Professional Cabinet Painting: A Break Down of the Costs and Options

Kenneth Wilson

Did you know you can save almost half of your kitchen renovation budget by painting your cabinets instead of replacing them?

Professional cabinet painting is the most sensible choice when renovating. The costs of having your cabinets painted by a professional can vary greatly. However, you can have your cabinets looking brand new and pay less than half the price than having them replaced. As with most renovation projects, the costs can vary greatly depending on the size and quantity of the cabinets you want to be painted.

The average cost of professional cabinet painting is between $900 and $3,800. Each cabinet averages at $120 to $170. Some painting contractors charge per square foot, which can range from $3 to $10. 

Graphic showing the cost of cabinet painting per cabinet and per square foot

There are a few aspects to consider when choosing a painting contractor to paint your cabinets. Overall costs for professional cabinet painting will be affected by the size and quantity of cabinets you need to be painted. Larger spaces with numerous cabinets will have significantly higher costs than a small kitchen with minimal cabinet space. This guide will give you a rundown of the prices and options available for professional cabinet painting.

Read more to learn about the costs and options for professional cabinet painting. Understanding the costs and options for professional cabinet painting will help you find a painting contractor who can meet your needs while sticking to your budget.

Average Cost of Professional Cabinet Painting

The average cost of professional cabinet painting ranges from $900 to $3,800. This cost can increase significantly depending on the type of paint you use and the painting contractor's labor fees. It’s essential to keep in mind that labor and supply costs can be much higher in regions with higher living costs. The total costs will also be significantly impacted by the size and quantity of the cabinets that need to be painted.

Most contractors will include cabinet preparation, primer, paint, and labor within the costs they offer you. Some will offer itemized prices for the supplies used and labor costs. These things vary depending on which company you choose to work with. There are three different ways a painting contractor could decide to charge you:

  • Entire Cost: Some contractors prefer to evaluate the cabinets to provide clients an accurate estimate of the entire cost. If you have a large number of cabinets to paint, this is an ideal billing method, as some contractors are willing to give discounts for larger projects.
  • Per Unit: Painting contractors can choose to charge per cabinet, door, or drawer. Depending on the size, cabinet prices can range from $120 to $170. Cabinet doors run from $50 to $100. When charging for drawers, the price is usually $20 to $30 per unit. These costs typically include the cost of preparation, paint, primer, and labor.
  • Per Square Foot: When charging using square footage, costs are between $3 to $10 per square foot. This is one of the least common methods used by painting contractors. This method of pricing is ideal for smaller areas or spaces with a minimal number of cabinets.

All of these prices are estimates based on the current market. Generally, these prices cover the costs of all necessary supplies and labor. Prices may be higher in regions of the country that have higher living costs. If you have a large number of cabinets, you can expect your total cost to be on the higher end of these estimates. If you have a small kitchen with minimal cabinets, you could possibly have all of them painted for under $1000.

How Much Does it Cost to Paint Kitchen Cabinets?

Painting traditional wood kitchen cabinets white is common and can radically transform the interior space.

Kitchen cabinet painting typically costs $800 - $3,600 -- the price guidelines on this page apply whether the project is for kitchen cabinets, bathroom cabinets, or cabinets anywhere in the home. 


Estimated Cost Range

10 x10 (condo size)

$800 - $1,400

12 x 16 (common)

$1,300 - $2,500

14 x 20 (common)

$3,600 - $4,900

14 x 26 (large home)

$4,500 - $6,000

Average Cost of Cabinet Paint

With professional cabinet painting, you have the option to choose the paint and primer you want for your cabinets. Most painting contractors include the paint in the prices they offer you, but you are never obligated to use the paint they provide.

One gallon of cabinet paint can range from $25 to $150 per gallon. Primer typically ranges from $40 to $60 per gallon for a higher quality product. Most cabinet painting projects will require an estimate of two to three gallons of primer and three to five gallons of paint.

When purchasing your own paint and primer, you can expect to spend between $350 and $800.

Using the paint offered by the paint contractor is the most affordable way to go, but if you have a personal preference, it’s possible to purchase your own paint at a budget price.

Choosing a Professional Cabinet Painter

Finding a painting contractor near you can be simple using the internet or asking people you know. A quick Google search should bring up a list of painting contractors near you. Choosing a professional cabinet painter can be a bit overwhelming if you have a surplus of contractors within your region.

When choosing a painting contractor, you should make your decision after doing these three things:

  • Gather Estimated Costs
  • Check Reviews
  • Confirm Satisfaction Guarantee

You can use these three elements to decide which professional cabinet painter you want to work with. These three factors should provide the information you need to find a contractor within your budget.

You want to be sure you do the proper research before choosing a painting contractor. Choosing a low-quality contractor could have disastrous results. Poorly painted cabinets can look even worse than the worn-down original paint. Read on to learn more about what to look for in a painting contractor.

