Can I Repaint Laminate Kitchen Cabinets?

Laminate cabinets (and furniture and general) are popular for a long list of reasons. They can replicate the finish of natural wood, they’re lightweight, they’re easy to clean and they’re seriously affordable.

They even have the potential to last decades, with just a little TLC from time to time.

But what if you suddenly find yourself disenchanted with the color or finish of your cabinets? Is it possible to repaint a laminate surface, or will you need to switch out your cabinets entirely?

Contrary to popular belief, the answer is yes. Not only is painting laminate kitchen cabinets possible, but it’s also a surprisingly simple interior painting job.

Update Your Kitchen on the Cheap…With Paint

However, painting surfaces like these calls for a slightly different plan of attack. You can’t simply throw a fresh coat of paint on the surface and expect it to stick – a guaranteed recipe for disaster.

Instead, there are five basic steps involved in successfully painting laminate kitchen cabinets. Or for that matter, most other laminate surfaces around the home.

1. Remove the Doors and Hardware

First up, the key to getting the best out of any interior painting project lies in making things as easy as possible for yourself. In this case, that means starting out by removing the doors from the cabinets, along with any other hardware you can take off.

If possible, it’s always advisable to take the doors outside to prep and paint them. You can tackle the job indoor if you like, but there’s a much lower risk of damaging anything in the process outdoors. After all, you don’t have to worry about splattering and splashing paint all over the place quite as much.

2. Give the Surface a Seriously Good Clean

Never underestimate just how much grease and general unpleasantness kitchen cabinets accumulate over the years. Even if you give them a wipe on a regular basis, there’s still work to do to get them clean.

At this point, you will need a high-quality degreaser of some kind that’s safe for this kind of material. Powerful enough to remove every shred of grime, but not so harsh as to damage the surface. Give your cabinet doors a good clean, wipe down with a damp cloth and allow plenty of time to dry.

3. Sand Down the Surface

The key to painting laminate kitchen cabinets successfully lies in creating an appropriate surface for the paint to stick to. After giving the whole thing a good clean, the next step is to reach for some medium-grit sandpaper. Give the whole surface a gentle yet generous once over, with the aim of creating a slightly rough texture.

This is also a good time to note for any damage or imperfections along the way, which you can repair as you go. After sanding, give the surface a good wipe to get rid of every possible trace of dust.

4. Use a High Adhesion Primer 

It is absolutely essential that you apply a coat of high-adhesion primer, prior to painting your cabinets. The type of primer you’ll need is available in the form of a convenient spray can, which for obvious reasons is definitely best-suited to outdoor use.

Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and gradually apply a thin coating to the entire surface. This will create not only the ideal surface for the paint to adhere to, but also a beautiful or even matte finish that will allow the new color to shine through. Take your time and proceed carefully, as this step will play the biggest role of all in determining the outcome.

5. Paint Slowly and Carefully with Semi-Gloss or Glossy Paint 

Last up, get it right with the preparation process and the painting itself should be easy.  However, it is always recommended to use a semi-gloss or glossy paint in the kitchen, for two reasons.

Firstly, these are the types of paints that will make it much easier to come up with a smooth, even and flawless finish. Secondly, this is really the only type of paint that is suitable for use in the kitchen, due to the harsh environmental conditions. Glossy surfaces are more durable and resilient than their matte counterparts, and overall so much easier to keep clean and sanitary.

If you would prefer to save yourself the time and effort of tackling the job yourself, we’d be delighted to provide you with an obligation-free quotation.  Contact a member of the team at Homm CPS anytime for more information on our cost-effective interior painting services.