Ready to Paint Those Kitchen Cabinets? Color, Rollers and a Little Bit of Spackling!

So you have decided to do it! Turn those dull and lifeless kitchen cabinets into a splash of bright color! Yellow! Red! Purple (What are you thinking)! You can make the job an easy one (well, at least not a grueling one!) by following these step:

  1. 1.Remove all the hardware from the doors and drawers (yep, ALL the handles, pulls, and hinges).
  2. If the drawer fronts can be removed, do so. Pull out the drawers and set them aside.
  3. Clean all surfaces with a mixture of water and TSP (tri-sodium phosphate) and a sponge or an abrasive pad. (Pssst…don’t worry. Everyone’s kitchen doors get that dirty!)
  4. Wipe all the surfaces dry.
  5. Look for dents or scratches. Repair them with a spackling compound applied with a putty knife.
  6. Let the spackling dry thoroughly.
  7. Check any new hardware to see if they fit the existing holes. If not, fill in the old holes with a spackling compound. (or return the new hardware to the store and get some that will fit!)
  8. Sand the surfaces to be painted will coarse sandpaper so the paint will adhere more completely. Wrap the paper around a sanding block for ease of use.
  9. Make certain you sand all the nooks and crannies and rounded edges. (Yes, all of them!)
  10. Paint the backs of the doors and drawer fronts first. Let dry and then paint the front faces. You can paint the doors with a standard-sized paint roller. Paint the edges with a brush.
  11. Use one of those little paint rollers to paint the face frames.
  12. Let everything dry completely before you begin to reassemble.
  13. Screw the hinges to the doors and then back to the face frames.
  14. Reattach all the handles and the pulls or add the new ones (don’t give up – you are on the home stretch!)
  15. Apply rubber or felt bumpers on the backs of the doors to prevent the paint from sticking.

Hurrah! A new kitchen – fresh and clean! Now, what do you think we can do in that upstairs bath?


Pamela Cole Harris is an editor and writer with 35 years of experience. Visit her website,, for a free newsletter with remodeling, home improvement, and decorating ideas for the financially challenged, creatively deficient, and technologically illiterate.

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