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Should You Paint The Inside Of Cabinets?

Should You Paint The Inside Of Cabinets?

Just moved in and have no idea how to navigate around the dos and don’ts? Or are you someone who frequently goes through interior upgrades? Or best of all, do you also take care of your interior furnishings yourself? You’re at the right place because we have the answers to all your burning questions about interiors!

The most common part of interior finishing which people like to do themselves is, of course, cabinet fixtures. Their installation has a lot of room to play around with because they allow you to do everything from choosing the type of wood to painting it yourself: all while being super easy, as compared to working with other furniture items. You can get all the material and build your cabinet in your back shed, that too in just a few hours!

Painting the inside of kitchen cabinets does not functionally provide much value as the inside of cabinets are rarely seen, difficult to reach and paint, and provides little added protection to the wood. However, some choose to paint the inside from an aesthetic design standpoint.

If you’re thinking of painting as a protective layer, then you might be surprised to know that wood doesn’t need any external protection in this case, because it comes prepped to repel oil vapors; hence painting it won’t make any difference.

If you want more detailed insight into cabinet fixtures, these questions will help you get a clear understanding!

Should Kitchen Cabinets Be Painted On The Inside?

If you are reading this, you are probably still wondering if the kitchen cabinets should be painted on the inside. Rather than what you should or should not do to your cabinets, it is a matter of personal preference.

Basically, it is absolutely okay to paint the inside of your kitchen cabinets. Unless, of course, you don’t have permission from a landlord!

Otherwise, it doesn’t matter if you do or do not paint the inside of your cabinetry.

You just need to make the decision to paint the inside of your kitchen cabinets. Painting the inside of the cabinets is a great way to add a little style to your kitchen.

Reasons It Is Okay To Paint The Inside of Kitchen Cabinets

You might be wondering why it is okay to paint the inside of your kitchen cabinets. After all, you needed to double-check to see if it was okay to paint the cabinets in the first place.

It is okay to paint the inside of your kitchen cabinets for the following reasons.

1. The Material Is Already Protected

The material of the inside cabinet is resistant against the oil vapors of the paint, so you can paint the inside of your cabinets without worrying about damaging the wood.

2. Adds Visual Interest To Your Space

If you feel your kitchen is too boring, you can paint the inside of the cabinets to add visual interest to your space.

You may want to add a splash of blue to a white or light gray kitchen, or maybe you want to enhance the neutral side of a bold kitchen.

3. Updates The Look of Your Kitchen

If you feel the shades in your kitchen look faded or outdated, you can make your space feel brand new with a fresh coat of paint. This is a simple but effective way to upgrade your kitchen design.

For example, the inside of your kitchen cabinets may have been light gray for several years. You may decide to update the look by painting over the shade in a slightly darker shade of gray.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Doing So?

Now, before you get all excited and ready to paint your cabinet insides, you might need to go easy because several things can go wrong while carrying out this job. Here’s how:

1. Huge Area To Paint

The first thing which is bound to give you trouble is the amount of area to cover.

There’s a high chance that you have a group of cabinets running along the same wall instead of it being just one; think of all the time you’d have to invest in each cabinet!

2. Inaccessibility

Unless you’re building a cabinet from scratch, you’d have to stand in weird postures for long hours trying to reach all the corners of the cabinet.

This is because in most cases, cabinets are already fixed to the walls, meaning that you won’t be able to turn or move them according to your ease which will eventually make it very difficult to reach all the places. 

Imagine yourself painting the roof of the cabinet interior without even it being visible to you; this inaccessibility is not just limited to the roof though, it applies to all the sides and the base, making the process even more difficult.

3. Paint And Its Durability

Since cabinets are usually placed in moist and humid areas such as bathrooms or kitchens, the paint will most likely chip, ruining whatever you’ve stored in the cupboards.

This is very harmful in the long run because chipped paint often attracts critters and also leaves marks on your stuff.

This process also requires a lot of extra paint that can easily be avoided, reducing costs, labor and time.

You will also require frequent touch-ups to keep the paint from chipping, hence using up a lot of material is inevitable in this case.

Ideas For Painting The Inside of Kitchen Cabinets

You know that it is okay to paint the inside of your cabinets as long as you own your home or have permission from your landlord. Now, you may be trying to decide how you want to paint the inside of your cabinets.

The following are three ideas that are easy to achieve and upgrade the look of your kitchen.

#1 Touch Up The Current Shade

If you are not looking to make a drastic change to your kitchen, consider touching up the current shade of your kitchen cabinets. The inside of your cabinets might be a beige or gray color that just needs a fresh coat of paint.

