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Kitchen cupboards with brightly coloured jars
KITCHEN CLEANING

How to paint kitchen cupboards to update your home décor

Learn all you need to know about repainting kitchen cabinets and transform your kitchen.

Key steps

Before repainting kitchen cabinets, make sure you clean them by following these steps:

  1. Remove everything from inside the cupboards.
  2. Dust down the cupboard surfaces.
  3. Mix a few drops of washing-up liquid and warm water to wash the cupboards with.
  4. Use a cloth or sponge to make sure you get into all the small spaces and corners.
  5. Dry off the cupboards using a clean towel.

If you’re bored of your kitchen (or perhaps it’s just starting to look a little dull) then take matters into your own hands and brighten the place up with some DIY! Giving your kitchen a facelift doesn’t need to cost the earth or involve replacing lots of units – by simply painting kitchen cabinets and cupboards you could unlock a whole new culinary space. Here’s how.

How to paint kitchen cupboard, step 1: prepare

When you’re painting kitchen cabinet doors, it’s vital you prepare them first. This is going to give them the great finish you want and add a professional look.

  1. Open your windows and ensure the room is well ventilated.
  2. Remove everything from inside the cupboard, unscrew the doors from the unit and remove the door knobs or handles.
  3. Clean dust and dirt from the surface by wiping it down with a damp cloth and a little dishwashing liquid. Dry thoroughly with a clean cloth.
  4. Use sandpaper to get rid of old paint and smooth the surface.
  5. Tape the edges of the door or cabinet where you don’t want paint to go using a removable decorating tape, like masking tape.

Apply a wood primer and allow to dry before painting.


How to paint kitchen cupboards, step 2: paint

Once you’ve prepared, you can move onto painting and refinishing kitchen cabinets. The best way to paint kitchen cabinets is slowly and carefully, using a methodical approach.

  1. Apply your first layer of paint and wait for it to dry.
  2. Sand the surface lightly to ensure it is smooth.
  3. Apply your second coat of paint and wait for it to dry.
  4. Apply varnish (if desired) and wait for it to dry.
  5. Remove the masking tape and check you’re happy with the paint job.
  6. Rehang the doors to the units and put any door knobs back on.


Afterwards, remember to clean up your kitchen and get rid of any paint spills. We recommend using Cif kitchen products such as the Ultrafast Spray and Power & Shine Wipes.

Why should you paint your kitchen cupboards?

Kitchen cupboards are often the most prominent feature in the kitchen, taking up lots of room on walls and at floor level. If your kitchen could benefit from a remodel then they’re an obvious place to start and repainting kitchen cabinets will work out much cheaper than replacing them or having a new kitchen installed. It’s win-win.

Top Tip


Use a small brush when painting kitchen cabinet doors to go around the edges neatly and maintain a clean line!