Painted Cabinets: Pros and Cons

If your kitchen cabinets are in good shape, but they’ve seen better days, painted cabinets might be a good option. How will your cabinets hold up if you try to DIY or hire a professional to re-paint them? 

Paint is a popular choice for updating a kitchen because it is an easy and quick way to make a big impact, making cabinets look fresh and renewed. You can paint kitchen cabinets, but it’s not as simple as you might think, and some cabinets shouldn’t be painted at all. 

Read on to find out the pros and cons of painting your modern kitchen cabinets.


If you want to painted cabinets in your kitchen, you should first consider whether or not you can do it. If your cabinets are made of wood, you can paint them easily. In most cases, they can be sanded or stripped, primed, and painted fairly easily.

Another type of cabinet you might have chosen for your kitchen is laminate, which you might want to re-paint. In this case, painting is more difficult since you can’t really sand down the gloss or sheen surface to allow the paint to adhere. It is possible to paint over old plastic laminate countertops with cabinet-coating paints. There are a few challenges to painting, but it is doable. 

The type of paint you choose, as well as how well it adheres, will determine how long your painted kitchen will last. Standard paint will easily scratch off if applied directly to a surface with any kind of gloss. 

Primer is the first step in painting your kitchen cabinets.  Kitchen cabinets are often painted with oil-based paint, which has a resilient finish and can be easily cleaned. Be aware, however, that it contains a higher level of volatile organic compounds. For kitchen cabinets, latex paint is an excellent choice since it offers lower levels of VOCs and dries faster. Paint can be applied to wood in eggshell, gloss, or satin finish. 

Due to the way kitchen cabinets open, you’ll likely have to remove the doors to paint them properly, thus causing some disruption. 


The question is whether you should get rid of the look and go painted or embrace the natural look if you have wooden cabinets. Your kitchen will look sleeker and more Scandinavian with wood cabinets.

Wooden cabinets can also complement other materials used in the kitchen, such as marble. Its durability and strength are unmatched while being made of a natural product with very few VOCs being released into the air.

A two toned painted kitchen can look great if it is done intentionally.


Painting your cabinets in a small kitchen is risky, as the color you choose could make the space feel claustrophobic and restricted. Dark cabinets can give the feeling of a tunneling space because cabinets protrude into your room. It might be better to paint your kitchen in a lighter hue or cream if it’s smaller.

It’s also hard to judge what color painted cabinets will be throughout the seasons, so if your color looks great in summer, will it really look the same in the winter?  


Painting cabinets can, however, add color to a kitchen, while also making it feel larger. 

Painting your kitchen cabinets can help lighten a dark kitchen. Choosing the right cabinetry finish is crucial when you’re working in a dark kitchen. For a crisp white, Benjamin Moore’s Chantilly Lace can be a great option that should be considered. Make sure you keep your kitchen colors the same when painting your cabinets, unless you want mismatched cabinet pop colors to make a bold statement. 

Painting your cabinets is a great way to update your kitchen on a budget, but many homeowners don’t know exactly how to accomplish this without the help of an outside contractor. Our staff at Timeless Kitchen Outlet can help you decide on the perfect shade for your kitchen, and if you it makes more sense to replace your existing cabinets with new raw wood ones prior to painting, we can get you a quote today.

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