The Best Way to Paint Kitchen Cabinets (No Sanding!)

Have you been thinking of painting your kitchen cabinets, but can ’ triiodothyronine stomach the thinking of all the mess, agitation, and general mayhem that goes along with such a large visualize ? then I have dear newsworthiness for you !
Now there’s an easier way to paint kitchen cabinets, without destroying the heart of your home in the process.

( THANK YOU to DecoArt and D. Lawless Hardware for providing supplies for this project ! )

The Absolute Best Way to Paint Kitchen Cabinets

You may remember I already wrote a post on the “ right ” direction to paint your kitchen cabinets, differently known as the global ’ south longest kitchen cabinet painting tutorial. After I published my original post, the wonder I heard most often was “ Is there an easier manner ? ”
well, because I love you guys, I set out to answer that question. I had to buy a new house with atrocious black outdated oak kitchen cabinets, just to satisfy your curio. It was a sacrifice, but one I was uncoerced to make. Just for you, my dearly readers .
so now, after trying out a newly intersection and a wholly different process, I have the modern and improved “ best ” way to redo your kitchen cabinets .
What makes it the best, you ask ? It ’ randomness faster, easier, and with WAY less mess. My previous process even works well, but if you ’ re wanting a quick turnaround, this will be the work for you .
Update: After living with my cabinets for several years, I ’ ve found that this newly easier direction holds up fair arsenic well as the former method acting. then there ’ randomness no argue to feel like you ’ re taking a shortcut. I can decidedly say this is my favored room to paint cabinets immediately !

DecoArt Satin Enamel Cabinet Paint

In the past, if you wanted to paint cabinets or furniture, you had to strip, backbone and broadly kill yourself getting a thoroughly surface ready to paint on. now, with DecoArt ’ s Satin Enamel paints, you don ’ t need to do any of that. Simply clean the surfaces, prime if needed ( we ’ ll spill the beans about that in a moment ), and key .

Kitchen Cabinet Painting Hack

That sounds great, but here ’ s the truly great part… since you ’ re not sanding, you don ’ t need to remove all your items from your cabinets. That, my friends, is the key to making this visualize easier .
You don ’ t have to change anything about the way your kitchen functions until you ’ re about done with the hale march. No more pulling everything out of your kitchen, then hunting through piles on your support room floor for that pan that you need to make dinner .
Everything stays in place, and you can cook dinner every night, after working on the cabinets during the day. ( Oh wait, that doesn ’ triiodothyronine heavy good at all. Let ’ s merely say you could cook dinner, but don ’ t tell your husband that, and make him take you out for dinner. )

New Cabinets in 7 Steps!

here ’ s the actual bit-by-bit process .

  1. Clean cabinet doors
  2. Prime cabinet door fronts and edges, if needed
  3. Paint cabinet door fronts
  4. Remove cabinet doors
  5. Clean, prime, and paint frames
  6. Paint edges of cabinet doors
  7. Reattach doors

That ’ s it ! Sounds easy, right ? Well, that would be a pretty short web log post, so here ’ s how to do it in full detail. ( exist certain to read all the tips at the end ! )

Clean Cabinet Doors

All you need for this pace is a dear degreaser, such as Krud Kutter, and a scavenge rag. If you can ’ metric ton find Krud Kutter in your houseclean aisle, search at the hardware store. It ’ s a fleshy duty, but non-toxic clean that will remove any grease buildup that can get in the manner of your paint .
Simply spray on and wipe off with a very slightly damp clean rag or newspaper towel. Tougher spots may need a little elbow dirt. Be certain to clean every paintable coat well indeed your paint will stick .

Prime Cabinet Doors – if needed

not all cabinets will need to be primed before painting, if you ’ re using DecoArt ’ s Satin Enamels. Satin Enamels are formulated to adhere well to forest, and I ’ ve seen this to be true in multiple cabinet and furniture paint projects .
If your forest is old, has stains or colored knots, or seems dried out ( like here in the NM Desert ), it can be a effective mind to prime first gear. Primer helps with adhesion and tarnish blocking, so it helps your paint lodge better, look better, and go far .
This Zinsser BIN Advanced Primer is what I recommend for painting over wood, whether it ’ second cabinets, molding, or doors. It does the best job of stain-blocking out of any primer I ’ ve always used .
Plus it dries in 45 minutes, so you can get on with your project promptly !
Full disclosure – when I painted these cabinets, I used DecoArt ’ sulfur Stainblocker, but it ’ s not available for buy anymore. I ’ ve use the BIN primer in several other wood projects and I know it will do the lapp job .

