The total cost of getting new cabinets is more expensive, on a linear foot basis, than painting your old existing cabinets which may still be in good shape. A painting project will be a fraction of the cost of a complete kitchen remodel with new cabinets because installation and material costs will be much higher. A new paint finish could breathe new life in your drawer faces, providing a much-needed revamp and facelift. It is a good idea to plan for material costs before you find out it adds up to a lot of money.
Much time is spent on paint costs but there are many things to consider:
- the total project cost
- will you be using high-quality brushes or will you be spray painting
- will you be using professionals; if so, you need to factor in the professional painters charge after you get three quotations
- what is the number of cabinets in your kitchen
- the number of kitchen cabinets
- the number of cabinet doors
- the gallons of paint required for the best cabinet refinishing
- the cost of paint if you’re looking for the best finish such as high-quality lacquer paint
- the paint store with the best prices to help lower kitchen cabinet painting cost
I’ll discuss some of the above items in more detail in this article.
The current condition of the cabinets and their existing finish may mean some work is required. A good option is to undertake minor repairs as your own DIY job (do it yourself) to save on overall costs. If you find there is too much labor work involved, and home improvement is not your sweet spot, consider professional labor for this particular project.
There is a lot of competition when it comes to cabinet painting jobs, so spend a little time upfront to get quality work for a good price so that project costs are controlled. Professional kitchen cabinet painting does land on the higher end for home renovation services because of the job size and the skill required for trim paint work and use of a spray booth when required.
If you’re close to selling your home, you might want to consider the color scheme. White kitchens are very popular so at least consider a light color as it will brighten this workspace. Adding a clear coat maximizes brightness for the kitchen and your cabinets and might be perfect before a home sale.
Professional kitchen cabinet painting is on the higher end when it comes to home renovation services because of the job size being smaller but the skill required with trim paint and use of a spray booth, as needed.
In the long run, painting your kitchen cabinets is a great way to increase the value of your home.
When considering kitchen cabinets with new coats of paint, you can expect to pay the national average cost of $815 or anywhere around $395 to $1,250. As I mentioned before, several factors affect the price of painting kitchen cabinets, including the specific type of paint selected and whether you hire professional cabinet painters to do the job.
Table of Contents
- Factors That Affect the Price When You Paint Kitchen Cabinets
- Painting Method Used
- Quality and Type of Paint
- Layout, Design, and Surface Area of Kitchen Cabinets
- Size of Your Kitchen
- Condition of Your Kitchen Cabinets
- Other Costs of the Kitchen Cabinet Painting Process
- Frequently Asked Questions
Factors That Affect the Price When You Paint Kitchen Cabinets
Paint comes in a wide selection of finishes and colors, with some having higher quality compared to others, leading to more additional costs on your part.
The specific supplies required for the project can also affect the total cost. It is also good to know the layout, surface, area, and total square feet of the cabinets you plan to paint. Since a paint job is labor-intensive, you will also find that most of the cost includes the labor fees of the painting contractor.
Painting Method Used
If you want to update the old paint of your kitchen cabinets, one of the first things you need to decide and consider is how you like to paint them in the first place. You can use a paint sprayer, roller, brush, and each item will vary in price.
Spraying is an efficient painting method that gets the task done evenly and quickly as long as you use the tool correctly. If there are recesses or grooves on your cabinet boxes, I recommend using a brush for these tricky spots if you are not a fan of spray paint. However, you can still switch to using a roller for larger flat surfaces.
You will always need to buy brushes, rollers, painter’s tape, drop cloths, paint strippers or sanding materials, paint pans, primer, and the specific paint you will need if you plan to do a DIY project.
For these painting supplies alone, you can expect to spend anywhere around $200 to $600. But if you choose to hire professional painters, you don’t have to worry because they already have all these supplies ready.
Quality and Type of Paint
Different paint types are for different visual effects in every environment. Certain paints are extra glossy, although these are more expensive compared to matte or flat paint.
The choice in-between is satin or eggshell paint that can work on most surfaces. However, this paint might not withstand the heavy use that kitchen cabinets get. Meanwhile, oil-based paints leave a brushed and rich look, while latex paint creates a smoother finish.
You need to choose the suitable primer for your wooden cabinets and the specific type of paint you choose. Paint professionals can help you identify the best choice that suits your needs.
Layout, Design, and Surface Area of Kitchen Cabinets
Painting kitchen cabinets can cost $3 up to $10 for every square footage or an overall cost of $30 to $60 for each linear foot, including the required supplies, materials, and labor and will depend on your cabinets’ condition and the amount of work needed to remove hardware and doors.
If you also have standard kitchen cabinets that are not inset with glass or oversized, a painting contractor may quote labor costs of $100 per door, $25 per drawer, and $75 to $150 per cabinet. Aside from these, tight angles, or a tricky cabinet design with plenty of corners, will further increase the cost because working in these areas can get quite time-consuming.
