How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets Without Sanding? Top Full Guide 2022

How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets Without Sanding Top Full Guide 2022

If you’re looking to give your kitchen cabinets a fresh new look, you may be wondering if you have to sand them down first. Luckily, there is how to paint kitchen cabinets without sanding – and it’s a lot easier than you might think! In this article, Peelsnyc will show you how to do it.

Is It Possible To Paint Cabinets Without Sanding?

If you change from one surface to another or paint unvarnished raw wood cabinets, skipping the sanding is okay.

To make the paint stick better, you will need to lightly sand cabinets that have damaged paint, peeling paint, or shiny surfaces (either from the material or a glossy coating). If the doors are not slick to the touch, you can skip the sanding.

Is It Possible To Paint Cabinets Without Sanding

You don’t need to sand the cabinets before priming. Instead, you can use mineral spirits and a sponge to roughen up the area lightly. While this won’t open the wood cabinet material quite as much as sanding, it will give you a grippy surface for the primer to adhere to.

Maybe you are looking for a method to make oak cabinets look modern, see this guide.

How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets Without Sanding

  • To remove grease, grime, and finger oils, wash the cabinets with TSP.
  • Use Liquid Sander/Deglosser to scrub the cabinets more thoroughly.
  • Prime all lower cabinets with two thin coats of primer After much review, I decided to use Zinsser Smart Primer
  • Painting kitchen cabinets in lower
  • Repeat the process for the upper cabinets. I’m using two colors to make the upper cabs look better with molding.

Protect the floor

The tape was required to protect the floor’s shiny surface from the deglosser fluid. Quick tip for DIYers: Get a massive roll of rosin (or builder’s) paper. It has endless uses and can even be used as wrapping paper in a pinch.

Granny wanted in on the action (please don’t think I’m forcing Granny into this; she has Alzheimer’s and can get restless if she sits for too long). So she was responsible for gluing the paper with Frogtape.

Take outdoors and hardware.

I started to take out lower cabinet doors and cabinet hardware. (I might add that 30-year-old hardware is a pain to remove, and it’s yucky) Mom then began washing everything down with TSP. It was essential to get rid of any grease or oils. These cabinets don’t have doors, so you need to grab them with your hands. If they’re not scrubbed within one inch of their existence, the paint will stick.

How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets Without Sanding

Klean-Strip TSP Substitute was my choice. However, Mom ended up trying a plain grease-cutting oil that she uses to clean the stove. She also found it worked well.

It was easiest to remove the doors from the painting cabinets by taking them off and removing the hinges. These things seem obvious until you realize that they are not.

To keep track of your hardware, use a system.

My system for tracking hardware and screws is: Hardware goes in the cabinet it belongs with a piece of tape to indicate which one the bottom hinge is.

The tape was then attached to the inside of each cabinet to prevent them from moving around. This is also to prevent them from getting lost. I have heard that hinges can sometimes become jumbled on doors that are different. I am doing this because of this. The caddy with the plastic bags inside it is an Ikea caddy; it helps me manage doggie bags.

However, I don’t plan on keeping these hinges. I want to find hinges in a different finish that matches the cabinet door handles. (See further down for a peek at those). If I don’t find a suitable replacement and need to put them back on the cabinets again, I keep track of everything.

Note the location of each door.

Another lesson was marking the doors. Each door was honored with tape—l for lower and R for right. The video didn’t stick when we scrubbed the cabinets with a TSP substitute.

The alternative was to mark each door’s bottoms with a permanent marker. This was also removed with liquid deglosser (damn), but it is easier to re-mark.

Charlie was happy to be in the kitchen, enjoying a new toy that I brought her from Haven (that post will come, promise). It’s now her favorite toy, and she’s carrying it around from room to bathroom cabinets. It’s so cute.

Use TSP substitute to clean and scrub doors and cabinets.

After all, cabinets had been scrubbed with the TSP substitute; we began all over with the liquid deglosser. Although it may seem redundant to do both, I will spray-painted cabinets. I didn’t want to make it smelly, so I chose a cleaner deglosser.

