Table of Contents

Cabinet Painting


We specialize in taking the cabinets you have and making them look great based on the style you want and the budget available.  Cabinet Painting is one of the most affordable ways you can do that.  Combine it with adding crown molding and/or decorative island treatments and you can make it into a showcase.

However, painting isn't the best option for all kitchens.  On this page we'll discuss what kitchens and situations are best for painting.  To learn more about other solutions beyond painting you can go to our Cabinet Refacing page.

Below we'll cover:

  • When and How to Decide to Paint
  • How We Paint
  • Adding Molding and Trim
  • Pricing Examples for BudgetingLearn more about Cabinet Refacing costs - Download our free Budget Guide

Is Cabinet Painting the Best Option?

When to Paint

When is Cabinet Painting the best solution?  What method is best for your cabinets?  

While we have painted every age and style of cabinet, we've found certain scenarios have the most dramatic results, while others have limitations.

Best Scenarios:

  • Cabinet Style and Quality are High
  • Cabinet Doors are in Great Condition
  • "Smooth" Grained wood such as Maple or Birch

Limited Scenarios:

  • Builder's Grade Stock Cabinets
  • Damaged Doors in Need of Repair
  • Oak Cabinets if "Smooth" Grain Look is Desired

If your cabinets fit into a limited scenario doesn't mean painting isn't a great option for you, it just means we will discuss other options, like Cabinet Refacing and Door Replacement.  When your cabinets require extra time and labor to prep for painting, we often find people are surprised at the options to replace is similar in cost to painting.

How Long will you be in this kitchen?

Another common motivation for cabinet painting is selling the home.  We have taken old oak cabinets in marginal shape, painted them to go on market and heard from the owner that it sold in the first day.  If you don't see yourself in the home for long, but need a little refresh, a quality paint job can do the trick no matter the condition.

Painting Options

There's More than One Way...

 When considering your options, you have choices on how and who will do the work.  What to consider:

  1. DIY:  Doing it yourself can be done for a couple of hundred dollars.  Cabinet painting is a little more difficult with brush and rollers, do to the hard smooth surface, but with patience it can be done.  Be prepared for multiple light coats and watch for runs.  Resources on YouTube and paint stores can be extremely helpful.  Tip:  Cleaning, Prep and Priming are a must!!  Spend more for cabinet paint kits, or paint specifically design for cabinets.  These paints are more forgiving, and never use Latex paints, intended for walls.  These paints are soft and flexible and most likely to peel off.
  2. Hire a Traditional Painter:  There are many great painters who can lay out a great finish with brush and roller.  This will be a more cost effective solution because the painter has less masking and prep work then a sprayed finish.  However, it still won't have the smooth finish that comes from a sprayed on finish.
  3. Hire a Quality Painter to Spray:  This is the best option for long term success and the most "Cabinet" like finish.  Prices can range substantially in this category depending on the method used. 
    • High end shops with crews and paint shops will remove doors and take them to a shop to paint (even strip to bare wood).  This method gives great results, but is expensive and can take weeks to return your kitchen to normal.  Our opinion is we can replace doors for the same cost if a dramatic, factory finish is desired, and the install only takes a week.
    • A more cost effective way to spray, one that we choose, is to spray on site.  This offers a great sprayed on finish at an affordable price, and typically is done in less than a week.

How We Paint Cabinets:

We do everything at your house, exact method will depend on the size and layout of your kitchen, and other areas like your garage.

Our preferred process that gives you the best finish and the most affordable price follows these steps:

  1. Prep and Clean Cabinets
  2. Mask and Tent the Kitchen for Spraying
  3. Remove Doors and Hang For Spraying
    • We have a portable spray and drying rack system
    • Small hooks are inserted in unseen areas on top or bottom of doors
  4. Spray On-Site
    • Spray Alcohol Based Primer - 2 coats
    • Spray High Quality Cabinet Coating - 2K Pigment Poly
  5. Let Fully Dry
  6. Reinstall Doors - New hinges can be installed if desired or necessary

We have found this method to be the most efficient and affordable way to get a high quality cabinet coating, similar to the finish you receive from factory made cabinets.  


  • In most instances we will require full use of your garage.
  • Weather plays a factor, high humidity and cold temperatures may require us to discuss options to spray and dry the doors in the home.
  • In some instances, it is best to leave the doors on the cabinets while spraying.  Example: Doors with old exterior or knife hinges may be better left intact than removed.  

Decorative Islands and Peninsulas.

Simple but Dramatic Focal Points

In the past 30 years, most kitchen designs have an open floor plan with an island or pass through peninsula.  When built,  just having an island was a marvelous design feature itself, but not much attention was given to the decorative contribution to the kitchen, they were just made with plain sides and backs.  Today's showcase kitchens take full advantage of these surfaces with wainscoting, bead board, decorative corbels, and even using contrasting door styles and colors to make the island a focal point of the kitchen.

When painting a kitchen we are able to custom build panels and wainscoting onto islands and peninsulas. When painted with the cabinets they look as if they were part of the original cabinet design.

Watch the video on this page for island design ideas.

Decorative Molding: Crown and Under Cabinet.

 Add Depth and Drama to Your Cabinets

Adding molding to your cabinets is another affordable way to take plain cabinets and make them look custom.  Again, when building new homes trim packages were add-ons often dropped to save money.  So many homes with high ceilings have cabinets that look inadequate for the space.  These can be easily added to your existing cabinets whether painting or refacing.

Kitchen Storage Solutions.

Update and Repair the Function

While updating the style of your cabinets, why not consider the function on the inside.  There are many ways to improve your cabinet organization with pull-out trays, or repair poorly performing drawers with new drawer boxes and slides.  

Budgeting Examples.

Pricing scenarios

Painting can be a great affordabl option for your cabinets.  Spraying a finish is a more expensive process than common wall painting.  The products and steps required to mask, prep, prime and spray are labor intensive.  But to get a quality, cabinet look at a fraction of replacing it can be a worthwhile upgrade to your kitchen.

To compare pricing you can get our Pricing Scenarios booklet, where we compare alternatives on a 10'x10' kitchen layout.

Design Plan Budget


Get Pricing Examples 




Thank You for Considering Us for Your Project.

We are a true Mom and Pop operation.  We market, design, sell and install.  We began our marriage and our remodeling passion almost two decades ago when we bought our first home in South St. Louis.  Fresh Faced Cabinets and cabinet updating has allowed our joy for taking something old and making it new.

We look forward to working with you.

David and Stephanie Short

David & Stephanie Short Fresh Faced Cabinets

We cannot rave enough about Fresh Faced Cabinets and their attention to detail! They were on time and consistently offered incredible design advice - little details that made all the difference! It was a joy working with them and I have highly recommended them to friends and neighbors.

Jen B. Facebook Recommendation