How to Paint a Kitchen Unit

Written by lisa east hunter
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How to Paint a Kitchen Unit
Standalone kitchens come with everything included. (green kitchen image by Leonid Nyshko from

Remodelling the kitchen is one of the best investments you can make in your home. According to Forbes magazine, the kitchen has the best return on investment of all parts of a home. Kitchen projects can be expensive, but it is possible to save money while remodelling. Stand-alone kitchen units can be a dramatic money-saver. Units come complete with cabinets, counters and appliances. Your choice in finishes may be limited, but that can be easily remedied with a little paint. You can have a custom kitchen unit with just a little effort.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Ammonia-based cleaner
  • Rags
  • Sandpaper
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Smooth foam roller

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  1. 1

    Clean the cabinets and the countertops. Spray ammonia-based cleaner on the frames and wipe clean with a rag.

  2. 2

    Sand the cabinets with medium-grit sandpaper. Scuff the surface of the frames enough so that the primer will be able to sink into the grooves and bond with the cabinets. Wipe away all sanding dust with a damp rag.

  3. 3

    Sand the counter surface to remove all remaining residue and grease. Wipe the counter clean with a rag.

  4. 4

    Prime the cabinets with a good-quality primer. Primer will prevent the original colour of the cabinets from bleeding through the paint and will provide a smooth foundation for the paint. Apply one to two coats of primer. Allow the primer to dry completely.

  5. 5

    Apply primer to the counters. Choose a bonding primer that is formulated for slick surfaces. Glidden Gripper works well for counter application. Apply the primer with a smooth foam roller. Apply two coats of primer and allow them to dry completely.

  6. 6

    Paint the cabinets with latex paint. Choose any finish you like. High-gloss finishes will be easiest to wipe clean with a damp rag. Apply two to three thin coats of paint with a foam roller. A foam roller will apply the paint smoothly and evenly. Allow the paint to dry completely.

  7. 7

    Paint the counters with acrylic or epoxy paint. These paints will better withstand moisture and heavy use than latex paints. Apply 3 coats of paint to the counter tops. Allow the counter to cure for 7 days before using the surface.

Tips and warnings

  • You can paint almost anything in your kitchen. Appliances can be made over with appliance paint, which comes in stainless steel, white or black and can be applied with a brush or with a sprayer.

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