How much does it cost to paint kitchen cabinets yourself?

a microwave oven in a kitchen


You can drastically change the look of your kitchen by painting the cabinets. Kitchen cabinets may be the focal point of the kitchen, especially if they are installed on a kitchen island or floating on a wall.

These cabinets break the monotony of the floored cabinets by adding a stylish yet simple look to the kitchen. They also make the kitchen appear bigger, especially if they have colors that contrast with the kitchen walls.

Kitchen cabinets can, however, be costly and taskful to paint in order to achieve a new look. The cost of painting kitchen cabinets yourself depends on various factors, including DIY or professional labor input.

When painting your kitchen cabinets, yourself, the more you know about these factors, the more prepared and cost-conscious you will be.

Factors affecting the cost of DIY painting kitchen cabinets

Painting kitchen cabinets yourself can be a difficult project, especially if you are new to painting. The amount you will spend on painting depends on some of the following variables:

1. The size or number of cabinets

The average cost of painting a larger area rises with the total square footage. The amount of time spent on painting the cabinets also increases as the cabinets have to dry in between coats.

When painting your cabinets, you may have to replace any old fixtures such as handles and hinges. To also reach the corners and crevices, you will have to detach the cabinet doors from their positions.

2. The prep work involved

You may have to do more prep work on the cabinets if they need filling in or sanding. A smooth and even surface is required for the paint to properly adhere as well as reduce the amount of paint and primer needed.

You will have to remove any existing coats of paint by sanding or deglossing the cabinets. All this prep work increases the entire project cost and the cost of prep supplies proportionately.

Estimating the cost to DIY paint kitchen cabinets

The expense of painting your kitchen cabinets is an important consideration, especially if you’re a first-time DIY painter. You’ll need to know how to measure your cabinets if you want to estimate how much it will cost to paint them.

If the task seems too big, you call in a professional painter to give you a quote as well as paint them if it comes to that. Using this method, you can figure out how much it will cost per square foot to paint the cabinets in your kitchen.

Depending on the cabinets you have, you may have to measure using different methods, but the goal is to get the linear measurements. The first step is to select a side, to begin with.

Measure the height and width of the cabinet with your preferred measuring tool and record the measurements. To calculate the total square footage, multiply the height by the width and do the same for the other available sides.

Add all the numbers together to get the total square footage for the cabinet and repeat the steps for any additional cabinets, such as the kitchen island cabinets or floating cabinets.

To calculate how much paint you need, divide the total square footage by 350 or 400 to get the number of paint cans you’ll need to purchase. Multiply the number of cans needed by the cost of your selected paint.

The cost to paint kitchen cabinets yourself

You’ll need a variety of materials and tools to complete your kitchen cabinet painting project.

The most expensive part of the project is usually the paint, but the cost of other materials can mount up.

1. Paint

There is a wide range of paint prices based on the type that you choose. The price of a gallon of gasoline can be significantly increased by selecting from a variety of different finishes. It can cost anywhere from $27 to $40 per gallon for a flat finish, while high gloss paint can cost up to $120 per gallon.

2. Painting Method

You’ll need to make a decision on how you want to paint your kitchen cabinets before you begin. Use a brush, sprayer, or roller to apply the paint.

As long as the equipment is handled correctly, spraying can be an effective approach for rapidly and evenly completing tasks. Instead of spray paint, use a brush to get into any grooves or recesses in your kitchen cabinets. If you want to use a roller, switch to a roller for bigger flat surfaces.

If you’re doing the work yourself, you’ll also need to buy the necessary tools, such as brushes, rollers, drop cloths, painter’s tape, paint pans, and sanding products or paint strippers.

Painting supplies might cost anything from $200 to $600. Professional painters will come prepared with all the necessary equipment and paints.

3. Paint Type and Quality

There are specialized paints for a variety of settings and effects. Extra-glossy paints are more expensive than flat or matte paints because they are more difficult to work with.

An eggshell or satin paint, which can be used on a variety of surfaces but may not hold up to the heavy use of kitchen cabinets, is a good middle ground. Both oil-based and latex paints provide a rich brushed effect, although oil-based paints are more durable.

Choosing the right primer for your wood and the paint you chose is also important. An expert painter can assist you in evaluating your options and making an informed decision.

4. Surface Area and Cabinet Design and Layout

Painting kitchen cabinets can cost anywhere from $3 to $10 per square foot or $30 to $60 per linear foot, including labor and supplies. However, the condition of the cabinets and the amount of labor required to remove the doors and hardware will affect the final outcome.

A painting contractor may give you an estimate based on the number of doors ($100), drawers ($25), and cabinets ($75–150) in your kitchen that are standard (not large or inlaid with glass). It’s also more time-consuming to work in compact spaces with a lot of corners. Thus, the price of the project will rise.

5. Kitchen Size

The overall surface area of your kitchen influences how much it will cost to paint your kitchen cabinets. It will be cheaper if you already know that your kitchen is tiny, but larger kitchens with plenty of cabinets will probably cost more.

