The Best Way To Paint Kitchen Cabinets

The Basics Of How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets

hand holding paint brush painting kitchen cabinet


Many people want to change the look of their kitchen cabinets and often are overwhelmed at the idea of a total kitchen makeover. We read the kitchen questions constantly in our Paint it Beautiful Facebook group. Will I make a mistake? Do I need to sand my kitchen cabinets? What do I use to clean my kitchen cabinets? How many coats will it take? Will there be brush strokes on the cabinets? And our favorite, do I need to use Fusion’s Tough Coat to seal painted kitchen cabinets? We answer all of these FAQ’s and go over the basic information you need to know to paint kitchen cabinets with Fusion Mineral Paint.

The best way to paint kitchen cabinets with Fusion Mineral Paint - items pictured are best tools for painting your kitchen

We are covering all the basics you need to know to get started with how to paint kitchen cabinets. Painting your kitchen cabinets does not need to be and should not be a scary process. You can do this! If anything, it should be a fun home makeover project to help you achieve the kitchen look that you really want. And with Fusion Mineral Paint, it won’t be hard at all.



We sound like a broken record (we know!) when we say this but prep is the most important step of any paint project. Do not skimp on this step as your paint will only perform as well as the surface that it’s going on allows. What does prep involve? Figuring out your surface needs before a drop of paint even appears on your brush.


For example, are your cabinets made of raw wood that have never been covered with anything? As long as the last sanding on them was in the direction of the wood grain and the dust removed, you’re good to get started after a quick clean of the kitchen cabinets. If they’ve previously been covered in paint, wax or any glossy lacquer, then you will have to clean them more thoroughly.


Kitchen cabinets that are lacquer, painted and/or glossy surfaces can be cleaned with Fusion’s TSP, which is basically your best friend for removing oil, grease and stains. You may then lightly sand them after you clean using 220 grit sandpaper.


If your surface has been previously waxed (do a fingernail wax test to see if it has) then you must use Mineral Spirits to remove wax as the paint will NOT adhere to a wax surface.

If your kitchen cabinets are melamine or thermafoil, a light sanding as well as our Ultra Grip, will help the paint adhere better. Ultra Grip was made for hard to paint surfaces like metal or even glass but you do not need to use Ultra Grip for anything else. We notice that many FMP lovers in Paint It Beautiful talk about using Ultra Grip on kitchen cabinets but in most cases, it is unnecessary.

If you aren’t sure about what prep you should do with your own project, refer to our very easy to follow Prep Guide.




Fusion Mineral Paint is a 100% acrylic, water-based paint with a built-in top coat. With most colors and situations you will not need to use a primer before you paint. The one exception to that is if you are concerned about bleed through, which is a shadow or coloring, something that you see peeking through your paint as it starts to cure.  It is almost like a stain, bleeding through the paint (think darker wood knots). Certain types of wood are more prone to bleed through. If you are concerned about bleed through, head to our blog post all about what to do to prevent bleed through

hand holding a paint brush painting white paint on a cabinet

Applying a stain blocking primer is crucial to preventing bleed through when painting.  You may want to use B-I-N Zinsser Shellac-Based Primer so that the shellac will hold in the resins and not allow for bleeding to occur. We have a really useful blog post all about this topic that you can read if you need more help.



People always want a brush stroke free finish and in order to get that look, you need to choose the right paint brushes. Often times, inexpensive brushes are made with poor quality materials that won’t hold your paint well and when applying paint, loose bristles can come off the brushes and wreak havoc on your surface. Want to become an expert on how NOT to get brush strokes? Head to this blog post!


We strongly recommend using Staalmeester paint brushes. They’re the absolute best on the market! Take a look at our guide on how to choose the right brush. In terms of rollers, we often prefer microfiber rollers as they tend to hold paint better and leave less unwanted bubbles or texture on your the surface that you are painting.



We often think the more paint on the brush and the thicker the coats of paint, the better, when in fact the opposite is true. It is best to apply 2 thin coats for better coverage and a 3rd may be necessary depending on if you’re going from a darker color to a lighter one.  The thicker your paint coats are, the longer your drying time. How you hold your brush is also helpful because if you’re going to be painting a lot of cabinets, your hand can get tired and the way you apply your paint can be impacted. 

Jennylyn demonstrates how to dip your brush in and how to remove excess paint so you do not apply too much paint.



We actually have a wonderful video where we show you how to apply paint for a brush stroke free finish that we highly recommend you watch, as often times it helps to visually see the proper way to paint.




As we mentioned, Fusion Mineral Paint is a 100% acrylic paint with a built-in topcoat made from 100% resin. This means you do not need to seal it with an additional product to ensure that it is waterproof. It is already built-in for you. It is dry to the touch after 2 hours and can accept a re-coat of paint after 4 hours. We recommend that cure time with all acrylic paints is 21 days, however, painted surfaces can be gently used after 24-48 hours of drying time.


What about our Tough Coat? That’s only used at your discretion. To decide if it’s right for you and your kitchen cabinets, read our post all about when to use a top coat over Fusion Mineral Paint. We have seen Paint it Beautiful members who have painted their kitchens and not used it and have had no issues, whereas others just felt more at ease applying so.

Jennylyn recorded this informative and great Facebook Live where she discussed how to paint Ikea kitchen cabinets. This short Live is packed with lots of great information and tips for making sure your kitchen cabinet makeover is a success!

Kitchen cabinet painting !

Posted by Jennylyn Pringle on Thursday, May 24, 2018

And that is it! Take your time as you work. Remember, thin coats are better than thick coats. Do patch tests on cabinet areas that won’t be seen so that you can be comfortable with applying the color of your choice. And most of all, have fun! It’s an amazing feeling to see our Fusion communities Before and After photos and nothing beats that reaction of “I can’t believe that’s the same kitchen!”


That’s the power of paint! So go Paint it Beautiful!

Mineral Paint