It’s amazing how refinished cabinets can brighten up an old kitchen.

Project before & after picture


  • KILZ RESTORATION® (Formally KILZ® Max)
  • Paint
  • Drop Cloth
  • 4 Bricks
  • 1/4" Nap Paint Roller
  • Screwdriver
  • 100-150 Grit Sandpaper
  • 180-220 Grit Sandpaper
  • Paint Brush
  • Can Key
  • Stir Stick
  • Damp Cloth
  • Tape
  • Paint Tray


Step 1:

Use a screwdriver to remove the cabinet doors and drawers from the cabinet frame.

Put the screws back into the hardware, then seal the hardware and screws in painter’s tape and label it.

Step 2:

Remove all door handles and hardware. It’s always best to put every screw back exactly where it came from. That will put the least amount of stress on the wood.

Step 3:

Sand the surfaces of the doors, drawer faces and cabinet frame to create a smooth surface for priming. Do a first pass with 100-150 grit sandpaper then finish with a second pass of 180-220 grit sandpaper. Remember, the higher the “grit" number, the smoother the finish.

When sanding, move the sandpaper in the same direction of the wood grain. If you go against the grain you will end up with a lot of nasty scratches that will show through your topcoat.

Step 4:

After sanding, wipe down the surface with a damp cloth to remove any dust or residue. Primer and paint won’t stick to dust. After wiping, allow the surface to dry before moving on to primer.

Step 5:

When painting kitchen cabinets you should always use a primer first. Primer will help protect your cabinets, and it will also create a smooth base to help you get better adhesion and truer color from your paint. When applying primer, just as you did with the sandpaper, move in the same direction as the wood grain for best results.

To get better coverage along the sides of your door, raise it off your work surface with bricks.

Step 6:

Allow 2 hours for the primer to dry.

Step 7:

Apply your paint exactly the same way you applied your primer. Always move in smooth strokes that go in the same direction as the wood grain.

For a really great result, apply primer and paint with a sprayer.

Step 8:

Allow 2 hours dry time*, then apply second coat.

Step 9:

Once your paint is dry, reattach hardware to doors, and then reattach the doors to cabinets. After that, it’s probably time to eat.

*Dark colors and high humidity areas may have extended dry times

Project result picture

Start fast and finish beautifully.

For additional KILZ® Kitchen Makeover Inspiration visit The Perfect Finish Blog.