How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets Without Sanding

If you want to paint your kitchen cabinets but dislike sanding, there are still ways to do it! One option could be Oil Bond.

This primer enhances the adhesive properties of latex paint to give a flawless, glass-smooth finish without all of the tedious sanding, while also preventing dust particles and other airborne contaminants from being released into the environment.


Painting kitchen cabinets is an effective way to update them without needing replacements, yet requires certain preparatory steps before beginning. To be successful at painting your own cabinets, there must be certain steps taken prior to painting them.

Step one in cabinet restoration involves cleaning them thoroughly with dish soap or Krud Kutter to rid the surfaces of any grease build-up from cooking, which will ensure the new paint does not adhere to those areas that might become sticky during application. This step will prevent sticking of new coats to greasy patches that might otherwise interfere with its adhesion.

Utilizing a sandpaper pad, you can smooth away any bumps caused by previous paint jobs or poor varnishing jobs, before using a clean rag to wipe down and rinse all cabinet surfaces before wiping clean with alcohol.

Once your cabinets are clean, label each cabinet door and drawer front with a number. This will make reassembling them much simpler!

Label all hardware to make it easier when it’s time to reassemble cabinets. If any parts don’t match, now may be an opportune moment to address gaps and fix any discrepancies in alignment.

When selecting a primer for painting your cabinet doors and frames, water-based and latex-based options tend to be popular among DIYers due to being easy to use and drying quickly. They have low volatile organic compound levels which makes them eco-friendly as well.

Oil-based primers have long been favored as they form an excellent bond to painted surfaces. Although drying times are longer, oil-based primers don’t produce as many volatile organic compounds and therefore pose less of a threat to air quality than water or latex-based primers.

Finalizing your cabinet renovation requires selecting an exterior paint that complements both your primer and will cover your cabinets completely. Your choice will determine the final appearance of your project.

An effective cabinet painting kit that includes de-glosser will help save time and effort when painting kitchen cabinets, eliminating the sanding stage entirely.


First step to effectively cleaning cabinets without resorting to sanding is conducting a comprehensive cleaning session, in order to remove grease and grime without resorting to sandpapering. A good thorough clean will remove dust, food splatters or any other form of residue that might remain on its surface.

Use Dawn detergent to wash your cabinets; this should remove most stains that have built up, though be sure to rinse the area afterward in order to ensure no traces of soap remain behind.

If the stains on your cabinets have become persistent and have built up over time, more aggressive cleaning agents may be necessary. Before applying them to all cabinets in an inconspicuous spot, test the cleaner first in an unobtrusive location first.

One of the best natural degreasers is vinegar. Not only is it safe for the environment and free from harmful chemicals, it is also very effective at dissolving tough cabinet grime.

For an easy cleaning solution, combine two parts white vinegar with three parts water in any bowl or small basin. Next, spray this mixture on any greasy areas on your kitchen cabinets, waiting a few minutes and wiping off with a cloth afterwards.

Before beginning to clean your cabinets, take steps to empty their contents and dispose of any expired foods – this will prevent bacteria contamination or unpleasant odors from building up within them.

Next, use a damp microfiber cloth or sponge to wipe down all cabinets thoroughly, making sure not to rub or scratch them as this could damage wood fibers and cause cracking of them.

Once your cabinets have been thoroughly cleaned and dried thoroughly before applying any paint, it is imperative that they dry completely as any moisture left on the cabinets can cause warping and cause it to warp prematurely.

Recurring cabinet cleanings will also help ensure any smudges or debris don’t accumulate further, and will extend the amount of time between more intensive scrubs.


Before painting kitchen cabinets, it is crucial that the appropriate primer be selected. This will ensure that the new finish lasts and looks fantastic.

There is a wide variety of primers, from low-VOC water-based alternatives to shellac-based ones and those in different colors such as white or gray.

When choosing the ideal kitchen cabinet primer for a paint project, the materials of your cabinets must also be taken into consideration as well as any existing odors or stains that exist on them. An oil-based odor and stain blocking primer is likely to prove superior over its water counterparts.

Use a primer designed specifically for cabinet surfaces – known as bonding primers – that will prevent peeling, flaking and chipping of the paint job. They contain resins which bond wood fibers to the paint layer for increased resistance to chipping.

Another alternative is a hybrid-based paint product, which offers both ease of clean-up, quick drying time, low VOC emission levels and durability of an oil-based product. These hybrid products can typically be found at boutique stores or independent online retailers.

It’s best to apply 2 or 3 thin coats of paint, which will help eliminate drips and pooling for an even and seamless finish.

For older cabinets, sanding may be required first in order to open up pore structures in the wood and create a more grippable surface for primer to adhere.

Sanding wood cabinets is often necessary when prepping them for painting, though it may be tedious and time consuming. If your cabinets are in good condition without cracks or scratches, however, this step might not always be necessary.

Make life simpler by forgoing the sanding step and opting for liquid sander/deglosser and bonding primer instead. Your paint project will run smooth and quickly without dust or hassle from sanding!

Use quality paint to seal in the primer and ensure its long-term use; Sherwin Williams Emerald(r) Urethane Trim Enamel is a popular option, creating a glossy finish on kitchen cabinets as well as lasting for many years to come.


No matter if you are renovating your kitchen to increase functionality or simply refreshing its look, painting cabinets is an effective way to transform the space. But be mindful to choose an appropriate paint according to their type and style!

If your cabinets are constructed from wood, a high-quality paint that adheres securely and dries hard without cracking or peeling is essential. Also important: selecting colors suitable for both your home and climate conditions.

There are various kinds of paint available for cabinets, including alkyd, oil-based enamels and hybrid water-based enamels. Each has their own advantages that can help create the look that best matches your kitchen space.

Before beginning, thoroughly clean your kitchen to eliminate food debris and dust accumulation that could affect the new paint job. Be sure to vacuum as well.

Once your kitchen is prepared for painting, create a work area and gather your supplies. Sawhorses may make painting cabinets’ edges easier while protecting against accidental steps being taken on them or knockover.

Next, remove all hardware from your cabinet doors and drawers, labeling any loose hardware so it can be put back easily once the paint dries.

For maximum effect when painting large areas, use a brush; for smaller ones use a roller. When working with latex paint use synthetic brushes in order to avoid swelling caused by natural ones.

Before painting on wooden surfaces, it is crucial to use a high-quality primer in order to secure its adhesion and prevent chipping. There are various primer options on the market such as BIN Shellac Primer and Benjamin Moore Advance which may prove helpful.

Once the primer has set, it’s time to paint your kitchen cabinets. For an oil-based paint that provides durable stain resistance and long-term performance, oil is your go-to choice.

Consider hybrid alkyd enamel paints, which combine the best qualities of both oil and water-based paints. While more costly than their counterparts, hybrid alkyd paints make an excellent choice for high-use surfaces.

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