The cost of painting cabinets will depend on these factors:

  • Wood type – Oak is harder to paint then maple or birch
  • How many doors and drawer fronts. This is usually the most time consuming part as these all need to be cleaned, sanded, and painted on both sides.
  • Profiles and details – how much detail do the door profiles and crown molding have? Sanding and cleaning profiles takes a lot of time.
  • Linear feet of exposed surface area. Does you kitchen have an Island or peninsula? The ends and backs are large surfaces that require extra time and paint.
  • Layout of the kitchen. When masking the cabinets for spray painting, the layout can make a huge difference as far as how much masking needs to be done.
  • Glass cabinets. Open cabinets and glass door cabinets are usually painted on the inside as well. Most companies have a price per cabinet when painting the interiors.
  • Misc items. Wine racks, plate racks, tambour doors, or island corbels are examples of things that may add to the cost of painting your cabinets.
  • Glazing. Glazing gives a unique look to painted cabinets, but is quite labor intensive. This can increase your price by 25% or more depending on how ornate or detailed the cabinets are.
  • Two-tone (2 colors for cabinets, such as light colored upper cabinets and dark colors for base or island cabinets). This can increase your price some as it will require additional paint to be ordered. Also, additional time is needed for cleaning spray equipment between colors.

Average Price for Painting Cabinets

The average cost for painting cabinets is between $3,900 and $5,900. Most cabinet painters base their price on either linear footage, or on door or opening count.

Beware of prices posted online by large websites like HomeAdvisor or Thumbtack, that give quite low price ranges for cabinet painting. Prices can vary a lot depending on your location and the type of paints that your painter will be using. The lowest price is not necessarily the best price. You may end up with a job that needs to be redone in only a few years. Always be sure to find out what products and methods will be used when hiring a cabinet painter. See what we prefer.

Glazed and painted cabinet door

Can I save money by painting my own cabinets?

Absolutely! However be prepared to spend a lot of time and energy in cleaning, sanding, and doing multiple coats of paint. For most people, it turns out to be a bigger job than expected. It can be done, if you persevere! To see what all you’ll need, check out this post – Paint Your Cabinets Like a Pro.

Oak cabinet doors painted two-tone
Want some color in your kitchen? Paint the upper cabinets white, and use another color for the bottom!

Since most of the cost of painting cabinets is in the labor, you can save a lot of money by painting them yourself. You will however want to buy a sander, vacuum and other painting supplies. Be prepared to spend between 500 and 1,000 dollars depending on what supplies you need. If you want to buy professional equipment, you will need to spend a lot more.

Some people opt for the option to paint the cabinet frames themselves, and let a professional spray finish the doors since the doors are the prominent part of the kitchen. This will give your kitchen a professional look without all the expense of having a professional spray the faces of your cabinets in your house. This can save you a lot of money, as well as save you the hassle of painting all the doors, which are one of the most time-consuming parts of the project.

Replace your cabinet doors with Shaker painted doors
Do you have a dark kitchen? Brighten it with brand new white shaker doors!

Why is painting cabinets so expensive?

Professional cabinet painters invest a lot of money in quality tools to do the best job possible. Remember painting cabinets much different from other painting, such as painting the walls of your house. Cabinet painters invest in high-quality vacuums to eliminate as much dust as possible, professional spray equipment for fine finishing, and tools that help them do the job efficiently. Also a professional painter is going to use more expensive paints, and not just trim paints found at a local paint store.

Best Sander for painting cabinets. Surfprep Sander
Surfprep Sander
Best vacuum for painting cabinets. Festool Vacuum
Festool Vacuum

Is it worth it to paint cabinets?

If the job is done correctly, this will definitely increase the value of your home and be a big plus if you’re looking to sell it. A professionally painted kitchen, when done well, will be worth it – however on the flipside, a poor job with lower quality paints and sloppy painting, may actually decrease your homes value. So make sure to use the right materials or hire a pro that uses only the best materials and methods.

Is it Cheaper to Paint or Replace My Cabinets?

Painting your cabinets is still a better option than replacing them if your cabinets are in good condition. You may however want to update the look even more by replacing the doors for a more modern style.

You can also upgrade to new soft close hinges on the doors. Also, check your drawers and slides. This may be a good time to upgrade these as well. This will significantly increase your cost, but can give you the look and feel like a brand new kitchen. You cost will still be much less than the price of new cabinets. At the same time, it takes much less time to paint or reface your cabinets than to replace them because of all the demolition and construction that needs to happen for new cabinets.

Install new hinges on your cabinet doors

Cost of painting kitchen cabinets versus Refacing

Refacing your cabinets by adding new doors, can be another good option for your kitchen if your budget allows for that. The price for refacing is about twice or three times as much as a paint job. Or about 40 – 60 percent of the price of a new kitchen installation.

Cabinets can be re-faced with either a painted or wood stained veneer, or you can simply paint the cabinet faces, and add new doors painted to match. Veneers are very time consuming, so simply painting your cabinet boxes and replacing the doors is one of the most economical ways to reface a kitchen.

Oak cabinets refaced with veneers and new Shaker Painted Doors
Veneer over oak – new Shaker Doors

Is it better to spray or brush paint kitchen cabinets?

A professional painter can probably brush and roll the cabinets quite nicely. This could save you a little money since there isn’t as much masking. On a good brush and roll job, you shouldn’t be able to tell the difference between that and a spray job when standing about 6 feet back.

However nothing compares to a sprayed finish. Spraying your cabinets will probably cost you more since it requires more labor for masking, but in the end you will have a professional factory like finish that can’t be beat with a brush and roller.

How to mask kitchen for spray painting cabinets
Masking required for spray painting

One compromise could be to brush and roll the cabinet faces, and then professionally spray the doors or have your doors professionally sprayed by a profesional. The doors are the most prominent part of the kitchen, and will hide some of the brush marks.

Do painting kitchen cabinets chip easily?

A quality paint should not chip easily. However, you should treat your paint like you would the paint on a new car. Remember any paint can scratch or chip if hit with a rock or something hard. Cast-iron pots, metal utensils, and so on can chip or scratch paint no matter how good the quality. But by taking proper care, your paint should last a long time.

Ask your painting contractor for a little bit of touchup paint after the job is complete.

Be careful to not clean your cabinets with harsh chemicals. Use water and a mild soap like Dawn dishwashing detergent. Keep your cabinets clean and you will enjoy them for a long time.

How do I find a quality cabinet painter?

Begin by looking for someone in the cabinet industry that specializes in painting cabinets. Some painting companies also offer cabinet painting as a service. Many of those companies may not use the same quality paints as someone dedicated to painting cabinets. Painting cabinets is a specialized field that requires different prep, primers, and top coats. Again, make sure to check what products and methods will be used.

Spray painting kitchen cabinets. Apollo 7700 Sprayer with PPS cup.
Spraying cabinets

In the end, whether you hire a professional, or decide to paint them yourself, you will be happy if you take the time to do it correctly! The lowest price doesn’t always get you the results you want!

Happy painting!

Raymond

Completed kitchen - painted existing doors and cabinet faces.
Job complete!