DIY Kitchen Updates On A Budget: How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets

As I mentioned I am updating my kitchen on a budget. I started with the hideous manufactured brown cabinets. I really wanted to go with a white and country look. You can see my inspirations on Pinterest and here.

Since I did not know anything about painting cabinets I decided to use a cabinet kit. I used Rust Oleum Cabinet Transformations Cabinet Coating Kit

I used the small kit in Quilter’s White. The Small kit was perfect for my kitchen. It covers 100 sq. ft. and the large kit covers 200 sq. ft. Both kits are available in dark or light tint bases. Kit contains: Instructional pamphlet, DVD, deglosser, 1 gallon bond coat, decorative glaze (optional), protective top coat, decorative glazing cloths, scrub pads, and stir sticks.

It was expensive to me but I since this was a big project and I did not know what I was doing I went with a kit. I now know that if you know your products you can get all that you need and save money by buying the products separately.

Kitchen Before

So now for the work! I started by taking all the cabinets off. One thing that helped me was to put all the hardware in separate ziploc baggies and label them. This made it much easier to put them back up. I used my dining room as my work space. Be sure to tarp/ cover well and have board or another way to lean your cabinets for painting the back sides.

Next was the deglossing. I used the deglosser and scrubbing pads that were included to prep the cabinets.I had to put alot of power into the scrubbing to get the shine out of my cabinets.I did the doors on the floor then went back and did the stationary cabinet parts.
Next it was time for the bond coat. I forgot to mention that Home Depot tinted this bond coat for me. You can choose your color and let them know at the store that you purchase it at. I had to do several coats on my cabinets. I ended up liking the look after 3 coats. You must allow time for each coat to dry completely before proceeding. This part took many hours.


Since I was happy with the white look I was ready to move on. At this point you can add the glaze. That is what I was planning to do. I thought it would give it a lovely high end look. But again, I really liked the look of the white. So I did the glaze on one door just to see. It looked very nice but I realized that was not the look I was going for. Looking at it in the kitchen I decided to go with the non glazed look. So I skipped that step.

Lastly I covered all the cabinet doors and stationary with the top coat. I let this dry for about a day before I touched and started moving things around,

The next day I starting putting my kitchen back together. This was exciting since the kitchen had been a mess since this started.Everything came together very nice! I also added some hardware from IKEA.
I LOVE IT! I have had them up for about 2 months now. They have held up beautifully! They have not turned yellowish like I was worried about. the top coat also was impressive. Spills have cleaned off with ease. I have used regular cleaners on them and they have done great! Do scratches or peeling. No complaints at all!
How to paint kitchen cabinets-- Under $100!
It is so exciting to see a whole new look in our kitchen and I spent less than $80! Compared to the over $600 new cabinets we were wanting that is amazing!

Bottom line: Don’t be scared! You CAN paint your cabinets and they CAN look great!

  • They look great, and I can’t believe it was for under $80. Our cabinets are starting to peel, and I’ve wanted them done for awhile now. You’ve given me some great inspiration to do the work myself. Also, thanks for the great tip about labeling the hardware when you take the cabinets down.

  • That is incredible!! You did an amazing job; both with the work and also with the budget – what a great idea to label the hardware instead of having to guess when you’re done :) Scrubbing the shin out sounds like a lot of work – but it looks fantastic!

  • Wow! Good job! I’ve been debating for almost a year whether or not we should do our cabinets. We don’t have that many, but oh my goodness I’m not looking forward to the work that will go into it. After reading this post though, I’m definitely re-inspired :) Thanks for sharing!

  • Amy

    I’ve always been scared to paint cabinets, but yours look great!

  • It looks so bright and CLEAN! I’m a huge fan of clean! Love it. I did this at my old house and was amazed with what a little paint could do.

  • What a great job! Seriously our cabinet redo is on our to do list & every time I mention starting the Mr. sighs OK, i just might have to tackle it myself after seeing yours!! I’ll have him install the ceiling fan. lol visiting from the Social Fabric.

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  • These look great! You did a really good job! Do you see much for brush strokes in the paint?

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  • Your way of describing everything in this article is actually nice, all be capable of without difficulty
    understand it, Thanks a lot.