Today our Paint Department Lead, Mike, shows us how to paint cabinets! Mike had a long career as a painter, and we are grateful he shares his expertise with us at HomCo. We recommend Dunn-Edwards Paints as the best paint for cabinets. There are a lot of cabinet paint colors to choose from, and if you need any help deciding, ask Mike! Painting your kitchen cabinets can have a big impact on the overall look of your kitchen. They can make a bright, bold statement or have a clean, calming feel to them. The choice is yours!

Before you jump right into painting, you’ll want to review Mike’s steps so that your cabinets will come out looking exactly as you hope. Cleaning, priming, sanding & tacking are all necessary steps to achieving a perfectly smooth finish. Plus, Mike shares some bonus tips to help you get started!


Tools You’ll Need to Paint a Cabinet

  • TSP – Trisodium Phosphate
    • Cleans surfaces in preparation for painting for better durability and adhesion
  • SUPERTUFF Tack Cloth
    • An anti-static cloth that removes dust and fine particles.
  • KILZ Original Oil-Base Primer
  • 2” Paint Brush
  • Dunn-Edwards Paint – Aristoshield
    • Interior/Exterior Semi-Gloss Enamel, Water Based

Step #1: Clean your cabinets

Heavy duty cleaner for your project

After removing your cabinets and setting up your workstation, use TSP to wash the cabinets down. You’ll want to get all the grease, grime, oil and fingerprints off of them. Be sure to follow the directions on the TSP packaging when you’re washing your cabinets.

Step #2: Prime cabinets for painting

oil based primer

Before you start in with your kitchen cabinet paint, you’ll want to prime the cabinet first. Using the KILZ oil-based primer, paint all your kitchen cabinets. Be sure to let the cabinets dry overnight after this step.

Step #3: Sand & tack your cabinets

After letting the primer dry overnight, use sandpaper to sand the cabinet down, getting it as smooth as possible.

After sanding, use your SUPERTUFF tack cloth to tack all the dust leftover from the primer. It’s important to have a clean, smooth surface before you start painting.

Step #4: Time to paint!

DIY Paint Cabinets

The best paint for kitchen cabinets is the Dunn-Edwards Aristoshield paint in a semi-gloss finish. It’s a high-quality hard paint that is perfect for areas like cabinets that see a lot of grubby fingers! You can clean it as many times as needed without scratching the paint.

Mike recommends adding a little bit of water to the paint to thin it out. By thinning it out, brush marks won’t stay on the surface of your cabinet. You’ll have a nice, smooth finish.

After adding water be sure to mix it up really well with a stir stick.

Time to paint! For painting kitchen cabinets Mike prefers to use a 2.5” brush on cabinets but any smaller sizer brush will work. Be sure to paint with the grain. Once you finish one round of painting, the cabinets you started with will be ready for their second coat.

Bonus tips from Mike:

Tips from Mike

  • Be mindful of where you keep the hinges when you remove your cabinets. Keep them in the cabinet you pulled them from and know which one was on the top and which was on the bottom. Do it the same for every cabinet. Mike has learned this tip the hard way! Don’t throw them all in a bucket.
  • Kitchen cabinet paint colors can be as bold or muted as you want! Whether you want to make a colorful impact or stick with a more traditional color scheme, Dunn-Edwards Paints has the color for you.
  • Be prepared to do as many coats as you need to achieve the look you want! Mike has done up to 6 coats before!
  • Setting up your work zone in the garage is a great place to paint your cabinets.
  • Refinishing kitchen cabinets can be a substantial time commitment but the result is worth the effort!
  • Doing a full kitchen with 2 people will take about a week.


If you hadn’t been considering painting your cabinets, you probably are now! With a little time and effort, you can transform the look of your kitchen. Maybe when you’re done you’ll be so inspired you’ll tackle the bathroom cabinets! HomCo is proud to carry Dunn-Edwards Paints, if you have any questions be sure to stop by and speak with our team in the Paint Department. They are all experts in Dunn-Edwards Paints!