How Much Does It Cost To Paint Kitchen Cabinets

Repainting your kitchen cabinets is a great way to improve the look and feel of the kitchen without having to tear out and replace expensive hardware. New cabinets are a dream for many homeowners, but the truth is that your existing installations are often more than up to the task of organization and aesthetic beauty. In order to reach their full potential, cabinets just need a bit of care and an understanding of how to spruce up the natural grain or visual pop that they can provide.

Bob Vila suggests that repainting cabinets provides a uniquely cost-effective approach to a kitchen remodeling project. Instead of tearing out and replacing existing fixtures, you can give your existing cabinetry — with the wooden construction of each box representing the most expensive part of this installation — a new lease on life.

Repainting requires a few key stages, and if you're hiring a professional to complete the job for you, the price will be a bit higher. Expect to pay around $100 for each drawer face and about $175 per cabinet door; in total, a cabinet repainting job averages around $90 per hour, coming out to $3,000 to $10,000 for the entire job (via Real Homes).

Factors for cost

The cost to repaint your cabinets comes down primarily to the way you approach the project and the scale of the repainting work. A large kitchen that includes a significant number of cabinets (or a tall one that incorporates very large doors reaching up to the ceiling) will cost more than a smaller kitchen, by nature. The size, multiplied by a few key factors can give you a good sense of the overall cost.

The size of your kitchen

The most direct factor for calculating the cost of the job will be in the size of your kitchen. The larger the space is, the more time it will take to paint the surfaces, the more paint will be required, and the greater the volume of additional supplies will be.

The size of your kitchen dictates most of the cost in terms of both labor and materials (via Real Homes). Prices from a professional are often quoted by square foot, by cabinet surface, or by hour, and no matter how you slice these figures, a larger space will demand more time and energy, leading to a higher overall price tag.

The material costs also rise alongside the size of the space. Paint is the main component of this job, and more surface area will demand a larger initial purchase of paint and primer. When hiring a professional, you may also gain access to spray paint options. This can make the job faster but may increase the price based on the quality of paint used.

Labor costs

The labor costs that come along with the project make up the other half of the cost basis. Hiring a professional will bring the overall spend closer to the top end of the range. If you hire a contractor to paint your cabinets, you are paying a premium for the expertise in precision sanding and high-quality painting. Generally speaking, these pros will be able to do a better job in a shorter timeframe than you can.

However, cabinet painting is certainly a job that homeowners can perform without professional help, and this approach can save you a large sum of cash. This Old House reports that you may be looking at a total bill in the range of as little as about $100, depending on how many cabinets there are to complete.

Additional costs

While kitchen size and labor make up the primary features of the overall cost of this project, there are some additional considerations that make an appearance in planning a kitchen cabinet repaint. For one thing, if you engage in the painting job yourself, you can significantly reduce the price of the job. But this decision comes with hours of sweat equity and the need to purchase supplies and additional tools.

The cost of paint

The biggest feature in the cost of painting supplies is the paint itself. Opting for high-quality paint will add to the price tag, but a quality coat is crucial for both durability and lasting beauty. Whether you're planning to apply a glossy paint or a matte finish to the cabinets, the paint itself is the most important cost when it comes to purchasing the supplies. 

This Old House reports that in addition to color, finish, and quality, you'll need to consider what kind of paint to use on the cabinets. Oil and latex-based paints are the favorites in the kitchen space, and pros go back and forth on the merits of each. While oil-based paints have been the go-to selection for many years, latex paints are becoming a frequently used option for kitchen cabinets.


To successfully repaint cabinets, you — or the professional you've hired for the job — will need to set up a painting station either inside your kitchen or out in the yard or garage. Laying down a cloth or sheet to catch dripping paint is the first step in any setup and should never be overlooked. Good Housekeeping also notes that you should make extensive use of painter's tape to ensure that surfaces, cracks, and adjacent fixtures that shouldn't be painted aren't exposed to a new coat of your selected color.

You'll need an electric sander and quite a few sanding sheets to go with the tool, sanding throughout the project with 220 grit paper (via This Old House). Calking problem areas is another essential step to getting the painting project done the right way. Adding both of these supplies to your list is crucial.

Lastly, in addition to the paint itself, you'll need to apply a few coats of primer to the surfaces. Make sure you have enough primer to finish the job.

The time investment

For those engaging in the project without professional help, it's important to understand the time commitment that is involved in this project. This Old House estimates that it might require a few weekends to complete the project on your own, while a professional service will certainly be able to finish the project and reinstall any sections that were removed in just a few days. The time commitment will likely save you a significant amount of money, but the tradeoff may not be worth it for some.

