How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets Without Sanding

Posted on: July 15th, 2020

Changing the paint on your kitchen cupboards is an easy and cost-effective way to improve your home. It will also give one of the most popular rooms in your house a great facelift. If the thought of all of the sanding you’d need to do is overwhelming, this post is for you. 

It’s possible for you to give your kitchen cabinets a fresh coat of paint without having to sand them first. With the correct tools, a little patience, and the time to get the job done right, your kitchen cabinets can have a brand new look in no time. 

But if you live in the Las Vegas or Sacramento areas and would like to hire a professional painting company to do the job for you, give us a call!

How Much Does It Cost to Paint Kitchen Cabinets?

Before heading to the store to buy the supplies for your DIY project, figure out the cost first. We’ve made that part easy for you. Professional painters typically charge as low as $900 to as high as $3,800 to paint a set of kitchen cabinets. On average, you can expect to pay by the square foot with $3 being at the low end of the spectrum and $10 at the top. Some companies prefer to charge by the door with prices falling from $50 to $100 per piece. 

The overall cost you can expect to pay is affected by a number of different factors. These include:

  • Cabinet layout
  • Overall cabinet size
  • Painting method employed
  • Condition of the cabinets
  • Cost of materials 

As with almost any project, you can certainly save money if you do it yourself. Labor costs are usually between $2-$3 per square foot. That means you can safely reduce your work-related expenses to approximately $1 to $9. That will bring your financial investment to a much more manageable price. 

What are the Benefits of Painting Kitchen Cabinets?

Over time, your kitchen cabinets can look dingy and dated. Painting your kitchen cabinets offers you an easy and inexpensive way to refresh your kitchen’s visual appeal. 

Among the benefits you can enjoy as a result of painting your kitchen cabinets are:

  • More modernized appearance
  • Cost-effective solution with maximum impact
  • Eliminates the need to replace the cabinets thus resulting in cost savings
  • Durable cabinet finish
  • Increased home value

What’s Involved in Painting Kitchen Cabinets Without Sanding?

There are several important steps you should follow in order to successfully apply a new coat of paint to your cabinets without having to sand them first. 

The steps you should take are as follows:

Purchase a kit designed specifically for painting without sanding

These types of kits are pre-mixed to your preferred color. They also include a de-glosser to help you remove stubborn traces of paint and to prepare the surface for the new paint. It’s this de-glossing product that allows you to apply paint directly to the cabinets without the need for sanding first. 

Make a drawing of the kitchen cabinets then label and number each door and drawer face

Numbers and labels will help you to return the right door and drawer face to its correct space when the paint has dried. 

Clean the cabinets 

Using soap and water, carefully wash down all areas to be painted to be certain dirt and grease stains are completely removed. 

Remove all doors and drawer faces

Once the doors and drawer faces have been cleaned, dried, and removed, you can then remove the number tags to begin work on each piece. You’ll want to keep the stickers close by to help you identify where the door or drawer front should be returned to once it is dry. 

Lay down drop cloths

We recommend putting down tarps or drop cloths to keep the surface beneath your work from becoming stained with de-glosser or paint. 

Apply the de-glosser

To protect your hands and skin, be sure to wear gloves as you apply the de-glosser with a scouring pad. The liquid should be added to the surface in liberal amounts then worked into the wood moving with the grain. Once the de-glosser has worked its magic, you should wipe it off with a wet cloth. As a final step, use a clean cloth to dry the surface. Allow each piece to dry for a minimum of an hour. 

Take your time with this step to ensure a thorough job. How well the de-glosser is allowed to work will determine how well your paint will adhere to the cabinets. 

Tape off areas that should not be painted

To eliminate any additional clean up, we recommend applying painters’ tape to all areas you don’t want paint on. 

Remove any hardware or drawer bumpers

All door or drawer handles and bumpers should be carefully removed. 

Apply paint

This initial coat is called a bond coat and should be added to the cabinet in the direction of the grain. A 2” straight-edged brush is the recommended tool for the job. 

Begin by doing the frame of the cabinet first. This coat needs two hours to dry at which point you can then apply a second coat, leaving an additional two hours for drying time. The doors and drawer fronts can then be painted in the same fashion. 

Add the top coat

Finish the frame, cabinet doors, and drawer faces with a coat of protective top coat. This must be allowed to dry for 12 hours before all cabinet hardware can be returned and all pieces installed back in place. 

How to Get a Smooth Finish When Painting Kitchen Cabinets 

Painted Kitchen Cabinets


If you’re going to go to all of the work to paint your kitchen cabinets, you want to do everything you can to be sure to end up with a smooth finish. Achieving a painted result that is as smooth as satin is best achieved through thorough prep work. Paint will stick to whatever surface it is applied to, meaning if the de-glosser has not been given sufficient time to work or the cabinets are covered with dust, dirt, or grease, the paint will end up uneven and marred with flecks of debris. 

To prevent this from happening, we recommend taking your time during the de-glossing process and rinsing each area to be painted very well to ensure there is no residue on the surface. 

Proper cleaning of cabinets is also an important component as during this step you will remove any particles of dirt or dust that have attached themselves to the wooden surface over time. 

Thinking you’d like to give painting your kitchen cabinets a try? Follow our top tips for painting kitchen cupboards without sanding to give your favorite room the update it needs. But if you’d like to hire a professional painting company to do the job for you, give us a call or contact us through our website! We’ll give you a free quote!


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