White painted island cabinets
paint roller

How Much Does It Cost to Paint Cabinets

Written by David | April 10, 2023

The top question we are asked every week is How much does it cost to paint cabinets?

Painting cabinets are the most cost effective ways to improve the look and feel of your kitchen. However, making sure that it is done the right way with the right products is the key to enjoying the look of amazing looking painted cabinets.

painting kitchen cabinets white - how much does it cost to paint cabinets

How do you determine the cost of painting kitchen cabinets?

There are several questions we ask when we price out cabinet painting. Here is the list of questions I ask:

  • What type of cabinets do you have? (are the cabients solid wood as such as oak and maple, or do you have veneer plywood or MDF?)
  • Have the cabinets been previously re-painted already?
  • If your cabinets are stained?
  • Are you removing or changing hardware?
  • Is there any water damage to your cabinets?
  • Do you want a solid color, two different colors or maybe you are looking to have them glazed?

Each of these questions affects the materials, time to complete the job and the price of the cabinet painting.

So, how much does it cost to paint cabinets? We start out at about $125.00 per door/box set. (this equates to about 1 hour and 40 minutes per box and door set of work needed to prep, sand, clean, prime and paint) A door/box set consists of both sides of the door and the frame on the cabinet. The cost of a drawer is about $55.00.  The cost can increase to about $150.00 per door/box set depending on the questions above, such as filling in oak grain.

What is the process you use to paint cabinets?

We recently posted a few small videos on YouTube about the painting process of cabinets. It is a good introduction to the process we use for cabinet painting.

  • We start with cleaning. Cabinets gets cleaned with a de-greasing agent.
  • Each cabinet is sanded to scuff the surface in preparation for the primer.
  • Rubber gloves are used at all times when cleaning and painting- we don’t want finger prints back on what was already cleaned.
  • The cabinets are wiped clean and allowed to dry before the primer is applied.
  • Primer is sprayed on, allowed to dry, then we sand it to remove any uneven areas
  • Finally, we paint!

What products do you use to paint cabinets?

One of our products of choice for priming is Stix bonding primer. It is a heavy bodied product and has some of the best adhesion properties available. When we are painting Oak doors, two coats of this primer will fill in quite a bit of the oak grain.  

stix bonding primer - painting oak cabinets
bonding primer

Once we finish priming we will use Chem Aqua, or Sherwood paint, the color will determine which product due to the tinting Process.

This paint is a true cabinet grade paint hybrid lacquer. It dries ultra smooth and hard. It resists stains, it touches up well, and it is water clean up. There is some smell but what paint doesn’t?

sherwood cabinet paint
sherwood cabinet paint

What if I have Damaged Cabinet doors?

If any of your doors or drawers have water damage we have some extra work to do.

  • MDF cabinets with water damage are difficult to repair. MDF swells once water is introduced. It swells like a sponge but does not go down again. The area must be sanded smooth to the existing door surface. We then use a shellac-based primer or problem surface sealer which will seal the damaged area from further damage.  If a filler is needed we use glazing putty to make it smooth. Then we are ready to prime and paint.
  • Doors that are cracked, broken, or other wood damage are repaired using wood glues, putty or other fillers or repair materials.

Other ways to improve the look of your kitchen

Hardware!! Aside from new paint, new hardware is the last factor you need to consider. If there was no hardware previously, we need to drill holes to mount them. That adds about $7.00 per door.

A few other things you can do:

  • Changing out your hinges to a soft close style…pretty cool!
  • Change out your counter tops
  • Add or update your backsplash
  • New appliances
  • New sink/plumbing fixtures

That, in a nutshell, is a basic course on how much it will cost to paint cabinets. It is a lot to take in and digest, so if you want a quick ballpark figure, text us some pics of your cabinets to 847-553-1726 and we can give you an idea of what to expect. If you have any other questions, give us a call!

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