Can Kitchen Cabinets Be Painted?

Can Kitchen Cabinets Be Painted?

Kitchen cabinets are a great way to minimize clutter in your kitchen by helping to organize your utensils and condiments. In addition, they lend an air of beauty and sophistication to your kitchen. But what happens when you’re tired of the kitchen’s look and want a fresh appearance; can you paint your kitchen cabinets?

Kitchen cabinets can be painted. Most kitchen cabinets are made of wood, and wood is the most versatile material to paint as it takes paint well and is easy to work with. Depending on how you feel, you can paint your kitchen cabinets as many times as you desire for as many years. 

I will explore the topic of painting kitchen cabinets. I will focus on what kinds of cabinets can be painted and the merits of painting kitchen cabinets versus replacing them. I will also talk about the costs of painting kitchen cabinets to make a good decision if you are trying to decide whether or not you want to paint your kitchen cabinets. 

Painting Versus Replacing Kitchen Cabinets

Can Kitchen Cabinets Be Painted?

For some people, once they tire of the look of their kitchen cabinets, their next plan is to start shopping for new kitchen cabinets. Of course, shopping for new things is thrilling, but not necessary in some cases.  If you are one to opt for shopping, you should stop and consider a few things before making that decision. 

Ask yourself if you are tired of the color scheme and wish to update it or if you’re considering replacing the kitchen cabinets because you want to renovate your kitchen and give it a new look. 

While these questions only cover the extremes of the spectrum between repainting and replacing kitchen cabinets, they are a good way for you to determine what you really want to change about your kitchen cabinets. 

Painting is recommended if you want to change your kitchen’s look or color scheme or restore fading or worn paint. Repainting kitchen cabinets generally costs about half or a third of the price that replacing kitchen cabinets would cost. 

On the other hand, kitchen cabinets should be replaced where there is structural damage, like water damage, sagging boards, insect infestation, or as a part of a greater renovation effort. Remember that replacing cabinets cost more than repainting and should be done when necessary. 

Painting Over Kitchen Cabinets

Many people ask if they can paint over their already painted kitchen cabinets. If the cabinets are made of wood, metal, or wood laminate, painting over them is absolutely fine. However, there are some steps to take before applying a fresh coat of paint to revive your kitchen cabinets.

Experts believe that if there is a clear coat of finish on your cabinets, it is advisable to strip the finish down before repainting to ensure the new paint adheres to the surface of the cabinet.  Other experts believe that a thorough cleaning, followed by light sanding, is enough to prepare the surface of the cabinet for a new coat of paint. Sanding the cabinets helps create a slightly rough surface that makes it easier for the new paint to grip instead of sliding off a smooth surface.

What Kind of Kitchen Cabinets Cannot Be Painted?

It has already been established that wood, metal, and wood-laminate cabinets are the best cabinets to paint over as they give a great surface for the paint to adhere to. However, other non-wood material cabinets, such as cabinets made with vinyl laminate, melamine, stainless steel, or cabinets made out of engineered wood, cannot be painted. 

Some types of wooden cabinets, for example, cabinets made from open-grain wood like oak, maple, and poplar cannot be painted. 

Cabinets that are damaged and have some sort of paneling and notched designs should also not be painted over. 

If you attempt to paint over cabinets made with these materials, the chances are that you won’t be satisfied with the results. For example, the paint might not adhere to the surface properly, or the paneling and notched designs or the open grain will leave the cabinet looking worse for wear. 

Cost of Painting Kitchen Cabinets

Painting kitchen cabinets cost a lot less than replacing them. The total cost of painting kitchen cabinets depends on the size of the cabinets, the complexity of the job, how many of the cabinets are being painted, and the cost of materials used.

The cost also depends on whether you decide to paint the cabinets yourself or hire professional painters. 

The average cost for paying professionals to paint cabinets in a mid-sized kitchen is about $6,800, with costs ranging from $4,000 to $9,000 based on the factors listed above. If you decide to toe the DIY line, be prepared to shell out $75 to $150 per cabinet for repainting, as well as one or two whole weekends to repaint your cabinets.  On average, it should cost about $1200 to repaint your kitchen cabinets by yourself. 

On the one hand, DIY cabinet painting can be a great way for you to get the whole family involved in an interesting and fun project. It costs less than hiring professional painters, but you must remember that DIY requires a lot of time and effort. 

Professional painters offer additional services like prep work (sanding down the cabinets and removal of doors) and removal of appliances which add to their labor costs. 

On the whole, kitchen cabinets are a focal point of the kitchen, and they are the points that immediately draw the eye. Therefore, repainting kitchen cabinets is an essential task to change the kitchen’s overall look. Costs differ depending on various factors and can range from $1000 (for DIY projects) to $9000 (for professional painting).

With all this information on painting kitchen cabinets, homeowners should make informed decisions about improving the looks of kitchen cabinets. Once you consider the cost and your preference, the tips here can help you choose between painting and replacing your kitchen cabinets when you are ready to upgrade your kitchen cabinets.

Gui Hadlich

Hi there! I'm Gui. I've had to move 12 times in the last 6 years, and I've learned a thing or two about moving, decorating, and buying and selling furniture. I've started Budget Friendly Furnishing with the intent of helping people furnish their homes in style without having to break the bank!

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