The kitchen is one of the most important spaces in any house or apartment. Not only do you use it to prepare food, but it’s also often a place to gather friends and family.
As a result, you want your kitchen to look good as new. However, daily cooking can put your kitchen under a lot of stress, leaving it looking weathered in no time.
Renovating a kitchen is an expensive job, but fortunately, there is a way to make it shine again. A simple paint job can breathe new life into one of the most important parts of your kitchen — the cabinets. Let us show what it will cost and how you can do it yourself.
The Cost of Painting Kitchen Cabinets
Hiring a Professional
Let’s get the most important question out of the way: how much should you expect to pay? Well, professionally painting the cabinets of a small kitchen still in decent condition should cost you around $1000-$2000 including labor and material costs.
However, having a large kitchen with many cabinets and drawers will make it more expensive. The cost can climb to the thousands (in the range of $3000-$4000) if it’s very weathered and in need of repair.
DIY Painting the Kitchen Cabinets
While a professional painter will always do a perfect job, you could always try some DIY work. Doing the painting yourself can save you a lot of money, as you’ll only have to pay for supplies.
A gallon of quality enamel or interior latex paint shouldn’t cost more than $50; things like brushes, rollers, and drop cloths will increase the total cost to around $150.
Breaking Down the Cost of a Professional Paint Job
With professional painting, the brunt of the price comes from labor costs. Like other home decoration specialists, good painters don’t come cheap — expect a rate between $20 and $50 per hour.
If your kitchen cabinets are badly damaged or need special preparation, prepare for an even higher price. Pre-paint preparation might include sanding away the old paint and cleaning and repairing the surface of the cabinets.
The cost of painting materials is not so high compared to the labor. Quality enamel paints are relatively cheap and work well with most surfaces, such as wood, plastic, particle board, and more.
A gallon of paint, at an average of $50, will cover an area of about 400 square feet. At times, you’ll have to use a primer before applying a top coat, but even then, the paint is not the most expensive part of the whole process.
Similarly, neither are the tools — brushes and rollers come relatively cheap. Paint sprayers can be costly, but they shouldn’t worry you since only professionals use them.
A DIY Kitchen Cabinet Paint Job
If you’re on a tight budget, you can always try painting your kitchen cabinets yourself. That way, you’ll spend only a fraction of what you’d pay a professional. However, you’ll have to follow a few rules to do a good job.
Preparation is the first step of any job, and painting is no different. Before you start to paint, you’ll need to ensure the surfaces you’ll work on are squeaky clean.
That means no grease or old flaking paint — scrape those off and clean the surface with an all-purpose cleaner. Next, you’ll need to scour the cabinets so the new paint has something to stick to. Use a sanding sponge for this task. Finally, use painter’s tape to mask off surfaces you don’t want to paint by accident.
When you have everything prepared, you can begin painting your cabinets. In most cases, we’d recommend using water-based enamel paint and a combination of rollers and paint brushes.
Unlike solvent paints, modern water-based acrylics won’t smell up your kitchen, and in many cases, you won’t even have to remove the cabinets to get the job done.
Start with a paintbrush, working on the difficult areas first. After that, use the roller to paint over any remaining large surfaces quickly. Doing things in this order will ensure a silky smooth finish without visible brush strokes.
Once you’re done painting, leave the paint enough time to dry to the touch. When it does, check it for imperfections—if a surface isn’t perfectly covered, it will require a second coat of paint.
Modern water-based enamel paints take about a day to cure completely. That means you should use your kitchen carefully for at least a full day after painting. It’s not difficult—just ensure you don’t touch any painted surfaces.
DIY Paint Job Costs
Unlike professional painting services, a DIY job can be very cost-effective. As we said, a $50 can of paint can cover a surface of about 400 square feet.
That comes to roughly 80 kitchen cabinet doors, an average of five square feet per door. If you’d like to paint the inside of your cabinets, it will cost you more, but still not nearly as much as hiring a professional.
Of course, it’s not just paint that you’ll need to buy. There’s also the painter’s tape and drop cloth to protect surfaces, and, of course, the rollers and brushes.
However, expect these tools to cost no more than the paint itself. So, based on what we’ve worked out, you can update a small kitchen for as little as $150.
Painting your kitchen cabinets is one of the most affordable ways to give your kitchen a fresh look.
Apart from being affordable, it’s also effective, providing a welcome change in your kitchen’s atmosphere. However, while it’s an affordable job, hiring a professional is not always cheap.
Painting kitchen cabinets usually doesn’t require a lot of skill, so even inexperienced homeowners can do a decent job.
Therefore, if your cabinets aren’t difficult to paint, head on over to your nearest home improvement store and get to work. You’ll get an entirely new look for an incredibly low price.
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