Ideas for painted kitchen cabinets

Updated July 19, 2017

Painting your kitchen cabinets is an affordable way to spruce up the look of your kitchen. If your kitchen is small, consider painting the cabinets white. If you have wood cabinets, consider staining them. New hardware can give your cabinets an attractive, contemporary look.

The basics

Before you begin painting, wipe down your cabinets with a nonabrasive sponge. Allow them to dry. Next, paint on two coats of primer. Not only will this enable the paint to go on smoothly, but it will increase the lifespan of your paint job. Use high gloss and semi-high gloss on your cabinets; they are easily cleaned, which is important in kitchens. Pick out a paint colour that enhances the look of your kitchen and harmonises with your existing decor.

Kitchen cabinet ideas

Consider painting your kitchen a bright, clean white. White paint is attractive in most kitchens and creates the look of a larger space. Bring in colour through your backsplash and kitchen accessories. If your appliances are dull, consider buying appliance paint to spruce them up. Consider painting the inside of the cupboards white, or try taking the doors off a few cabinets to open up the space. Stack a set of brightly coloured dishes or cups to show them off but remember to keep the open-faced cabinets tidy. Brown shades work well with neutral colours, but two to three coats are required to get full coverage. Try painting the inside and back of your cabinets a chocolate brown. Paint the trim with a lighter colour. This two-toned effect will jazz up your kitchen by bringing in different colours. Brown hardware could be installed to match the chocolate paint. For wood cabinets, consider staining them your favourite shade. Try a latex or oil- based paint. In between each coat of paint, wipe with a clean cloth. The more coats you apply, the richer the colour. For a darker stain, try a mahogany coloured paint. Mahogany's rich colour works well with stainless steel appliances and modern accessories. Stencilling can be done to the fronts of your cabinets or as a border above. They come in many different patterns and designs. Consider making your own stencil using card stock.

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About the Author

Callie Barber has been writing professionally since 2002. Barber's love for design and writing inspired her to create Design Your Revolution, a blog that shares creative and affordable ways to decorate indoor and outdoor living environments. Her articles have appeared on and Barber holds a Bachelors of Arts in international studies from the University of North Carolina.