How to Repaint Pine Kitchen Cabinets

Updated February 21, 2017

Painting (or repainting) can make old pine kitchen cabinets look like new. Because of the wear and tear experienced by kitchen cabinets, it's important that both the underlying primer and topcoat are properly prepared and applied, or they could peel off. Always use multiple thin coats of paint rather than applying a single thick coat. Topping the paint with polyurethane will make the cabinet surfaces moisture-resistant and easier to clean.

Use your screwdriver to remove all hardware from the cabinets, including the hinges. Spread out tarps. Lay out the door and other pieces on the tarps.

Take the finish off the cabinet parts with a vibrating sander and 100-grit sandpaper. Sand for a clean, smooth surface. Brush off the debris with a hand broom and clear away all dust with the tack cloth.

Press masking tape on the walls and floors around the cabinets.

Paint the cabinet and all its parts with sealant primer. Keep the coat thin and smooth, just enough to cover the pine surface. Watch out for the formation of drips or ridges. Let the primer set for 8 hours or more.

Brush on the first coat of finish paint. Don't attempt complete coverage of the underlying primer; keep the coat thin and smooth. Work from the top down, brushing with the direction of the length of each span. Let it dry for 12 hours.

Brush on a second layer of finish paint, working the same way. Let it dry for 12 hours. Brush on a third coat if necessary.

Let the final coat of paint set for 24 hours.

Spray polyurethane lightly over the entire surface, from top to bottom, to seal in the paint. Let the polyurethane dry for 24 hours before replacing hardware and reassembling the cabinets.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Vibrating sander
  • 100-grit sandpaper
  • Hand broom
  • Tack cloth
  • Tarp
  • Masking tape
  • Sealant primer
  • Paintbrush
  • Finish paint
  • Polyurethane spray
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