The cost of painting kitchen cabinets varies by quite a bit, from a few hundred dollars (a DIY paint job with some wall paint) to $10,000 or more for an expert relying on a professional-grade finishing product.
That’s a huge price range to consider. So it may be best to break pricing down into three different quality tiers:
- DIY cabinet painting jobs can be completed for $1,000 or less. But the cabinet painting process itself tends to be much more complex than other DIY paint jobs such as wall or even furniture painting. And painting cabinets without professional help may lead to expensive repairs later on.
- An average cabinet paint job by a professional cabinet painter ranges between $1,500 and $3,000. The quality will be higher than a DIY job, but the paint products themselves tend to peel, flake or wash off more quickly.
- A high-quality cabinet paint job with a furniture-quality finish can cost homeowners between $2,000 and $10,000 depending on the size of the area that requires painting. This is the best option for homeowners who want their cabinet paint job to last for years and years.
The above is a general synopsis of what you’ll pay for different quality cabinet painting and refinishing projects. In this article, we’ll share the cost factors which make the biggest impact on cost for cabinet painting.
Let’s jump right in!
Price Factor #1: The existing kitchen cabinetry
Because a cabinet painting project uses your existing cabinetry, the state of those cabinets will play a major role in what the total cost of the project will be. Three factors will figure into the estimate you receive:
- The size of the project
- The cabinet layout
- The state of the cabinetry
The size of the project
Kitchens with more cabinets tend to cost more than kitchens with fewer cabinets. And that makes sense, because bigger jobs will require more materials and labor to complete.
Just how much more will depend on the number of cabinets you’re looking to paint. If you do consider a DIY job, remember to factor in the cost of your own time in painting. Cabinet painting can be quite tricky, and almost always requires the removal of the cabinet doors themselves to paint those hard-to-reach areas.
The cabinet layout
When a professional cabinet painter arrives at a home, one of the first things they’ll assess is the layout of the cabinetry. Some of the questions they might ask include:
- How challenging will it be to reach and paint the corner cabinets?
- How much of the cabinet set will need to be disassembled to paint properly?
- How restricted is the kitchen? Is there a risk of damaging the cabinets when they’re removed?
If a professional deems a kitchen particularly challenging, they’ll increase the quote accordingly.
The state of the cabinetry
Any contractor worthy of being called a professional is going to assess the cabinet set for water damage, dents and scratches in the material. These damaged areas may require extra attention before painting even begins, and should be addressed during the preparation phase.
During the preparation phase a painter will clean and then sand down the cabinet set. Afterward, the contractor will patch up any blemishes they find during the process.
Without this critical preparation phase, that fresh coat of paint could very quickly turn into a homeowner’s worst nightmare. In just a few months a homeowner may see:
- Older paint showing up beneath the new paint job
- Peeling and flaking
- Blemishes and scratches which were supposed to be repaired
- Discoloration in some areas but not others
To avoid these hassles, we always recommend that homeowners pay a bit extra for experienced contractors who do the job the right way, not the fast way.
Which brings us to price factor #2: the contractor you hire to paint your cabinets.
Price Factor #2: The contractor who performs the work
The contractor plays a pivotal role in how much you’ll pay to paint your cabinets. Three factors in particular will influence the price, including:
- The paint technique
- The contractor’s labor rate
The contractor’s paint technique
The paint technique separates the professional jobs which last years from the average jobs which could start looking worn within a few months.
Technique varies from contractor to contractor. But four factors have an effect on price in particular:
- Whether or not a contractor cleans and sands the cabinets before painting.
- Whether a primer is applied beforehand to the cabinet doors and boxes.
- The number of coats of paint that a contractor uses (anywhere from one to three, usually)
- The method of applying the paint (spray or brush).
The contractor’s labor rates
Painters charge different labor rates for many different reasons, some of which include:
- The contractor’s experience: As a contractor gains experience and hires more experienced painters, they tend to charge more for their work.
- The number of reviews: Reviews increase customer peace-of-mind. That peace of mind is valuable to new customers, which in turn increases the value of the cabinet painter.
- The location of the work: Painters operating in Paradise Valley will charge more than painters who work in Glendale, simply because of the difference in housing prices.
Cabinet Refinishing vs. Traditional Painting: What Every Homeowner Should Know
Cabinet refinishing relies on a furniture-quality paint finish that’s far more durable and long-lasting than a normal paint product. Not only will the cabinets look newer for longer, they’ll also be more resistant to everyday wear and tear.
Cabinet Coatings has specialized in cabinet refinishing for over 20 years. Before you decide to hire a professional to paint your cabinets, give Cabinet Coatings a call to learn more about what a proper finish could do to rejuvenate your kitchen’s appearance.