How To Paint Above Kitchen Cabinets? Step-by-Step


Painting the space above your kitchen cabinets is a great way to add a pop of color to your kitchen and to make it look more inviting. However, painting above kitchen cabinets is not as easy as it seems. The appropriate supplies and meticulous planning are needed. This guide will walk you through the steps to help you paint above kitchen cabinets like a professional. We’ll cover everything from prepping the area to choosing the right paint and tools and applying the color correctly. So, let’s get started!

 How to paint above kitchen cabinets

Prepare the Cabinets

Before you start painting, start by clearing out the top of the cabinets removing any items that may be in the way while you’re painting. You’ll also want to remove the cabinet doors and remove the hardware. If the cabinets are particleboard, you’ll want to fill any gaps with putty. Once everything is removed, you can start cleaning the surface with a degreaser or mild cleaner. This will make it more likely that the paint will stick correctly.

Choose the Right tools

Selecting the right tools is important for a successful painting job. You’ll need 

  • Roller
  • Brushes
  • Painter
  • Tape
  • Cloths
  • Primer
  • Sealant.
How To Paint Above Kitchen Cabinets

Measure and mark the Cabinets

Measuring and marking the cabinets is a relatively straightforward process. First, you need to measure the area where the cabinets will be installed. Use a tape measure to measure the height and width of the space, and mark the measurements on the wall with a pencil. Then, draw a straight line across the border using a level at the sizes you observed. This will serve as a reference line when you’re installing the cabinets. Next, measure the cabinets and keep them on the wall with a pencil. Finally, use a drill and screws to attach the cabinets to the wall. Ensure the cabinets are level and securely attached before moving on to the next step.

How To Paint Above Kitchen Cabinets

Clean the Cabinets

I start by removing all the items from the shelves and the cabinets. I wipe the surfaces with a damp cloth to remove dust or dirt. Next, I use a mild cleaner to scrub the surfaces, paying extra attention to tough stains. I rinse off the cleanser with a clean cloth and water. Then, I dry the cabinets with a dry cloth.

I use a toothbrush to get into the corners of the cabinets and remove any dust or debris. I also use the toothbrush to clean the handles and knobs.

To shine the cabinets, I use a wood polish and apply it with a clean cloth. I buff the cabinets until I get the desired shine.

Finally, I put all the items back into the cabinets and drawers. I make sure everything is organized and easy to find.

Now my kitchen cabinets are clean and sparkling!

Select the Correct Paint

Choosing the right paint is essential for a successful painting job. Choose a color suitable for your painting surface and a finish resistant to moisture and stains.

How To Paint Above Kitchen Cabinets

Paint the Cabinets

Once the paint is chosen, you can start painting. You’ll need to use a brush or roller to apply the paint, depending on the size of the surface you’re painting. Start by painting in the corners and edges, then move onto flat surfaces. Work your way up to the top of the cabinets and then down to the countertops.

After finishing each section, you must carefully inspect it for any drips or missed spots. Using several thin coats of paint rather than one thick skin is best. After the paint is dry, apply a sealant to the cabinets. By doing this, the paint will be preserved and last longer. Start by removing all of the items from the cabinets and drawers. Then, clean the surfaces to remove any dust or dirt. Next, use sandpaper to smooth any rough areas on the cabinets. Finally, apply a primer to the site to provide a better surface for the paint to stick to.

Next, apply a primer to the area to provide a better surface for the paint to stick to. Start painting the room from the top and work your way down. If needed, apply several coats of color and let each dry before applying the next. After the paint is dry, apply a sealant to the cabinets. 

Let the cabinets dry overnight once the painting is finished and the sealant is applied. When the cabinets are dry, you can admire your work and enjoy the new look of your kitchen! Don’t forget to clean up any messes you’ve made along the way and discard any remaining paint. With some hard work and creativity, you can brighten your kitchen with a fresh coat of paint.

Clean Up and Enjoy the Results 

Painting above kitchen cabinets can be a fun project. It can spruce up your kitchen and even make it look bigger. Plus, it’s not too difficult to do. Follow these steps, and you’ll be able to avoid any potential messes and enjoy your freshly painted kitchen cabinets!

Allow the paint to dry completely, then apply a sealant to the cabinets. Once the paint is completely dry, you can add items to the cabinets. And voila! You now have newly painted kitchen cabinets that will add a touch of style and beauty to your kitchen.


Can I just paint over my kitchen cabinets?

While you can paint over your kitchen cabinets, ensuring the surface is prepped correctly is important. You want to sand, clean, and prime the cabinets before painting for the best results.

How can I decorate above my kitchen cabinets?

The best way to decorate above your kitchen cabinets is to choose a style that matches the rest of your kitchen. You can hang artwork or plants or use the space to show off your favorite dinnerware and knick-knacks. Whatever you decide, just make sure that it complements the kitchen’s overall look.

What paint to use over kitchen cabinets?

Using a semi-gloss or satin finish paint for kitchen cabinets is best. Semi-gloss finishes are more resistant to dirt and stains, while satin finishes provide a nice sheen.

What is the best primer for kitchen cabinets?

The best primer for kitchen cabinets is an oil-based primer. This primer will help the best adhesion to the cabinets, seal the wood, and protect it from potential water damage.

Is it better to roll or brush paint cabinets?

The kind of paint you are using will determine this. If it is a water-based paint, it is best to brush it on for a smoother finish. If it is an oil-based paint, it is best to roll it on to get even more coverage.


Painting above kitchen cabinets is a relatively simple task that can be done with minimal effort and time. With the right tools and techniques, you can achieve a professional-grade finish that will improve the look of your kitchen. Taking the time to prepare the area properly, using quality paint, and using the right tools will ensure that the job is done right and will last for years. With a few simple steps, you can significantly impact your kitchen and enjoy the results for years.

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