Paint Cabinet Door Fronts

I can hear you now, asking “ Meredith, didn ’ thymine you forget a step ? Who would paint their doors while they ’ re hush hanging ? ” Well, I would. And you should excessively. It saves TONS of space, not to mention time spent moving doors around onto bring surfaces .
now, if you were using traditional latex or petroleum paint, I would not recommend painting vertically, due to the risk of drips. But this Satin Enamel paint holds it shape better while it ’ sulfur wet, which means it goes on smooth, and has the perfective dry time .
Drying time sounds like a wyrd thing to rave about, but it very makes all the dispute in this type of project .
You need a rouge that dries slowly adequate that it has time to even itself out and get rid of brush strokes ( we call this self-leveling ), but not so lento that it runs and drips and can ’ metric ton be touched for days .
badly, I can ’ t say enough about how crucial this one property is to making this project so easy. Of course, you need to be careful to apply the paint evenly, and look out for all those corners where key can build up and lead to drips .
The other great thing about this key is you can re-coat angstrom soon as it ’ mho dry, thus conceivably you could do all your coats ( 2 to 3 ) in one day, if you were so motivated. I was not .
It took me a few days, but at least I didn ’ t have to worry about my kitchen being torn up in the meanwhile .
One stopping point tip about painting doors… If your doors have inlays, like mine did, paint those first with a brush before painting the large flat areas with a mohair roller or large brush .
This will allow you to be careful in all the nooks and crannies, and hush achieve a good blank paint job without having to stop in the in-between and do the detail work .

Removing Cabinet Doors

The absolute first thing you must do before removing your cabinet doors is LABEL them. Trust me, this is the one tip you should not skip over .
I know you think you ’ ll remember where everything goes, but you will not. You will, however, thank me late if you label your doors intelligibly. I use the raffle ticket method shown below .
immediately you ’ re ready to remove the doors. For this partially, you may want to find a benefactor. That is, unless you ’ re unnaturally adept at holding a solid wood slab in one hand and operating a ability exercise in the other, all while balancing on one knee on the countertop, with the other foot straddling a sink wide of dirty dishes .
As it turns out, I was not particularly gifted at this skill. unfortunately for my stifle and my dishes. Hence, no photograph of this part of the process .
Simply unscrew the hinges and stack the doors along the wall or in your garage. If you ’ ra re-using your hinges, label them to go with the doors and save them for late .
I didn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate want to re-use my erstwhile begrimed brass hinges. I besides didn ’ t want to call attention to them, so I went hunting for something that would disappear into the white background of the cabinets. Did you know you can buy white hinges ?
That ’ south good what I needed, and I found them online at D. Lawless Hardware. If you haven ’ t checked out D. Lawless however, you should. They have a big excerpt, at great prices, and are precisely the nicest folks to work with. You ’ ll see more of their hardware in a minute .

Clean, Prime, and Paint Frames

once your doors are out of the way, you ’ ll repeat the same cleaning, prim, and painting serve as above, precisely on the frames this time. It sounds like a big job, but it in truth international relations and security network ’ thymine .
The frames don ’ t take up much space, so they won ’ t take you retentive to finish. Just make sure you tape off any edges first gear, to make your life easier .

Paint Edges of Cabinet Doors

While you ’ ra working on your frames and waiting through drying times, you can paint around the edges of your cabinet doors .
You want to make indisputable the paint is good and dry on both the frame and the doors so they don ’ metric ton stick to each early once you attach the doors again, sol leave batch of clock time for this step .
This is besides the time that you ’ ll want to pull out your drawers and paint their edges excessively.

At this compass point, you remember why you can ’ t have open shelving in your kitchen .

Reattach Doors

once everything is finished and it ’ s all good and dry, then you can rehang your doors and replace the drawers. ( Sounds easy but involves more contortionist moves in mid-air, so enlist a partner if you can ! )
last, add some fabulous hardware node and pulls, and you ’ ve got a brand new kitchen .
You ’ re done ! That wasn ’ t so bad, now was it ? You didn ’ t have to remove a single dish from your cabinets, and everything got to stay in its put so you could use your kitchen as you worked short by little on it .
You didn ’ metric ton even have to spend a whole Saturday houseclean sawdust out of your cabinets before replacing your mixing lawn bowling .
The family wasn ’ t huffy at their mom-induced chaos. flush your conserve was impress that all this magically happened in between meals. OK, well possibly that ’ s stretching it a little, but you get the mind .


note : these are affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase, I ’ ll make a small commission at no supernumerary care to you .
Krud Kutter
easy Paint Brush
Zinsser BIN Advanced Primer
DecoArt Satin Enamel Paint
Masking tape

Cabinet Painting Tips

This process absolutely works best with DecoArt Satin Enamel paint. ( You can find it on their web site, Amazon, or just about any craft/hobby store. I like Hobby Lobby because they always have a 40 % off coupon. )
The paint ’ randomness consistency and dry meter allows you to work on the doors in place, and there is no sandpaper required. I do not recommend this method if you want to use regular latex paint or oil-based paint. See my earlier post if you want to do that .


