Design and Decor

How Much Does It Cost To Paint Kitchen Cabinets?

Homes are constantly upgrading to keep up with the demands of the industry. One of the most common upgrades is painting your cabinetry. Fresh paint goes a long way. With trends featuring white or gray color schemes, many wonder how much does it cost to paint kitchen cabinets?

How Much Does It Cost To Paint Kitchen Cabinets On Average?

Before getting into the nitty-gritty let’s just take a look at a couple of numbers that represent the averages when it comes to painting kitchen cabinets. In general, you can count on the average cost to paint cabinets calculated to somewhere between $3 and $10 per square foot. If you are working with a professional then you can count on $30 to $60 per linear square foot. This includes materials and professional labor and should be no additional costs. 

Don’t be surprised if you are working with a painting contractor if they charge somewhere between $50 to $100 per door or $120 to $170 per cabinet. Drawers usually come in between $20 and $30. In total, we are looking at between $900 to $3800 on average for the total cost. But a lot more goes into this so let’s break it down.

Hiring A Professional

It can vary in a number of ways. Labor costs, material costs, and the condition of your cupboards are all variable things. Material costs may be the most consistent but there are still factors to consider there.

Let’s break this down.

  1. Your labor expense  are going to change from company to company. It’s a relatively competitive market so you don’t need to go with the first painter you see. Having said that if you are going to pay somebody to do the project then ensure they know what they are doing. Always ask for testimonials.
  2. Materials expenses are the most consistent things you will find from company to company. Depending on the price of goods and the type of paint you use, this will change the overall expenses. Painters will let you know what paints they typically use and what is recommended.
  3. The condition of your cabinetry is certainly a factor. If more prep work has to be done this is going to factor into your labor charges. If more materials need to be used this also adds on to the bill. So if you need to sand it down then the labor and materials for this is going to add onto the total bill
  4. Cabinet layout is the last thing to consider. The more difficult your cabinets are to paint because of a layout or custom design, the more it is going to charge you. This is because in general it will take more time and care than a straightforward job.

How Much Does It Cost To Prep The Kitchen Cabinets?

Before you can consider the cost of the project you have to ask if there will be any prep. Darker colors and cabinets that are looking to go in a lighter direction may need to be stripped and sanded before anything else. The range that most professional painters will give is $5 to $10 per square foot. If they have to apply a putty to fill in any pieces this adds on an additional $2 to $3 per square foot in costs.

Because this can easily tack onto the bill some residential homeowners like to take these matters into their own hands. While this may sound like a good DIY project make sure to watch plenty of videos on how to do this. The reason being is that some homeowners are shocked to learn they caused more damage than good and end up paying more in repairs down the line.

It’s also never a good idea to just skip the process in general. Even a fresh coat or spray paint will still show issues that need repairs. This can lead to a bigger waste of money if done the wrong way as well.

Looking At Things From A Labor Cost Perspective

If you have a large kitchen your labor expenses  are going to be on the higher end. This is because you have a larger surface area and that’s why it’s important to understand the different types of labor charges. Labor per hour is done not on a numerical value like linear squares but instead on a per hour basis. In this case, you can see anywhere between $20 to $50 an hour.

We mentioned other ways costs can be appraised in terms of linear square or per cabinet. However, some contractors prefer to work on a square foot basis and usually charge between $5 to $10 for this metric. It’s important to ask what the contractor works with because sometimes you can end up paying a lot more than you imagined. A free estimate is always great to ask for or take if offered.

Cost to Glaze Cabinets

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You may have not heard of the process called glazing but it’s picking up steam in regards to kitchen trends. Glazing is done by adding a semi-transparent second color to the already painted first color and coating of the cabinets. What it does is add a layer of depth and dimension making the cabinets look high-end.

The glazing process is put on and then hand-wiped off which brings both larger material and labor expenses. But the darkened profiles of the cabinets is often worth it for most. This is an expensive option and is usually priced out between $10 to $25 per square foot. For reference those who have a standard 200-square-foot kitchen, you are looking at between $2,000 and $5,000 for this service. This varies by the number of cabinets you have.

How Much Does It Cost To Paint Kitchen Cabinets White?

How Much Does It Cost To Paint Kitchen Cabinets

White is one of the trendiest colors to choose from when it comes to repainting your cupboards. But many wonder the cost of painting them with white? Since it will require multiple coatings, some possible stripping of the last color, and more prep work, it’s one of the more costly arrangements. You’ll need to use high-quality finishes that don’t bleed through.

In general, you should count on it being anywhere between $30 and $60 per linear foot. The worse condition of the cabinets the higher costs you can expect because white will show damage easily. To compare this price to the square footage you can count it being between $3 and $10.

What Is Square Footage Verse Lineage Footage?

