Painting a kitchen cabinet a huge task, but it’s probably the most transformative makeover you can do to your aging kitchen. At a glance, the process of painting kitchen cabinets can seem deceptively simple, however, it’s not. The process has multiple stages, each requiring specialized skills, experience and time. Rushing through one process only messes the next one.

While you might take the DIY route with the hopes of saving on cost, a single mistake can end up costing you much more or even ruining your cabinets. Here are five mistakes you should avoid while painting your kitchen cabinets.

1.   Failing to remove the doors and drawers

Must you really remove all the doors and drawers? After all, you can simply paint over everything, including hinges and pulls, right? Wrong. It’s very critical that you take the cabinet doors and drawers down, and remove any hardware. It’s much easier to paint a door laid out flat on a bench than when attached. Additionally, painting over hardware will only give an unprofessional finish.

2.   Not prepping the cabinets thoroughly

Thorough preparation is kind of the golden rule of cabinet repainting. First, you need to clean the surfaces to remove the dust, debris, and grease. Wipe down all the surfaces with a grease remover and allow the cabinets to dry. Even if you don’t see the grease, just wipe –applying a water-based paint on a greasy cabinet surface will ruin the results because the paint won’t stick.

The next important step you should not miss is sanding wooden cabinets. Even if your cabinets are nearly physically perfect, you still need to sand them to allow the paint to stick better. You can achieve this using medium-grade sandpaper.

3.   Not Priming

Priming the wood is still an important part of preparing your cabinets, it might seem insignificant, but it’s extremely important. Priming allows the paint to stick properly to the surface without blotches or air bubbles. If necessary, apply two coats of the primer.

As an added bonus tip, consider tinting your primer with a little bit of the paint you will be using. This helps to better cover stains and traces of the previous paint color, allowing for a smooth transition. This is particularly important if you’re transitioning from a darker to a lighter color. Additionally, tinting the primer reduces the number of paint coats you will need to complete the job.

4.   You try to rush the process

Painting kitchen cabinets is not a lazy Sunday afternoon task, it’s a lengthy process that needs a lot of labor and patience in between processes. Even if you have a small kitchen, this project can take several days when you factor in the necessary prep time, adequate paint application and drying time.

Because this is a tedious process, it’s definitely not a good idea to jump in and try to rush through it thinking it can be done in one afternoon. At the very least, set aside a long weekend after you’ve gathered everything you need. Most importantly, you need to allow enough time for each coat of the primer and paint to dry before moving on to the next process.

5.   Not using the right paint and primer

There’re a lot of things that can go wrong when it comes to paint selection. The most common mistakes people make is buying the wrong color. If you’re new to dealing with paint, you’re very likely to judge the paint color from what you see in the container. However, the best way to tell the actual color of paint is to paint a small section and allow it to dry. You can then judge the actual color of the paint from the dried sample, otherwise, it’s very easy to get an off-color.

The bottom line when choosing your paint is always to go for high-quality paint. Quality paint products always stay true to their color, give smooth finishes and last longer to protect and beautify your cabinets. The roller and brush marks won’t be visible and you will need fewer coats to achieve desired results.


We hope the above tips will go a long way in helping you with your cabinet painting project. However, if you need a seamless, error-free and transformative professional paint job in Eugene, Oregon, reach out to us and we will be more than happy to help.