How to Paint Kitchen Cabinet Veneer

white painted veneer kitchen cabinets with metal hardware
  • 5-15 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 100-800
What You'll Need
220-grit sandpaper
Drop cloth
Painter's tape
Paint thinner
Safety gear
Scrub brush
Protective clothing and gear as needed

With some beginning-level painting knowledge and construction tools, you can paint your kitchen cabinet veneer in a single afternoon. Compile your tools and materials, and then follow these outlined steps to revamp the look of your cabinetry.

Choose Your Paint

You can use any type of enamel paint in any color you wish. However, keep in mind that water-based paints are much easier to clean up if you spill or splatter them.

Remove Doors and Drawers

Next, remove the doors, drawers, and all hardware. Set them out of the way. Then, examine the cabinets carefully and make any repairs that are required. Caulk joints and gaps.

Clean the Cabinets

white cabinets

Use some dish soap, water, and a rag to clean off any grime, grease, or dirt from all veneer you want to paint. For hard-to-clean scuffs and marks, use a scrub brush.

Lightly Sand Surfaces

Lightly sand all surfaces with 220-grit sandpaper to give the paint a better surface to stick to. Then, wipe the surface down with a damp cloth to remove sanding dust.

Paint the Cabinet Areas and Sand

Warning: When painting or priming, always wear protective safety gear to avoid skin contact and inhalation. Only paint in a well-ventilated area.

The first coat of paint will act as a primer coat. Apply paint to the veneer evenly, using smooth strokes, and always follow the grain of the area. Allow the first coat to dry for one to two hours. Then, sand the area lightly with the 220-grit sandpaper again. Wipe away any dust.

Apply the Final Coat

white, open drawer

After the first coat has dried, you can apply the final coat. Use a uniform, even coverage. Allow the second coat to dry for at least two hours. The longer the coat has to dry, the harder and more durable the enamel will be.

Paint Doors and Drawers

Finally, paint your doors, drawers, and trim using the same techniques. Apply two coats of paint as before, and allow the paint to dry completely. Sand between coats for a better bond and a more uniform texture. After the second coat is dry, you can replace the kitchen cabinet hardware, replace the drawers, and rehang the doors.