Klean-Strip Liquid Sander Deglosser has a water base and is biodegradable. Pros recommend it, which I find to be a strong argument. Just an FYI: It appears that the packaging has been altered recently. It’s yellow everywhere I looked online.

how to spray paint old kitchen cabinets without sanding

The packaging I bought was plainer and bluer. (You can see a small glimpse of it when you scroll down to view the counter and cabinets; I meant to get a closeup but forgot).

Safety gear

While working with a deglosser, it is essential to use safety goggles or nitrile gloves. Even if the bottle says otherwise, you should open your windows to allow for ventilation. These chemicals are dangerous, people. These chemicals can irritate our skin and eyes, which no one wants. It’s pretty simple: Squirt some liquid onto a clean, dry cloth (like the scouring pads that I used).

If the store is well-organized, you will find them next to the deglosser in the same aisle. You can scrub the cabinets using a circular motion and some elbow grease. Surprised the cabinets lightened a bit when they dried (you can see some of that finish on the pad). It may feel a bit filmy when dry, but the packaging states that it is acceptable to paint over.

After everything had been scrubbed, Granny and Mom went home. I was able to get a seat and take this picture. Although it doesn’t seem like much was accomplished, we were tired and the deglosser had already dried. Next, we will be replacing the hinges and patching any holes with the old cabinet frames, if needed, priming.

As promised, here’s a peek at the “decisions” thus far. This door handle was found at Lowes. I knew almost immediately that they were a winner. I didn’t bother to bring another one home. I bought the shorter and longer versions for the drawers and then held them up when I got back to my house. It was done.

A few color samples for the lower cabinets are also shown (very dark cabinets can be tricky in this house; everything supposed to look neutral seems more blueish). Also included are white swatches for reference on the upper cabinets.

I am sure that I will paint the upper cabinets Benjamin Moore Decorator’s White – This color has been recommended to me many times online. The new faucet’s finish is the metal underneath the cabinet handle. It arrived in the mail today, and I can’t wait for it to be displayed.

The second photo shows the same colors. The finish of the faucet hardware, which is called “slate”, is a little darker than stainless. I am thrilled with this combination.

Best Paint for Wood Cabinets

The primer is the most important. Primer is essential to ensure that your cabinets’ surfaces are well-gripped. Primer makes it last longer and protects against stains. It’s also helpful if you are changing from dark to lighter colors.

Your primer should be suitable for cabinetry, not plaster walls. Look out for formulas that are “bonding primers”, which are designed for difficult-to-tackle surfaces.

Best Paint for Wood Cabinets

Higher quality milk paint will produce better results. You want durable paint that can withstand the heat and moisture of daily cooking. Instead of using cheaper calcium carbonate, look for formulas containing high titanium dioxide pigment levels.

We recommend moisture- and mildew-resistant paint for kitchens. It won’t peel even if it is subject to steam. Kitchens are best suited for semi-gloss or satin, chalk paint.

New paints and varnishes are specially designed to combat the smells from functional kitchens. They claim to absorb new odors instead of masking old ones.

Read our article if you are setting up cabinets but do not precisely way.


Do I have to paint my kitchen cabinets?

Repainting wood, metal, and wood-laminate cabinets is usually straightforward. Paint laminate cabinets may not take a topcoat. However, those that can be refinished require unique colors and techniques. Results can vary.

how to paint wood kitchen cabinets without sanding

How can you paint particle board cabinets without sanding

As a primer, use an oil-based primer. This primer is good because it doesn’t pull the drawer pulls apart when pulled. Latex primers can also do this over time. The particleboard is very rough, so you need a primer that sticks to the cabinets.

What is the average price to paint kitchen cabinets in your area?

Paint kitchen cabinets cost between $3-10 per square foot and $30-60 per linear foot. This includes labor, materials, supplies, and labor. It depends on the condition of your cabinets and the extent of the painting project required to remove or replace doors and hardware.



To wrap things up, it’s important to remember that painting doesn’t have to be a complex process. Sure, there are steps that you need to take to get the best results – but with a bit of planning and some good instructions, your project will be a success! Have you tried painting your kitchen cabinets before? If so, what are your thoughts on painting them? Let us know in the comments!