What Is the Typical Cost to Paint Kitchen Cabinets?

Normal range: $422 - $1,413

Most people pay about $892 to paint kitchen cabinets. The typical range is between $422 and $1,413 depending on the size, type of paint, and removal of old paint or varnish.

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Alison Kasch
Written by Alison Kasch
Updated May 5, 2023
Modern grey and white wooden kitchen interior
Photo: starush / Adobe Stock

The average cost to paint kitchen cabinets with the help of a pro is between $422 and $1,413. Taking on the project as a DIY will cost $170 to $210 or more in supplies, plus two to three days of working time, depending on your pace and skill level. 

The kitchen is the heart of the home, so it only makes sense that we’d all want to put a little extra love and care into it. One great way to take care of your kitchen is to refresh the cabinets, and painting is a more budget-friendly alternative to a complete renovation. However, if your cabinets aren’t in good condition or are made of medium-density fiberboard (MDF) or another non-wood particle board, consider replacing them instead of painting them.

See the price range for painting cabinets in

your area
How we get this data
Normal range for U.S.
$422 - $1,413
  • Average
  • $892
  • Low end
  • $175
  • high end
  • $3,000

Cabinet Painting Cost Factors

Green uppers and a stained wood island
Photo: Jason / Adobe Stock

The cost to paint kitchen cabinets depends on several factors, including the size, location, and material of your cabinets, as well as labor costs (if you hire out for the project). Prices will also fluctuate based on the type of paint you choose. In short, we’re giving you the best estimates possible, but your final bill will vary depending on your unique project. Here are the main variables that you’ll want to factor into your budget.

Cabinet Material

Kitchen cabinets come in a variety of materials, with some requiring a slightly different approach to achieve a smooth, uniform coat of paint. Here’s a look at the individual costs for each type of cabinet material. 

Wood Cabinets

For wood cabinets that are already painted or stained, budget an extra $5 to $10 for sandpaper to ensure the paint adheres properly. If the surface is glossy, you may also need to buy a chemical paint deglosser for an additional $10 to $20.  

Wood Veneer Cabinets

If you have wood veneer cabinets, you'll need to budget extra for primer, which typically costs around $45 per gallon. Before sanding and priming, be sure to check for any cracks, chips, or loose edges, and use wood glue (around $10 per 8-ounce bottle) to fix them.

Laminate Cabinets

Laminate cabinets require sanding to rough up the surface, which may add approximately $5 to $10 to your project cost. You’ll also need a primer designed specifically for laminate surfaces, which can cost anywhere from $20 to $80 depending on the brand and quantity.

MDF Cabinets

Medium-density fiberboard cabinets require you or a pro to seal the porous edges with drywall joint compound, which costs around $10 for a 3.5-quart bucket. Along with that, you’ll need an oil-based primer, which typically costs around $30 to $60 per gallon.

Paint Color

If you're planning to switch from a darker color to a lighter color for your kitchen cabinets, your best option is to sand or strip off the existing paint. However, if you're short on time or your cabinets are already in good condition, budgeting around $45 per gallon for a good primer is essential to ensure proper coverage. 

If you plan to use two paint colors to accent each other, you’ll likely pay more for the project to cover multiple cans of paint. However, you’ll also have leftover paint to use for other projects or touch-ups.

Type of Paint

There are many different types of paint available, with per-gallon rates ranging anywhere from $20 to $80. A gallon of paint usually costs $15 to $60 for a standard brand or $50 to $100 for a designer brand. Each gallon covers between 350 and 400 square feet. There are slight cost differences between the different types of paint per gallon:

  • Latex-based paint: $20–$50 

  • Acrylic paint: $20–$50 

  • Oil-based paint: $20–$80 

You can also choose between the different types of paint finishes, commonly known as sheens. The shinier the paint, the more you’ll typically pay. Pros usually recommend semi-gloss and high-gloss, the two highest sheens available, for kitchen cabinets, as they’re the most durable options.

Painting Method

When you’re getting ready to paint your kitchen cabinets, you have the option to use a brush, roller, or paint sprayer. While spraying can be a quick and efficient method for achieving an even coat, it requires a decent bit of skill to do correctly. Sprayers also tend to use up more paint due to overspray, and they require more careful prep work to make sure you don’t get paint on anything other than your cabinets. 

If you have the skills to make spraying worthwhile, you’ll need to budget anywhere from $40 to $100 per day to cover sprayer rental. Budget-friendly paint sprayers are also available for purchase for $35 to $50, while high-end models can reach upwards of $200.

However, if your cabinets have intricate grooves or recesses, using a brush may be the best option. You can also switch to a roller for larger flat surfaces. Overall, you’ll probably pay less to buy a roller and a brush than you would to rent a sprayer for the time it takes to finish this project. But if you know what you’re doing with a sprayer, you could finish the paint job faster, so your savings will depend on your level of expertise with your chosen painting method. 

Kitchen Size

On average, painting kitchen cabinets costs between $3 and $10 per square foot, or between $30 and $60 per linear foot. This price typically includes all the supplies, materials, and labor you'll need to get the job done. Below are some average figures based on the square footage of the cabinet space you want to cover.

