spray paint bottles in a cardbaord box

How to Spray Paint Kitchen Cabinets Like a Pro?

If your kitchen cabinets are outdated and you’ve been thinking of replacing them but cannot bear the cost. Nothing to worry about because I’ve got the perfect solution to your problem. You can spray paint your kitchen cabinets like a pro and make them look fresh and almost new.

This article contains everything you need to know to paint your kitchen cabinets. With my hands-on experience on the matter, I will answer every possible question and list all the materials and tools required to get the job done, along with a detailed step-by-step guide. 

Thus, read on and follow the procedure precisely to give your kitchen an outstanding and smooth finish, just like a professional at your house.

Why Should You Spray Paint Kitchen Cabinets?

If you want to give your kitchen cabinets a fresh look and cannot afford to refurbish them, spray painting is by far the best way to go.

It reduces the overall painting cost and provides an outclass and extra smooth finishing that is second to none.

Moreover, if you’ve cabinets with places that are hard to paint with a brush or have raised panels, spray paints can be of significant use for you.

Many experts recommend spraying kitchen cabinets because it is much more effective and less time-consuming.

White kitchen cabinets with brown countertop and grey fridge on the side

Although it does require some time and practice in the beginning to get the hang of it, once you do, believe me, it’s worth the struggle.

Thus, the most durable and suitable option for old-class-looking kitchen cabinets is spray painting. 

Step-By-Step Guide to Spray Paint Kitchen Cabinets.

An inexperienced person with minimal exposure can make mistakes and ruin your work.

Therefore, to guide you throughout the process and make it more proficient. We have gathered below a step-by-step procedure to spray paint kitchen cabinets correctly.

Step 1:  Cleaning the Kitchen Cabinets

The first step is to thoroughly clean your kitchen cabinets to remove any grease or dirt gathered on the doors and shelves.

You can do that by crossing the kitchen cleaning checklist. or following the step below:

  • Detach the doors and drawers of your kitchen cabinets and make sure to label them so that you wouldn’t have trouble while reinstalling.
  • Then take them to an open space such as the garage or another spacious workplace where they could be placed separately.
  • Here, you can clean them with the help of a detergent and warm water. Ensure to rinse the surface of the doors and drawers perfectly. Otherwise, the paint wouldn’t stick for long. The same goes for the cabinet frames in the kitchen.
  • Once rinsed, cover the areas where you don’t want the paint to adhere using tape or old newspapers. Wrap the appliances, cover the countertops, tape the ceiling, flooring, and walls. Almost everything that abuts the kitchen cabinets should be adequately covered.

Step 2: Repair and Prep the Kitchen Cabinets

After making sure that the cabinets are thoroughly cleaned, you can move towards the second step, which involves repairing any tough spots to remove the ridges or burrs from the cabinets, if there are any. The procedure is as below:

  • You can use the spackling compound to repair the scratches and fill the holes in the cabinet doors and frames. With the help of a putty knife, settle the compound into the damaged areas and let it dry.
  • Then sand the cabinet frames and doors using 320-grit sandpaper, just light enough to sand off the shine and not the finish.
  • Afterward, you can use a bristle attachment for vacuuming any dust gathered on the wood. 
  • Then with the help of a tack cloth, wipe out the cabinet frames and doors before you are ready to apply the primer.
white cupbaords and painting the bottles left from painting kitchen cabinets

Step 3: Prime the Kitchen Cabinets

The third step includes applying the stain-blocking primer to the doors and frames of the cabinets. The procedure is as follows:

  • Use a paintbrush instead of the roller to paint the primer on the doors and sides of the cabinets. The roller can affect the finish by leaving a bad texture, and it is also hard to work with the apertures.
  • An easy way is to prime one side of the doors first and then prime the frames and sides of the cabinets while the paint on the doors dries. Afterward, prime the other side of the doors.
  • Once the primer has dried out properly, sand the doors, frames, and sides of the cabinets to smoothen them and then paint with a fine-grit sandpaper.
  • If your kitchen cabinet doors are of oak wood grain, you’ll have to fill in the grain using the spackling compound to get a smooth look.

