Should You Paint the Inside of Kitchen Cabinets?

I may receive a commission if you make a purchase after clicking a link on this page. Read the full disclosure policy here

Paint can do wonders for the look of your kitchen, but should you paint the inside of kitchen cabinets? The answer to that question depends on a few factors.

In this blog post, we will discuss the pros and cons of painting the inside of your kitchen cabinets and help you decide whether or not it is the right choice for your home.

Image of an opened cabinet with a pan inside

Benefits of painting kitchen cabinets

Whether you’re looking to give your kitchen a fresh new look or simply want to increase the value of your home, painting your kitchen cabinets is a worthwhile endeavor.

Not only does a new coat of paint provide a much-needed update to the space, but it can also help to protect the cabinets from wear and tear.

In addition, painting the kitchen cabinets is a relatively easy and inexpensive project that most homeowners can complete in just a weekend.

With so many benefits, it’s no wonder that painting kitchen cabinets are one of the most popular kitchen painting projects.

Drawbacks of painting cabinets

While painting kitchen cabinets can give the space an updated look, there are a few things to keep in mind before starting the project.

One is that paint can chip and can also peel over time, especially if the cupboards are frequently used.

This will require touch-ups or even a new coat of paint down the road. Also, unless you use a professional painter, the results may not be as smooth and even as you would like.

And finally, painting cupboards is time-consuming and requires some care and attention to detail.

But if you’re up for the challenge and are willing to put in the work, painting your kitchen cupboards can give your space an entirely new look.

How do you decide whether or not to paint your kitchen cabinets?

Phot of an old and faded cabinet with plates below

When it comes to deciding whether or not to paint your kitchen cabinets, there are a few factors to consider.

The first is the condition of the cabinets and cabinet doors. If they are in good condition, with no major scratches or gouges, then painting them is likely to be a straightforward process.

However, if the cabinets are in poor condition, it may be necessary to sand and prime them before applying a new coat of paint.

The second factor to consider is the desired look.

If you want a completely new look for your kitchen, painting the cabinets may be the best option. However, if you just want to refresh your current look, painting may not be necessary.

Finally, consider the cost. Painting cabinets is generally cheaper than replacing them, but it will still require some investment in terms of time and materials.

Should You Paint Inside Kitchen Cabinets?

When it comes to kitchen cabinets, there are a lot of different opinions on whether or not to paint the inside. It all comes down to personal preference.

Some people feel that painting the inside of the cabinets can brighten up the whole kitchen, while others worry about the paint chipping or peeling over time.

There are a few things to consider before making a decision.

First, think about the current color of your cabinets.

If they are a dark color, painting the inside could help to brighten up the space. Plus if you are painting your doors a light color, it can look odd to have darker cabinet shelving and doors inside.

Then again – you might like the contrast!

If they are already a light color, you might not need to make a change.

Second, consider how often you use your cabinets.

If you open them several times a day, painting the inside might not be a good idea since the paint could start to chip over time.

However, if you only use them occasionally, painting the inside could be a good way to update the look of your kitchen.

Finally, think about the cost. Painting the inside of your cabinets can be cheaper than replacing them, but it is still a project that will take some time and effort.

Reasons Why You Should Paint Inside Kitchen Cabinets

Photo of a kitchen painted with green color


Painting the inside of your cabinets can brighten up the entire kitchen and will make for a consistent and cohesive look if you are painting the outside of the cabinets.

Make them more durable

Painting your cabinet interior can make them more durable if you use high-quality paint made for cabinetry.

This will protect them from wear and tear over time, and make it easier to clean them if they get dirty.

Increased value

Painting the inside of your cabinets can increase the value of your home if you are planning on selling in the future.

A fresh coat of paint can go a long way in a buyer’s eyes.

To save money

Painting the inside of your cabinets can give them a new look without having to stump up the cost for new cabinets.

It’s better for the environment

Using and improving what you already have is a sure-fire way to reduce your carbon footprint.

Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Paint Inside Kitchen Cabinets

Photo of a wood with chipped white paint

On a recent renovation project, we decided not to paint the inside of the kitchen cabinets as the property is a rental property in a lower-income area so it made no impact on the rent.

Plus, the internal cabinetry is bare wood which has stood the test of time over 50 years. If this was a high-end rental property, we sure would have painted the inside of the cabinets.

Other reasons not to bother with painting inside kitchen cabinets include:

Paint chips

You will still see paint chips and wear-and-tear over time.

