Interior Painters in Charlotte

Painting Cabinets

Painting your kitchen or bathroom cabinets is a great way to freshen up your living spaces. But there are some techniques you should know before handling the project yourself. In the following post, we will give you some helpful rules of thumb for painting your cabinets. If you would like to hire a professional for the job or have any painting questions, please don’t hesitate to call us here at Century Painting.


If your cabinets have been finished already (painted or gone over with a gloss) you will need to sand the finish off before painting to make sure the new paint adheres. Once you have the finish removed, wipe the cabinets to get rid of excess dirt, shavings and contaminants.

Jargon and Order

You should go in a specific order when painting your cabinets but before you know the order, you have to know the jargon. The “stile” of your cabinet refers to the center framing piece where the doors meet. The stile is the part in the middle that doesn’t move and has no hinges.

The “inside edges” of the cabinet is the side of the stile that the doors fit into. The “side panels” are the outer frame of the cabinet. And the “door” of course refers to the panel that is hanging from the hinge.

You are going to want to use about a 2-2.5 inch brush to paint the cabinet, starting with inside edges (helpful tip: paint the inside edge using the narrow profile of the brush), then the middle stiles, then the side panels and then finally the doors.

Painting Tips

When you begin the project be sure to mix all the paint you are going to use into a bucket or tray. This will ensure color uniformity. When painting the inner edges and middle stiles, us a smooth, top to bottom stroke and make sure that you maintain a wet edge on the brush at all times. Follow the pattern of the wood grain as best you can for a professional finish.

Before you begin painting the side panels, be sure to tape off the edges. Carefully place painter’s tape as close to the border between the cabinet and the wall as possible. Then, use your brush to paint the edges of the panel. You can fill in the broad center of the cabinet with a clean paint roller.

To paint the doors, start with the edges. You can use the narrow profile (like you did with the inside edges) of your brush. If your door has grooves or recesses, you should fill those in first starting from a corner and working your way around the perimeter.

Then you can fill in the rest of the door being sure to wipe away excess paint when it is done. Keep all the doors open as you want to make sure the paint thoroughly dries. Once the paint is dry, you may want to repeat the process and add a second coat. This will make sure that your cabinets have a quality finish and that the color stays true.

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