Can You Paint Laminate Kitchen Cabinets? Expert advice

Kitchen cabinets are the backbone of any modern kitchen. If they’re well designed, they can enhance the experience of cooking and eat in the kitchen. Cabinets can be designed cheaply using painting. However, with uncertainty due to its rough surface, a problem is raised, can you paint laminated kitchen cabinets?

The cheapest option is painting laminate kitchen cabinets. It’s not a good idea to use laminate for painting, but it can be accomplished. You will probably be more satisfied if you consider the paint job a temporary solution until you have the money to buy new cabinetry. Follow these steps to achieve the best results possible.

Painting a laminate kitchen cabinet is easy if you know the proper techniques and materials. However, there is a slight difference when compared to painting other surfaces. Several types of paint include acrylic, oil, and satin enamel. Prime paint helps reduce the glossy nature of the surface of the wood.

Why should you Paint Kitchen Cabinets?

Replacing your cabinets may be the most expensive option, but it’s not necessarily the best one. Cabinets constitute nearly three-quarters of a new kitchen’s cost. Stock cabinets are the way to go if you’re looking for a less expensive option than installing new cabinets. Another option is refacing.

You can add a few glass doors to your existing laminate cabinets to give them an updated look. You can find quality companies in your area who will perform the work for you, or you can save money by doing it yourselves.

You can spend a little more on the actual wood cabinet door and drawer hardware or go with premium thermal rigid foil. Prices vary depending on the type of door, frame style, and construction (framed or frameless).

Can You Paint Laminate Kitchen Cabinets

Can You Paint Laminate Kitchen Cabinets? Yes! here is Step by step guides 

Before you start painting laminate cabinets, there are several things you’ll need to do first, including repairing any cracks, sanding, and thoroughly cleaning your cabinets. Once your doors are finished, we’ll show you the best way to prime and paint laminated cabinets.

Things you need 


What type of paint do you need to paint laminate kitchen cabinets

  1. Sand your cabinets to get them ready for painting.

The first thing you need to do before starting your kitchen makeover is get everything ready. Sanding is crucial to finishing a piece of furniture, as the finish needs something to adhere to.

Laminate is a smooth plastic surface, so it doesn’t have the natural grooves or pores of real wood. It makes it harder for the paint to stick to the surface. Sanding it down roughened it up and gave the colour more grooves for the paint to sit in.

For most applications, I’d recommend using 240-grit sandpaper. You could do it manually or with a sander.

We don’t want to sand the surface too much because we don’t want any visible scratches. However, we want to rough it enough, so the finish looks better. Sanding can also improve the look of your kitchen cabinets by removing any stubborn dirt or grease that might be stuck to their surfaces.

A shiny laminated finish requires a little more sanding compared to a dull laminated finish; therefore, adjust your sanding accordingly

  1. Clean your cabinets thoroughly

Before painting kitchen cabinet doors, you should give them a thorough cleaning. After all, painting something over grease or dirt will look cheap and won’t give us that nice satin finish.

It’s also just good hygiene!

To clean your tiles and laminate flooring, you can use any type of tile and laminate cleaner available at most hardware stores. If the cabinets are dirty, spray some cleaner on them and leave it for 30 minutes before wiping it off with a damp cloth. If you need to repeat the process, do so until you get the desired results.

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Mould can grow in any area where there is moisture. If this is the situation, create a solution that consists of one part bleach to three parts water and then wipe the cabinets down with a sponge or cloth soaked in this solution.

It is essential to clean the surface before applying the paint because if it does not adhere properly to the surface, it will be difficult to remove the excess paint later.

  1. Remove any screws from the back of the cabinet and take off the faceplate.

You should be able to remove any fittings such as door handles and hinges that are not painted from the cabinet. You can change the colour of the handle by following steps 1 through 9. Put them aside for now, and let’s finish painting the kitchen.

You would ideally like to position the cabinet door on a flat work surface protected against any stray drops of paint and primer. We’ve seen people paint the cabinets while they’re still attached, but it’s dangerous, and we don’t want anyone to get hurt.

