How To Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets In 6 Steps | JC Licht


6 Easy Steps for Painting Your Kitchen Cabinets

  • 4 min read

6 steps to paint your kitchen cabinets from the experts at JC Licht in Chicago, IL

Why remodel your kitchen when you can reclaim that shelf confidence with a fresh coat of paint? A great paint color, the right tools, and a little DIY elbow grease are all that’s needed to update and transform your existing cabinets – saving you about 90% of the cost of replacing them. Learn how to paint kitchen cabinets from the experts at JC Licht.

Step 1: Do the prep work.

Empty the kitchen cabinets and clear the counters to make ample work space. Protect areas that you don’t want to get paint on, including countertops and floors. Then you’ll be ready to remove all cabinet doors, drawers, hinges, handles and hardware. It’s wise to label each door with a location number so you’ll remember where it goes back once you’re finished.

Step 2: Clean, Dry and Dull.

Grease and other sticky residue build up on cabinet doors, so before painting, ensure all the surfaces are readied so that paint will properly adhere. Follow the directions of a gentle grease remover to clean and wipe down the cabinets. Once dried, use a medium (150-180 grit) sandpaper to roughen the surface and dull the shine to give the primer something to stick to. Wipe away any dust with a damp cloth and allow it to dry.

Prime your kitchen cabinets before painting them with Stix primer from JC Licht in Chicago, IL
Step 3: Get ready for prime time.

The right primer for the job depends on if your kitchen cabinets are made of wood, MDF (medium-density fiberboard), laminate or have been previously painted. We recommend using a high bonding, waterborne primer like Benjamin Moore’s interior and exterior STIX primer for most surfaces, is low VOC and doesn’t give off noxious odors.

Step 4: Smooth it out.

Once the primer has thoroughly dried, use 220-grit sandpaper on the surface to smooth away drips or pools and ensure your first paint coat glides on evenly.

Step 5: Time to paint.

We’re big fans of Benjamin Moore’s ADVANCE, which offers a durable, furniture-like finish for cabinets and trim. What we like best about ADVANCE is that although it’s a low-VOC, easy-to-clean alkyd, it offers the benefits of an oil-based product and delivers a smooth but rock-durable finish. Apply the paint using a premium nylon/poly brush in the creases and edges, then a small mil roller to reduce bubbles and any unsightly brush marks.

Benjamin Moore's Advance Waterborne Interior Paint is available at JC Licht in Chicago, IL

Step 6: Apply a second coat on Day 2.

Allow one full day for the first coat of paint to dry and cure. Then repeat the same process as the first coat, allowing an additional 24 hours of drying time before handling the cabinets. When time is up, re-hang your cabinet doors, carefully attaching the original hardware or installing newly-updated cabinet pulls.

Color Selection

Now that you know how easy it is to repaint your kitchen cabinets, it's time to choose the perfect color! Are you into traditional clean white cabinets, or are you looking for an accent color that will make your cabinets the focal point of your kitchen?

With all of Benjamin Moore’s 3500+ colors to choose from it can be hard to boil it down to one color. To help, our design team has picked out the best white cabinet choices as well as their favorite kitchen cabinet color trends.

White Cabinet Colors

Traditional, clean and bright, white cabinets are the all-time classic choice for a timeless color that will complement any culinary masterpiece. These colors will grow with your family and cooking style. Give your kitchen a fresh, sophisticated look, and brighten up your space with our design team’s favorite picks:

Discover these amazing colors in more depth in our Best White Cabinet Paint Colors blog post.

Trending Cabinet Colors

Do white cabinets taste a little bland for your tastebuds? Adding a splash of color can give your kitchen a big design lift and create a cozy, welcoming, and attractive space. Show off your kitchen at your next family gathering with our design team’s favorite trending kitchen cabinet paint colors:

Learn more about these trending colors in our Kitchen Cabinet Color Trends blog post.

Blue and white painted kitchen cabinets. Buy paint and supplies at JC Licht in Chicago, IL.

You don’t have to stick to just one color either. If you aren’t adventurous in the kitchen but want to venture outside your comfort zone, a common trend is to paint your lower cupboards a bold color, while leaving your upper cupboards a neutral white paint color. This makes your lower cabinets a great accent piece while still keeping your kitchen bright and fresh.

Are you still having trouble deciding on color or what products and supplies you need to paint your kitchen cabinets and drawer fronts? Visit a JC Licht location near you. Our color consultants and product specialists are always happy to help bring your project to life!

YOUR NEXT PAINT JOB STARTS HERE! JC Licht is the Midwest’s largest dealer of Benjamin Moore, the highest quality paint on the market. For paint, tools and tips in-store or online, visit

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