DIYP-Painting Your Kitchen Cabinets

I’ve been wanting to post about my amazing kitchen cabinet makeover for months.
We moved into our house 5 years ago this Christmas. And even though it came with nice cabinets, I didn’t like them.  Call me picky, but they were pink.
Not princess pink, but a bleached creamy light pink. Gag me. 
Our home came with gorgeous black-speckled granite that only made the cabinets look, um, more pink.
So, here’s what I did:
I waited until my hubby went on a long business trip.  (Ya know, in case I ruined my house and had to find another real quick-like).
I unscrewed a cabinet door and took it to our local Sherwin Williams.
They didn’t even blink twice when I sauntered in with three kids and a door.
I was instructed to lightly sand the slick surface.  This doesn’t require labor intensive sanding, you just want the paint to be able to ‘grab’ onto the wood. You cannot skip this step!
And then I bought Black Oil Based Satin Enamel. It’s pre-mixed and comes in black or white. This paint is amazing. It’s chip resistant, durable and great for furniture and cabinets.
I also bought a really nice brush that cost around $15.  Because it was my kitchen cabinets and my $ Dollar Store brush wouldn’t cut it.
During nap time, I sanded and took off the hardware and carried the doors to the garage. And during bedtime, I painted until midnight every night.
The first coat was pretty easy. I slapped it on there and didn’t worry to much about stroke lines. It served as my primer (very good paint, stinky, but good).
I took more care with the second coat. 
But it wasn’t perfect.

(And I didn’t do the inside of the doors.  Because I decided one night late o’clock, I wasn’t Superwoman).
But that was fine because once everything dried, I sanded off the edges and a few areas to get the worn, country look I love so much.
This was a very time consuming Do-It-Yourself project, but worth every hour.
And now the granite counter tops look amazing. (So, does the fake stainless. And while I’m not exactly thankful for the electrical storm that killed a couple of our white appliances, I do think the stainless makes the cabinets look even better!)
I must admit I feel so proud when newcomers enter my kitchen and say, “Wow, I love your cabinets, who did them?”
“I did.”
And you can too!
Check out more painted wood projects here!


  1. 1


    I did this same technique to my china cabinet. My husband chose it years ago (solid wood, but not an expensive one) and I gave into his wishes because he gave into my desire for the HUGE table. However, I made him agree that *sometime* down the road when I found the perfect cabinet, I could buy it. So, last year I decided to paint and distress it. My hubby was appalled at what I was going to do until I reminded him that if I like it, he just might be spared having to purchase a new one. He ended up liking it even more than me! Ha!

    You really did do a terrific job on it. After just doing one china cabinet, I completely understand how much effort you put into them!

  2. 3


    Awesome Transformation!!! You really ought to be very pleased with yourself. I am proud of you. Jealous too. Your kitchen is beautiful. You are brave!

  3. 7


    Wow, gorgeous!
    We’ve been trying figure out what color to paint our old blue cabinets and I was stuck between white and black. Seeing these have made my decision.
    good job!

  4. 8


    Awesome job! We just tackled the job of painting our bathroom cabinets (including the laminate countertops!) last weekend and it is amazing the difference it made. A good coat of paint can drastically change the whole look and feel of a room.

    Your kitchen looks great!

  5. 10


    You never cease to amaze me.

    I have a ginormous “open” great room with kitchen/dining area/den and at first I loved it, but now I am not so loving it mainly because my kitchen area cabinets are white with the country-ish sanded paint.

    I really want them to be an espresso type color, just because the white it too much to worry about keeping clean.


  6. 11


    Oh my goodness I have those same ugly pink cabinets and I can not stand them. And there are so many of them plus my island. This gives me hope. I really don’t want to have to purchase new ones when we decide to redo the kitchen. Yours look awesome!!!

  7. 13


    THIS IS EXACTLY what we are going to do with ours and the scary thing is… we have the EXACT same cabinets as your old ones and I despise them too! My MIL was just here last week and she and I were trying to figure out a time that she can come back and we can tackle the project! WOW! I am so thankful for the tip on what paint to use. I also knew I would have to sand but not sure how much, glad to know not much!

  8. 15


    WOW! I think this is one of my favorite DIY projects to date. Your kitchen really does look AMAZING and professional! The granite looks SOOO much better with the dark cabinets. Good job!

  9. 16


    So I need to arrange a business trip for my husband?? We have white painted cabinets that the people did before we moved in but they did a terrible job and didn’t use chip resistant anything so now I have chips all over my cabinets and it annoys me everytime I look at them. You may have started something!!!

  10. 17


    I am so inspired! I hate our cabinets! Did I say hate i mean HATE!!! I am thinking about doing this, we will see, I want our house to sell for top dollar so maybe I need to wait just in case I made a mistake….

  11. 18


    That is a GREAT job. I am going to get a whole new kitchen…. someday. My kitchen would not look any better with a new color, it is a 70’s kitchen. Thank goodness I am married to a carpenter, (and retired firefighter) I am going to have to “light a fire” under him. We have got to get this taken care of! SOON! Want to come for a visit?

  12. 21


    Yes yes yes! I did this over one week- but I had flat yucky 70’s doors in my previous home. So I added like picture framing molding the doors first. Then sanded and painted like a mad woman.

    When we sold the house- I over heard more than one person say “wow they re-did the kitchen so nice!”…..Yup me and my paint brush and nail gun thank you very much.

    Yours look PERFECT. Really a huge improvement.

    Okay so the REAL comedy? My new houese I am in now? Yup…PINK cabinets like yours. And my house is new. But my kitchen is GINORMOUS so I can’t imagine tackling this on my own. But maybe….

