The national average cost to paint standard kitchen cabinets ranges from $1,200 to $7,000, with additional costs for better paint quality, cabinet design and size, and painting method all affecting the total cost of the project.
Re-painting kitchen cabinets may seem like a fit-for-DIY job, but it’s a time consuming and often tricky project. Cabinets in rough shape usually require a primer and a few coats of paint, and hours (and material costs) can quickly add up. We’ll breakdown what affects the cost of painting kitchen cabinets so you can weigh your options when it comes to doing a quick touch up yourself, or hiring a pro to overhaul the appearance of your kitchen cabinets.
What's in this cost guide?
- How Kitchen Size Affects Cost to Paint Kitchen Cabinets
- How Cabinet Layout Affects Cost to Paint Kitchen Cabinets
- Cabinet Repainting
- Cost to Spray Paint Kitchen Cabinets
- Cost to Paint Kitchen Cabinet Doors
- Paint Costs
- How to Hire a Painter
How Kitchen Size Affects Cost to Paint Kitchen Cabinets
The square footage of the kitchen generally dictates the number of linear feet of cabinets that need to be painted. Some professional painters charge by the linear foot—anywhere from $30–$60—while others charge per cabinet box, door, drawer face, etc.
The size of your kitchen also affects material costs. The bigger the kitchen, the more paint you’ll have to purchase, along with any additional drop cloths needed to cover the space.
How Cabinet Layout Affects Cost to Paint Kitchen Cabinets
The existing layout of a kitchen or other cabinetry can add complexity to a paint job. Tight angles, or cabinets installed in corners that have double-hinged doors and other constricted spaces can make it difficult for painters to get to cabinet doors or drawer faces to paint them without knocking against other surfaces. Some professional painters will charge extra in labor costs for tricky or tight layouts if they have to remove doors to paint them outside or in another location and reattach them later.
Terry Gardner, owner of Southern Cal Colors in Gardena, California, says it costs about $900 to repaint cabinets in a small to medium-size kitchen. He says that, in some cases, it takes more time to prepare a client’s existing kitchen cabinets to be painted than to actually do the cabinet painting. Preparation may include cleaning, sanding, patching and minor repairs—all of which adds to the overall cost. Gardner also applies a primer coat to all surfaces to be painted. Gardner also recommends that cabinets get at least two coats of paint after the primer, especially when using water-based (acrylic or latex) paint.
Cost to Spray Paint Kitchen Cabinets
Chris Botta, owner of Affordable Cabinet Refinishing in Phoenix, Arizona, charges $38 per linear foot of cabinetry for spray painting cabinets. Spray painting method involves painting a client’s cabinets in place rather than removing all hardware, cabinet doors and drawer faces. He also offers different refinishing options. Southern Cal Colors owner Gardner sprays in place, too, when he can, though it is sometimes necessary to remove some doors and drawer faces to apply primer and paint, especially in smaller kitchens with less room to maneuver.
Cost to Paint Kitchen Cabinet Doors
Removing and painting cabinet doors costs on average $2,000–$8,000 nationwide, depending on the size of the kitchen, the amount of detail work and the paint quality. If spraying in place is not an option, the professional painter will likely use a combination of a paint sprayer and a roller and will brush the cabinet boxes, removing doors and drawer faces and spraying them outdoors or in other space, such as a garage.
Using higher-quality paint (or just a more expensive brand) for your painting project can add a few hundred dollars to the total cost. It’s a good idea to consult with a professional painter about the wear and tear the kitchen cabinets will need to withstand before deciding on a higher-end paint. Most pros can then advise accordingly on the best finish and quality of paint.
How to Hire a Painter
- Check the painter’s experience: Painting cabinets requires a keen attention to detail, as well as experience removing cabinet doors or drawers without damaging the cabinet itself. For more tips on smart hiring, check out our safety page.
- Ask about time: Ask potential painters to estimate how long the project will take so you have a good idea of what you’re up for before you dive into the project. You may have to relocate furniture and other items ahead of time.
- Ask about equipment: Ask if the pro is comfortable purchasing paint and other materials on their own, or if you’re required to pick up some of those tasks.