Now booking Exterior Projects!

person painting cabinet pink

DIY: Should I Paint My Kitchen Cabinets?

Many clients mention having an overwhelming amount of outdated oak that they want updated but without the big expense and headache of replacing it. Their kitchen cabinets just aren’t appealing.

“Our kitchen is open and feels like an eye sore with the oak cabinets…” “There is oak everywhere!”… 

Sound familiar?

Oak cabinets in white kitchen
Photo from The Homes I Have Made

The Importance of Professional Help

If you’ve been contemplating the idea of giving your kitchen cabinets a fresh coat of paint, let us share some valuable insights with you. Brace yourself, because we’re about to tell you something straight from the heart: Please, resist the temptation to tackle this project on your own! Now, we understand the allure of DIY endeavors, like painting your walls or crafting a handmade piece of furniture. However, painting kitchen cabinets is an entirely different beast, and we’ve heard countless tales from individuals who, after attempting it, declared, “We should have left it to the professionals. I’m never doing that again!”

Do NOT paint your Kitchen Cabinets on your own!

There is a time and place for DIY projects – painting your walls can fall into this category – but painting your kitchen cabinets is its own beast and we have heard from many people who have attempted it that it isn’t something they wished they had tried on their own.

We receive numerous inquiries from enthusiastic DIYers who want to take on the challenge and seek guidance on the process. The conversation often starts with questions like, “But is it possible to skip the sanding, priming, and all that jazz?” This is when we begin our mission to convince them otherwise because, truth be told, the bulk of this project lies in the preparation. If you want your cabinets to look impeccable and withstand the test of time, there are no shortcuts here. Prepare yourself for a considerable time commitment—it’s not a project you can breeze through in a weekend. Picture disassembling and labeling, thorough cleaning, meticulous sanding, precise vacuuming, thorough wiping, priming, patiently waiting for dry time, applying the paint, and finally, reassembling. And that’s not all—don’t forget about meticulously sealing off your kitchen floors, protecting your appliances, and ensuring the insides of the cabinets stay pristine.

  • Resist the temptation to DIY
  • Painting kitchen cabinets requires expertise
  • Countless individuals regretted attempting it themselves

Frequently Asked Questions about Cabinet Refinishing

Can you skip sanding, priming, and prep work?

Oh gosh no. If you want your cabinets to look good and hold up – you can’t cut corners here. It takes a lot of time (this is not a weekend project) – disassembling and labeling, cleaning, sanding, vacuuming, wiping, priming, dry time, paint application, and reassembling. Not to mention, sealing off your kitchen floors, appliances, and insides of the bases.

How time-consuming is it to paint your cabinets?

To do this yourself, expect 1-2 weeks and sometime prior and after. With Headwaters Painting, you’ll be looking at a one-week start-to-finish timeline.

How long will the painting process take if we hire Headwaters Painting?

Working with a professional painting company will not only take less time, it will take less effort on your end. Headwaters Painting typically are in your home the first 2-3 days to disassemble, prep, and paint the bases of your cabinets. At this point, you are able to use your kitchen again and we return by day 5 with your finished doors and drawers and reassemble everything!

Why is the cost so much higher than a typical paint project?

It’s particular, thorough, and detailed work. Consider your time, research, and stress. Also, it’s much less expensive to paint them, rather than to replace them. 

Is it bad to paint my oak/wood cabinets or cupboards?

Nope! We tell clients to consider the type/color of oak they have and their style of home. The majority of oak that we paint has a yellow or orange hue to it that is simply outdated. The painting will instantly update it – this goes beyond your cabinets – think baseboards, railings, trim, kitchen islands, and built-ins. If you live in an old home with beautiful brown-colored oak/wood trim, you may want to preserve that beauty! However, we have painted in this circumstance and it was a beautiful update that didn’t take away from the home.

Will the grain show through the wood?

A little bit, Yes. But honestly, you don’t notice it at a glance and many people like to have a little bit of the texture coming through. However, You can find some companies that will fill all the grain for you as part of their process, but it is considered “top tier” and is extensive -thus, more expensive.

Will the paint hold up?

Yes (unless you are DIY’ing and skipping steps). We start with detailed prep and then use the best products to ensure that your cabinets will cure harder and faster. That said, painting your cabinets is not a foolproof project – if they are rammed or nicked, they can chip. This is why we emphasize being extra careful of damage and cleaning the first 3-4 weeks to allow for the most successful curing. Rest assured, touch-ups are always an option!

So… should you paint your cabinets DIY or hire Headwaters Painting?

Ask yourself, do you possess the knowledge of which products to use and how to apply them? Do you happen to own a paint sprayer (unless you’re comfortable with brush marks and roller stippling)? Yes, it is technically feasible to paint your cabinets yourself, but let’s be crystal clear about your expectations going into it. Everyone has different skill levels, so it ultimately depends on your experience! Have questions? Connect with Headwaters Painting.

We are ready for your paint project!

Our team of experienced painters will get the job done right, on time, and within your budget. Contact us today to learn more.

Couple holding paint rollers