How to Reconfigure and PaintKitchen Cabinets

before after how to paint kitchen cabinets

We renovated my mother’s house a few years ago. Part of this renovation was updating the kitchen. Hence, we will show you how to paint (and reconfigure) kitchen cabinets.

Preparation Work

We removed the old stove and hood.

Reconfigured the kitchen cabinets

We removed the crown molding in two places, so we could reconfigure the cabinets. We removed the cabinet above the stove and installed a smaller cabinet to make room to install a microwave.

New Cabinet Installation/Reconfiguration

We installed a smaller cabinet above the stove. We bought a stock cabinet at Home Depot with a door similar to the other cabinet doors. It was a different finish; however, all the cabinets will be painted, which will make it blend. (This picture is actually after we primed the kitchen cabinet frames.

We moved the tall end cabinet about 3 inches (to make room for a larger refrigerator) and inserted a piece of wood to fill the gap where the cabinet was moved to make room for the refrigerator. (This picture was also taken after we primed the cabinets.) This piece of wood will also be painted to blend with the cabinets. 

Here is a closeup.

The next step was to reinstall the crown molding and caulk it in preparation for painting.

Prepare for Painting

We removed all the cabinets doors and drawers. To help us know what drawer and door went where, we numbered the inside of each door and drawer.

We cleaned the cabinets, lightly sanded, and then cleaned the cabinet surfaces again after sanding. Also, we did this to the cabinet frames and then to the doors (both sides) and drawer surfaces.

Priming the Cabinets

We primed the cabinet frames and then both sides of the doors and the surface of each drawer with Zinsser primer. 

Painting the Cabinets

We used Behr Paint (satin) from Home Depot. The color is Silky White – PPU7-12. It is an off-white.

We painted the island cabinets Ozone PPU 13-14. It is a blueish-gray.

    1. We painted all the cabinet frames.
    2. We painted each side of the doors.
    3. We painted each drawer facing.

We then painted a second coat on the cabinet frames. Notice that I painted the inside edge of each opening.

 Then we painted a second coat on each side of the doors.

We painted a second coat on each drawer facing.

Rehanging All the Doors and Drawers

Thankfully, we had numbered all the doors and drawers, so it simplified this process.

Installing Knobs

The knobs were purchased from Home Depot.

We created a template from cardboard and then used this template to mark each cabinet door and drawer with a pencil.

We drilled holes in each door and drawer and screwed each knob in place.

Here are pictures of the finished cabinets with the appliances installed. We also installed a new faucet.

These pictures show the final result after the new flooring. 

My Mom is pleased with the result!

To learn how we installed vinyl plank flooring over the tile floor, click HERE.

Let us know if you have any questions or what you think about how to reconfigure and paint kitchen cabinets by commenting below.


  1. Jackie Joiner on 11/15/2019 at 11:27 AM

    Your Momma is a blessed woman to have you and Neal taking such wonderful care of her! And, I know y’all enjoy every minute of it. Her kitchen is beautiful!! Give her my love.

    • Suzanne on 11/15/2019 at 7:11 PM

      You are so sweet to post this. We are thrilled to have my Mom living down the street from us.
      She loves her kitchen!
      Thanks for reading my blog.

  2. Jennifer on 12/13/2019 at 11:20 AM

    I have been toying with what to do with my kitchen cabinets. They are sturdy, but need updating. Painting is a good option. Thank you for the helpful tips.

    • Suzanne on 12/13/2019 at 5:54 PM

      We have opted to paint our kitchen cabinets in several home renovation projects over the years and each time we were pleased with the results. Just make sure you do all the prep work so the paint will adhere to the wood. It is worth the effort!
      Thanks for reading our blog!

  3. Kim Gay on 01/05/2020 at 1:19 PM

    Hey Suzanne thank you for the helpful post. My husband and I have decided to paint our kitchen cabinets and I have been researching to find out the best process. Did you use a brush or a foam roller to paint the cabinets? Also I’ve recently found some self-leveling cabinet paint that will help cover up brush strokes. Have you had any experience with this kind of paint? Thank you

    • Suzanne on 01/05/2020 at 6:08 PM

      Hey Kim,

      We used a brush and a small roller. We used the brush to paint in all the crevices and the roller to paint the smooth surfaces.

      I have read a little about self-leveling cabinet paint, but have never used it. If you do use it, let me know how it works. Also, don’t forget to use primer on the doors prior to painting. If not, there is a likelihood the paint will peel. We learned this the hard way. ?

      Thanks again for reading our blog! We really appreciate it!


  4. Jessica on 01/11/2020 at 9:07 AM

    This is beautiful! I am now inspired to do mine. I was wondering about painting the inside of them. I am glad to see you didn’t. Now, to decide a color!

    • Suzanne on 01/11/2020 at 12:12 PM

      Hey Jessica,

      Thanks so much! We did not paint the inside of the cabinets, but we did paint the inside edge to give it a clean, finished look. I used a small roller to do all the inside edges and a paintbrush to do the inside corners. Remember that prep work is essential (we have learned this the hard way ?).

      Let me know how it goes!

      Thanks for reading my blog!


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