Alternatively, working on this project yourself is a great way to get children involved, or to spend time personalizing the interior space of your home with a loved one. Working on a project with your own two hands is a powerful thing: Exploring Your Mind and The New York Times each note that manual labor is great for your brain and can even promote greater happiness. Conducting this relatively easy-to-accomplish change in your home in the company of people that you love can make for a unique bonding experience, and it will provide years of happy memories as you continue to look at the cabinets you worked on together.

Regional changes in the price calculation

Whether you opt to engage in this project on your own, or you hire a professional, you'll have to contend with some regional variation across all aspects of the purchasing phase. Paint and other supplies will vary somewhat based on the location that you call home, and the fees charged by contractors and painters can vary greatly as well based on geographical and local conditions. It's always a good idea to price the job with a few different providers before diving into the work; this will help you account for the regional pricing while weeding out any outliers that might overcharge you.

Why you need newly painted cabinets

Repainting your cabinets can breathe new life into your kitchen. The dramatic change is essential when remodeling this space, and painting options are perfect for those working on a budget. Repainting the cabinets is one of the easiest, most cost-effective, and impression-making changes you can bring to the kitchen.

Changing the style can make a big difference

Repainting your kitchen cabinets can make a massive difference in the style and feel of the space. The Flooring Girl reports that a kitchen cabinet repaint is a great way to make your kitchen look lighter, brighter, and more inviting. Changing the cabinet's paint job, even if you're planning on repainting the surfaces the same color, will liven up the room and bring a vibrance to the kitchen that old paint simply can't accomplish.

Repainting and deep cleaning go hand in hand

In order to repaint your cabinets, you'll need to clean and sand the surfaces (via This Old House). This means that an integral component of any repainting job is the initial cleanup. Many homeowners take this a step further and work to clear away clutter, dust, and other buildup in the spaces around the cabinets as well.

Inherent to the task of painting cabinets is the need to clean the surfaces and space. This means that you'll enjoy a fresh-looking coat of paint as well as a much cleaner space more generally. The atmosphere and attitude of the environment are transformed by these two interrelated steps.

Paint is more affordable than a new installation

The chasm between the cost of replacing cabinets and resurfacing and painting your existing fixtures is enormous. HomeLight reports that the average spend for new cabinets is around $13,000, with a highwater mark reaching up to $24,000 for more expensive installations or a larger space to cover. In contrast, painting your current cabinets can cost as little as the price of paint and primer if you're doing the job yourself and already own the additional tools necessary.

Painting cabinets can transform a room, and instead of splashing the cash on new installations, considering a revamp of your existing features in the kitchen can save you a ton of money while accomplishing the same end.

Benefits of cabinet repainting

The benefits are numerous when considering repainting cabinetry in the kitchen. For one thing, the speed of a repaint is far greater than that of a total replacement. Getting the kitchen back in working order fast might be a priority for you as you maintain a busy schedule or look to put the home on the market as quickly as possible.

Repainting is fast

My Favorite Painters reports that the average time to repaint a typical kitchen's cabinets is about four to five days. The timeline for installing new cabinets is much longer because it involves elements of demolition and fabrication that come before eventually reaching the same need to paint the boxes. Repainting your cabinets reduces the timeline of the renovation by a significant margin, allowing you to go about your routine much faster than the alternative.

It adds value to your home

Painting cabinets can add value to your home as well. Buyers are often turned off by fixtures and fittings that look old. These features can give off the impression that the entire home is older than it really is, making the asset seem less valuable to a potential buyer. The same goes for cabinetry. Old cabinets have a way of tainting the look and feel of the kitchen and home more broadly.

Improving the resale value of the home is a crucial task for anyone looking to list their property in the near future, and cabinet repainting should be near the top of the list in this regard (via The Flooring Girl).

Likewise, Fortune Builders notes that minor kitchen renovations typically return about a 98.5% ROI, making this a cost-effective upgrade that can quickly and easily make your home much more appealing when it hits the real estate market.

Painting the cabinets allows for customizations or luxurious tonal shifts

Repainting your cabinets allows you to get immensely creative with the kitchen. Instead of the high price tag that comes with the installation of new cabinetry, you can focus all your energy, effort, and investment on selecting the perfect shade and texture to complement other elements in the kitchen. Changing the environment of your kitchen can transform the utility you gain from the space. A tired kitchen is one that many homeowners won't want to cook in, whereas a beautiful, new-feeling space inspires culinary creativity. Making this largely straightforward update to the home can reinvigorate your love of cooking, food, and time spent in the room that makes it all happen.