Why is painting cabinets so expensive?

Resurrect Wood Refinishing refinishes cabinets instead of painting them. Since it is common for these terms to get mixed up, this article assumes the word “painting” refers to changing cabinets to a solid color. The refinishing process is similar to painting. We encourage you to check out our other articles to understand the difference between painting and refinishing and why our technique is higher quality. 

To answer the question, painting kitchen cabinets seems expensive compared to other paint jobs like walls, ceilings, and baseboards. This is because of surface area, product, labor, and correct technique. A 10×10 kitchen feels small, but every cabinet has about three times more surface area than a section of a bedroom wall or ceiling. Attention to detail is required and many mistakes cannot be “painted over,” like most flat surfaces. Where a wallpainter can just brush another coat, cabinet refinishers will likely have to scrape, clean, sand, and start over an entire section if there is a fault. Mastery of painting cabinets requires years of experience and knowledge. Skilled labor costs are more expensive than the average wall painter. 

How much should it cost to have cabinets painted?

Painting kitchen cabinets should be ⅓ the cost of purchasing new cabinets completely. Some painters can offer great deals at the expense of hired help. What may appear to be a great deal from a one-man operation can result in delays and miscommunication. 

Is painting cabinets cheaper than replacing?

Painting cabinets is significantly cheaper than replacing cabinets altogether. It is less waste to the environment and adds significant value to the home at ⅓ the cost.

Can I just paint over old cabinets?

Old cabinets can be painted. Proper preparation is required for a successful paint job. This not only involves cleaning the surface, but identifying if there are cracks, rot, and any other faults in the old wood. These need to be addressed before painting or they will show through when the job is complete.

Do you paint the inside of kitchen cabinets?

Typically you do not paint the insides of your cabinet boxes. The only time it is necessary to paint the inside of kitchen cabinets is if there is a see-through glass door covering the interior. Otherwise, the standard is to paint up to and around the face frame of the cabinet box.