How to Paint Cabinets

Update and completely transform your outdated kitchen cabinets using a Wagner FLEXiO paint sprayer to achieve a super smooth finish



Home renovation projects can be one of the most expensive investments you make, especially if you choose to remodel the kitchen. It can get especially expensive if you choose to replace the cabinets - the cost is easily into the thousands. However, if you like the layout and amount of storage space you have, then paint spraying the kitchen cabinets, and adding some new hardware is a great alternative. With this project, you can achieve a modern remodeled look at a fraction of the cost - we're talking only hundreds, instead of spending thousands.

Follow along with this home DIY project as we paint these dark wood kitchen cabinets and transform them and the kitchen into a brand new look. If you have cabinets elsewhere in the house, such as the bathroom, you can follow these same easy steps.





Prepare the Cabinets for Paint Spraying

Begin by emptying your kitchen cabinets and removing the appliances. Clean the cabinet boxes, doors and drawers and use wood filler to patch and holes or damaged areas. It's crucial that you clean up any cooking grease splatter or the new paint won't stick. Paint thinner works well for this, but any type of degreaser will do.

Next, sand all of the wood with a medium grit sandpaper to smooth any wood filler and scuff up any existing finish. This gives the surface a little more tooth so the new paint will stick better.

You should also wipe the sanding dust off with tack cloths and caulk all the joints for cabinets, walls, ceilings and other door panels. You'll also want to mask off any of your kitchen that you don't want paint on, including the countertop, the backsplash and the insides of your cabinets.

Finally, number all of the cabinet doors and hardware so that when they’re done you’ll know where to re-install them. We recommend putting all the hinge hardware inside the cabinet along with a piece of tape with a number written on it. Write the corresponding number in the recess where the hinge attaches and cover it with tape to avoid getting paint on it.

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Practice Paint Spraying

Now that you have your supplies and your kitchen cabinets are prepped, you're almost ready to start spraying. For this project, we recommend using a FLEXiO 5000 paint sprayer. Every FLEXiO sprayer comes with a spray poster, so you can practice your spray patterns before you start your projects. For this project, we’re using the Detail Finish nozzle attachment, which is great for fine finishing on cabinets, furniture and trim. Attach the Detail Finish nozzle, load your paint, and start practicing. You will want to adjust both the material and airflow settings to get you desired finish. Make sure to hold the paint sprayer 4-6” away and release the trigger after each pass. We also recommend overlapping your passes by 50% to ensure even coverage.


Prime the Cabinets

Now you’re ready to start priming the cabinets. You’re going to start with the upper cabinets and then move to the lowers. Start first with the crown molding and then move to the inside edges. Make sure to paint spray the inside edges at a bit of an angle to ensure you are getting in all the nooks. Finally move to the fronts of the cabinets. As always, spray with the grain of the wood and hold the sprayer perpendicular to the cabinets.

Next move on to the cabinet doors. Lay the doors down horizontally to ensure that you get a clean finish and there are no drips and runs.

Next, prime the drawer fronts. To make the job easier, we recommend using a big Lazy Susan. This allows you to stand the drawers on the end and spin them around, spraying from all sides. Reminder to mask off the boxes to avoid getting paint inside the drawers.


Paint the Cabinets

Allow the cabinets to dry per the paint manufacture’s timeline before applying the top coat. If there are any rough edges, grab a 220 grit sandpaper or higher and sand the surface before painting.

The paint spraying techniques you used earlier for priming are the same you’ll use to apply the top coat. We recommend applying one or two coats for the upper and lower frames and the cabinet faces.

Let the paint dry overnight and then come back in the morning to put everything back together.

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Enjoy the New Kitchen

Enjoy your newly transformed kitchen! This kitchen went from dark and outdated to new and modern in no time. It's hard to believe with just a few gallons of paint, we took a dated kitchen and transformed it into something fresh and modern while saving the homeowner thousands of dollars. Be sure to watch our how-to video to see these tips and tricks in action!

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