How to Paint Kitchen Cupboards

I have to admit I tried this 2 years ago and I screwed up!  I didn’t sand, or take them off the kitchen cabinets. I used one coat water-based eggshell to cover the laminate which has peeled terribly helped by my dog’s claws – classy!


So here’s the new and improved ‘How to Paint Laminate Cupboards’ as I’m really pleased with how they have come out and it should cost less than £40 to do. There are many methods you can use spray paint laminate,  but I always get that everywhere! So I used regular Dulux cupboard paint which is made especially for laminate and wood cupboards doors and is very tough (according to the tin!).

You’ll need:

1 Can of Cupboard Paint – I’m using a Dulux in a pale cream

Small 1 or 1.5 inch paintbrush

Spray Sugar Soap

Fine Sandpaper

Screw Driver


Somewhere to dry them in between coats

New Knobs if you need them


1. Take them off from the cabinets and onto a flat surface and remove knobs

2. Clean with sugar soap – you’ll need to do this thoroughly and leave to dry

3. Use the very fine sandpaper and don’t rub too hard – it’s laminate but just key the surface. If you have old paint on there try and get as much off as possible – I’ve learnt that through trial and error!.

4. Go over the surface with a damp cloth and get rid of all dust – change the paper underneath. Dry it off with kitchen roll

4. Paint. Do lots of thin layers leaving an 1.5 hours in between coats to dry and somewhere between 5-6 seems to give a good finish. Follow the fake grain of the laminate.

5. Repeat on all your cupboards and drawers.


The finished article and a month later they are still unscratched


4 fronts done another 6 to go and the surrounds – eek!

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  1. Good job, and good luck with the rest of it. I think your plan is a sound one, a kitchen overhaul versus a replacement, I have seen two kitchens beautifully transformed at close hand in this way, and, at the same time I have also seen some awful brand new ones, with money completely wasted. Keen to see how you get on.

  2. Thanks for the encouragement!

    Janet – sugar soap is well…..don’t know really. You can buy it here to clean down woodwork before you paint it. I’m sure there must be a US equivalent? Anyone?

    Callie – thanks! And I promise there will be lots of photos 🙂

    SPD – Soooo pleased you’ve seen some that have worked out ok, it’s always a gamble but hopefully it’ll work ok.

  3. Fabulous- I love a good makeover…The sugar soap made me =) that sounds so much better than goo be gone….
    Thanks for sharing-
    Happy Day

  4. Hi Liz,

    First of all I like to thank you for your kind words.

    I am sure your kitchen is going to be lovely. I am looking forward to pics when
    it’s finished.


  5. After reading your post, Andrew and I stood in the kitchen, hands on hips, discussing how we were going to repaint the cupboard doors too. So, there we go. Decision made. Now the question is how long will it take before we actually do it? 😉

    Can’t wait to see yours, bet it’ll look fab once it’s finished!

    1. Oh I painted tiles once in an old flat, it works ok if you are a bath family. But if you use the shower a lot it peels really quickly. Hope that helps xx

  6. There are many techniques that you can use to paint your laminate kitchen cupboards. But before painting your laminate kitchen cupboards, proper preparation and planning should be implemented.