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How to Rejuvenate your Kitchen Cabinets

Skill Level: Beginner


It is possible to have a new kitchen without actually having to buy a new one! Or go through the disruption and mess, that doing so involves!

A kitchen probably sees more activity than any other room in the home, and over time all this activity takes its toll. Your once beautiful kitchen begins to look tired, dull, looses that sparkle. Every year, millions of homeowners look around their kitchen and wish they could just wave a wand – and everything was again - bright and fresh, rejuvenated. Well, you can, almost: but you’ll find a paintbrush handier than a wand to work this bit of magic.

Kitchen cabinets: Doors, drawer facades, handles, and worktops in particular, can all look cheerless with use and age. But that doesn’t mean you need to rip everything out and start again. When the structure itself is sound, and you are happy with the kitchen layout…why not just ‘refurbish’ it! Paint is a simple way to update cabinets, and if you are a keen handyman, many cabinets could be relocated quite easily too.

Choosing a Colour Scheme

The colour scheme you choose is of course a matter of individual taste and style. A monochromatic colour scheme is where everything is the same throughout, or with a slight variation of that colour: a two-tone colour scheme where both colours are basically the same but one is a marginally darker than the other.

Experiment with Different Painting Techniques

You can do more than simply give your cabinets a new coat of paint; you can experiment with different painting techniques to give your cabinets a unique look -have look around at various designs - a distressed wood effect looks particularly attractive - as does an antique effect finish - or give your imagination free rein

You’ll need to master these special techniques first by practicing on scrap wood first. But once you’ve got the hang of it, the possibilities are endless.

When re painting kitchen cabinets and other wooden surfaces, the paint you need could depend on its present coating! There are various paints on the market, be sure you choose the right one. Depending on the type of paint you are using, the condition of the surface you‘re covering, there may be several coats required, you may need to rub down between coats. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations. Also, adhere strictly to instructions regarding drying times between coats. Don’t try and rush things.


Preparation is important in all DIY activities, and can save a lot of wasted time, effort, and money, if you just take time out to think about what you want to ultimately achieve, and the steps necessary to get you there. Before you reach for the paint tin there will be a few pre painting things to do.

Because you’ll be working on units already installed - in-situ - you’re going to need to take certain precautions, against getting paint everywhere. So, the first thing to do is clean the cabinets to be painted, the second is to get some protection in place: in case of mishaps!

Use plenty of dust sheets to cover and protect areas not for painting, area by area as you work your way around. You’ll find masking tape very handy when decorating: to fix dust sheets in place, and to mask off surfaces you wish to avoid painting over. Take the time to set yourself up correctly, and things will go much faster when you come to actually apply the paint: you won’t be stopping and starting every few minutes. When you’re up a height painting, the last thing you want is to be up and down the ladders unnecessarily.

Door and Drawer Handles

As you are giving your kitchen a facelift, you may have also decided to fit new drawer and door handles! Good thinking. The combination of new paint and new door and drawer furniture is going to” lift” the whole appearance of your kitchen!  

Just as a change of colour can transform a room, so too can the fitting of new, attractive door and drawer handles. You may go for a different style of handle completely, or a different finish: the better online hardware stores will have literally, dozens of handles to choose from.

Painting Equipment

Ever heard the advice “always use the best tools you can afford”? Well, it’s usually true. But don’t just ask the shop selling paintbrushes, ask a professional painter. Cheapest is not best! In fact it is often the most expensive in terms of life of the brush, but more importantly, the quality of the coating finish!

Rollers are also an invaluable tool for painting kitchen cabinets. A 4” foam roller is the ideal size, and if you get the undercoat on flat and even first, you’ll find you can achieve a finish of very high standard

Airless spray painting is as you can imagine, much faster, and can in the right hands give a superb finish. But there is the cost to consider. If you are an avid DIY fan, then you might just need one of these bits of kit. If you’re often involved in home decorating projects, find yourself the “Family painter, decorator, odd job man”, it will prove a good investment.

One final word on painting kitchen cabinets should be mentioned – Dust! Whether you are going for a high gloss finish, or a smooth matt finish, unless you are extremely careful when painting, and whilst the paint is drying, you will discover minute dust particles adhering to the painted surface.

In order to help prevent dust contamination make sure you keep doors and windows closed where possible, although you must allow ventilation. Try and stop people coming and going into the kitchen for as long as possible, till the paints dry.

Professional Hand Painted Kitchens

As you look around your kitchen, and decide that painting is your preferred choice of renovation - you may feel that the actual work is a little beyond your capabilities – or you simply don’t have the time, then perhaps calling in a professional is the best option. It will certainly be a lot cheaper than had you replaced all the kitchen cabinets - by a mile.

Hand painted kitchen cabinets are an eye catcher, are rather special: and not generally a stock item to be found on the high street.

Hand Painted Kitchens Chester is one such firm of traditional craftsmen who can come along, discuss your ideas and preferences, can offer some great ideas for…then come and do it! Expertly, quickly, and it won’t burn a hole in your bank balance.

Tools you will need:

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