What kind of Spray Paint to Use on Kitchen Cabinets

Using spray paints on kitchen cabinets makes the painting process faster, and you won’t have to worry about uneven strokes that happens when using a paintbrush. Even though spray paint is on the expensive side when compared to brush painting, it is still worth it if you want a neat job in a short time. The setback most people face is determining the type of spray paint to use on kitchen cabinets.

What kind of Spray Paint to Use On Kitchen Cabinets?

There are two types of paint you should consider. Oil-based paints and latex-based paints. These paints achieve various results depending on what you desire. You can use them on different types of cabinets, such as wood, laminate, and so on.


Oil paints vs latex paints

Whichever one you opt for, you will find lots of brands to choose from. Some of these brands have variations, such as oil paints with high gloss, oil paints with semi-gloss, and so on. Pick any one that suits your style.

– Oil paints 

What kind of spray paint to use on kitchen cabinets


  • Oil paint is smoother than latex paint. In just a single coat, oil paint will cover more surface.
  • When it dries it doesn’t shrink much. So the way your cabinet looks when it was wet is still the same way it will look when it dries.
  • If you are worried about stains on your kitchen cabinet, this paint has a high resistance to stains, thereby making it ideal for frequently used cabinets.
  • It takes a long time before it starts fading, so your kitchen cabinet will still retain its clean look.


  • It is hard to clean the tools used in painting the kitchen cabinets because of the chemicals in the paint, such as mineral spirits and turpentine.
  • The chemicals of this paint are harmful so they have to be properly disposed of.
  • The fumes it gives off during installation is very strong and will lead to health complication, so you need to use the appropriate face mask. Make sure your foods and cooking utensils are not nearby. You should take them out of the kitchen.


– Latex paints

This is also called water paint. It has its own advantages.

What kind of spray paint to use on kitchen cabinets


  • The texture of this paint makes it easier to clean your cabinet whenever there are stains on it.
  • The tools used in painting the cabinets can be easily washed off with mild dish soap and clean water.
  • Just like oil paints, it will take months before you need to repaint.
  • If you are a beginner you will enjoy working with this paint more than the oil paint.


  • When using latex-based paints, you have to prep up the wood surface before you start painting.
  • The surface must be perfectly clean if you want the paint to stay on it properly.
  • Stains penetrate latex paints easily than oil paints.
  • Before you can apply latex paints, the wood grain must have been sealed. If it isn’t sealed properly, the cabinet will swell.
  • This paint is temperature sensitive, it will shrink when drying.
  • It fades quicker than oil paints.


What are the tools you will need to use?


When spray painting, you need to be prepared. First off, you will need to set up a work station. It could be a small table or a corner of your kitchen. That is where you will put the paint can and the painter’s tape/newspaper so they can be easily accessible.

• Spray paint gun


There are several types of spray guns available. For your kitchen cabinet, you can make use of HVLP and Airless spray guns. However, most prefer to use HVLP due to how easy it is to use.

If you will be using aerosol paint cans instead, then you won’t be needing a spray paint gun, however, you will be spending loads of money on spray cans because one won’t be enough, and economically that isn’t smart.

Besides, if you opt for a spray gun you will be able to use it some other times when you plan on spray painting again. You should go for a mini spray gun. The HomeRight C800971 Paint Sprayer, Super Finish Max, and PaintWIZ PW25150 Handheld Paint Sprayer are some of the best spray guns to try out.

• Protective clothing

What kind of spray paint to use on kitchen cabinets

The clothing you use is also very important. You must ensure to put on the right clothing before you start painting because of the solvent vapors that are emitted when painting. You must wear the right mask and goggles which will prevent you from inhaling it and from irritating your eyes. Also, ensure to cover your arms and legs when painting because spray paints can irritate the skin. Make sure you put on the disposable protective coat that will protect your whole clothes when painting. Also, use rubber boots and not sneakers because sneakers will absorb the paint and it will get ruined.

Painters tape

You will need this to prevent the paint from staining the ground or other surfaces around the cabinet that you don’t want the paint on. Most use masking tape instead of painter’s tapes, the latter is a great alternative but it is not as efficient as the painter’s tape. Paint can seep through some masking tape, so it’s better to sacrifice a few dollars and get a painter’s tape, such as the scotch blue painter’s masking tape. If you can’t get a painter’s tape and you’re out of masking tape, then make use of newspapers and magazines.

• Newspapers or magazines

You won’t want the floor to get stained with paints even if you can’t afford a painter’s tape, because you will have a tough time getting it off. Laying a newspaper or magazine around that area will help prevent paints from staining the ground.

If you are using a newspaper, you will need to put like 3 pages on the ground because they are very light. A page of a magazine is enough because they are usually thicker. Once the newspaper or magazine has gotten too soiled, you will need to replace them.

How do I clean my kitchen cabinet before painting?


