How to Repaint Kitchen Cupboards

Written by l. scott pishko
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Since most people spend a good amount of time in their kitchen, whether it be cooking breakfast, lunch, dinner or preparing for the next day, you want it to look and feel comfortable. Changing the entire kitchen can be costly, but you can make a dramatic change just by painting the cupboards. A little paint and hard work can turn your old cupboards into a new and exciting cooking area.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Tack cloth
  • Dust sheet
  • Cleaning rags
  • Water bucket
  • Sponge
  • Soft-grit sandpaper
  • Liquid deglosser (optional)
  • Painter's tape
  • Paintbrushes
  • Rollers
  • Paint tin
  • Paint
  • Orange oil (Degreaser)

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  1. 1

    Pull the drawers and shelving from each cupboard and remove the hardware such as knobs, nails, screws and roller bars.

  2. 2

    Prepare a bucket of warm, soapy water and wash everything you will be painting. Make sure to clean the cracks and corners. Air dry or dry with a clean cloth and check for remaining debris.

  3. 3

    Give the cupboards, drawers, doors and shelves a thorough cleaning using orange oil or a deglosser. This will remove grease and wax from the items and it will leave a nice grabbing surface for the paint to stick.

  4. 4

    Swipe a small grit sandpaper across the surface of every piece you will be painting. Wipe a tack cloth over the sanded areas; the tack cloth cleans the dust off the surface so the paint will adhere to the pieces.

  5. 5

    Help protect from splashing other appliances by covering them with painter's tape. If an area is largely exposed, you can use a piece of cardboard and tape it to the appliance to keep from getting painted.


  1. 1

    Start painting the drawers and shelves by using a mini roller and standard roller. The mini roller will get into the corners and smaller sides and the standard will cover the insides, fronts and backs of them.

  2. 2

    Guide your standard brush into the cupboard's inside corners and walls first. This lets you lean on the cupboard for support and manoeuvre instead of painting the outside first and trying to paint around the wet outside paint. Use a roller if you can squeeze it in the cupboard as the coverage is greater and you can save time.

  3. 3

    Determine if you need a second coat after the first coat dries. Check for bleed-through and less saturation in certain spots such as edges. If you used a thicker paint you may be able to paint just one coat.

Tips and warnings

  • Repair any scratches or dents before painting.
  • You may need artificial lighting when painting inside the cupboard.

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