Kitchen cabinets

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Forum topic by Mark posted 08-08-2020 03:26 PM 379 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Mark's profile


1048 posts in 2823 days

08-08-2020 03:26 PM

We’re planning a house move in the next year or so. We have the old style oak cabinets that are in need of refinishing or replacing. Replacing is a major expense (for good cabinets) though I have been looking at IKEA. But the big question is…has anyone painted oak cabinets? If so did you leave them on the wall? I’ve seen several YouTube’s and have seen it done both ways. Either way it’s toning to be a huge pain in the butt. If I want max resale value I gotta do something. Thanks for your time.

-- Mark

8 replies so far

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2655 posts in 1011 days

#1 posted 08-08-2020 03:48 PM

I have painted oak Box Store cabinets before. they were raw wood, so they
had to be primed first. so would pre-painted or pre-stained cabinets.
I removed the doors and brush painted the boxes hanging on the wall
as well as the doors stretched over a ladder on saw horses.

these are 60 year old varnished pine plywood – primed and repainted.

this kitchen remodel is what really increased the value of the home.

the cabinets on the far wall are Box Store oak cabinets. they were painted in place.
they were previously varnished. the doors were removed and painted separately.

so it is boils down to: is it worth it to you to repaint ??
if you commit to the project, clean with TSP, wipe with a solvent, prime and paint.
I do not spray anything – I am strictly a Brush-a-Holic.


-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6418 posts in 3341 days

#2 posted 08-08-2020 03:49 PM

Have you considered refacing with new doors and drawer fronts? the refacing part is PSA veneer over the face frames and exposed sides, then make your own drawer fronts/doors. It’s likely more expensive and more work than painting, but the results may be more marketable. Should you consider dog this, I recommend this book. You can get it used for next to nothing. Lastly, if you go ahead with the paint, the most important part may be the thorough cleaning you need to give the cabinets to get rid of any contaminants. Even then, it may pay to give it a coat of dewaxed shellac to insure adhesion of the paint.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View JackDuren's profile


1323 posts in 1808 days

#3 posted 08-08-2020 04:13 PM

Paints the cheapest. Refacing is less than a new set of cabinets..

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

890 posts in 2140 days

#4 posted 08-08-2020 06:11 PM

Mark. As you know the housing market is great now for sellers. Who knows what it will look like in a few years.

Some buyers would like to remodel the house in their own style.

Everyone has their own preference.

There’s a product called Restozit.
It is worth looking into.

Good luck on your move. I have a pickup truck. (:-)

-- James E McIntyre

View Robert's profile


3936 posts in 2329 days

#5 posted 08-08-2020 11:23 PM

I’ve seen it done, but the grain of the oak will show through unless it is filled which add a tremendous amount of work.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Heyoka's profile


63 posts in 701 days

#6 posted 08-09-2020 12:56 PM

I have repainted Oak cabinets, I like the wood grain texture showing through the paint.

-- Heyoka

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2655 posts in 1011 days

#7 posted 08-09-2020 01:01 PM

+1 with Heyoka.
each person has their own preferences.


-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

View Axis39's profile


338 posts in 445 days

#8 posted 08-09-2020 01:44 PM

I’ve repainted a metric s-ton of oak cabinets, most often white. Oh, and always done it in place. No reason to take them down and reinstall.

As has been mentioned, take all the doors off and pull all the drawers. Do them separately. I don’t take the drawer fronts off, either. I simply tape and mask off the drawers.

I’ve found those fine grained foam rollers on the cases and face frames works well and reduces the mess (and taping, etc). But, I like spraying (HVLP) the doors and drawer fronts.

Clean everything really well with TSP, prime with Zinser BIN shellac based primer and top coat with a good quality paint like the Sherwin Williams Pro Classic or the Benjamin Moore INSL-X Cabinet Coat.

Sure, the grain might show through, but if you get a nice even coat on, who cares? Most folks will look at it as solid wood cabinets (even if the casework isn’t).

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood

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