It is necessary you clean your kitchen cabinet before painting, especially if you haven’t cleaned it in a long time. Grease and grime would have gathered on the cabinet and these will ruin your paint job if you go ahead without cleaning it. However, if you always keep your cabinet sparkling clean, then you won’t need to really deep-clean it.

If you always keep it clean, then I will recommend you use liquid dish soap and warm water with a lint-free cloth to clean your cabinets. This is a mild solution that will clean dust, food smudges, and mild grease. If you are going to be using all-purpose liquid soap, make sure you test it out on an obscure part of the cabinet to see if it won’t damage the cabinet’s finish. Make sure you also read the instructions on its container before using it.

Ideally, the exterior of your cabinets should be cleaned at least every week. While the interior should be deep-cleaned every few months. The idea of emptying your cabinet might seem overwhelming, so you can deep-clean your cabinets one at a time. For instance, when all your dishes are in the dishwasher, you can use that moment to clean the interior of that cabinet. Make sure you keep a mental note of the cabinets you cleaned, so you won’t repeat a cabinet you’ve already cleaned. Leaving your cabinets without cleaning it for several months will make some stains very stubborn.


For tough stains follow these steps –

Step 1 – Mix vinegar and warm water in a spray bottle. The solution should be 50/50. Then add a few drops of liquid dishwasher detergent. Mist the mixture on the cabinets then leave it for a minute or two.

Step 2 – Use a sponge or soft cloth to clean the outside of the cabinet. Use it to also scrub the inside. A little bit of force will be needed when removing grime buildup and heavy grease.

Step 3 – Dip a toothbrush in the solution and use it to scrub the crevices of ornate trim, the hardware, and the wood around the hardware.

Step 4 – Dip another sponge or clean cloth in clean water and use it to wipe the cleaner from the cabinet surfaces.

Step 5 – Use a clean towel to dry all the surfaces thoroughly.


If the stains still won’t come off, do these –

Make a paste of salt/baking powder and vinegar. Use a soft toothbrush/nylon-bristle scrub brush or sponge to scrub the stained area lightly. To avoid scratching the cabinet, don’t scrub too hard. When you are done, use clean water to rinse the paste off then use a clean towel to dry it.


How do I clean my kitchen after painting?

If you made use of newspapers or painter’s tapes as mentioned above, you won’t need to worry much about cleanup. Just remove the tapes or newspapers and trash them. Nevertheless, using these doesn’t guarantee that you won’t experience some spillage of paint. If that occurs you will need to clean them.

– Removing oil paints

You will need to make use of chemicals when removing oil paints. These chemicals do a decent job of removing the paint, however, they usually strip the surface of its original color, especially if you use them on hardwood flooring or carpets. Test a little bit of the chemical on an obscure surface of the cabinet to see if it will strip it of its color. You can use these chemicals — methanol, acetone, sodium hydroxide, kerosene, turpentine, and so on.

  • If it is on a linoleum or hardwood surface and it is still wet, you can use a damper paper towel to wipe. If it has dried, you can sand as much of it as you can, then rub the chemical on the surface to remove the remaining paints. Another way to get it off is to heat the surface then scrape what melts off. Use the chemical to remove what remains on the surface.
  • If you want to remove the paint from a carpet, you will need to apply turpentine. Then use a clean cloth to blot the paint. Do not scrub, as this will only work the paint deeper on the carpet. When most of the paint has cleared off, mix a tbsp of dishwashing soap with two cups of cool water, then use a clean cloth with the mixture to clean the remaining stains.

Note: remember to always wear protective clothing when using these chemicals to avoid health-related issues.

– Removing Latex Paints

  • If the surface is wet, remove as much of the paint as you can from the surface. Do not scrub too hard because it will cause further damage. Mix a tsp of mild dish detergent with warm water. Use it to blot the area so as to remove most of the paints. Once the paint has cleared off, leave the area to dry for a while. Then you can vacuum the surface.
  • If the surface is linoleum or hardwood and it has dried, scrape as much of the paint as you can. You can use a putty knife or plier to scrape it off, but make sure you don’t scratch the surface. Mix dish soap with water and use it to soak the surface for a few minutes before you scrub it. If the paint remains on the surface, use alcohol or mineral spirits to remove the excess.

Note: if this method doesn’t work, visit your local home improvement store for guidance, or you can try water-based latex paint removal products to see if it will remove the stains.



Spray painting your kitchen cabinets is a great way to upgrade their look instead of having to replace it. Your cabinets still have many years ahead of them, and the fear of spending hours painting with a brush shouldn’t make you avoid upgrading its look.

Get your spray gun ready and filled with oil or latex paint, then start spraying the paint on your kitchen cabinet. Spray guns usually have a controller that will change their speed from high to low.  The low speed will do the job better, and in under one hour, you should be done, depending on how many kitchen cabinets you have or you are willing to paint.

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