Difficult to access

It can be difficult to reach all areas when painting the inside of cabinets, so you might end up with a few streaks or brush marks.

Ongoing cleanliness

Painted cabinets can also show fingerprints and smudges more easily than natural wood cabinets.

Your budget

You’ll use more paint if you paint the cabinet interiors so it’s going to cost you more.

How to paint kitchen cabinets | Step by step instructions

If you’re considering painting your kitchen cabinets, there are a few things you’ll need to do to achieve a professional-looking finish.

image of a woman with gloves cleaning thedoor of a cabinet

First, you’ll need to give the cabinet doors and frames a thorough cleaning to remove any cooking splatter or food residue.

This is a vital step to ensure the paint adheres to the surface – do not skip this step.

You can use a paint thinner or degreaser for this.

Image of a man removing the hinges in the cabinet

Then, you’ll need to remove all of the hardware, including hinges, handles, and knobs.

Image of a hand of a man sanding a wood with white paint

Next, you’ll need to sand down the surfaces of the cabinets with a medium grit filler to create a smooth surface for the paint to adhere to.

Once the light sanding is complete, you’ll need to wipe down the cupboards with a tack cloth to remove any dust or debris.

Image of a flat wood with mask tape and blue paint

Next, you want to tape off and mask any part of your kitchen that you do not want to be painted.

Now you’re ready to start painting.

Be sure to use high-quality paint designed for use on cabinets, and start with a primer before applying two topcoats of paint.

Image of a woman painting the cabinet with a primer

Tip: Using a stain-blocking primer can prolong the life of your painted cabinets.

  • When painting, use a brush or roller designed for use on cabinets to avoid any streaks or brush marks.
  • After applying your first coat, allow the paint to dry. When it is dry you can give the cabinets a light sand to smooth out any imperfections before applying your second coat.
  • (Be sure to thoroughly wipe away any dust before you apply the final coat).
  • This will help you achieve a smooth look which is vital for kitchen space.
  • Once the paint is dry, you can reattach the cabinet hardware and enjoy your newly finished kitchen!

Oil or Latex Paint for Kitchen Cabinets

When it comes to painting kitchen cabinets, latex paint is a popular choice because it has several benefits.

For one, latex paint is durable and can withstand daily wear and tear. In addition, it’s easy to apply and can be used on a variety of surfaces.

It also dries quickly and doesn’t require any special equipment. However, there are a few things to keep in mind before painting your kitchen cabinets with latex paint.

One is that it can yellow over time, so if you’re looking for a long-term solution, this may not be the best option.

In the debate of oil versus latex paint, latex is quicker to dry and gives a great finish.

Oil-based paint is more durable – so it’ll last longer – but takes longer to dry and the oil vapor can be toxic – you’ll want to be out of the home for at least a day if you choose oil-based paints.

Oil-based paint can also give a less professional finish – often showing brush strokes. Plus it can be tricky to work with.

Consider spray paint for kitchen cabinets if you have more money than time

Photo of a hand with gloves spray painting awooden door of a cabinet

While you’ll still need to remove the doors and any hardware, spray painting your cabinets can save a lot of time and give you a consistent finish.

If you decide to spray paint cabinets, you’ll need a spray gun and a paint compressor.

You’ll also want to choose high-quality paint designed for use on cabinets.

As with painting, you’ll want to start with a primer and apply two topcoats of paint.

When spraying, be sure to keep the spray gun moving to avoid any drips or runs in the paint.

Tip: You can remove the cabinets and take them to a dedicated furniture painter or restorer to have them sprayed offsite. This will be more costly but can be a way to get the job done quickly.

Painting Inside Kitchen Cabinets | Final Thoughts

If you’re considering painting the inside of your kitchen cabinets, weigh the pros and cons to decide if it’s worth the effort.

In most cases, a fresh coat of paint can give your cabinets a new lease on life. But, depending on the type of cabinets you have and how often you use them, painting might not be the best option.

If you do decide to paint, be sure to use high-quality paint and primer to ensure that your cabinets will look good for years to come.

Have you ever painted the inside of your kitchen cabinets? What tips would you add? Share them in the comments below!

So there you have it, everything you need to know about painting inside kitchen cabinets.

Weigh the pros and cons to decide if it’s the right project for you, and if so, follow the steps outlined above to achieve a professional-looking finish. Good luck!


About Emma

Hey there! I'm Emma. When I'm not wrangling kids I like to walk aimlessly around hardware stores and watch HGTV for hours on end.

Leave a Comment