The national average cost to paint standard kitchen cabinets ranges from $1,200 to $7,000, depending on where you live. Paint quality, cabinet design and size, and the painting method all affect the total cost of the project, as well.
Read the video transcript.
Kitchen cabinet painting costs:
|National average cost||
|Per linear foot estimate||
Re-painting kitchen cabinets may seem like a fit-for-DIY job, but it’s a tricky, time-consuming 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 break down what impacts the cost of painting kitchen cabinets so you can weigh your options when it comes time to hire a pro.
What's in this cost guide?
Terry Gardner, the 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 add to the overall cost. Gardner also applies a primer coat to all surfaces to be painted. He also recommends that cabinets get at least two coats of paint after the primer, especially when using water-based (acrylic or latex) paint.
Chris Botta, owner of Affordable Cabinet Refinishing in Phoenix, Arizona, charges $38 per linear foot of cabinetry for spray painting cabinets.
Spray painting involves painting a client’s cabinets in place rather than removing all hardware, cabinet doors and drawer faces. Southern Cal Colors owner Gardner sprays in place, too (when he can). However, 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.
Removing and painting cabinet doors costs on average $2,000 to $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 another 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.
Painters will often keep two factors in mind when estimating the cost of painting your kitchen cabinets: the size of your kitchen and the layout of your 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 to $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.
The existing layout of a kitchen or other cabinetry can add complexity to a paint job. Tight angles, cabinets installed in corners that have double-hinged doors and other constricted spaces can make it difficult for painters to paint cabinet doors or drawer faces 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.
- Check the painter’s experience: Painting cabinets requires 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.
"For an average kitchen cabinet, I will say it's around the $2,300 to the $2,500. It depends on the detail in the process. Some things that can impact the price of painting your cabinets will be the condition of your cabinets, how much prep they need, the kind of products that we will use and, of course, the size.
When I'm creating an estimate, I consider the detail that they want so that will tell me how much labor. So, we're going to charge for labor ... type of paint that we would use, what kind of quality so that will give me a price as well.
A job usually will take around four or five days, two or three guys and they work eight hours a day.
I always do estimates in person. I don't like to give prices by pictures because I like to talk to the customer and see exactly what they want -- because everybody's different and everybody is looking for something different -- so I can give them a fair price for what they want."