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How Much It Costs to Paint Cabinets

One of the most popular renovations we’re seeing at Kind Home Solutions is painting cabinets that were previously stained. This popular kitchen update is one of the most cost effective ways to dramatically improve the appearance of your kitchen. Painting cabinets is dollar for dollar one of the best investments you can make to increase the value of your home and bring new life to your interior.

Ask yourself these 6 questions when determining how much painting cabinets costs:

  1. How many doors and drawers do you have? 
  2. How many areas will you be painting cabinets in? 
  3. Are you replacing your hardware? 
  4. What type of paint products will you be using? 
  5. Are you only painting cabinets or are you painting other rooms as well? 
  6. Where will your cabinets be painted? 

We’ll walk you through each of these questions to help you understand what this renovation will cost before you begin budgeting or meeting with companies for quotes.

How Many Cabinet Doors & Drawers Do You Have?

Image of black kitchen cabinets w/question marks on doors and drawers

The first step to determine your estimated cost is to count the number of cabinet drawers and doors that you wish to paint. You can typically ignore the sides of an island and the fixed decorative pieces that might be a part of the cabinets. You only need to count the actual doors and drawers that will be removed during the painting process. The majority of cabinet painting cost is determined by the fixed time that goes into taking cabinets apart and putting them back together. Once you’ve determined how many doors and drawers you want to paint, the next question you need to ask yourself is…

How Many Rooms With Cabinets Will You Be Painting In?

Most professional painters will spray your cabinet boxes, doors and drawers. Spraying gets rid of any excess texture and helps achieve that smooth factory finish! While spraying is quicker and looks much better, it does take additional prep work. Each room you paint in will need to be fully prepped and protected with plastic and paper to make sure no paint gets where it shouldn’t. So, we recommend adding around $100-200 for each room that needs to be prepped for the painting process. Typically these rooms will be bathrooms, kitchens, or even basement bar areas. 

Are You Replacing Your Hardware?

If you keep the same hardware on your cabinets you’ll obviously be able to save a little money. However, If you decide to replace your old hardware you will need to purchase those new handles or pulls. Most cabinet handles or pulls cost $3-10 per door or drawer. If your new cabinet hardware is a different size than the pre-existing hardware you’ll need to drill a new set of holes into the cabinet doors and drawers. This will add additional labor cost to the project. If you refinish your cabinets yourself you’ll need to have a jig handy to drill those new holes. Plan to budget between an additional $5-20 per door and drawer if you update the hardware.

What Type of Paint & Primer Will Be Used?

-Paint

The type of paint you use is arguably the most important factor to consider when repainting cabinets. There’s a plethora of paint products on the market designed for different types of projects. This can definitely make choosing the right product an overwhelming process. While top paint manufacturers have several different products you can use, it’s best to use a product designed specifically for cabinets. At Kind Home Solutions we commonly use Sherwin Williams Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel paint, which is designed for cabinets, doors and trim. You can find paint products starting as low as $25 per gallon and some products as high as $150 a gallon. Most paint products that are specifically designed to be used on cabinets are in the $100-120 range. 

Image of bin shellac primer can next to Sherwin Williams Emerald Urethane paint

-Primer

You’ll also need to prime all of the cabinet doors, drawers and boxes before you apply your top coat. Most high quality primers will cost $40-60 per gallon. At Kind Home Solutions we typically use this shellac primer called B-I-N by Zinsser. You can expect to use 2-3 gallons of primer and 3-5 gallons of paint on most cabinet refinishing projects. This means that your total materials costs for paint and primer will be somewhere between $380-$800. Please keep in mind this doesn’t include your tape, plastic, paper, and any other tools or materials you’ll need. On average you can plan to spend additional $150-$250 for all of these miscellaneous items you’ll need.

Are You Only Painting Cabinets or Are You Painting Rooms As Well?

When tackling a cabinet painting project you should really consider painting more than just the cabinets. It may sound counterintuitive, but most professional painters will charge more if you only paint your cabinets. That’s because there are several steps during the cabinet painting process that require dry time. This dry time directly impacts your painters ability to actively work on your project. This leaves them to literally watch paint dry! However, if you paint more than just the cabinets, the painters can work on other portions of your project during that dry time. This helps to drive down the overall cost of your painting project and it will give you some fresh color on your walls to match your cabinets! 

If painting your cabinets is a DIY project take into consideration the time you want to spend painting and the extra material cost you may incur from painting additional walls or rooms. 

Where Will Your Cabinets Be Painted?

The last major factor to consider is where the doors and drawers will be staged for the painting process. There are two common ways this task is completed during a cabinet painting project. Method one is used when painters have an offsite workshop where they take the cabinets to be painted. This can increase the length of the project, but can also potentially drive down the overall cost. Since their work area and spray booth will already be prepared and ready to go, it can cut out some of the material cost. If your painter uses this process, please consider the fact that your items will being taken off site. This opens up more room for items getting potentially lost or damaged. 

The second option is to use a space within the home. A garage or a basement are great areas to create a temporary spray booth/work area. In many cases this does decrease the length of the project but there can be slightly higher labor and material costs when painting everything on site. 

A garage room prepped in paper and plastic. Three painters painting detached cabinet doors and drawers

Conclusion

There are a lot of variables to consider when estimating the cost to refinish cabinets. On average, most professional painting companies will quote a cabinet painting project between $80-$150 per door and drawer. You should use the questions above to help determine a rough estimate for your cabinet painting project. For example, if you paint your cabinets onsite, with new hardware and in multiple rooms, your cost could be closer to $150/door and drawer. However, if you only paint one set of cabinets and decide to paint an additional room or two, you can expect to be on the lower end of that range.

If you plan on doing this as a DIY painting project you can still plan on spending $50-75 per door and drawer depending on the products you choose. 

Thank you for taking the time to learn about how much it costs to paint cabinets. We hope this helped you get a good idea of what your own cabinet painting project will cost. If you enjoyed this article and want more information on cabinet painting, check out our blog, How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets Like a Professional. And if you would like more painting tips, tricks and guidance, follow us on Instagram and subscribe to our YouTube channel. #kindnessmatters