Gather Estimated Costs

Gathering the estimated costs is a crucial step if you are on a limited budget. You want to be sure you are working with a painting contractor who can work within your price range. Typically, an in-person evaluation for an estimate is preferred because estimates can often be inaccurate over the phone. It’s a wise idea to have at least three contractors evaluate your cabinets before making a decision.

Check Reviews

Checking reviews is an excellent way to find a professional cabinet painter. Reviews of a company often reveal the truth about their services—the good and the bad. Avoid working with companies that don’t have good client feedback. Sometimes painting contractors can have poor reviews for underestimating the costs, leaving homeowners with much higher prices to pay for painting projects.

Confirm Satisfaction Guarantee

Many painting companies will offer a satisfaction guarantee to their clients. This means that if the cabinet paint starts to deteriorate or wear away within a year or two, the company will provide free touch-ups. Not all painting contractors will do this, so be sure to inquire to see if this is an option with the company you choose to hire.

Key Considerations Before having your Cabinets Professionally Painted

Deciding to have your cabinets professionally painted is a great way to spruce up your kitchen. However, there are several things you should consider before approaching a contractor for a price estimate. When choosing to have your cabinets professionally painted, there are several questions you should ask yourself.

How many rooms need cabinet painting?

Take a quick walk around your home to count all the rooms with cabinets that you would like painted. Maybe you’re only doing a kitchen remodel and only need that one room. Perhaps you’re doing the whole house and have cabinets in several bathrooms. Write down the number of rooms that will have cabinets needing painting.

How many cabinet doors and drawers do I need to be painted?

Count all the doors and drawers on the cabinets you want professionally painted. Some painting contractors prefer to charge per cabinet door or drawer, so this is a good number to know. Having this number on hand will save your contractor time when they are putting together the estimate.

What color do I want my cabinets painted?

Whether you want a color match to your last cabinet color or a completely new color, a painting contractor can help you decide during an evaluation of your cabinets. They can help you find a color that is suitable for your home. If you already have a color in mind, you can choose that on your own and provide the paint that you want to be used. (Related: The Best Paint For Kitchen Cabinets)

Do the hinges and handles need to be replaced?

Check to see if all the hinges and handles of the cabinets are in working order. Sometimes old hardware on cabinets can become rusted or just won’t work as well. If the hardware on your cabinets is old or outdated, replacing them can be a good idea. It can also help your cabinets look brand new. When you contact a professional painter to inquire about their cabinet painting rates, you’ll want to have all this information on hand. Knowing these things will help the evaluation process to find a price estimate. It’s also good to decide what you want to do before approaching a painting contractor for a price.

The Process of Professional Cabinet Painting

Cabinet Painting Process Breakdown Step-by-Step

Professional cabinet painters will usually complete the job with three steps. Obviously, they do more than just three things because each step has its own string of duties it comes with. Here are the three main aspects of painting cabinets:

  1. 1
    Preparation - To prepare a cabinet for painting, there is a preparation process that must take place. The surface being painted must be sanded down to remove existing paint. After this, the cabinet must be cleaned and vacuumed, so all the dust from the sanding process is removed. Next, the cabinet surfaces are degreased, leaving a bondable surface.
  2. 2
    Priming - Before painting, the entire surface must be coated in primer. If you are painted a cabinet made of stained wood, use a stain-blocking primer to achieve the best-looking paint job possible. After the primer dries, the cabinet surfaces will need to be sanded down once again in preparation for painting.
  3. 3
    Painting - The final step of painting the cabinets is, of course, painting. Cabinet painting should require two to three coats, depending on the color you are painting over. If you are painting the cabinets a color similar to the last color, one coat might even be sufficient. Most contractors will be able to calculate the quantity of paint your cabinets will need.

Benefits of Professional Cabinet Painting

Pros and cons of cabinet painting compared.

There are several benefits to having your cabinets professionally painted. If you’re thinking about investing in newly painted cabinets, check out the benefits that can come along with it.

  • Cabinets Will Appear New: Having your cabinets professionally painted is an excellent way to restore the beauty of your kitchen for a low cost. All cabinets fade and become lackluster over time, and repainting them can freshen up their appearance. People are often surprised at how much painting cabinets can improve the look of a room. If you want brand new cabinets, consider painting them instead for a similar visual effect. Once you see the final painted product, it could be hard to tell the difference between that and a cabinet that’s brand new.
  • More Affordable Than Cabinet Replacement: Professional cabinet painting is much more affordable than entirely replacing cabinets. If you want to renovate your kitchen, replacing the cabinets can take up almost half of the renovation budget! Having the cabinets professionally painted is a brilliant way to transform your kitchen affordably. When doing a complete kitchen renovation, having the cabinets professionally painted will feel like pennies compared to the rest of the projects!
  • Professional Painters are Experts: Hiring a professional to paint your cabinets is the best way to achieve like-new cabinets. Professional painters are experts in what they do, and you can count on them to get the job done correctly. When painting cabinets yourself, you risk damaging nearby surfaces or ending up with patchy results. Working with a painting contractor is the best way to achieve the results you are after.

