffing throw pillows in no time.

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