How to Paint a Cabinet

Kitchen with blue cabinets and green colored walls

Refresh your kitchen and add a pop of color by painting your cabinets.

For Best Results:

If you are painting a cabinet that was previously painted with a glossy paint, thoroughly scuff-sand or degloss the surface for proper adhesion.

Maintain your painted cabinets and safely wipe away dirt and common household stains with BEHR SWIPES™ Interior Wall Wipes.

The Stiles and Openings

  1. Step 1

    Begin your painting project by pouring thoroughly mixed paint into a bucket and dipping a quality 2"-2½" wide nylon/polyester brush into the paint.

  2. Step 2

    With your brush, paint the inside edges of the cabinet door openings.

  3. Step 3

    Paint the middle stile from top to bottom following the wood grain. Then paint the remaining stiles in the following order: top, bottom, left, right.

The Side Panels

  1. Step 1

    Using your brush, paint (cut in) around the perimeter of the cabinet where it meets the ceiling, walls, countertops, and floor.

  2. Step 2

    Pour paint into a paint tray. Work the roller into the tray until is fully loaded with paint. For best results, use a ¼" roller cover.

  3. Step 3

    With your roller, paint the side panel of the cabinet. Be sure to roll over the cut in area as well. Continue until all side panels are complete.

The Paneled Doors

  1. Step 1

    Using your brush, paint the edges around the perimeter of the door.

  2. Step 2

    With the door open, begin painting into the recess of the door panel. Start at a corner of the recess and continue around its perimeter.

  3. Step 3

    Continue painting the remainder of the panel until the entire panel is complete. Wipe away the excess paint that has overlapped onto the door frame.

  4. Step 4

    Paint the door frame in the following order: top, bottom, left, right.

  5. Step 5

    Again with your brush, paint the backside of the door. Repeat the process until the project is complete. Leave the doors open until the paint is completely dry (dry times will vary depending on temperature and humidity).

Color Smart by Behr with orange living room in the background
Suggested Tools & Supplies
  • Brush (2"-2½")
  • Bucket
  • Bucket Grid
  • Vinyl Gloves
  • Ladder
  • Paint Can Opener
  • Paint Tray
  • Paint Tray Liner
  • Rags
  • Roller Cover and Frame
  • Sandpaper (150-220 Grit)
  • Stir Stick
More How-tos
Additional Resources
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