Size of Your Kitchen
Your kitchen’s size correlates to the overall surface area determining the cost of painting your kitchen cabinets. When your kitchen is small, you can expect that your total expenses will also be lower.
On the other hand, larger and more spacious kitchens with ample cabinets will probably cost you money. Aside from needing more high-quality paint, you will also need to use more drop cloths to ensure that your countertops and flooring stay protected. You will also need more hours to do the job.
Do you want to paint your dark cabinets in a lighter color? If yes, one of the first things you need to do is strip off or sand the paint. If your kitchen cabinets are in a good state, you can apply some primer to ensure that the new lighter paint color will show up correctly.
I used a primer to achieve the correct paint shade on any surface. A good quality primer will also ensure that the new coat of paint will adhere better.
Expect to pay a higher rough estimate if you plan to use a couple of paint colors to accent each other. You might want to consult a paint professional to ensure that you choose the right type and color of paint that will work best on your surfaces.
Although there is no specific paint quality for cabinets in the kitchen, you need to choose a style that will work well with your long-term vision and needs.
Condition of Your Kitchen Cabinets
Old kitchen cabinets are often in terrible condition and shape, with warped laminate, peeled-off paint, cracked wood, or dirty surfaces. Several cabinets are impossible to repaint, given their current state. You may require a significant effort to repair the wood, restore it to a usable condition, to help give it a new look and life.
However, I never recommended painting over damaged laminate until you have refaced or repaired it. In cases like this, you need to remove any hardware first, strip or sand the old surface, and prime it to allow the new paint coat to adhere properly.
As expected, prepping your kitchen cabinets for painting will cost you more if more work is needed.
The cost of painting kitchen cabinets ranges greatly depending on the labor fees involved. Kitchen cabinet painters can charge an average hourly fee of $20 to $50, depending on your specific location. It is also common to see a general contractor base the prices for kitchen cabinet painting on the overall linear feet of cabinets. There are also others that charge by the cabinet layout, drawer, or door.
Other Costs of the Kitchen Cabinet Painting Process
Aside from the essential items involved in the total costs of painting your upper and lower cabinets, there are still other additional considerations to help you find a suitable option according to your budget.
Primer and Site Preparation
The amount of primer and level of site preparation for your painting needs will vary, exceptionally if you choose to paint your cabinets. It is essential to cover all surfaces to prevent unwanted paint stains on countertops, sinks, vents, appliances, and hardwood floors.
Removing Drawers and Doors
Removing drawers and doors is another part of the long process of site preparation. Painting these surfaces may be difficult if they are still in place.
Removing the Appliances
You might also need to remove the appliances first to access all hard-to-reach spots easily. These appliances often include fridges or dishwashers.
Refacing vs. Repainting
Repainting your kitchen cabinets can be done on laminates and many types of wood if they are adequately prepared and are still in excellent condition and is a simple way to change the stain or color of existing cabinets and update their look.
Refacing your cabinets is another alternative for renovation, and it is an excellent method to update your cabinet’s exteriors with no need to buy or pay for new cabinets. You can replace the doors, or you can also hire professionals to attach veneers to them.
This process often includes adding new hardware. Refacing kitchen cabinets is a popular choice for homeowners with laminate cabinets in poor condition which cannot get repainted.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you need to apply a protective seal over your cabinets after painting?
Yes, I recommend applying a protective seal over your painted kitchen cabinets as this will keep them protected from grease, food, cuts, liquids, and cuts.
What is the cost to paint cabinets professionally?
The average cost of painting your kitchen cabinets is more than $800. The national average price ranges from $395 to $1,250, although it depends on many factors.
Is it better to paint or spray your kitchen cabinets?
Your choice depends on the specific look you want to achieve. Spray paint is an efficient and cost-effective way to spray paint evenly on any surface, including grooves. If you prefer the rich textures from the brush strokes of oil-based paints, your best choice is to paint your cabinets by hand.
Is painting cabinets difficult?
The process of painting itself is easy and is also not time-consuming. However, the most challenging part is preparing your cabinets to ensure that the new paint looks great and lasts long.
Is it worth it to paint your kitchen cabinets?
Yes, painting your kitchen cabinets is worth it, almost without exception. Good luck!
- About the Author
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John Thompson, Writer and Commentator, EvolutDesign.com
Soldier, writer, researcher, consultant, and bon vivant, John Thompson is the author of numerous columns, op-eds, reports, briefs, short stories and books as the “Felicity Files” and “Spirit Over Steel: A Chronology of the Second World War” (version III). Often found hunched over his computer, or in his garden, and now often found doing both. His diverse talent has led him to work in industries and projects such as energy, security and home construction and renovation.