5 Reasons Why DIY Cabinet Painting is Not a Good Idea

When your kitchen starts looking a bit dated, or when you’re simply ready for a change, giving the cabinets a fresh coat of paint can breathe new life into the space.
6th June 2022, 9:42 a.m.

When your kitchen starts looking a bit dated, or when you’re simply ready for a change, giving the cabinets a fresh coat of paint can breathe new life into the space. However, if you’re thinking about painting your cabinets on your own, you might want to reconsider. Below are five reasons why DIY cabinet painting isn’t the best idea. 


#1 - Painting Your Cabinets Can Affect Resale Value


Although painted cabinets certainly can look modern and fresh, when it is done incorrectly, you might get the opposite result. If a potential buyer sees a paint job that is anything less than professional, there’s a good chance that you could lose the sale. Furthermore, when you do sell your home, those painted cabinets can actually impact the amount people are willing to pay. Failing to hire a professional to paint your cabinets could result in a loss of several thousand dollars on the sale. 


#2 - Cabinet Painting Requires Patience & Knowledge


Unfortunately, many people believe that DIY cabinet painting is a task they can complete on a Saturday afternoon without even breaking a sweat. This is simply not the case. If you want a truly professional look that lasts, you’ll need to apply filler and primer, and you’ll need to carefully apply a lacquer to finish. Each of these layers needs time to cure completely, and mistakes with even one of them can affect the finished look a great deal. If you aren’t a painting professional and you only have one afternoon to get the job done, it’s best to avoid making it a DIY project at all. 


#3 - The Popular Distressed Look is Hard to Achieve 


These days, the distressed woodwork look is on trend - especially in homes and buildings with the coveted farmhouse or cottage core decor styles. It is also notoriously difficult to create yourself unless you have years of experience. All too often, individuals purchase paints specifically designed to create this look, then wonder what went wrong when their cabinets look more shabby than chic. Unfortunately, many of these paints are not professional quality, which means they are extremely difficult to work with. Professional painters have access to exceptional quality materials, and they also have the experience needed to create the look you want. 


#4 - New Cabinets are Expensive 


Homeowners tend to lean toward DIY cabinet painting when they want to update their homes without spending a small fortune on a full renovation. Although cabinet painting can certainly be a wonderful option, it should be noted that some mistakes simply cannot be undone. If you paint your cabinets yourself and you don’t like the way they turn out, the alternative involves completely replacing your cabinets - an investment that costs anywhere from $7000 to $20,000 depending on the number of cabinets, the material, and the size. 


#5 - Not All Materials are Receptive to Paint


If your cabinet facings are laminated, made with veneers, or constructed of metal, it’s important to note that painting them can be an extremely difficult process. Paints simply do not adhere to these surfaces well, which means you will need to take some extra time to prime them very carefully. It’s best to leave this work to a professional with experience and skill; one simple mistake during the process can lead to permanent damage to your cabinetry. 


If you are thinking about DIY cabinet painting but you are not an experienced painter, consider the five facts above very carefully before you start your project. In most cases, contacting a professional might cost a little more up front, but it’s well worth the investment in the long run.