Downfalls of Professional Cabinet Painting

When making any sort of renovation decision, it’s essential to consider the downfalls of that decision. Even if you are set on moving forward with having your cabinets professionally painted, it’s crucial to understand every aspect of the process. Explore the downfalls of professional cabinet painting to see if this is the right choice for your renovations.

  • Labor Costs: The main negative aspect to consider with professional cabinet painting is the labor costs. Sometimes the total cost of having a professional paint the cabinets is too high for someone needing to spruce up tattered cabinets. As with any project, it’s more affordable to do it yourself. However, a project like cabinet painting could quickly go awry. Without the proper knowledge and experience of preparing and priming the cabinets, the quality of the paint job may not be satisfactory. The paint could appear patchy or have an improper finish. While it is possible to complete the project independently, a job like this is best handled by professionals.
  • Cabinets May Not Take to Paint Well: It’s also vital to consider the fact that your cabinets may not be suitable for painting. Some materials, like stainless steel, vinyl, laminate, or any non-solid wood material, can be tough surfaces for the paint to adhere to. The paint may end up chipping, peeling, or may not even adhere at all. If your cabinets are not made of solid wood, you may need to consider a complete replacement rather than just painting them.
  • Long Project Times: Professional cabinet painting can take three to five days, which can inconvenience people who don’t have access to another kitchen space during this time. If you want a project that can be done in a day, then professional cabinet painting is not the choice for you. The extended project time involved can cause difficulties if you need to have full access to your kitchen while the cabinets are being painted.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

There are many factors to consider when having your cabinets professionally painted. While you may have a basic understanding of the costs after reading the above sections, there are probably some questions you still have. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions regarding professional cabinet painting.

Do the cabinet doors need to be removed?

Yes, the cabinet doors will need to be removed, and the drawers, as well. Cabinet door and drawer removal should all be handled by the painting contractor you choose to work with. They will also handle replacing the cabinet doors and drawers to their original positions. The doors and drawers are removed to make the job of painting the cabinets more accessible. Painting them while they are still attached can be complicated and messy.

Can humidity affect the paint job?

Yes, humidity can significantly affect a cabinet’s paint job. It can actually be damaging to the final product. High humidity can lead to extra moisture on the work surface. This can affect the overall finish of the paint job and diminish the adhesion of the paint. If you are trying to have your cabinets painted, but you live in a humid region, use a dehumidifier in the room to dry the air before you begin.

Do I need to clean my cabinets beforehand?

Professional painters will generally clean and vacuum cabinets after sanding them down to remove debris. However, you should clean the cabinets beforehand if you can and get rid of any unnecessary grime that could get in the way of the contractors. It’s also important that you empty your cabinets completely before the professional painters arrive. This helps their job go smoothly so they can be quick and efficient when painting your cabinets.

How long will the paint last?

Cabinet paint typically lasts between eight and fifteen years. As mentioned above, many painting contractors offer a satisfaction guarantee and are willing to perform free touch-ups for your cabinet paint. However, these guarantees usually only last a few years, so you can expect to have to repaint or replace your cabinets after about a decade.

How long does cabinet painting take?

The time it takes to paint cabinets depends on the size and quantity of the cabinets. These projects tend to take from three to five days. If you have a small to medium-sized kitchen that you want the cabinets painted in, the process should take three days maximum. For larger projects, like spacious kitchens or houses with cabinets in several areas, the cabinet painting should be completed within five days.

Can I use my kitchen during the process?

Typically, it can be challenging to use your kitchen during the cabinet painting process. You won’t have access to your cabinets, of course, but depending on where they are located, you may have full access to your refrigerator, stove, or appliances. However, it is best to stay out of the way when the job is being completed, especially when the painters are working. Also, depending on the paint, you may need to wait 24 to 48 hours after completion to allow the paint to dry before you begin using your kitchen again.

Final Thoughts

Professional cabinet painting can be much more cost-efficient than having cabinets replaced. However, the cost of professional cabinet painting varies greatly depending on the size and quantity of the cabinets. Figure out the number of cabinets you need to be painted, then call around to your local painting contractors to gather some price estimates.

Choosing a painting contractor requires research to find a contractor that can complete the project within your budget. It helps to find a painter with good reviews and a solid reputation. Once you find a professional cabinet painter to work with, you can say goodbye to the shabby cabinets of your past! Having your cabinets professionally painted is an excellent way to have cabinets that look brand new for half the price.

This guide can give you all the information you need to understand the costs of professional cabinet painting. Having a general idea of the costs can help you on your journey to restoring the beauty of your current cabinets. We hope this guide has provided you the tools you require to choose a professional cabinet painter that works for you.

Kenneth Wilson
September 30, 2021
Cost Guides, Interior

Kenneth Wilson

Retired contractor. Currently residing in Southwest Florida. Now in semi-retirement, I write and manage this blog focused on helping home owners make savvy decisions when it comes to finding contractors and getting their projects done. I also operate remodeling design service for homeowners.