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How Much Does It Cost to Paint Kitchen Cabinets?

by Gary Wade • November 29, 2023


Are you considering giving your kitchen a fresh new look? Painting your kitchen cabinets can be a cost-effective way to transform the appearance of your space without breaking the bank. However, before embarking on this project, it's important to understand the true cost to paint kitchen cabinets. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the various factors that can influence the cost, provide estimates for different kitchen sizes, and discuss the pros and cons of hiring a professional painter versus tackling the job yourself.

Factors That Affect the Cost of Painting Kitchen Cabinets

When estimating the cost to paint kitchen cabinets, several factors come into play. These factors include the size of your kitchen, the type of cabinets, the quality of paint and materials used, the painting method employed, and whether you choose to hire a professional or do it yourself.

Kitchen Size

The size of your kitchen is a major determinant of the overall cost of painting your cabinets. Typically, the larger the kitchen, the higher the cost. This is because larger kitchens have more cabinet surfaces to paint, requiring more time and materials. On average, expect to spend $30 to $60 per linear foot of cabinets for a range of $600 to $1200 for an average kitchen containing 20 linear feet of cabinets. This price can be cut by using cheaper paint and doing the labor yourself. On the other hand, hiring a reputable cabinet pro and top-quality paint could drive up the price.

To get an estimate for your kitchen, you can calculate the number of cabinet surfaces (drawer faces and cabinet doors) and classify your kitchen as small, medium, or large. A small kitchen has fewer than 20 cabinet surfaces, a medium kitchen has 21-40 cabinet surfaces, and a large kitchen has more than 40 cabinet surfaces.

How much does it cost to paint kitchen cabinets?

Cabinet Type and Material

The type and material of your cabinets can also impact the cost to paint kitchen cabinets. Different materials require different preparation and painting techniques, which can affect the time and effort required. Here are some common types of cabinets and their cost considerations:

  • Wood Cabinets: If you have wood cabinets, you may need to sand or strip off the existing finish before painting. This extra step can add to the cost of materials and labor.
  • Wood Veneer Cabinets: Wood veneer cabinets may require additional steps such as applying primer and wood glue to ensure proper adhesion of the paint.
  • Laminate Cabinets: Laminate cabinets require sanding to roughen the surface and a specific primer designed for laminate surfaces.
  • Medium-Density Fiberboard (MDF) Cabinets: MDF cabinets may require sealing the porous edges with drywall joint compound and using an oil-based primer.

Each type of cabinet material may have its own specific requirements and costs associated with painting.

Quality of Paint and Materials

The quality of the paint and materials used can greatly affect the overall cost and the durability of the finished result. Higher-quality paints and primers may come with a higher price tag but can offer better coverage, adhesion, and longevity. It's important to choose paints specifically designed for cabinets to ensure a professional-looking finish.

Additionally, you'll need brushes, rollers, drop cloths, painter's tape, sanding materials, and other supplies. These costs should be factored into your budget, whether you choose to hire a professional or do it yourself.

Painting Method

The painting method you choose can impact both the cost and the quality of the finished project. There are three common methods: brush painting, roller painting, and spray painting.

  • Brush painting: This method is typically the most affordable but can be time-consuming and may result in brush marks or streaks on the cabinets.
  • Roller painting: Using a roller can provide a smoother finish than brush painting but may not be suitable for cabinets with intricate designs or details.
  • Spray painting: Spray painting can offer a professional, smooth finish but may require specialized equipment and expertise. This method is often used by professional painters and may come with a higher cost.

Consider the pros and cons of each method and choose the one that best suits your budget and desired outcome.

Hiring a Professional vs. DIY

Deciding whether to hire a professional or tackle the project yourself is another important consideration when estimating the cost to paint kitchen cabinets.

  • Hiring a professional: While hiring a professional painter may come with a higher upfront cost, it can save you time, effort, and potential mistakes. Professionals have the expertise, tools, and experience to achieve a high-quality finish. The cost of hiring a professional painter for kitchen cabinets typically ranges from $100 per drawer face to $175 per cabinet door.
  • DIY: If you choose to paint your kitchen cabinets yourself, you can save on labor costs but should account for the cost of materials and the time required. DIY cabinet painting can be a time-consuming and meticulous process, particularly if you want a professional-looking finish. It's essential to invest in high-quality paints and materials and follow proper preparation and painting techniques.

Ultimately, the decision to hire a professional or DIY will depend on your budget, time constraints, and level of expertise.

What's the cost to paint kitchen cabinets?

Estimating the Cost for Different Kitchen Sizes

Now that we've discussed the factors that influence the cost, let's estimate the cost to paint kitchen cabinets for different kitchen sizes. Please note that these estimates are approximate and can vary based on your specific circumstances.

  • Small Kitchen (Fewer than 20 cabinet surfaces): The cost per drawer face is around $110, and the cost per cabinet door is approximately $190. For example, if you have 6 drawers and 14 cabinet doors, the total cost would be around $3,320.
  • Medium Kitchen (21-40 cabinet surfaces): The cost per drawer face is around $100, and the cost per cabinet door is approximately $175. For instance, a medium-sized kitchen with 9 drawers, 22 cabinet doors, and an island would cost around $5,250.
  • Large Kitchen (More than 40 cabinet surfaces): The cost per drawer face is around $95, and the cost per cabinet door is approximately $165. For a large kitchen with 33 cabinet doors, 18 drawers, an island, and a wine rack, the total cost would be around $8,895.

Remember that these estimates are based on average costs and may vary depending on your location, the complexity of your cabinet design, and other factors.

Cost of painting kitchen cabinets

Cost to Paint Kitchen Cabinets

Painting kitchen cabinets can be a cost-effective way to update the look of your kitchen. By considering factors such as kitchen size, cabinet type and material, quality of paint and materials, painting method, and the decision to hire a professional or DIY, you can estimate the cost to paint kitchen cabinets and make an informed decision. Whether you choose to hire a professional or tackle the project yourself, proper preparation, high-quality paints, and attention to detail are key to achieving a beautiful, long-lasting finish. So, go ahead and transform your kitchen with a fresh coat of paint on your cabinets!


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