Step 4: Paint the Exposed Areas of the Kitchen Cabinets

Once the primer is applied, your next step would be to prepare the paint by mixing in the paint thinner. So, the procedure will be as below:

  • First of all, thin the paint using the Floetrol paint additive and water. The water and Floetrol help to level out the paint when applied and also slows down the drying process so that you can get a more even coating after spraying.
  • Then use a paintbrush to paint the exposed sides and frames of the cabinets. Ensure to use a high-quality paintbrush and latex enamel paint because it provides a shiny, hard, and stainless finish.
  • While the paint dries off, you can practice spray painting on a rough surface first, like cardboard, to get a hold of the spraying gun. Adjust the nozzle and the flow rate of the spraying gun so that it covers the surface without running out. 

Step 5: Spray Paint the Kitchen Cabinets

This is the most fun part of the spraying process you’ve been waiting for. For this step, you’ll have to buy an HVLP (High-Volume Low-Pressure) spraying gun because it makes the job much easier and simpler. 

On the other hand, if you try to attempt this using spray cans, your pointer finger will get sore in no time.

Thus, the HVLP sprayers are the best option to go with, and they also come with a targeted dial that helps spray the crannies or nooks perfectly. 

Furthermore, a spraying gun significantly reduces the time required to spray the cabinets.

I remember the last time I spray painted my kitchen cabinets a year ago. It took me a total of 80 mins to spray 16 cabinet doors and six drawers. 

So, without wasting any time, let’s hop on to the spraying process:

  • First things first, assemble a proper working space, wear a respirator mask before spray painting, and don’t forget to ventilate the room, even if it’s just a blowing fan in an open window.
  • Afterward, fill up the spraying gun with the thinned paint mixture, and you’re ready to paint. Set up the cabinet doors on an empty box to rotate easily and then start spraying.
  • Paint the edges and the detailed work in the first coat and let them dry overnight. The next day, do the second coat on the left out places of the doors, sides, and frames. A great tip is to sweep your whole arm back and forth while painting, not just the wrist.
  • Then comes the turn of the drawers. After wrapping them properly with papers, paint them. Let them dry overnight, and then give them a second coat. If you find any paint runs, wait for the paint to dry and then repaint to remove any imperfections.

Once you are done with spray paint, it’s time to reinstall everything back to its original place. The first looks of the newly painted kitchen cabinets look astonishing, am I right?

You’ve done a great job. Now you can lie down or maybe sip hot coffee to relax. 

painting the cabinets with a yellow spray can

Which Spray Paint Type Should You Use on Kitchen Cabinets?

The best spray paint type to use on a kitchen cabinet facing is the universal solvent-based paint formulated for the surface you are painting.

In the long run, it forms a durable and hard finish required for the cabinets and is widely universal, meaning you can use it on vinyl, acrylic, and timber kitchen cabinets.

However, you should choose the paint type that is best formulated with the material used in your kitchen cabinets to easily adhere to the surface and be effective for long periods.

What Materials and Tools are required to Spray Paint Kitchen Cabinets?

Here, we have gathered the list of materials and tools required for you to spray paint your kitchen cabinets. In case you forget something, you can checkmark it from the list below:


  • 320-grit sandpaper
  • Rosin paper
  • Spackling compound
  • Floetrol
  • Painter’s tape
  • Primer (Stain blocker)
  • Latex enamel paint
  • Plastic drop cloth
  • Masking paper
  • Cardboard


  • Safety glasses
  • Putty knife
  • Shop Vacuum
  • Screwdrivers
  • Paintbrush
  • Rags
  • Cordless drill
  • Utility knife
  • Bucket

What is the Total Cost of Spray Painting Kitchen Cabinets?

Typically, if you DIY spray paint your kitchen cabinets, the overall cost ranges between 200$-600$ depending upon the quality of supplies such as paints, brushes, and spray guns you are using.

However, if your kitchen cabinets are in bad condition, they may cost more.  


To sum up, if your kitchen cabinets are in good condition and you just want to change their appearance, spray paint is the best option for you.

After reading this article, I hope you’ll be able to spray paint your kitchen cabinets like a pro.

How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets with Paint Sprayer (Video Guide)