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7-Step Guide to Painting Your Kitchen Cupboards Hero Image

What's the best paint for kitchen cupboards? Can I paint laminated cabinets? What primer should I use on my kitchen? Sound familiar? These are some of our most frequently asked questions, so we wanted to make things easier for you. We've created a handy 7-step guide to painting kitchen cupboards, with our recommended product suggestions. Watch our guided video below or read on to learn more.


STEP 1 - Remove doors and drawer fronts from your cabinets, including hardware like handles and hinges too! Put down dust sheets to protect other parts of the room as necessary.

STEP 2 - Clean the cabinets. We recommend using our cleaning agent Maalipesu, an alkaline solution that removes dirt, grease, oil and wax. Make sure to wash off any residue with water and a damp cloth afterwards. 


STEP 3 When the cabinets are dry, sand with fine paper (you can skip this step if you have melamine or high gloss surfaces). Fill imperfections with a quality ready mixed filler and sand again. Helmi Furniture Filler is great for filling in gaps on kitchen cabinets and cupboards as it's ready mixed, easy to sand, dries white, and won't shrink or crack.

STEP 4 - Apply primer. The type of primer you should use will depend on what your cabinets are made of:

Solid Wood
A good quality indoor wood primer will work well here. We recommend Helmi Wood Primer, a water-based, high opacity acrylic primer.

Previously Painted wood
If your cabinets have previously been painted, there may not be a need for primer - just a very good sanding! Especially if your new colour choice is close to the existing shade. However, if the existing paint needs some TLC, we would recommend priming with Otex Akva before moving on to your topcoat. 

Veneer, Laminate & Tricky Surfaces
 A lot of modern kitchens are laminate, which can be shiny or matt, usually very smooth and can be difficult to get paint to stick to. In this instance we recommend using our adhesion promoting primer Otex Akva


Now for the fun part! Our topcoat recommendation for kitchens is our Helmi range, but our Everal Aqua range is also perfect here. Both products are available in hundreds of unique shades (or can be colour matched if you have something specific in mind!)

STEP 5 - Apply your first coat of paint and let it dry thoroughly (check the product speciation's for recommended drying times!) After this first coat is completely dry, sand with a fine paper to ensure a smooth, professional finish. Wipe off any dust with a damp cloth.

STEP 6 - Time for your second coat. Once applied, leave to dry for a further 48 hours.

STEP 7 - When the second coat is completely dry, put the knobs and handles back on and re-attach the doors. Then sit back and admire your new cabinets!

HELMI- Dust-dry after 1 hour. Recoatable after 4 hours. Ready to use hardness after 2-3 days. Available in matt, semi-matt and gloss finish. Helmi is an ultra-low VOC, interior paint product that is toy safe and has been awarded multiple eco certifications.

EVERAL AQUA - Dust-dry after 1 hour. Recoatable after 6 hours. Ready to use hardness after 2-3 days. Available in matt, semi-matt and gloss finish. Everal is a low VOC, water based,  trade acrylic paint for interior and exterior use with high levels of resistance.

Looking to purchase all the items required for painting kitchen cupboards in one click? Shop our fully curated DIY Kitchen Cabinet Kit here. Containing everything you need from cleaning solution and sanders, to the primer and topcoat paint itself.

Colour used

Abyss N439
A Dark Green With Blue-Grey Undertones.
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Use this calculator to work out your requirements, if you have any question please get in touch with one of our team who will be more than willing to help you.

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Disclaimer: Tikkurila UK Paint Calculator is provided as a guide only. The coverage rates will vary depending on surface being coated and the particular product range being used. More information on these products can be found on the cans, on the technical data sheets on individual product pages, by using our live chat service or by calling our technical team on 0131 334 4999.

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the estimate, however paint requirements may vary depending on the surface, type of paint, sheen level and colour chosen.