You’ll need extra paint, drop cloths, and time to shield the floor and countertops from paint splashes.

6. Condition of Cabinets

It’s not uncommon for antique kitchen cabinets to have peeling paint, warped laminate, unclean surfaces, or cracked wood. Restoring the wood to a workable state in some cabinets is more difficult than simply repainting them.

Repairing or refacing a piece of laminate that is damaged before painting on top of it is strongly discouraged. Before priming, remove any hardware and sand or scrape any existing paint from the surface.

This will allow the fresh coat of paint to adhere correctly. Preparing the cabinets for painting becomes more expensive the more work that needs to be completed.

7. Stripping, Sanding, and Deglossing

You’ll need 80, 150, and 220 grit sandpaper, as well as a hand sander or power sander, to remove any old paint or varnish. A pack of sandpaper normally costs $5 to $10.

Chemicals can also be used. You’ll find a wide range of prices at your local hardware or home improvement store, from $7 to $50.

8. Equipment

Depending on your preferred approach, you may already have the tools you need to paint your kitchen cabinets. For around $20, you can get a paint roller and a set of covers, or for $10 to $20, you can have three different-sized paint brushes.

There are two ways to go about this: you can either buy a sprayer for $200 to $400 or hire one for $100 a day.

9. Other Recommended Materials

Before painting or repainting your cabinets, it’s advisable to get any necessary repairs done. Replacing kitchen cabinets might run you up to $350 on average.

If you want to avoid splatters in your kitchen and get the work done properly, you’ll need to make sure you have the required supplies, such as:

  • Drop cloths, tarps, or tarps: Approximately $25 to $50
  • Use painter’s tape meant for delicate surfaces to cover glass edges and door hardware: $10 – $20
  • Supplies for cleanup (soap and water for latex paint and a scraper, if desired): $10

Expect to pay an additional $55 to $100 or so for these additional items, depending on your situation.

The Cost of Painting Kitchen Cabinets by Type

Cabinets for the kitchen can be made from a wide variety of materials. Each material requires a somewhat different painting technique to create the smooth, uniform appearance you desire for your kitchen cabinetry.

To get the most out of your prep and painting, you need to know what kind of material you’re dealing with.

1. Wood

When painting or staining wood cabinets, you’ll need to sand the surface to ensure that the paint adheres more evenly and consistently. If the surface is shiny, you can also use a liquid or chemical deglossing agent.

The expense of pre-painting prep work for wood cabinets that have never been painted or stained will save you money. However, because that type of surface absorbs paint so much, you’ll need to use a primer, which adds $15 to $20 per gallon.

2. Wood Veneer

There is a thin coating of real hardwood over a thicker layer of pressed material that forms the face of wood veneer cabinets. Repainting veneer cabinets is definitely a possibility.

The only catch is that you’ll have to be a little more careful. Check your cabinets for any cracks, chips, or loose edges before you start prepping the surface with sandpaper.

After filling in the imperfections with wood glue, gentle sanding is required. As a rule, this will only add $5 to $10 to the overall project budget.

3. Medium-Density Fiberboard (MDF)

A drywall compound that costs between $10 and $20, depending on the type and quantity you choose, is needed to seal the porous MDF border of your cabinets.

The next step is to paint a thick layer of oil-based primer, which can be purchased for $60 to $70 at your local hardware or home improvement store. 100 square feet is adequate for this.

4. Laminate

Laminate cabinets have a smooth surface and are covered with a plastic layer over a composite base material. Before applying the last coats of paint, it is recommended that you sand the laminate surface well to “rough up” the surface before priming it with a solution made specifically for laminate surfaces.

Sand with a soft cloth and fine-grained sandpaper. The cost of the sandpaper will add between $5 and $10 to the final cost of your project.

Depending on the brand and quantity, you can spend anywhere from $20 to $80 on the specialist primer, which can be either an acrylic-based adhesion primer or a chalk paint mixture.


Should I DIY paint my cabinets?

Choosing to paint your kitchen cabinets on your own may sound like a fun and rewarding experience, but there are some disadvantages as well. However, painting on your own comes with a few drawbacks. Painting your cabinets, yourself has its advantages and disadvantages.

Pros: If you don’t have the time or money to hire a professional painter, you can do the work yourself and control every aspect of it.

Cons: If the project isn’t done correctly, you’ll end up spending more money over time, and unless you have a background experience in painting, you might lack the skill sets required to do a quality job on the value of your property; no matter why you’re doing it.

Paiting your kitchen cabinets yourself can be kind of tricky. If you want a perfect finish then I would recomend to just hire a painter otherwise you may spend time and money on it and regret it! It requires a certain level of professionalism that usually only a registered constractor can provide. Its much like replacing a roof. We have seen DIYers pull it off but also we have fixed alot of their mistakes as well”

Jordan Woolf | Roofing Company in Madison County, Al
How much does it cost to paint kitchen cabinets yourself?
How Much does it cost to paint your kitchen cabinets

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