How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets Without Sanding

When it comes to putting your kitchen in order, particularly the infrastructure, it can become a somewhat daunting task. However, it’s still one of those important tasks you cannot afford to ignore.

Just like keeping your kitchen organized, painting your kitchen cabinets is also not an easy job. But it’s relatively more straightforward and consumes lesser time when you skip the sanding process. Sanding creates an unwanted fine cloud of dust.

In this guide, you’re going to learn how to paint kitchen cabinets without sanding, we’re going to make the process as easy and newbie-friendly as possible so you don’t get overwhelmed.

In the end, we’ll also include a short video of the process of painting kitchen cabinets.

Before starting, let’s talk about the materials you will need to get the job done:

Materials Needed to Paint Kitchen Cabinets

how to paint kitchen cabinets

  • Screwdriver
  • Degreaser
  • Scrubbing Sponge
  • Water
  • Clean Clothes
  • Deglosser
  • Roller
  • Fine thistle Paint Brush
  • Cabinet enamel
  • Primer

Let’s go step by step into how to paint kitchen cabinets without sanding.

How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets Without Sanding

how to paint kitchen cabinets without sanding
Closeup of Woman Holding Paint Brush and Painting Kitchen Cabinets

Below is an overview of the steps:

  • Detaching the Doors and Drawers from the Cabinet
  • Cleaning the Cabinets
  • Painting of the Cabinet

So let’s take a look at each of the step-by-step.

1. Detaching the Doors and Drawers from Cabinet

Your first move is to clear out the cabinet. So you should first bring out the drawers and carefully place and arrange them in a safe area, where you can easily access them. Make sure not to pull the track from the whole unit.

Now, next are the doors. Provided you have a drill, the next thing to do is to unscrew the hinges joining the doors with the cabinets.

Do not forget to also unscrew the handles and any other hardware from the drawer. Be sure to also organize them in a way you can easily recognize and put them back into their appropriate positions.

Do not worry if you do not have a drill, you can also use a screwdriver to unscrew, only that it will take a little more of your time.

Are you done with the Doors and Drawers? The cabinet is now open. Take away all items that are inside the cabinets and carefully place them somewhere; such as a labeled box.

The purpose of labeling the box is to identify the location where the items were. Then, you as well bring the shelves out from the cabinets for painting.

Your cabinet might have its shelving inbuilt, meaning you cannot remove them. In this case, you will have to paint the shelves together with the frame.

Recommended Reading: Best Airless Paint Sprayer for Cabinets

2. Cleaning the Cabinets

Now that you’ve removed the Doors and Drawers, the Cabinets is now open to be cleaned, as you don’t want to paint a dirty surface. Now, this is the most exciting process of painting kitchen cabinets without sanding.

Use a scrubbing sponge to apply the degreaser on the doors and frames. Be sure to have chosen a degreasing agent that works well.

Scrub the doors, drawers, frames, and shelves well enough to get rid of any dirt, dust, or grime leftover from the initial cleaning process.

Using a clean cloth well soaked in water; wipe down all the doors, drawers, frames, and shelves. You might want to do this carefully; by that, I mean reaching for the tight corners and edges to wipe off all the degreaser.

After doing this, you should wait for at least 45 minutes or long enough for the water to dry off.

Just so you do not have to wait for too long, you can position them outdoors. Next thing for you to do is to get a liquid degreaser, and take all the hardware outdoors.

Get a piece of clean cloth and pour some of the deglosser on it and rub it on all the doors and drawers. Inhaling too much of the deglosser is harmful.

So allow it dry up thoroughly (30 minutes is enough), but do not wipe off the deglosser though. Also, make sure not to touch the deglosser with your hands.

3. Painting the Cabinet

After cleaning up the Cabinets and seeing that the deglosser is dried up on all parts, move to the next step.

Starting with the front of the doors and drawers, use your bristle brush to apply the Primer on all the surfaces you had just applied the deglosser. It is crucial to apply the Primer as soon as the deglosser is dry.

You do not necessarily have to wait till the front is completely dry. But be patient enough to wait for about 25 minutes for the Primer on the front to get dry before turning the doors over for priming.

Once again, use the same bristle to apply the Primer on the back. Then wait until the primer is completely dry on both sides.

Using a roller, apply the Cabinet enamel on the Cabinets starting from its back, because the back tends to be smoother.

Bubbles are formed when you paint, so you gently use the fine bristle brush over the paint layer. It is up to you though to choose if to paint the interiors or not.

Now you should use a fine bristle brush instead of a roller to paint the front of the cabinet. This is because the front in most cases is not as smooth as the back because of the designs and moldings; therefore, using a roller would be difficult. The use of a brush is more efficient.

You can then paint the front and back of the doors and the drawers after painting the molding.

Do not forget to use the fine bristle brush to gently go over the painting again to get rid of bubbles and allow the paint to spread evenly.

Recommended Reading: Best HVLP Paint Sprayer for Furniture

While the doors and drawers are getting dried, apply the Cabinet enamel onto the frames using a roller.

Do not forget to go over all the areas you painted with the roller with a fine bristle brush to get rid of bubbles and spread out the painting to make it evenly spread on the areas.

For the paint on the doors and frames to dry, you will have to wait for about 4 hours. Then apply the paint for a second time to ensure better coverage of the painting and once again, use a fine bristle brush to go over the painting after using the roller initially.

Finally, you can now reattach the hardware (such as hinges, handles) to the doors and drawers, but you must first allow all the paint to dry up; waiting for a day is a reasonable time frame.

Do not tighten the hardware too hard to avoid scratching or denting the paint.

You have done the most tedious part of the job. You can now hang the doors back and carefully place the drawers back on their track.

Use your drill or screwdriver to screw back the hinges on the doors, and the doors onto the frame. And just like that, you’ve successfully learned how to paint kitchen cabinets without sanding.

Now test everything you unscrewed and removed to be sure you have placed them back correctly, and your cabinet is back, but with a better look.

Now, watch the video tutorial below for a better understanding of the process:

FAQs About Kitchen Cabinets Painting

Below are some frequently asked questions about kitchen cabinets painting:

How much does it cost to repaint kitchen cabinets?

On average, it’ll cost about $1000 to repaint kitchen cabinets. However, it all depends on the number of kitchen cabinets you want to paint as well as the labor and the time required to do so.

But if you’re a good DIYer, you can save money by painting the cabinets yourself, which is why we wrote this guide.

The materials required for the kitchen cabinets painting (paint, brushes, primer) will cost you about $200, and you’ll save a lot of money.

Can I paint over cabinets without sanding?

For a paint to stick to wood, it’s often necessary to sand first to enable it to grip. However, you can paint cabinets without sanding by simply using a liquid sander deglosser, which will help to remove the finish, effortlessly giving it a rough texture.

Is it cheaper to paint or replace kitchen cabinets?

It is often cheaper to apply paint on kitchen cabinets than to replace it. Typically, the cost of painting a kitchen is 1/3 to ½ the cost of replacing it.

Is painting kitchen cabinets a good idea?

Yes! But regrettably, non-solid wood engineered cupboards are not easy to paint. This is because paint hardly sticks to the finished surface and will often chip or peel off.

That said, the engineered wood cabinets will likely need a little sanding and priming before painting to avoid peeling off and chipping of most paints.

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