How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets

2-3 Days

We get it – remodeling a kitchen can be time-consuming and expensive. While in some cases a complete remodel is necessary, sometimes all your kitchen cabinets need is a fresh coat of paint to look brand new again. However, painting cabinets is not the same as painting a wall and may require some additional prep work before wetting your brushes. Our friends at Benjamin Moore, along with the experts at Norfolk Hardware & Home Center, have broken down how to perfectly paint your kitchen cabinets from start to finish.

Before You Begin:

We recommend painting your kitchen cabinets on a flat surface. Remove all cabinet doors and drawers and remove any cabinet hardware. Make sure to place this hardware in baggies to keep them from getting lost. Find an area that gives you plenty of room to work and place your cabinet doors and drawers on a flat surface. Try to keep them as organized as possible, so you can remember where each door and drawer goes once you are finished.


  • Benjamin Moore ADVANCE® paint
  • Grease remover
  • 100-150 grit sandpaper
  • 220 grit sandpaper
  • Painter’s rags
  • Drop Cloths
  • Painter’s tape


  • Sponge
  • Paintbrush (nylon/polyester)
  • Paint Roller (foam or microfiber)

Step 1: Prepare Each Surface

As with any painting project, the key to a successful paint job is in the prep work. The first rule of cabinet repainting is to make sure that the cabinets are clean and dry. Use a grease remover and a damp sponge to remove any grime and let everything dry completely.

Once your cabinets are clean and dry, use a 100 or 150-grit sandpaper to roughen up the surface of the cabinets. Cabinet paint won’t adhere properly to a smooth or shiny surface. You don’t need to completely remove the prior finish, just rough up the surface enough to give the primer something to stick to. After you finish sanding, wipe all the dust off with a damp cloth and let dry.

Pro Tip: While you are letting your cabinet surfaces dry, now is a great time to prepare the rest of your kitchen for painting. Make sure your countertops are covering with plastic covering or a drop cloth and taped off. Do the same with the surrounding area, including flooring and appliances.

Step 2: Prime Your Cabinets

Painting wood cabinets? Use Benjamin Moore’s ADVANCE® Primer. If you are painting laminate cabinets, use Fresh Start® High-Hiding All Purpose Primer, or any non-lacquer based primer, as they can prevent Benjamin Moore’s ADVANCE® paint from adhering to your kitchen cabinets.

Allow primer to dry for at least 24 hours before continuing.

Step 3: Sand Primer

Once your primer is completely dry, use a fine, 220-grit sandpaper to lightly sand all surfaces. Make sure to focus especially on areas that may have pools or drips of paint, such as inside and flat corners. The smoother this surface becomes, the smoother your paint will go on. Wipe away any dust with a damp cloth.

Step 4: Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets

Using a nylon/polyester brush, carefully apply the first coat of ADVANCE® paint. If you are painting a large flat surface, try using a foam or microfiber roller to save on time and avoid those unwanted brush strokes. Let the first coat dry completely before continuing.

Step 5: Sand Again

Carefully sand your surface with fine, 220-grit sandpaper or a sanding block. Wipe away any dust with a damp cloth and let dry.

Step 6: Paint Second Coat

Repeat step 5 and add another coat of ADVANCE® paint to your kitchen cabinets. Repeat as necessary until you achieve the desired finish.

Step 7: Let Everything Dry

The longer cabinet paint can dry, the more durable it will be. Allow your cabinets to dry for at least 24 hours, up to 3 days. Once everything is completely dry, reattach your cabinet hardware and put your newly refreshed kitchen cabinets back together.

Have More Questions?

Have a few more questions before you are ready to paint your kitchen cabinets? Stop by Norfolk Hardware & Home Center to discuss your questions with a Norfolk Hardware paint expert! Norfolk Hardware & Home Center is Boston's largest family-owned hardware and home center, family-owned since 1934. Recently remodeled, Norfolk Hardware has over 40,000 square feet of retail space with everything you need for your home improvement project, including high-quality cabinet paint from Benjamin Moore. Stop by any day of the week or contact us today to talk about your next project. Source: Benjamin Moore