Don ’ t fret if you can ’ thymine find the color you want in the Satin Enamel paint. You can mix whatever color you like from the available colors in their pipeline .
For my cabinets I used Bright White, assorted with Natural Sable. ( The formula was 10 jars white, and 4 tablespoons sable. )
I wanted a soft strong white that wasn ’ t excessively pure. Adding a fiddling embrown gave me precisely what I was going for .
Be certain to mix enough rouge for your WHOLE visualize. You do not want to be trying to match colors when you run out of key halfway through !

Brush Strokes

If you use a mohair roller, you shouldn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate get any rouge bubbles or roller texture. But if you do, just drag a cushy dry brush over the roll area ampere soon as you ’ re done with a section .
move in the direction of the wood grain as you go, and any brush strokes will be about invisible .


If you ’ re buying modern hinges, make surely you measure your erstwhile ones accurately and check that the new hinges are precisely the lapp size and condition .
little differences can add up to make a big problem in the end. If your house is older, you credibly have the non-adjustable hinges that go right field on circus tent of the frames .
fortunately it ’ sulfur reasonably easy to replace these in a variety show of colors. For my kitchen I didn ’ t want the hinges to be visible, but I besides didn ’ thymine want to retool everything to add obscure hinges .
The solution was white hinges. They ’ re not wholly shroud, but they besides don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate call attention to themselves .

What About Laminate Cabinets?

And ultimately, does this sour on laminate cabinets ? Yes, with one little modification. If that ’ randomness you, be sure to check out my newly updated post on how to paint laminate cabinets .
now it ’ s your turn… what ’ south stopping you ? And as constantly, let me know if you have any questions. I love to help ! Well, I ’ megabyte not actually going to come over and help you paint, but I ’ thousand glad to virtually help ! In the meanwhile, here are the “ After ” photograph for inspiration. Feel free to pin and plowshare !
Update: I ’ ve had indeed many fantastic questions about this process and the Decoart and D. Lawless products, that I ’ ve written a follow-up post. Before you get started, be sure to check out the frequently Asked Questions and How They ’ re Holding Up mail for all the details .
And last, as if this wasn ’ thymine enough information to digest, I ’ ve written a comprehensive examination cabinet painting ebook that answers most of the questions you ’ ll find below and in the early FAQs mail .
The biggest question is how to get the DecoArt products, which is becoming more of a problem recently. I answer that and what products I ’ meter recommending alternatively in the book. If you ’ re having trouble sourcing the proper kind of paint for your cabinets, give it a learn !
This is hands-down the best way to paint kitchen cabinets. No sanding required! #kitchencabinets #paintingcabinets #diykitchen

The Best Way to Paint Kitchen Cabinets

active time :

12 hours

full time :

12 hours

difficulty :

Medium – anyone can do it with a little time and effort

Estimated cost :


Painting kitchen cabinets can be overpowering, but here ‘s how to make it easier. You do n’t have to empty out your hale kitchen because no sandpaper is required !


  • DecoArt Satin Enamels Paint
  • Zinsser BIN Advanced Primer


  • 4″ Mohair Roller
  • Soft paintbrush
  • Blue Painters Tape
  • Krud Kutter


  1. Clean cabinet doors with Krud Kutter or hot soapy water.
  2. If needed, prime cabinet door fronts with Zinsser BIN Advanced Primer, using roller and paintbrush. Don’t worry about the edges of the doors yet.
  3. Paint cabinet door fronts with Satin Enamel, using roller and paintbrush.
  4. Label cabinet doors and remove them from the frames of the cabinets.
  5. Repeat steps 1-3 for the cabinet frames.
  6. Paint the edges and insides of the cabinet doors.
  7. Reattach doors.


It may seem counter-intuitive to leave the doors on the cabinets when painting them, but it gives you a perfect shape outer space, and this paint will not drip or run so you do n’t need them to be horizontal while painting. They can dry in place, all while leaving your kitchen feasible during the project .

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

  • Krud Kutter
    Krud Kutter

  • BIN Advanced Synthetic Shellac Primer
    BIN Advanced Synthetic Shellac Primer

  • DecoArt Satin Enamels
    DecoArt Satin Enamels

beginning :
Category : Synthetic

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