Kitchen Size (Sq. Ft.)Average Cost
60$180 – $600
80$240 – $800
100$300 – $1,000
150$450 – $1,500
200$600 – $2,000
400$1,200 – $4,000

Cabinet Composition 

Some contractors might charge a different way based on the specific sections of your cabinets. For example, you could expect to pay around $100 per cabinet door. For drawers, it might be closer to $25 per drawer. And if you're looking to paint an entire cabinet, the cost could range from $75 to $150 per cabinet


Most professional painters will charge somewhere between $20 and $50 per hour. This will typically account for 85% of the cost to paint kitchen cabinets professionally. Keep in mind that some contractors may charge based on the square footage of the area you want to paint, while others might charge per door, drawer, or cabinet. 

It’s important to clarify the pricing structure with your contractor upfront so you can have a clear understanding of the total cost of the project for your budget.


If you or someone else painted your cabinets in the past, you’ll need to remove the old finish before you can apply a new coat of paint. If you plan to remove existing paint or varnish by sanding, you'll need sandpaper, which usually costs between $5 and $10 per pack. Alternatively, you can opt for a chemical stripping agent, which ranges in price from $7 to $50, depending on the brand and size.

Also, keep in mind that any cosmetic damage, such as peeling paint, cracked wood, or broken hardware, will cost extra to fix. For laminate cabinets with surface damage, you’ll need to repair or replace them, as paint won’t adhere properly to damaged laminate. 

Additional Costs to Consider

Don’t exit out of your calculator app just yet. There are a few additional costs to keep in mind that you may need to factor into your budget.


While you’re refreshing the look of your kitchen cabinets, you’ll also want to budget for the cost of repairing the cabinets if needed, which usually falls between $140 and $500. This will cover basic repairs such as broken hardware, loose hinges, scratches, and peeling paint. 


The cost to install new cabinet hardware is typically less than $100, but costs can go as high as $1,000 or more for designer or antique varieties. If your hardware is in good shape, this isn’t a necessary cost. However, selecting new cabinet hardware can modernize your cabinets and beautifully complement your new paint color, so it may be worth the extra investment if you’re going for a brand-new look.


Tipping your contractors isn’t necessary, but it can still be a kind gesture if you feel inclined to do it. Some contracting companies don’t allow employees to accept tips, so be sure to ask before you give. Alternatively, you can buy your pros coffee or lunch, leave them a positive review, or refer friends and family to show your appreciation.

Repainting vs. Refacing Kitchen Cabinets

The right kitchen cabinet color can totally transform the look of your kitchen, but if the bare bones are damaged or not to your current taste, you may want to consider refacing your cabinets or replacing them altogether. 

Refacing your cabinets costs between $4,300 and $10,100 on average. This involves swapping out the door and drawer fronts and selecting new hardware for a total cabinet makeover. Compared to the average cost to paint kitchen cabinets, which is $892, this is a significant investment, but the results you’ll achieve will make it look like a complete remodel.

Cost to Paint Kitchen Cabinets Yourself

Modern kitchen with white upper cabinets and teal base cabinets
Photo: MatildaDark / Adobe Stock

If you paint your own cabinets, you can expect to spend $200 to $600 on paint and supplies such as brushes, rollers, and drop cloths. A good portion of this will go toward covering an orbital sander for anywhere between $40 and $150. If you already have one of these handy, or if you don’t need to remove any old paint, then you’ll be able to keep your total DIY budget on the lower end. Another key factor that impacts your budget will be the type and quality of the paint you buy and how many cabinets you need to paint. 

Hiring a local interior painter typically costs $892 for the average kitchen size (around 150 square feet). If you have the budget for it, hiring a pro can be well worth it for a pristine finish that you don’t have to lift a finger to achieve. 

DIY vs. Hiring a Pro

If you opt to paint your kitchen cabinets DIY-style, you can save a good amount of money, but it requires skill, time, and patience to achieve smooth, even coverage. Removing your cabinet doors can also get tricky, as you risk damaging the hardware and hinges. 

What’s more, removing varnish and other finishes can be challenging and labor intensive, plus you could potentially damage the surface in the process. If you don’t know how to paint kitchen cabinets and aren’t ready to learn a new skill just yet, consider hiring a pro for this project to guarantee beautiful results.

How to Save Money While Painting Kitchen Cabinets

To keep your kitchen cabinet painting project wallet-friendly, DIYing will be your best bet. Aside from that, you can select budget options for paint and hardware. There are plenty of beautiful options that don’t cost nearly as much as high-end varieties. Also, if you’re hiring a local cabinet painter, be sure to ask a lot of questions and get multiple quotes to find the best partner for your project.

Kelly Weimert contributed to this piece.

Frequently Asked Questions

The average cost to replace kitchen cabinets is around $6,000, but costs can range anywhere from $250 to upwards of $25,000. Custom installations can go as high as $30,000 or more. If you're looking for a more budget-friendly way to update the look of your cabinets, you might want to consider a simple refacing or refinishing job. These can give your cabinets a fresh new style without breaking the bank. For the best results, it's a good idea to work with a contractor.

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