Keep your kitchen safe by using proper tools and techniques

  1. Apply primer

You can either apply primer before applying laminate or prep the surface and then apply the laminate. I think using one or two coats of primer is best because it ensures that everything goes as well as possible.

You should always err on the side of caution!

Using a microfiber roller or a paintbrush, apply Adhesion Promoter to the cabinet door, beginning with the edges. After it has dried completely, let it sit for about four or five hours. You can apply a second primer layer if you wish; however, it isn’t necessary.

You can sometimes find “Tile and Laminated Primers” in a hardware shop, but otherwise, you can utilize something called “Adhesive Promoting Primer’ for the same result.

Laminate kitchen cabinets can be added to any room in the house for a minimal cost

  1. Apply the first coat!

Finally! It’s time to paint the kitchen cabinets!

Apply your first coat with a brush or roller as evenly as possible. If you use both, apply the second coat using a different tool. Everyone has their way of painting. Some people prefer to start at the edges; others prefer to paint from the middle outwards.

With a flat laminate surface, a roller can make this process much quicker and more straightforward and ensure the lovely finished look we’re after.

If your laminate kitchen cabinets are not straight, they may be easier to paint using a roller and brush.

If you want to buy the best paint for your laminate cabinets, you need to look at the paint specifically designed for laminate cabinets, not just any paint. However, if you have prepared the surface properly, you can also use any high-quality wood paint as a laminating cabinet paint. If you’re unsure which finish is the best for your kitchen cabinets, we compared four different finishes.

  1. Smooth out the first coat of primer

You were feathering the paint so that your laminated kitchen cabinets have an even surface when they’re finished, and you don’t notice anything in the paint. Hold your brush at a 90-degree angle and gently spread the paint across the canvas.

Many people like to follow the grain or design of the finish if it exists.

After applying your first coat, roll the roller from the top to even out any streaks you might have created. To even out the streaks, repeat the process along the width. The goal is to achieve a perfectly smooth finish!

Please leave it to dry for at least four hours before doing anything else, including applying makeup.

  1. If you want to apply a second coat, apply one.

If you’ve got some time, I’d recommend applying another coat of paint. After applying the first coat, let it dry for at least four hours and then check if it feels dry to the touch. If not, apply another coat. Make sure the edges of the cabinet doors are dry before applying any new paint. Excess paint tends to accumulate in the corners of the doors.

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Because paint dries on a smooth surface, it takes longer to dry than it would if applied to a porous surface like natural wood.

Before applying your second layer of paint, use a gentle sanding block with 240-grit paper. Don’t take any of the paint off while you’re doing this. Then repeat steps 5 and 6 with the second coat, finish it off and leave it to dry for at least four to six hours.


The second coat of paint is good for the soul

  1. Sand down the final coat

After your final coats of paint are dry, consider applying a clear coat of polyurethane if you want to give your kitchen cabinets a lovely glossy finish.

To be clear, you don’t need to prime and lacquer your laminate floor if you don’t want to. However, the best results come from doing so. Primer and lacquers shouldn’t be underrated.

Then, after applying the final coat of paint, use 400-grit paper to smooth out any rough edges and give the surface a nice, clean finish. Don’t sand too hard, or else you might remove too much paint from the wall. The goal is to create a seamless experience for the user.

It shouldn’t look overly painted.

  1. Don’t let your painted laminate cabinet door dry out!

You’re almost finished with your kitchen makeover! It’s time to let your painted laminate doors dry for eight hours.

After 8 hours, you should be able to feel the door dry to the touch. However, keep in mind that the paint won’t fully cure and reach maximum harden ­ness for around one week, so you might be better off waiting until then to use them.


It would help if you always used proper tools when working with wood. Be sure to protect the finished surface for at least one week before using your new kitchen. Please don’t wash them too often (because it will take the paint off), but don’t let them get too dirty.

