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Tips and Tricks on How to Repaint Cabinets

Did you paint your kitchen cabinets or bathroom cabinets and they didn’t turn out how you hoped? You can easily repaint cabinets with these tricks!

Repainted Kitchen Cabinets

When I bought my first home a few years ago, I jumped on the gray bandwagon. 

I painted everything in my house gray, even my bathroom vanity which I was never crazy about.

Since I didn’t love the color of my recently painted vanity, I decided to learn how to repaint the cabinets.

Repainted kitchen cabinets or bathroom cabinets is not as tedious as it sounds. You might even be able to get away without sanding if you are feeling lazy.

repaint kitchen cabinets

After I repainted my bathroom vanity, I decided to give my painted kitchen cabinets a quick refresh with the same steps.

How Much to Paint Kitchen Cabinets

My master bathroom has outdated tile, and I just didn’t want to spend the money to remove and replace it all. 

The tile expands up the shower wall, around the tub, on the floor, and along the edge of the wall. 

Instead of trying to replace the tile, I thought painting ugly orangey wood vanity would help make the tile look a little better.

Painting the vanity gray definitely brightened up the space and cooled down the orange tones in the tile, but I went with the wrong shade of gray. 

Painting kitchen cabinets or bathroom cabinets only costs around $50 if you use cabinet paint instead of a cabinet kit.

Most cabinet kits do not included enough paint to cover an entire kitchen or they do not have all the tools needed for the project.

Instead of purchasing a cabinet kit, you could make your own cabinet kit for around $50 and still have leftover paint.

The paint that I use for this project is a paint that I have used for several other projects and loved the outcome.

Why I am Repainting my Cabinets

The paint job on my bathroom vanity was super smooth, but the color just wasn’t right.

I finally decided to change the vanity after finding the perfect shade of green.

It is a green with gray undertones of course because I can’t totally ditch gray yet.

I am using the same brand of cabinet paint because it is the best paint that I have ever used.

All I have to do is have the paint tinted with my new gray green color and get to work.

how to repaint cabinets
Before- The gray is too purple looking in person.

How to Repaint Cabinets

If you are repainting a bathroom vanity, piece of furniture, or kitchen cabinets then these are the steps that you will want to follow. 

Items Used to Repaint Cabinets:

Chipped Painted Cabinets

Even if you followed all the steps and used the best paint, a chip can still happen. Don’t worry if your paint chipped because it is a quick and easy fix.

If your painted cabinets chipped and you want to repaint them, here are a few tips to fix the paint.

repainted cabinets

Step 1- Remove Doors and Hardware

Remove all of the doors, hardware, and drawers before sanding. 

Step 2 – Optional Sanding

If you’re painted cabinets are not very smooth, I highly recommend you light sand them.

It doesn’t matter how much paint you add over top of the existing paint, the cabinets will not be smooth without sanding.

It only took me about 10 minutes to hand sand a large double sink bathroom vanity.

The repainted vanity turned out really nice after sanding and repainting, so I am glad that I spent the time to prep it.

When I started working on my kitchen cabinet project I planned on sanding all the kitchen cabinets, but then I was over it really quickly.

I looked around and saw so many cabinet doors and felt overwhelmed after sanding 3 cabinet doors.

So, I decided to give the cabinets a light sand where the paint chipped and in rougher areas on the doors.

My kitchen cabinets weren’t in bad shape they just needed a refresh because this is a high traffic area and I last painted them 5 years ago.

If your kitchen cabinets aren’t in bad shape like mine, you can probably get away without doing much sanding either.

How to Sand Painted Kitchen Cabinets

Before sanding you should wipe your cabinets down with soapy water and a rag to remove any grease.

When sanding any paint or stain make sure to wear an N95 mask and safety glasses to keep yourself protected.

Lightly sand all areas of kitchen cabinets or vanity with fine sand paper to roughen up the surface. 

The sanding doesn’t have to be down to the wood, but you should sand every groove and corner.

Make sure to sand any paint strokes or paint drips, so the newly painted cabinets turn out smooth.

I know sanding sounds annoying, but prep work for any project is always worth the end result.

Those small details always make the biggest difference with a project, so don’t rush through this.

Step 3 – Cleaning Kitchen Cabinets

Now that your cabinets have been sanded down, it is time to remove all of the debris. 

Grab a rag and wipe all of the sand down then vacuum the floor to remove all sanding dust. 

If you have small attachments for your vacuum, you could even use the vacuum to get into the tight grooves of the doors. 

After removing the dust, grab another clean rag dipped in soapy water to wipe all areas of the cabinets down. 

Since my bathroom vanity did not have the kitchen grease like a typical kitchen, I skipped the soapy water part.

Step 4 -Repainting Kitchen Cabinets

Before you start painting cabinets, make sure they are dry and free from debris.

The cabinet paint that I highly recommend has paint, primer, and clear coat mixed in, so no need to apply primer.

I prefer to cut in first with a soft brush then roll on the paint because this will help blend any brush strokes.

Do not use an overly saturated brush or roller as you will end up with paint drips and lines on your cabinets.

After you applied the first coat of paint wait a few hours or overnight before applying the 2nd coat of paint.

This Wooster brush is the best paint brush I’ve ever used to paint cabinets.

The bristles are very soft which leaves you with very little brush strokes for a smooth finish.

After doing all of the cuts on your cabinets, start rolling on the paint with a high density foam roller.

Below is a picture of my recently painted kitchen cabinets. To see more of my kitchen and tips about painting kitchen cabinets go to my other post!

Common Mistakes When Painting Cabinets

If you need more tips and tricks then check out our entire post about painting kitchen cabinets.

These are things I wish I knew before I painted my kitchen cabinets.

The Best Cabinet Paint

I have used this cabinet paint on a few other projects and I am so happy with the final product.

This paint will leave you with a very smooth finish and is very durable.

The paint can also, be tinted any color that you want to customize your cabinets or furniture.

Learn more about my favorite cabinet paint here.

painted cabinets

Applying the Second Coat of Paint

Follow all of the same steps listed above to apply the second coat of paint on the cabinets.

There is no need for a top coat because this paint is very durable and the protective top coat is mixed in.

My green cabinets only took 2 coats of paint and my kitchen cabinets only need 1 coat or paint because I was only refreshing them with the same paint color.

After I applied the second coat of paint to the cabinets, I let them dry for at least 24 hours.

Your cabinets will feel dry to the touch but they are not fully cured, so be careful not to chip the paint.

After the cabinets have completely dried, hang the cabinets and place the drawers back in.

repainted cabinets

Then place bumpers behind all doors and drawers to prevent cabinets from sticking and to provide softer close.

Now that your cabinet doors and drawers are in place, it’s time for cabinet hardware.

I absolutely love how my bathroom vanity redo came out and my kitchen looks like new.

It only took me a weekend to complete and less than $50 to totally transform the look of my bathroom and kitchen.

Bathroom Vanity Makeover Ideas

Now that you just finished painting your bathroom vanity, you should add a little decor to the space.

If you don’t have a mirror frame, you should consider adding a mirror frame for an inexpensive update for your bathroom.

A mirror frame is so simple to install right over the existing mirror and can be customized to match any decor.

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