How to Paint Bathroom Cabinets (The Beginners Guide)

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how to paint your cabinets over the weekend

Ready to learn how to paint bathroom cabinets?!!

Are you excited to finally transform your boring bathroom into a bathroom you love to enter?

So let’s start with painting cabinets and then we can move to a total bathroom transformation.

Are you still with me?

Before You Start Painting the Cabinets

Paint you builder grade cabinets so they look amazing. Before and after picture of my painted bathroom cabinet that I did over the weekend

I was so excited to paint my bathroom cabinets that I didn’t even get everything I needed before I started removing doors.

So before you start stripping the bathroom down let’s go over the things you will need to get started the right way. This reduces countless trips to Home Depot or Lowes.

Supplies you need to paint cabinets on your bathroom vanity

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In case you are wondering what kind of paint to use on bathroom cabinets, or for any cabinets I choose, Benjamin Moore Advanced for high-traffic cabinetry. It’s pricey but I wanted something that will last and not I have to worry about constant touch-ups.

Save money by painting your cabinets yourself, not on the quality of the paint with whichever brand you choose.

1. Get your Supplies Together

Grab everything you need so you can go jump right into painting the bathroom vanity without any problems.

paint supplies for bathroom cabinets

I also used a brush that didn’t make it to the photoshoot. And I used food cans to prop the doors so they can dry.

Let me see if I can explain this so you can see it.

Once the doors were off the vanity I place 4 can on the floor –corn and bean cans just in case you were interested :-). I put them in the shape of a rectangle so that each can went under the corner of the door.

Also, I used brown leaf bags to paint on since that was what I had on deck. And the bag went on top of the can when painting. Make sure you find something to paint on so it does end up mistakenly on the floor!

2. Remove your Doors and Knob

When you remove your doors be sure to keep all the nails and supplies together. The last thing you need to finish painting and can’t find the screw to put the cabinets back on.

Label the doors and the bags so you can easily put A cabinet back with A hardware.

supplies for cabinets
image from Lowes

If you plan on replacing the vanity tops and sink, remove them now so it will be easier.

3. Fill in Damaged Areas

If your cabinets are damaged then this is where you want to fill in every nook and cranny.

Luckily I didn’t have to do this for the bathroom cabinets but for my kitchen that’s another story.

You will also fill in areas if you want to change the type of handles you have on the door. So if you have two holes but going to use one for the new knob then fill the other hole in the door.

4. Sand it down or Deglosser

painting the cabinets

No one likes sanding. Everyone wants to skip this part because the idea of sanding takes to long. But you have to do it so just get over it and sand! Luckily, it’s not intensive sanding just enough to remove the shine.

I first started with medium sandpaper and followed by fine sandpaper.

You want to sand the front and back of the door as well as the frame of the cabinet.

TIP: For wood surfaces with a clear finish use 220 grit and don’t forget the corners. If the doors were previously painted remove the damaged or loose paint and sand it till smooth.

After your finished sanding, wipe it off with a cloth and/or use a vacuum to remove debris.

That step is over. Yaaa we made it.

However, if you are adamant about painting bathroom cabinets without sanding then a good deglosser can do the trick. By pouring some liquid deglosser onto a washcloth and wipe each cabinet down using small, circular motions you can save time.

5. Tape off the Bathroom Cabinets Frame

The next step is to take along sides where the wall meets the cabinet ( tape goes on the wall side ). Also, add tape to the inside of the cabinet to ensure the paint doesn’t get on the base or the sink.

6. Start Priming Surface for Painting

When priming cabinet I was really confused as to what to use. Can I use any primer or do cabinets have special primer?

After talking to the consultant at Bengimun Moore it was good to get a separate primer to add to the bathroom cabinets. And the best was STIX primer.

She said to add the primer lightly to the door with a brush and don’t forget the edges. Then flip the door once it’s dry to do the other side.

It was also suggested to tint my primer sightly gray since that was the new color of the doors.

7. Let it Dry, Repeat

So after priming, I let it dry on one side, flipped it.

After the first coat dries, lightly sand in places where the primmer dripped or doesn’t look even. Then wipe the surfaces clean.

Later apply a second coat and let it dry overnight. That way you can start painting early Saturday or Sunday morning.

8. Paint the Bathroom Vanity

Paint bathroom cabinets

This is the important part because you want to make sure the paint you have actually last so you don’t have to go back and do these steps again.

I used both a brush and a roller to paint the door. I also made sure I went in the same direction. So around the edges, I painted in a clockwise motion. And on the middle panel, I went up and down.

Paint color: Benjamin Moore Metropolitan AF-690

Whichever paint you decide, use more than one coat for better results. If you looking for something that drys quick then get a DIY paint Kit. I will try this on my kid’s bathroom cabinets.

Otherwise, be patient.

9. Let it Dry, Repeat and Reassemble

Having patience between drying was really hard but it must be practiced. Because I was so anxious to put my knobs back on and have the cabinet back together.

However, according to the paint expert, if you don’t let it dry in between or assemble it too early then the cabinet doors can dry while closed and not open! So I wanted and wanted patiently.

Finally, my husband drilled the holes in the cabinet doors. The reinstalled the door hinges.

Tip: Make sure the doors are lined up, otherwise it will not close correctly.

Replace the countertop and sink it you removed it earlier. And a bumper if needed.

We ended up adding baby door latches to keep the baby out of the cabinets.

Final Note

The process was fun and it was easier then I thought. I was able to quickly move on to focusing on painting the walls in the bathroom and decorating.

I would recommend you follow the steps closely so it will look beautiful when you’re done.

Are you ready to paint your bathroom cabinets? If so what color, I’m interested.

Learn how to paint your bathroom vanity quickly without looking like a beginner.  paint bathroom cabinet, remodel bathroom, bathroom on a budget

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