  13. 22


    I’m so impressed! Can’t remember where or how I found you in this blogworld…I’m Shayla from San Diego and now we can be friends cause I like your style. So is that black oil based satin enamel the actual paint and you just did two coats? Didn’t it take forever and a day to dry since it’s oil based? I’ve done a bathroom cabinet re-do, but with stain, chains, hammers, etc to make it look worn….wondering if your process would work on my ugly white stair rail….hmmmmm

  14. 23


    Oh my goodness! What a transformation. But I must say…the previous owner of your house must of been the same person who owned my first house. Same cabinets! But was worse about our house? Was that the counters were salmon pink laminate. [gag] LOVE the way your cabinets turned out!

  15. 24


    i can’t belive you did this by yourself… you can say your superwomen!!!

    very nice… like it alot!

    and any of the people on HGTV would say it was worth every penny you put into it – you doubled your money!!! :)

  16. 26


    oh my gosh! I’ve been wanting to do that for a VERY long time. I haven’t really known where to start. I still want to do it. Is it really all you said was? :)
    What about the all the other cabinet parts that are on the wall? Did you just paint those?

  17. 32


    I have been wanting to do this too – yay!!! Thanks for the pointers – especially the one about your husband being out of town. My husband will be gone for a week this summer – hmmmm!!! I think I have a project in line.

  18. 34

    Nancy says

    Wow, you should be proud! Thanks for showing us. I love before and afters! And I do my best DIY projects when hubby is away too. He used to get a little nervous about going away! Can’t wait to see more of your projects.

  19. 37


    This looks AMAZING!!! So cool. I love black cabinets. Mine are actually white and they look pretty cool, too. Especially with the butcher block countertops. I’ve realized the only thing my hubby and I can agree on is black and white. It’s making for a very monochromatic home. :)

  20. 38

    Judy says

    I HAVE THESE CABINETS! Yeah, the pinkish-pickled icky cabinets. I’m so glad to see you do this and just may get this done myself…off to show your pics to my hubby!

  21. 40


    The cabinets look GREAT! What a transformation! I, too, have pink cabinets (and they were actually PAINTED that color). I would love to paint them, but I don't know what would go well with the pink & ivory ceramic tile on the countertop – probably need to gut the entire thing & start over – and these people thought that they could get full asking price for their house with the kitchen this way…!

  22. 41


    wow the color of the cabinets really does make a difference. We have a job to do with ours now. We don’t even have handles on them and we have lived here for two years!

  23. 45


    Fantastic! I wanted to do my cabinets, but didn’t want to give up sleeping. Ended up remodeling the kitchen professionally a few years ago. But now I’m starting not to like the light beech and want to paint mine dark like yours.

  24. 46


    Excellent job – they look wonderful! I want to paint my cabinets – they are a medium oak. I assume the same procedure would work. And then I can add hardware. It’s a small kitchen, so I think I want to lighten it up to bring in more light and make it feel bigger.

  25. 47


    That is an AMAZING do it yourself job. I have been thinking about painting my dining room furniture (Hubby says NO so I will wait for a long business trip too) but I didn’t know exactly HOW. the sanding and the paint ideas are just what I need to get started.

    Been reading through and getting caught up with you tonight.

    Be blessed.

  26. 48


    I can’t believe how much better the counter looks iwth the new cabinets–AND how much better the cabients look…wow. I really apprecaite your explanation of where you stole time from.

  27. 49


    I was so flattered to you linking today!! I love your blog and appreciate you joining my little party.

    Your cabinets are fabulous….and I’m really coveting your granite.

    Hugs and love,
    Ms. Edie

  28. 50


    Ok, so God is really telling me I can do it now!! I have been battling my kitchen cabinets for MONTHS!! wondering if I can actually do it or not…since i see you did, maybe i just need to buckle up, grit my teeth and DO IT! Thanks for the inspiration!!!

  29. 52

    Anonymous says

    OMG- I have the same cabinets. I was searching the net for ideas to paint them because, like you, I hate them. I too want to go black, but was a bit fearful. After seeing your cupboards, I think I am good to move forward and let the painting begin. I will try to take some before and after pictures. Wish me luck.

  30. 53


    i was searching google for "painting cabinets black" and your blog popped up! Ive actually seen your blog before through Kellys Korner =) I was wondering what color paint you used, we are getting ready to paint our white cabinets black and I love the way yours turned out!

  31. 54


    So I know you posted this forever ago, but I have been trying to convince my husband we needed to paint our cabinets black. He isn't much of a diy'er and told me we shouldn't try. Then last week he told me he was looking into doing it and he stumbled on your blog post and decided we could totally do this! Now I can't wait to get started this and inspiring my husband.

  32. 55

    sharon slauson says

    I wanted to know if you could go into more depth about what paint you used ect. and the steps you took to paint your cabinets distressed black, I am going to attempt this project on my own and need help!

  33. 57

    Maria T says

    Wow! I stumbled here via LifeinGrace, and I must say I LOVE your kitchen cabinets. Wow again!

  34. 58

    Carole Owensby-Sokol says

    I really love your kitchen but have a question. I noticed that your cabinets are not super shiny or glossy. I like the muted color – it adds richness and depth. What kind of paint did you use and did you sand or strip the cabinets first? You have inspired me to tackle my cabinets. Thanks

  35. 59

    patty says

    I just painted my cabinets Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black “satin”…primed them first, then 2 coats of paint….however, they don’t have a glossy feel to them…kinda flat and when you brush your hand across them, it leaves a white ashy look…I’m thinking maybe i need a urethane over top to make it shiny/slicker to the touch…your thoughts??!!

  36. 60

    Brandy says

    Love the cabinets. We are going to do the same thing with ours too. How are they holding up? Did you not use polyurethane over the paint? Hope to hear from you soon :)

  37. 61


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