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5 Steps to Repainting Kitchen Cabinets

Thinking of repainting kitchen cabinets? Don’t love how they turned out? Did your painted cabinets chip? Have no idea how to clean painted cabinets?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you will find these tips helpful to fix and clean your painted cabinets.

How to Fix a Small Chip in the Paint

Painting cabinets is an affordable update for your kitchen, but to make them last you need to take care of them the right way.

Even if you paint your cabinets correctly, you will probably notice a chip in your painted cabinets overtime.

repainting kitchen cabinets

I painted my kitchen cabinets 5 years ago, and they have held up great over the years. There have only been a few small chips in the paint on a couple of drawers and cabinet doors.

Since I have a two toddler boys, it was only a matter of time until I had to repaint my kitchen cabinets.

Items To Repaint Kitchen Cabinets:

  • Paint Brush
  • Cabinet paint
  • Sandpaper
  • Rag
  • Foam Brush
  • High Density Foam Roller

Repainting Kitchen Cabinets Guide

If you are repainting kitchen cabinets, I recommend lightly sanding the cabinets before repainting.

Clean: Before repainting cabinet, the cabinets should be free from grease and stains from cooking. Clean the cabinets with soapy water and a sponge.

Remove Doors and Drawers: Before repainting kitchen cabinets, make sure to remove doors and drawers.

Krud Kutter: If you cabinets are very greasy then I recommend using Krud Kutter to remove the kitchen grease. It is not recommended to use Krud Kutter for regular cabinet cleaning. This is only meant as a prepaint cleaner, so do not use Krud Kutter after you finish repainting your cabinets.

Prep: Sand the cabinets with a fine sandpaper to smooth out brush strokes and roughen the surface. The sanding does not need to be down to the wood, just enough to etch the surface.

Remove Dust: Before painting, wipe down the cabinets with a dry rag to remove dust debris.

Paint: Use a paint brush to paint all areas that a roller cannot get into. Then use a high density foam roller to smooth out the brush strokes and cover all areas of the cabinet.

Additional Coats: Allow the cabinets to dry for several hours before apply additional coats of paint.

Cabinet Paint Tips: I have additional tips in this post on how to paint cabinets and I share my favorite paint for cabinets.

Prep the Kitchen Cabinets Tips

If you are touching up a small chip in the paint, you can leave the cabinet doors on the hinges.

Remove the hardware on the front of the door if you are working near that area to prevent paint splatters.

If your cabinets are really dirty or greasy, you should clean them with soapy water before sanding and painting.

repainting kitchen cabinets

Sanding the Kitchen Cabinets

Now that the cabinet is ready, begin lightly sanding the the chipped paint on the kitchen cabinets with fine sand paper.

Only sand the cabinets to smooth out the chipped area, you do not need to sand the area down to the wood.

Wipe down the sanded area with a dry rag to remove any dust before repainting the cabinet.

Repainting Kitchen Cabinets

After sanding the chipped paint, you can now touch up the cabinet paint.

Use a paint brush or a foam brush with the matching paint to cover the chipped paint.

Lightly dabbing the paint onto the surface and allowing to dry before applying additional coats. You will probably need a couple of coats to completely blend in the chipped paint.

chipped painted cabinets
Touching up the chipped paint

Allow the paint to dry for a few hours before applying additional coats or the paint will not adhere correctly.

If the area that you are working on is really large, you may want to use a high density foam roller to smooth out the paint.

The high density foam roller is meant for painting cabinets, and can better apply the paint that the brush.

tips to repaintined kitchen cabinets
Using the foam brush to touch up chipped painted cabinets

Prevent White Cabinets from Turning Yellow

The cabinet paint that I use to paint cabinets, does not require a top coat because enamel is very durable.

If you are using a cabinet paint that does require a clear coat, make sure to apply thin coats.

A thick layer of clear coat will dry in the grooves of the cabinet doors and may leave drips.

Painting thick layers of clear coat may also cause the cabinets to turn slightly yellow over time.

How to Clean Painted Cabinets

Grease and smoke from cooking may make white cabinets appear slightly yellow.

Do not use any abrasive cleaners or brushes to clean the cabinets as this can damage the painted cabinets.

The safest way to clean cabinets is to use mild dish soap with a rag, sponge, and soft toothbrush.

Mix a mild dish soap with a little bit of water the wipe down the cabinets with a sponge to remove grease and stains.

To clean around the grooves of the cabinets, us a soft bristle toothbrush and soapy water.

Gently wipe down each cabinet door one by one with the soapy water then dry each cabinet after it has been cleaned.

Items Required to Clean Painted Cabinets:

  • Water
  • Mild Dish Soap
  • Bucket
  • Cloths or Sponges
  • Cloth for Drying


These tips can be used to repaint kitchen cabinets, bathroom vanities, and even painted furniture. So, feel free to follow these same steps to fixed other painted items.

Even though I have to occasionally touch up my painted cabinets, I am really happy with how they came out.

If you are still debating on painting your cabinets, read all about my mistakes and tips to painting cabinets.