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Do You Paint Both Sides Of Kitchen Cabinet Doors?

Are you sick and weary of your kitchen’s boring look? Want to make some changes without going over budget? This easy-to-do, low-cost DIY improvement may drastically change the way your kitchen looks and feels.

Painting both sides of the cabinet doors is an important but often overlooked step to do before beginning any painting project. You read correctly: both sides. We assure you that it is well worth the additional step, even if it may seem needless at first.

In this blog article, we’ll explore the importance of painting kitchen cabinet doors on both sides and provide professional advice for attaining a perfect finish.

So, do you paint both sides of kitchen cabinet doors?

Most painting experts recommend painting both sides of kitchen cabinet doors to provide an additional layer of protection and make the final result look more finished and professional. However, some paints may warrant painting only one side. If the paint brand uses a high-quality primer or sealer, you can only paint one side.

If you do not plan to paint the inside of your cabinet doors, they will not need to be sanded or primed. You can use painter’s tape to achieve straight lines along the edges of each door.

So, let’s get started.

Why Paint Kitchen Cabinet Doors?

Painting kitchen cabinet doors on both sides can provide numerous benefits, such as ensuring a well-sealed surface, creating a uniform and polished look, protecting against moisture damage, and offering a wide range of color options.

This simple step can also help conceal any imperfections in the cabinets.

But why is it crucial to paint both sides of the cabinet doors? Let’s delve into the advantages further.

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  • Moisture Protection: By painting both sides of the cabinet doors, you are effectively creating a barrier to prevent moisture from seeping in and causing warping or rotting. This is especially vital in kitchens where cabinets are exposed to high levels of steam and humidity from cooking.
  • Cohesive Aesthetic: Painting both sides of the cabinet doors ensures a consistent color and finish on all surfaces, resulting in a cohesive visual appeal in the kitchen. This can elevate the overall look and feel of the space.
  • Longer Lifespan: With protection from moisture and everyday wear and tear, painting both sides of the cabinet doors can prolong their lifespan and maintain their pristine appearance for longer.
  • Endless Color Options: This process allows for endless color options, giving you the creative freedom to choose a shade that complements your design vision.
  • Easy to Clean: Painted cabinets are easier to clean compared to stained ones, making them a practical choice for high-traffic areas like kitchens.

Aside from these benefits, painting both sides of kitchen cabinet doors can also be a cost-effective alternative to replacing or refacing cabinets. It also presents opportunities to cleverly hide flaws in the cabinets by using different colors or finishes on each side.

However, it’s essential to properly prepare the surface before painting and use quality paint specifically formulated for cabinetry to ensure long-lasting results. Adequate ventilation and ample drying time before adding a protective coating are also crucial steps to follow.

Things To Know Before You Paint Kitchen Cabinet Doors

Before beginning the process of painting both sides of your kitchen cabinet doors, there are several crucial factors that you should keep in mind.

  • Gather all necessary tools and materials: It is essential to have all the required tools and materials before starting the project, including paint specifically designed for cabinets. Using the appropriate products will ensure a professional-looking finish and promote proper adhesion of the paint.
  • Proper preparation is key: Preparation is vital for any painting project, especially when it comes to both sides of kitchen cabinet doors. Take the time to remove the doors from their hinges, thoroughly clean the surfaces, fill in any imperfections with putty, and sand down rough spots.
  • Consider the material of your cabinets: When selecting paint and primer, it is important to consider the type of material your cabinets are made of. Different products are needed for wood cabinets compared to laminate or MDF cabinets. Make sure to research and choose the best products for your specific cabinets.
  • Pay attention to raised panel vs. flat-panel cabinets: If you have raised panel cabinets, make sure to pay extra attention when painting around the raised areas to ensure even coverage. Flat-panel cabinets are easier to paint and usually require fewer coats.
  • Use painter’s tape for protection: To prevent paint from splattering on other surfaces, use painter’s tape to protect them. This will save you time and effort when it comes to cleaning up later on.
  • Take your time: Painting both sides of kitchen cabinet doors can be a time-consuming process, but it is crucial to take your time for a professional-looking finish. Be patient and make sure to evenly cover all areas with paint.
  • Allow for proper drying time: Proper drying time is essential between coats of paint and before applying a protective coating or reattaching the doors to their hinges. Rushing this step can result in an inferior finish.
  • Regular maintenance is key: To prolong the lifespan of painted cabinets, it is important to regularly clean them with mild soap and water. This will help prevent any damage or wear and tear over time.
  • Avoid common mistakes: Some common mistakes to avoid when painting both sides of kitchen cabinet doors include not properly preparing the surface, using low-quality paint or tools, not allowing enough drying time between coats, and neglecting proper ventilation during painting.
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Do You Paint Both Sides Of Kitchen Cabinet Doors

Although it may appear to be a superfluous task, painting both the front and back of your kitchen cabinet doors is imperative in attaining a refined and enduring finish.

Not only does this offer an added layer of safeguard against environmental elements, but it also creates a harmonious and sophisticated appearance for your cabinetry. Additionally, it affords more versatility in design options and guarantees the durability of your cabinets.

Therefore, when embarking on the endeavor of painting your kitchen cabinets, do not overlook the importance of also painting both sides for optimal results.

How To Paint The Cabinets Interior The Right Way

Achieving a high-quality and long-lasting finish when painting the interior of kitchen cabinet doors requires following these essential steps:

Prepare the surface:

First, remove any hardware or knobs from the doors and thoroughly clean the surface with a degreaser or mild detergent.

Lightly sand the surface to create a rough texture for the paint to adhere to.

Choose the right paint:

Select a high-quality semi-gloss or satin-finish paint specifically designed for kitchen cabinets.

Avoid using flat or matte paint as they are not suitable for high-traffic areas.

Prime the surface:

Using a primer specifically designed for kitchen cabinets is crucial, especially when painting over dark or stained wood.

Primer helps to block any stains or discoloration from bleeding through and provides a smooth base for the paint.

Use quality tools:

Invest in a good quality brush or roller to achieve a professional finish and prevent brush strokes or roller marks on the cabinets.

Apply thin coats:

Instead of applying a thick coat of paint, it is better to apply multiple thin coats. This will ensure even coverage and a smooth finish.

Paint in the right direction:

Begin by painting the edges of the doors, followed by the flat surfaces.

Use long, smooth strokes and overlap them to avoid brush marks.

Allow for proper drying time:

It is important to let each coat dry completely before applying the next one.

Wait at least 24 hours before reinstalling doors and hardware.

Protect and maintain:

Consider using a clear topcoat for added durability and easy maintenance. Also, avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners on painted surfaces.


In conclusion, painting your kitchen cabinet doors on both sides is an essential first step in creating an affordable and aesthetically pleasing makeover for your space.

It not only gives cabinets a unified appearance when opened and closed, but it also offers many color options, a professional finish from all sides, a barrier against chipping and peeling, and ease of touch-ups. For best results, ensure the surface is well prepared and use high-quality paint made exclusively for cabinets.

You may improve the appearance of your kitchen without going over budget by taking the time to paint the inside and outside of your cabinet doors. So gather your paintbrushes and get ready to transform your kitchen with an easy-to-do yet powerful do-it-yourself project.


Josefa R. Hoyle, the creative force behind Grace Built Home Improvement, is a seasoned in-house writing specialist with over 15 years of expertise. Armed with a Ph.D. in Creative Writing from the University of Louisiana, she is renowned for her unparalleled skill in crafting top-tier content within the realm of home improvement.