How to Prime Kitchen Cabinets for Color That PopsFebruary 25, 2022
If you want to design a kitchen that makes a statement, we’ve got some great tips to help make it a breeze. KILZ® primers are the first step in making sure any color you choose really pops, and with the right inspiration, products, and guidance, you can achieve a beautiful focal point inside your home. Our featured kitchen inspirations start with KILZ 3® PREMIUM Interior and Exterior Primer and come together in three unique design concepts that elevate the space from bland to bold. See how to prime kitchen cabinets to ensure the paint colors pop.
As with any project requiring a fresh coat of paint, we started by priming our surfaces. As mentioned above, we chose KILZ 3® PREMIUM Interior and Exterior Primer for its superior adhesion and durability, multi-surface application, and mildew-resistant finish—critical for moisture-prone areas, such as your kitchen where steam, water, and other liquids are present. This primer helped us create the perfect foundation for color, as well as smooth out and cover prior stains, paint, and imperfections in the existing cabinetry.
For our first kitchen makeover, we used BEHR PREMIUM™ Cabinet & Trim Enamel in the color Ecological S380-6 on the lower cabinets and island, and White 52 on the upper cabinetry. While this shade of green is subtle, it appears clean and flawless thanks to our primer, which effectively prepped the surface and allowed for this neutral color to shine. The two-tone kitchen cabinets add some depth of color to the space. We further styled this space with complementary wicker bar chairs at the island, and open-framed light fixtures overhead for a cozy-casual vibe perfect for cooking, eating, and entertaining.
Keep in mind that painting without priming first—especially on porous surfaces like wood or brick where paint can easily become absorbed—can greatly affect the outcome. Without a solid coat of primer, paint can appear less vibrant, rich, or otherwise not as expected.
Opting for drama with our next kitchen makeover, we chose BEHR PREMIUM™ Cabinet & Trim Enamel in the color Limousine Leather MQ5-05. We painted the upper and lower cabinets in this charcoal-like shade, creating a refined frame around the island, which we painted with White 52. Because we primed thoroughly beforehand, we cut down on the number of topcoats and ensured our color came out as expected. The island becomes the focal point here, so we styled with black and gold mini pendant lights and contrasting bistro-style barstools for a chic and polished final look.
Our final kitchen makeover features BEHR PREMIUM™ Cabinet & Trim Enamel in the color Inked M510-7 on the lower cabinets and island, and White 52 on the overhead cabinetry for a light to dark look that really pops. White walls and countertops help achieve a clean look from the top down. The two-tone cabinets add an interesting juxtaposition to the room. To round out this concept, we chose leather barstools with black bases, and matching black lighting—small details that effortlessly tie the space together.
All three of our kitchen inspirations featured KILZ 3® PREMIUM Interior and Exterior Primer, which we chose for its surface versatility, among its many other benefits for a room of this kind. This fast-drying primer’s excellent adhesion makes it ideal for use on interior and exterior surfaces including wood, drywall, plaster, stucco, paneling, masonry, brick, and more. It works with oil and water-based paints, giving you plenty of color options for your kitchen or any future DIY project.
Always remember to refer to our website kilz.com or product back labels for additional information on which primer is right for your project and detailed instructions on how to apply our products. Check out our Coverage Calculator to understand your estimated paint needs for your upcoming project.