Interior cabinet painting in Sammamish, WA

Painting Cabinets

In Homeowner Tips, Interior Painting, Special Services by Lindsey Mueller4 Comments

Painting your kitchen or bathroom cabinets can provide a drastic, much-needed facelift to your living spaces. However, the process can be very labor intensive, and therefore the cost can be relatively high compared to other painting projects, whether you do it on your own, or hire a professional. This can be a big decision!

Given the intensity of this particular process, we are hesitant to recommend that any amateur DIYers attempt this project themselves – and that’s not just because we are professional painters! If you undertake this project yourself, you must understand that it will take a great deal of time and effort. This isn’t a casual weekend DIY project.

Whether you decide to hire a professional painting contractor or complete the work yourself, you will still have to decisions on the application method, level of preparation, products used, and colors selected.

Application Method

Here at Sound Painting Solutions, we spray most of our cabinet jobs. Spraying allows us to get an even and flawless finish. Brushing may be preferable for some DIYers who are not experienced with a paint sprayer; it also cuts down on the time and effort spent masking the areas surrounding the cabinets. However, if you decide to go this route, keep in mind that there is a noticeable difference between a sprayed finish and a brush finish, i.e. visible brush lines.

Level of Preparation

At a minimum, you should clean, sand and dust off the areas you are painting before spraying. Sanding eliminates the glossy surfaces and creates a surface that primer and paint will better adhere to. Cleaning is also essential for making paint stick; you don’t want to apply paint over a greasy or dirty surface! We use TSP to degrease these surfaces prior to painting. Prior to applying paint, you should also make sure these areas are free of dust or any debris that will compromise the finish. Finally, as tempting as it may be, do not skip a primer coat. Primer helps the paint bond, ensuring a long-lasting finish. More advanced steps include more extensive sanding and filling, which helps create flawless, smooth surfaces and minimize the appearance of wood grain on your cabinets. More on this below.

Products Used

At Sound Painting Solutions, we use the highest quality paints available from Benjamin Moore. In particular, Advance and Satin Impervo are excellent products for painting both cabinets and millwork. Our recommendation is Benjamin Moore Advance when spraying cabinet packages, though we have found that Satin Impervo can be easier to use when working with a brush.

Colors Selected
Side-by-side images of kitchen cabinets painted by Sound Painting Solutions with predominantly white cabinets but also lower cabinets painted in gray, showcasing a unique color scheme. A small photo of the "before" with wooden cabinets is also layered on top.

Unique cabinet color scheme

Given the labor and time intensive nature of this product, it’s important to choose the right color for a look you will love. This definitely isn’t a project you will want to redo in the near future. To help you feel confident in your choice, there are helpful online tools such Benjamin Moore’s Color Viewer, which can render a mockup of your newly-painted space using any of their myriad paint colors. We also recommend applying paint samples so you can see a true depiction of the color. Computer/phone screens and printers can misrepresent colors, and colors can also take on different appearances depending on the light of the room.

Hiring a professional firm

After researching the process of painting your cabinets yourself, you may decide that the process is not worth the many hours of labor involved. You may also come to the conclusion that you can achieve the best possible results by hiring a reputable professional painting company. Professional painting firms can offer the peace of mind that comes with a warranty and quality guarantee, and well-trained painters have many years of experience in this type of painting that most homeowners do not. Should you choose to hire Sound Painting Solutions to paint your cabinets, here is a step-by-step look of what you can expect our careful process to look like:

  1. Take down and label all cabinet doors, drawers, and hardware
  2. Wipe down all cabinets to degrease
  3. Mask off entire area to prevent overspray from hitting any other surfaces
  4. Using a dustless sander, sand all built ins and doors to eliminate old finish
  5. Fill cabinets with bondo and caulking; sand newly filled cabinets smooth
  6. Spray one coat of primer to all of the built-ins, doors, and drawers
  7. Lightly sand between coats of prime, refill any areas, and re-sand
  8. Spray one coat of a quality cabinet paint like Benjamin Moore Advance
  9. Lightly sand the first coat to prepare for the top coat
  10. Spray a final coat of paint
  11. Clean, de-mask and reinstall your cabinetry/hardware
  12. Your living space is now transformed!

Thank you for checking out our blog! Contact Sound Painting Solutions today for a free estimate on your Seattle or Eastside house painting project.


  1. Would you recommend an oil based primer over water based? We have maple cabinets that we are wanting to have painted. We have had bids from contractors who swear by oil base primer vs. water based.

    1. For raw wood cabinets, we would agree that oil-based is the way to go! It produces a harder finish and will sand more easily between coats.

  2. Nice blog. thanks for sharing this wonderful post! this sound painting is very good.

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