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What's the Cost to Paint Kitchen Cabinets?

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Matt is a professional painter and freelance writer, sharing his knowledge, house-painting tips, and product reviews.

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The Cost to Paint Cabinets

The cost to paint cabinets yourself depends on the number of doors, wood type, and the materials needed to get the job done right. If you're painting oak cabinets, or painting cabinets white, using grain filler is recommended. Oak is too grainy and looks better painted with at least one coat of filler underneath, but this is personal preference. Smooth wood, like maple, has a closed grain and doesn't need filler.

The material cost to paint cabinets depends on the number of doors you're painting but can vary between $200 to $600. The grain filler, primer, and paint are usually the most expensive items on the list. Grain filler usually costs around $20 to $40 per container. I personally use a product called Aqua Coat in the quart size that falls into that price range.

Using high-quality paint for your cabinets is pricey, but often worth the cost for the durability you'll get. Whether you paint them yourself, or use a painter, make sure the paint is durable and hard enough for cabinets.

You would also need to buy roller sleeves, handles, brushes, drop cloths, and a caulk gun. If you're spraying your cabinets, you can rent a sprayer, and you'll also need to buy a fine finish spray tip, which are around $40 to $50 each. Spraying would also require the purchase of additional materials for masking. I spray paint my cabinets, but most people are fine with brushing and rolling them.

Tools and materials needed for brush and roll application:

  • Cleaner
  • Sandpaper
  • Caulk
  • Wood grain filler (for open grain wood)
  • Tack cloth
  • Foam roller
  • Paint brush
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Drill (for removing doors and hardware)
  • Buckets
  • Painter's plastic
  • Bondo wood filler

If you plan on painting the cabinets yourself, I recommend waiting for Sherwin Williams to have their 35% off bucket sale. They usually have their bucket sale one time in the spring and again in the fall. You can buy all the supplies you need for your project for a lot less than what you'd normally pay at full price.

If you're unwilling to roll up your sleeves and paint the cabinets yourself, hiring a professional painter is the best option and often cheaper than buying new ones.

Hiring a Painter to Paint Your Cabinets

Buying new cabinets is very expensive and often unnecessary when your existing ones can be painted to look brand new. Although it isn't exactly cheap to hire a contractor, it's going to be cheaper than buying new cabinets. Another option is to reface them by buying new doors of the same size and hire a painter to only paint the wall boxes.

Using a painter with references, who specializes in cabinet painting, is highly recommended. An experienced painter knows exactly what materials to use and how to do the work correctly. Not all painters have experience painting cabinets, or even want to do this type of work, which could impact the price and quality.

One painter might want to brush and roll your cabinets, while another will spray everything. I spray all of my cabinets, and the end result looks a lot better than if a brush and roller would have been used. Brushing and rolling creates stippling, while spraying does not.

Through a painting service, the cost to paint kitchen cabinets could cost anywhere from $1,500 to $6,000, all depending on how many doors you have and what needs to be done. Applying and sanding grain filler involves additional labor. Decorative finishing, like glazing, or distressing the wood, will increase the cost too.

The painting costs for a large kitchen will take more time and consume more material. Using two different colors can impact the price as well. You'll find that prices vary greatly with this type of work because not every painter uses the same system or process.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2018 Matt G.