#2 Change The Neutral Shade

You may want to keep the look simple with neutral shades and pops of color. However, you can still upgrade the space by changing the neutral shade on the inside of your kitchen cabinets.

The inside of your cabinets may be a beige or wood-toned shade, and you may want to change up the look by painting the cabinets in an off-white or light gray shade.

#3 Switch It Up With Two Shades

You can have a little fun with this project by painting your exterior and interior cabinets in contrasting shades.

For example, you may want to paint the outside of the cabinets in dark green and the inside of the cabinets in white. It creates visual interest without overdoing the bold shades!

Alternatives To Painting The Inside of Kitchen Cabinets

If you are renting a home or apartment, you may not have permission from your landlord to paint the inside of the kitchen cabinets. Then again, you may own your home but not feel up to painting any elements of your kitchen.

Luckily, there are alternatives to painting the inside of kitchen cabinets that work in both rented and owned spaces.

1. Removable Shelf Liners

Removable shelf liners are a great alternative because you can apply and remove them without damaging the material.

The shelf liners come in a range of colors and designs to add a fun look to your kitchen cabinets.

2. Removable Wallpaper

You can also find removable wallpaper in a range of colors and patterns.

They are similar to shelf liners because they are self-adhesive and can be applied and removed without causing damage or leaving a residue.

3. Change The Arrangement

If you want to skip over the removable shelf liners or wallpaper, you can always change the arrangement of the snacks or items in your cabinets.

For example, you can change things up by dividing your cabinets into zones. You may want to place baking items on one shelf, non-perishable food on another shelf, and quick snacks on the lowest shelf.

You can also invest in items that help you rearrange and organize your cabinets, such as shelf risers and a lazy Susan.

Sometimes, simply changing the layout is enough to add visual interest when decorating the cabinets is not an option.

Reasons To Double-Check Before Painting The Inside of Your Cabinets

Unless you are renting your house, you do not need permission to paint the inside of your kitchen cabinets. The only thing stopping you from painting your kitchen cabinets is hesitation.

However, there are several reasons you may decide to double-check to see if it is okay to paint the inside of your kitchen cabinets.

1. You Are Unsure of Design Trends

If you are someone who likes to stick to interior design trends, you may be wondering if painting the inside of your cabinets is a good idea. Luckily, the shades are more of a trend than a painted or unpainted inside cabinet.

Of course, it never hurts to forget about the interior design trends in your home. If you want to paint the inside of your cabinets, it is worth checking to see if it is okay to do in your kitchen.

2. Potential Damage To The Material

You may be worried about the paint damaging the material of your kitchen cabinets.

It is important to ensure the paint is safe to use on your cabinetry before you even open a bucket.

3. You Are Renting A Home or Apartment

There are certain rules you need to follow if you are renting your home or an apartment.

You need to check with your landlord before painting any part of the interior, including your kitchen cabinets.

How To Professionally Paint The Inside Of Your Cabinets?

Here’s a step-by-step guide to painting your cabinet interiors:

  1. First things first, empty all your cabinets and clean up as much of the dirt as possible. Make sure you keep your cabinet contents well out of the way, so they don’t have any chance of getting ruined.
  2.  If you have counters or any type of platforms below or above your cabinets, cover them up with newspapers or plastic sheets so that they are safe from any drip-ups or accidental splatters.
  3. Unhinge the doors and keep them aside so that you have enough room to move closer and reach deeper into the cabinets.
  4.  At this point, you might want to do a quick cleanup again so that you can also get to the roof or sides of the cabinet and eliminate any dust particles.
  5. Prep your surface by using a primer that is compatible with your cabinet material. Different types of wood require different primers so a quick search on this topic will be useful.
  6. Wait for the primer to dry and then sand the surface so that it becomes smooth for paint application. 220-grit sandpaper will most likely do the job; also fill up any holes or cracks with latex caulk.
  7. Say a prayer and get down to painting your cabinets. Make sure you reach all the corners and also do another coat if necessary. Safeguard your masterpiece with a sealant, reattach the doors after the paint has dried and you’re done!

It Is Okay To Paint The Inside of The Kitchen Cabinets

If you own your home or have permission from your landlord, it is okay to paint the inside of your kitchen cabinets. It all depends on how you want to decorate your kitchen.

Remember, the wood is resistant to the oil vapors of the paint, and you do not have to let current trends stop you from painting the inside of your cabinets. All you need to do is decide on your new design for your cabinetry.

If you are looking to change up the vibe and add visual interest to your kitchen, consider painting the inside of the cabinets.

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Lindsay Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! I created this website to be a resource for everyone who wants to make the best home possible.