Painting Kitchen Cabinets

6 Replies

I recently purchased a duplex where I am thinking of painting the 2nd floor kitchen cabinets a modern grey. The house is a 1890 single family turned into a duplex with great character throughout. The area is gentrifying and 2 luxury apartment complexes are being built in the community. The town is along the Ohio river and close to downtown Cincinnati. I am looking to attract younger professional couples or yp's looking to be roommates. The other rentals at the same in the area have nicer but smaller kitchen's while also being smaller apartments in general. We are also competing against entire homes for a few hundred dollars more a month.  

Would it be worth the time and investment to paint the cabinets and add crown molding, maybe replace the old dishwasher to attract those renters?

If so, what do you recommend?

I researched and found I would likely use a wood grain filler, 2 coats of oil based primer, and 2 coats of  Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel. Also, is there water based alternatives?

This along with new hardware and crown molding would really make the kitchen pop IMO.,-KY,-41074_rb/1367681_zpid/

Thanks All!


@Tim Bickel there are several things I always think about when painting cabinets. The first, is whether the plumbing will need to be addressed behind the cabinets. In a lot of the buildings I buy here in Berwyn, IL there is galvanized plumbing in the walls. We often times need to replace the drain line all the way to the main stack as well as replacing shut off valves on the potable water. If the best way to get to the plumbing is through the cabinets, you are half way to installing a new kitchen!

If I do paint cabinets, I have learned no to stress too much about all the different types of primers, etc. I just use the same primer for the walls (2 coats) and then put two or three coats of paint on the cabinets. I typically find that they hold up better if I put on darker paint like an espresso color. 

I'm going to do the same on my current renovation. If the existing cabinets are in great shape I'd paint them. You looking to save $1000-1500? I know I am. 

The problem you could run into is the style compared to the competition. If the other rentals have newer shaker style you could still look outdated. I'd replace the counter top with a something good and new appliances is a must. Don't forget to install a some GFCI outlets. Nobody likes getting shocked. 

Hi Jaron, thanks for the advise.  Good call on the outlet updating, I will look into that. I plan to convert it back to a single family in 5-7 years and sell, otherwise I would be updating the countertops and appliances. If I come across issues with renting out, then I will definitely consider it. 

I agree on the countertops if it's a rental. Pictures are worth a thousand words. Wide angle pictures are the best for real estate photos. 

Painting kitchen cabinets can be one of the most inexpensive ways to transform the most important room in the home. I think it is a great idea. The only issue I have is when people do the job poorly. If it isn't done correctly it make the kitchen look worse than when it was just outdated. Take the time and prep the wood properly, remove the doors and paint both sides without getting paint on the hinges. 

Good Luck with This Project! Aaron