How to Prep and Paint Your Cabinets

Man holding paint roller in kitchen attempting DIY cabinet painting.

With the rise of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) home improvement shows, homeowners are increasingly motivated to take on their own home renovation projects. One of the most popular endeavors is cabinet repainting. However, before you grab your painter’s tape and brush, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons. In fact, in many cases, purchasing new cabinets may be a more viable long-term solution for improving your home’s overall aesthetics, resale value, and your personal well-being.

DIY Cabinet Painting – Pros 

  • Quick Fix with Noticeable Impact: Admittedly, repainting your cabinets in either your kitchen or bathroom can make a quick, noticeable impact. However, “quick” is a relative term, and it doesn’t necessarily mean “easy”. While the overall difference of a new paint color will likely make an impact, you will have to decide for yourself if the outcome is worth the cost and effort.
  • Often Budget-Friendly: Repainting your old cabinets can be a cheap option, however, there are other factors to consider which we will cover below. You can likely paint a whole room worth of cabinets with a few hundred dollars of paint and supplies, but remember that you always get what you pay for.

DIY Cabinet Painting – Cons

  • Not All Cabinets are Candidates for Repainting: Before embarking on a DIY cabinet paint job, it’s crucial to assess the condition of your cabinets. If your cabinets have damage, chips, or warping, repainting them could highlight the flaws instead of hiding them. Moreover, cabinets with distinct grain patterns may be impossible to completely cover up. As a result, in certain situations, a DIY paint job may not be feasible.
  • Time-Consuming to do Right: You might wonder why we said painting your cabinets yourself was a quick way to spruce up a room above and are now saying it’s time-consuming. Well, you can do it quickly, but it probably won’t look very good. To do the job right is extremely time-consuming and can be quite difficult for the non-professional. Painting isn’t the only step. Most people don’t realize the time and effort that goes into removing all the cabinets, labeling, sanding, doing a prime coat, taping, painting, and then re-hanging them. As you can see, “quick” is a relative term. 
  • Not Durable: The paint you can purchase at your local hardware store, no matter how expensive or high-quality, isn’t as good as the professional variety. Even if you’re careful and use high-quality paint, DIY cabinet painting may result in scuffs, scratches, and cracking that occur faster than with a professional job. Additionally, a professional job cannot match the quality and durability of manufacturing facility-made new cabinetry.
  • Difficult or Impossible to do a Professional Level Job: Professionals use a spray gun to get the refined, perfect look they create when finishing cabinets.  To take it a step further, today’s manufacturing facilities have robotic arms that maneuver the spray guns so that the finish result is as close to flawless as possible.  In addition to the robotic arms, manufacturing facilities have large ovens where the finish coat cures.  Achieving a similar quality at home or with a local professional is not possible.  They simply do not have the resources or tools that are used in today’s high quality manufacturing processes. 
  • Doesn’t Add Value: A kitchen or bathroom full of brand new cabinets will most certainly increase your home’s overall and resale value. However, the same cannot be said for repainting the cabinets. In fact, it can have the opposite effect sometimes. If the cabinets don’t come out as you’d hoped, with visible chips or scratches, paint strokes, and more, repainting your cabinets can actually reduce your home’s overall appeal. 

Bottom Line

While you can repaint your cabinets instead of replacing them, they most assuredly won’t look as good as you had hoped or imagined. You will likely wish you had saved yourself the time, the effort, and the money you spent on paint and supplies and called Diamond Kitchen and Bath from the start. Don’t waste your time and money trying to do it yourself, we’ll work within your budget to help you create your dream kitchen at an affordable price! Contact us at 602-246-1518 for more information.