Kitchen Cabinet Painting

Painting new cabinets and Repainting existing cabinets

The appearance and durability of well painted cabinets requires fives times the amount of prep work and skill than painting ordinary surfaces such as walls and door casings. We are often called to rescue failed painting cabinet projects ; where home owners and inexperienced painters underestimate the time and skill involved to deliver a professional cabinet painting project. Consider the amount of time a family spends in their kitchen; the investment for a quality cabinet painting install by recognized professionals is money well spent. Shearer Painting has painted over 700 kitchen cabinets in Seattle and Bellevue since 1990. Call Shearer Painting at 206-431-3606 to schedule an estimate to repaint your cabinets; or you can fill out the form on this page.

Read how long should a kitchen cabinet painting job last?

Read can you fill wood grain on painted cabinets?


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This is a typical Seattle kitchen cabinet update. The owners had contracted Shearer Painting to paint their existing oak kitchen cabinets with an update off-white paint scheme. This process includes the de-greasing, sanding, priming, and painting of the wood cabinet boxes, drawers, and pantry doors. In addition to painting, Shearer was asked to replace the existing plastic hardware with polished brass hardware; this included removing existing pulls, filling holes, and symmetrically mounting the new hardware.

The paint on this project was an waterbased alykd resin enamel selected because of the lower odor; while still providing a durable scrub-able finish . The cabinets were painted in place; the home occupied by the family (immediate image). Read more about water based enamels

Learn more about the process of painting kitchen cabinets.


Justin: My name is Justin, and we’re here at our Shearer shop in SODO. I’m here to talk about cabinet painting today. And we do about 30 – 40 different cabinet packages per year. Right now, in our shop, we have about three different cabinet packages that we’re working on. And we get a lot of the same questions over and over again, so I just wanted to touch on a few of those right now.

First one is: what type of paint should I use?

Really, there are two different, great options when talking about cabinet painting. One is a water based enamel, and the other is an oil based enamel.

Water based enamels are nice, hard products, and they dry much more quickly than an oil based product, whereas an oil based product does take several weeks to cure, and it off-gases for that same amount of time. One of the main disadvantages of an oil based product is you do not want to be home when we’re doing it, because of the off-gassing for an extensive period of time.

Another question we usually get is about grain in cabinets. So, that usually comes into account when you’re talking about oak cabinets.

This cabinet package right here was a cabinet that had extensive oak grain, and the owner decided to have the grain still visible in the cabinet door. We also have another cabinet package that we’ve done that we’re actually working on right now, and they’ve decided to have the grain removed. So, we’ve already done a full coat of Bondo – what happened was, we put Bondo all over the door, sanded it down, primed over top of it, and once we primed it for the first time, we were still able to see a lot of imperfections in the grain removal process and applied Bondo to the necessary areas…this has been sanded down, and this is ready for paint. So, now we’re into a full grain-removal process on an oak cabinet door. Just, much more time-intensive than that, but it’s going to end up with a fantastic finish.

And, so, as you can see, we have plastic up all over the walls. It works for us to have a scenario that is dust or an area that is dust-free and free of contaminants that’ll affect this cabinet package. But this is the room that we go ahead and we do all of our sanding, all of our prep work such as putting wood fillers like Bondo in, and then also completing our painting process.

So, this is another cabinet package that we’ve just recently completed – we had a customer that was concerned about deep brush marks another painting contractor had put in, and they were expecting a sprayed finish. So, we took the cabinet package, sanded it right down to remove all of those brush marks, and then we provided a fantastic spray finish.