Painting Kitchen Cabinets Without Sanding: Top Tips To Know

Painting Kitchen Cabinets Without Sanding: Top Tips To Know

Whether or not you are looking to make an economical choice, painting is the way to go to give a fresh look to your kitchen. New cabinets and their installation can cost almost half of your kitchen renovation budget. Rather than renovating your entire kitchen, give your cabinets a fresh coat of paint. Painting cabinets can take away a lot of effort; however, it becomes much easier when you do not have to worry about sanding the cabinet. Instead of sanding, you can use a deglosser before painting the cabinets. A deglosser ensures that the paint sticks on and helps remove the varnish. Let us now have a look at how to paint kitchen cabinets without sanding.

Before you start, make sure you have the below-mentioned materials to get the job done:

  • Scrubbing sponge;
  • Grease-cutting cleaner;
  • Liquid deglosser;
  • Washcloth;
  • Paintbrush;
  • Paint roller;
  • Screwdriver;
  • Silver spray paint;
  • White cabinet enamel; and
  • Thumbtacks.

How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets Without Sanding: Step By Step Guide

Steps involved in painting kitchen cabinets without sanding are enlisted below:

Remove the Cabinet Doors and Drawers & Pull the Drawers Out From the Cabinets 

how to paint kitchen cabinets without sanding


  • Begin with removing the drawers first and placing them in an easily accessible place. The drawers come off the tracks with ease by lifting them slightly without pulling too hard.
  • You can paint them along with the frames if they are attached.
  • Label the cabinet doors to avoid mixing up and take off the hinges and hardware from the cabinet doors.
  • Place all the hinges, handles, and other hardware with the markings so that you remember when fixing them back. 

Clean the Cabinets

Clean the Cabinets


  • Clean the surface of the cabinets with the help of a scrubbing sponge and a degreaser. Do not scrub for too long at one spot as this will leave a dull place.
  • Wipe away all the components of the cabinet drawer with the help of a clean wet cloth without any chemicals or soap and allow drying.
  • Wipe off all the shelves, drawers, doors, and frames with the help of a wet cloth. Using a fan will quicken the drying process.
  • Use a deglosser to rub on the doors and drawers – Buy a deglosser from a hardware shop and move the doors and drawers to a well-ventilated area.  Put on work gloves and goggles and pour some amount onto a cloth. Rub it on the doors and drawers
  • It is not required to use deglosser on the frames as they are cleaner and have less varnish on them compared to the door front.
  • Do not use deglosser indoors as it is very vigorous and can have harmful effects if inhaled.
  • Leave the deglosser to dry for some time- It is not required to wipe off the deglosser, but you must leave it to dry. Set up a timer for exactly half an hour after the deglosser has been applied so that you have enough time to use the primer.
  • Never touch to check if the deglosser has dried up, instead rely upon the timer to coat the primer after half an hour.
  • You may suggest the above method on how to paint kitchen cabinets without sanding.

Paint the Kitchen Cabinet

Paint the Doors and Frames


  • Once you are satisfied that the deglosser has dried up completely, apply primer on one side of the doors and drawers with the help of a paintbrush having medium bristles.
  • The primer will dry up in 30 minutes, turn the doors the other way, and apply the primer.
  • Keep the doors high up with the help of thumbtacks to avoid the painted area from sanding. After almost 2 hours the primer on both sides will have dried up.
  • The next turn is to apply cabinet enamel to the backside of the doors and drawers. It is better to use a roller as the back surfaces of the cupboards are mostly flat and have narrow edges.
  • Gently move over a soft brush over the paint layer to avoid any bubbles. By now, you have mastered the skills of how to paint kitchen cabinets.

Important Notes

  • Now allow the paint to dry for four hours before moving onto the other side.
  • The front sides of the cabinets usually are not even and have architectural decorations. It is, therefore, not possible to paint with a roller. Instead, use a smaller paintbrush to reach the corners and narrow edges of the drawer and apply an elegant coat of paint. Paint the fronts of the doors, shelves, and drawers.
  • After the uneven surfaces are painted, the next job is to paint all the even surfaces that include the front and back sides of racks. Use the soft brush over the even surface to prevent bubbles and thick paint.
  • Leave the doors and drawers to dry, meanwhile paint the frames and shelves with a roller. As you complete each part, apply another beautiful coat with a soft brush to remove any bubble and even the thicker paint. Paint the narrow edges and corners with the help of a smaller brush.
  • The frames will eat up the most time in painting as they cover more area. Apply the same method here as you did for previous regions. Paint the regions in segments using the roller and then using the smaller brush to even the surface. Move on to the next area and continue the same process, use the roller first to paint and the brush later to even the paint.
  • If you plan to paint a darker cabinet with light paint, it is advisable to paint in two layers of coats. It will help to keep any dark shade in a bright color. The second coat must be applied once the initial has dried up. It is good to use a similar roller and brush for the second coat as the first one for smooth paint. 

Refixing the Drawers and Doors

how to paint kitchen cabinets without sanding


After leaving the paint to dry overnight for a minimum of 24 hours, the hardware ready to place back in its place.

  • Ensure that the paint has dried up entirely on all the portions. If refixed with wet paint, scratches may develop on the surfaces.
  • When refixing, make use of a power drill or screwdriver so that the hinges and hardware are not over-tightened, causing any damage or scratch in the paint.
  • Put the doors and drawers back in their original place from where they remove. Fasten the pivot screws back onto the frames and the doors. Do not forget to test them, ensuring that they are functioning correctly while opening and closing.

how to paint kitchen cabinets without sanding



It is essential to refurbish the kitchen occasionally so that looks spic and span.

One way is to renovate your kitchen, while the other economical yet exciting approach is to paint your cabinets. Do not forget to have all the materials on hand before you begin so that your work is not put on hold mid-way in the absence of any missing equipment. Clear all the dirt with a clean cloth so that you can apply the deglosser.

It is not necessary to sand the cabinets; instead, you can use deglosser before going ahead with primer and paint. It is always a good idea to apply two coats of paint so that the color layer evenly. Do not forget to remove the bubbles with the help of a soft brush. Allow the paint to dry before you begin to paint the front side. I hope that this article has helped you in understanding how to paint kitchen cabinets without sanding.

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