Kitchen Makeover: Priming and Painting Oak Kitchen Cabinets

After all the prep work on the kitchen cabinet doors and frames was finished, it was time to start the tedious process of priming and painting.

Each of the cabinet doors were laid out in the garage.

kitchen cabinet doors

kitchen cabinet doors before paint

For primer and paint we chose to use Benjamin Moore’s all-purpose white primer, and satin Impervo enamel paint.

kitchen cabinets primer paint

At $35/gallon for the primer, and $60/gallon for the paint, it was a bit of a splurge as far as paint goes, but totally worth it since we didn’t need more than a gallon of each for this project.

Using a small foam roller (the kind for doors and cabinets) I rolled a coat of primer on one side of all the cabinet doors. The next day, I flipped them over and did the first coat of primer on the other side.

kitchen cabinet priming

After the coat of primer was thoroughly dry I started the process over again with the paint.

To summarize:

  • Day 1 – primer coat 1, cabinet door backs
  • Day 2 – primer coat 1, cabinet door fronts
  • Day 3 – paint coat 1, cabinet door backs
  • Day 4 – paint coat 1, cabinet door fronts
  • Day 5 – paint coat 2, cabinet door backs
  • Day 6 – paint coat 2, cabinet door fronts

I would recommend waiting a minimum of 24 hours between coats, but it wouldn’t really hurt to wait a couple of days between coats. This means the priming and painting could definitely take longer than six days.

Once all the cabinet doors were finished, I repeated this whole process over again with the cabinet frames in the kitchen. This went a little faster since I didn’t have to paint one side at a time like I did with the doors. It does take a bit more time to prep the cabinet bases for painting than the doors because you have to tape off surrounding areas like walls, etc.

kitchen island painting

I chose not to paint the inside of the cabinets because that would just be way too much work, and it looks totally fine without the interiors painted.

Even though we didn’t paint the cabinet interiors, we did take everything out of the cabinets so that nothing would get paint on it. This temporarily turned the kitchen into a huge disaster zone.

kitchen remodeling process

Once everything sat for a few days and dried completely, we reattached the doors to the cabinets and installed brand new black hinges ($2.70/pair) and knobs ($2.70/each).

One more “before” look at the kitchen and then how it looks with everything painted:

kitchen progress

You may notice that there are new floors and the kitchen island is not painted… more on that coming soon.

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