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Is It Time To Paint Those Kitchen Cabinets?

July 18, 2019 Andrew 0 Comments

Kitchen Cabinet Painting Offers An Instant Makeover

For many homeowners, one quick look around the kitchen and they realize that the countertops and floors aren’t what’s bringing down their entire space, it’s the kitchen cabinets. They take such a beating with daily wear-and-tear  that the scuff and scrapes can really add up on the paint. The good news is that when painted to match new condition it can transform the entire room again.

With that in mind, it’s little surprise that kitchen cabinet painting has grown so popular. With light-and-bright kitchens being on trend, many homeowners choose to kick off their remodeling project with renovated cabinets. Many have found the cost of painting cabinets to be far more affordable than replacing. With new paint and updated hardware, homeowners can go from dated natural oak cabinets to modern white or gray cabinets, and that makes a world of difference.

Unfortunately for homeowners, the cost of cabinet painting is not as straightforward as one might expect. Popular websites that quote the cost of cabinet painting tend to be all over the map at best, and inaccurate at worst. For example, Thumbtack quotes a price range of $1,200 to $7,000. Similarly, Angie’s List provides a range of $1,200 to $6,000. However, for many cabinet painting jobs, the lower end of this range would barely cover the cost of a quality paint, primer, and necessary sundries. HomeAdvisor presents a much narrower price range, $1,662 to $3,780. With all of the different information available, it’s easy to see how consumers may become confused. We find the biggest variable is the size of the kitchen, and the amount of anticipate surface prep to make sure the job is done absolutely right.

Selecting a Cabinet Painting Contractor

Even in any given city, the price of cabinet painting can be very subjective. Other than price, there are many factors a homeowner should consider when selecting a painter for their cabinet project. These factors may include the following:


Preparation is the first (and most important!) step in the cabinet painting process. All surfaces must be sanded smooth and cleaned/de-greased to facilitate a bondable surface. Without sanding and cleaning, the paint will simply sit on top of the surface. This will likely result in chipping or peeling. A bonding primer should be the next step. Our team likes to use an oil primer, which is very bondable and sands well without gumming up. Additional sanding and filling in between coats will ensure a more uniform surface.

Products Used

It is extremely important to select a durable product intended for millwork and cabinetry. At least two top-coats of the paint should be applied. The consumer will also want to discuss with their contractor the level of sheen of the paint (satin, semi-gloss, etc.). The level of shine will have a big impact on the finished look.

Type of Application

Spraying is often the most desirable option, as it produces the smoothest finish possible, free of any brush lines or roller marks. However, we have found over the years that with proper technique, brushing and rolling can produce a final product that is still beautiful and more affordable. When our clients choose this option, we will use a foam roller to minimize stipple.

Brushing and rolling is more affordable in part due to the extensive masking required when spraying. When spraying, the entire kitchen must be masked off to protect against overspray from painting the cabinet boxes. Contractors should educate their customers about the pros, cons, and cost differences of each method.

Length and Location of Project

It is important for a contractor to communicate in their written proposal or contract how long a particular project will take. Interior home improvement projects will always cause some inconvenience, but cabinet painting can be more severe, as you will have to remove all of your belongings from the cabinet interiors and drawers. You may also be unable to use your kitchen at all. In general, you can expect that a quality cabinet painting job will take several days.

Another consideration is whether the bulk of the project will take place off-site or at your home. Of course, cabinet frames must be painted in place, but with regard to doors and drawers, every painter has a different approach. We typically opt to complete all of the work on-site, as long as space is available. A garage works well for this purpose when painting doors and drawers. This approach ensures that the finished pieces will not be damaged when transporting them from the shop back to your home.

Caliber of Contractor

We encourage consumers to vet potential contractors to ensure that they have prior experience painting cabinets. Other than examining the specifics of a cabinet painting proposal, consumers should make sure that their contractor has a positive reputation in the community and verify that they are licensed, bonded, and insured.

If you’re considering a refresh on your kitchen cabinets and walls be sure to give us a call. We work throughout the Howard County and Anne Arundel County area and offer free estimates on all interior and exterior painting work.

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