Many homeowners are thinking about new home improvement projects. Indeed, this is partly due to the housing market boom. Kitchen remodeling is one of the most common types of major renovations.
This is despite the fact that it often includes expensive work such as replacing countertops and refinishing cabinets.
Lots of articles will try to guide you through a tricky process to estimate the cost of painting your cabinetry. They typically require you to take measurements and calculate the total cost based on the linear foot or square foot.
However, this article will walk you through a professional tip that makes it much easier for you to estimate the size and cost of painting your kitchen cabinets.
It will also go over the alternatives to kitchen cabinet refinishing in 2023. These alternatives include replacing or refacing the cabinets. Both of which will give your kitchen a brand new look!
How do we get this kitchen cabinet price data?
Improovy is one of the fastest growing and highest rated painting companies. As a result, we have relationships with painting contractors across the nation. Our data comes from a survey of these professional painters, allowing us to come up with an accurate national average.
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Average cost of painting kitchen cabinets professionally
The average cost of painting kitchen cabinets is $100 per drawer face and $175 per cabinet door. This usually averages out to a cost of $5,000 for a medium-sized kitchen. However, the cost commonly ranges from $3000 to $10,000. This is a large range, but keep reading to learn how to narrow the cost down for your kitchen or to learn how much it would cost to DIY.
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Painting Cabinet Cost Pro Tip
An easy way to determine the rough cost for your kitchen cabinet painting project is to use the cost per cabinet face method. This avoids the need to take any measurements and calculate the square footage.
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First, you need to count the number of cabinet surfaces in your kitchen. A cabinet surface is simply a drawer face or cabinet door. Second, you need to determine if you have a small, medium, or large kitchen.
A small kitchen has fewer than 20 cabinet surfaces. Medium kitchens contain 21-40 cabinet surfaces. Large kitchens have more than 40. You should also add on 10% if you have a detailed cabinet design, such as glass in the cabinet doors.
One more thing. These numbers are adjusted to account for the cost of painting the cabinet boxes, so don’t worry about calculating anything extra for those.
But, if you have a wine rack or island that needs to be refinished, add $250 or $500, respectively, for a good-enough estimate. This cost is in addition to any cabinets/drawers on the island.
Small Kitchen cabinet painting cost
For a small kitchen, it usually costs around $110 per drawer face and $190 for each cabinet door. So, if you have 6 drawers and 14 cabinet doors, you could expect the total cost to be about $3,320.
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Small kitchens actually cost more per square foot than larger kitchens. This is because painters often give a volume discount for larger kitchen painting jobs. Accordingly, small kitchens have a lower total cost, so they rarely receive any form of volume discount.
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Medium Kitchen cabinets refinishing
The cost of painting a drawer face in a medium kitchen is usually $100, and the cost for each cabinet door is commonly $175. As a result, the total cost of painting cabinets in a medium-sized kitchen with 9 drawers, 22 cabinet doors, and an island would be about $5,250.
Large Kitchen costs
Larger kitchens are likely to get a larger volume discount. This means that the price per drawer and cabinet door is lower. The price per drawer face is often around $95, and the cost per cabinet door is typically about $165. So, the total cost to paint cabinets in a large kitchen that has 33 cabinet doors, 18 drawers, an island, and a wine rack would end up being around $8,895.
DIY cost of painting kitchen cabinets
If you’re going to DIY your kitchen cabinet painting project, you can save a lot of money. Be warned, though, that it is a very time-consuming project, even for a professional cabinet painter. Most people want a very fine finish on their cabinets, which requires a premium type of paint and a lot of patience.
Benjamin Moore’s best cabinet paint is their ADVANCE product line. It costs about $55 per gallon and comes in all of Ben Moore’s available paint colors. One gallon is usually enough to cover 12 cabinet surfaces.
You’ll also likely want to use Sherwin Williams’ Extreme Bond Primer. Strictly speaking, you don’t have to use it. However, it will save you a couple of weekends of prep work. The finish won’t be quite as smooth as if your cabinets were professionally done. However, the difference will be small unless you plan on using a high-quality paint sprayer.
Cabinet Painting DIY Price
These two products will make up the bulk of your materials cost, which will amount to about $15 per cabinet surface. So, if you were painting 30 cabinet surfaces, you could expect your total cost of materials to be about $450. Add some more on if you don’t have common painting equipment, such as drop cloths.
That sounds pretty good, but be aware that the real cost is in the time and frustration you may experience. Kitchen cabinet resurfacing is one of the hardest types of painting projects to tackle. A professional would expect to spend 1.5 hours per cabinet surface when refinishing all the kitchen cabinets. It would likely take a weekend warrior 2x that time. So, a kitchen with 30 cabinet surfaces would only cost you around $450, but over 75 hours of your time.
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Why is it so expensive to repaint kitchen cabinets?
Homeowners want a high-quality finish on their cabinets. Achieving a cabinet-level finish requires high-end materials and a lot of time consuming work. As a rough rule of thumb, cabinet painters usually charge about $90 per hour of work for labor. This doesn’t mean that they make that much per hour. A lot of that money goes towards paying workers comp, insurance, and other overhead costs.
It usually take a professional 1.5 hours to strip the old paint, sand, prime, and paint two top coats of paint per cabinet door. At $90 per hour, that amounts to $135 labor cost for each cabinet door. Material costs average out to about $10 per door. This leads to a total cost of $145 per cabinet door. The remainder can be attributed to equipment costs and profit for the contractor.
Professionals also tend to use high-quality paint sprayers in order to get a super fine finish with the new paint. Homeowners should note that this is not the same as using spray paint. Specifically, paint sprayers use high pressures to atomize the paint. This results in a finer finish than other painting methods, such as using a brush or a roller.
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Is it cheaper to paint or replace kitchen cabinets?
It is much cheaper to paint than replace kitchen cabinets. The cost to replace kitchen cabinets with new cabinets is usually around $525 per cabinet door, which is 3 times the cost of repainting them. A third option is refacing the cabinets.
Cost to reface the cabinets
Refacing cabinets involves keeping the original cabinet box, but covering it with a veneer and replacing the drawer faces and cabinet doors. The average cost of refacing kitchen cabinets is $150 per drawer face and $265 per cabinet door. This usually averages out to a cost of $7,500 for a medium-sized kitchen. However, the cost commonly ranges from $4,500 to $15,000.
As a rule of thumb, refacing your kitchen cabinets can save you 50% compared to replacing them. You can use a method similar to the one outlined above for figuring out the cost of refinishing your cabinets to determine the cost of refacing them. The hardware, such as the knobs, handles, and hinges, may or may not be replaced when refacing cabinets. If you decide not to replace them, your cost will be slightly less.
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Other kitchen cabinet painting FAQs
Can kitchen cabinets be painted professionally?
Yes, kitchen cabinets can be painted professionally, but it's expensive. Scroll up to learn how much it would likely cost for your kitchen!
Should I DIY kitchen cabinet painting?
Only advanced DIYers should even consider painting their kitchen cabinets. Kitchen cabinet painting is far more difficult than your typical paint job and is one of the more tedious DIY projects. It is significantly more difficult than painting a room. That's why it's highly recommended to use a professional painting company.
You should also go through the whole process for just one cabinet first, so you can see if you'll be happy with the outcome. If anything goes wrong, a contractor will charge thousands of dollars less for fixing just one cabinet than a whole kitchen's worth.