Having door less kitchen cabinets for one week is probably worth it if you can afford it. However, I understand you may not be able to do this because you have small children and pets.

  1. Reattach your handles and fittings and spray-paint them

After your cabinet doors are dry and ready for finishing, it’s time to attach your hardware and finish your cabinets. Make sure that the colour of your kitchen cabinets matches the colour and style of your door handles. Otherwise, your paint job will be wasted.

If you want to switch out your fittings for a new color, I’d suggest covering them with something like cardboard or plastic and then painting them. Spray painting door handles and hinges are the easiest way to paint them.

However, some door handles can be plain looking and may not match the overall look of your new painted kitchen cabinetry, so you might want to consider replacing them with ones that fit better with the new look. After all, replacing old fittings is much cheaper than replacing entire cabinets.

How can I paint laminate cabinets without sanding

Can You Paint Laminate Kitchen Cabinets: FAQs


How much paint will I need?

You’ll want to know roughly what amount of paint you need when buying cabinet paint for laminated wood. Fortunately, you don’t need a lot of money.

A general rule of thumb is that one gallon of paint covers approximately 350 square feet of space. If you’re not just painting one cabinet but an entire room, you need to use a roller instead of a brush.

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If you had one quart of paint, you could cover these two cabinets with 25 coats of paint!

If you’re painting just a few kitchen cupboards, then you should be fine using either a US half gallon tin or a US quart size paint bucket. You don’t need any big purchases.


What type of paint do you need to paint laminate kitchen cabinets?

You can use any paint for painting laminate kitchen cabinets, but you need a specific “Tile and Laminated” paint which you usually find at hardware stores. However, if you have prepared, primed, and sanded the surface properly, you can use any high-quality paints you would typically use to paint an authentic wood cabinet.


If unsure, choose paint designed for these surfaces.

How can I paint laminate cabinets without sanding?

You can technically paint laminate cabinetry without sanding it down, but I would not recommend doing so. You should clean your laminated door thoroughly before painting and employ an Adhesion Promoter if you aren’t going to sand down your door.

The smooth plastic surface doesn’t allow for the paint to stick to it naturally so I would recommend priming and sand­ing the surfaces.

Do you need to prime laminate before painting?

To get the best results when painting over laminate, you should prime it first.

If you don’t pre-prime it, you risk bubbles forming and making the finish look messy and unbalanced. You might end up having to repaint the wall.

How long does laminate paint take to dry?

It takes around 6 hours for paint for laminate cabinets to dry. It’s best to leave at least 6 hours between coats to allow the colour to dry before applying the next layer fully. You may need to set some time aside for the job because of the drying times.

Once the job has been completed, the colour will take approximately one week to cure and achieve its maximum hardness fully. If possible, don’t use the doors for at least one week after the incident. If you need them to be reattached sooner, be careful not to damage them or clean them thoroughly during the first week.

How do you tell if your cabinets are laminate?

Not sure if your kitchen cabinets are made from natural wood or laminate? To determine whether the doors are laminated, look at their sides. If you do indeed have a laminating surface, you’ll usually be able to tell where the two surfaces meet.

You may not be able to tell just by looking at the door, but you might be able to tell by cutting into it. If you can’t tell by cutting, you’re probably dealing with two layers of wood.

If you’re stuck, ask a professional or someone good at fixing things for help. You might also want to know which wood is best for painted cabinets.

Can you paint fake wood cabinets?

If they’re made from laminated wood, you can paint them any colour. If this is the situation, you can use these steps to the sand, prime, and stain fake wood cabinets.

If you want to use fake wood, you might need to look for different instructions

Bottom Line

If you paint a laminate surface, be sure to give yourself enough time to get the job done right. The longer you can wait for the coat to dry, the better its finish will usually be.

If you paint something in your kitchen, try to remove the cupboards first.

Ensure you use enough coats and give them enough time to dry before applying another coat.

Painting kitchen cabinets is an expensive process, but it can enhance the value and aesthetics of your kitchen once it’s completed.

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