It’s not common to know what linear footage is. So with all this pricing, you may be wondering how these costs are being calculated. A linear foot basis is a way of measuring how much materials you use which is a very accurate way to price things. Since contractors will pay for the price of materials first themselves this is the usual way of charging clients because it works out easier.

However, some contractors prefer to use square footage. This is something most of us are more familiar with. Square footage is sometimes the route a contractor will go. If you need to know the cost of painting your cabinets and prefer to use square footage ask if this is a possibility. Sometimes contractors will use whichever price comes in higher.

To Paint It By Yourself

How Much Does It Cost To Paint Kitchen Cabinets

The numbers listed above can be scary in terms of the cost to paint your kitchen cabinets. If you have a small kitchen there is a good chance you may be able to do the projects yourself. Some people even tackle their large kitchens if they have the patience and time. You’ll need to handle just about everything from getting your cabinet paints to understanding what prep work needs to be done. Thank goodness for YouTube.

Average Costs To Prepare For

We know that you don’t have to pay for labor. This is a big saver as long as you don’t have to take too much time off from work. In fact, if you do it on a weekend you limit your costs a lot. But you still need to pay for materials and this price can vary depending on whether you get satin paint, latex paint, or a number of other options. Let’s break down the expenses:


The last thing you want to do is use old paint. This is not going to turn out well and ultimately will not be a money saver. The best way to do this is just to buy a new one. It is going to have a lot of different prices. High prices don’t necessarily mean great quality but it is something you don’t want to cut corners with. Read reviews to ensure the highest quality.

Latex is certainly the most popular but some professionals like to use high-quality lacquer paint. Someone who works at a paint shop should be able to tell you how much you need and the best kind to get. While you are there you will also need to pick up paint tape and a brush. Don’t forget your paint trays as well.

If you have to do prep work then you are also going to need things like sanders or sandpaper as well as a scraper. Sanding can cause some damage so ensure you know what you’re doing by watching plenty of videos.

List of products needed:

On average you can spend between $200 and $600 to do it yourself compared to professional painters who may charge you in the thousands. What will be the real cost of things is the time investment. This is where you save most of the money but also pay the price for your own time. If done correctly most will say it is worth it. On average it takes people between 30 to 60 hours to do a full kitchen repaint. This differs by the amount of prep work that you need to put in..

Should You Roll, Spray, Or Brush Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets?

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How you paint them is another thing to consider. Most would agree that the easiest way is to use a professional paint sprayer. This will charge you on average $40 to $100 a day to rent from a paint store or home utilities store. Some people believe in taking the short route by leaving the doors intact. Ultimately this can cause chips and damage to the hinge and repairs down the road. This makes it slightly less of a labor-intensive job and more cost effective by speeding up the process.

How Long Should Painted Cabinets Cure?

If you are going to hire someone or even do the work yourself you should understand that cabinets take time to dry. They take 7 to 10 days just to dry out but to cure it, expect something longer like 30 days in total. All the cabinet doors should be left open if you do the work yourself.

Is It cheaper To Just Replace My Kitchen Cabinets?

If you don’t want to do the work yourself and you are tinkering with the idea of hiring someone to professionally paint your cabinets. You are also probably wondering if it is just as cheap to replace them fully.

Replacing your cabinets fully can be a great idea if they are really busted or your kitchen is totally outdated. However, it is going to cost a lot more than if you just hire a painter for a fresh look. Generally speaking, for middle-of-the-line material it can cost $3,200 to $8,500. The price goes up if you are looking at using a higher-end material. This is between $12,500 and $18,000 especially if they are customized.

Above is the before, during and after photos of our 105 sq.ft. kitchen. It cost us around $7,500 to replace the whole kitchen cabinetry that we ordered from Lowe’s not including the cost of countertop and sink. We paid $11,000 for labor. See, Kitchen Remodel Plan, if you are considering totally renovating your kitchen.

Knowing Whether To Hire Or Do The Job Yourself

It is worth taking a look between the expense to paint kitchen cabinets professionally and the expense to paint by yourself. Of course, the expense is significantly lower when you look to do the job yourself. However, it can be worth it to hire a professional one if you don’t know what you are doing and you have the funds to do so.

If you do decide to take on the project you’ll need to consider the condition of the cabinets and whether they are in good shape or not. Aside from that, you need to use a recommended primer for each specific type of cabinet door material and you need to do the recommended prep work to make your painting project a success. For example, the recommended primer for wood veneer cabinets is shellac based primer and you will be required to sand all your cabinets before you can start painting. To learn more about the itt and prep work required for each type of cabinet materials, click here!

This determines how much prep work you’ll need to put in. The prep work can be more difficult than the painting in some cases and you may need to hire a professional anyway.

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