Whether you’ve inherited a dated kitchen, looking to cover chips or marks on your existing doors or simply fancy a new kitchen colour scheme, there’s plenty of choice when it comes to repainting kitchen cabinets. Long gone are the days when you were stuck with your chosen cabinetry colour and thankfully it’s now the norm to give it a facelift, which in turn helps extend its lifespan. But how much does kitchen cabinet repainting cost?
Unfortunately, there’s no quick answer, but we have come up with a guide to help you suss out what you might need to take into consideration. From whether to do the job yourself or hire a professional, how the process works and what costs you can expect.
How much does kitchen cabinet repainting cost?
Overall kitchen cabinet repainting costs is largely determined by the size of your kitchen. Simply the more cabinets you have, the more costly it’s likely to be. Not just because of the amount of paint used, but also for the time needed to complete the project.
If you’re hiring a professional there are likely to be various options available to you, each with their own set of costs. Spraying your kitchen cabinets, for example, will be priced differently compared to if you have them hand painted.
Clive Tonks from The Kitchen Facelift Company offers three options for kitchens to be resprayed, in order to cater for most budgets. ‘For option one, we take all your cabinet doors and drawer fronts to our spray shop, prepare and hand-spray them in a Farrow & Ball-style coloured lacquer (fronts and edges only) and that costs from £600 for 15 doors,’ says Clive.
‘Option two is the same, however we spray the fronts and backs of the doors, and that costs from £700. With both of these we also offer the service for a painter to come to site, prepare and hand-paint all fixed items (cornice, pelmets, end panels, wine racks etc…) and that costs from £200, plus paint.’
‘Lastly, option three is where our sprayers will come to site, prepare surfaces, mask off areas and hand-spray the complete kitchen in a Farrow & Ball-style coloured enamel,’ he continues. ‘That costs from £2,000.’
So, how does hand-painting prices differ? Paul Barber from Traditional Painter has devised a pricing system in order to be able to calculate the price of your kitchen quickly and accurately. ‘The result is that we count the number of kitchen doors and multiply by £100 – and charge pro rata for drawer fronts,’ he says.
‘This £100 a door is an all-in cost, allowing us to paint both sides of doors and drawers, cabinet frames, end panels and plinths. Possible additional costs would be incurred for custom cornices or pilasters or wine racks, but 90% of the work is in the doors and drawer fronts. Therefore most kitchens can be priced quickly and accurately and this system has been widely adopted throughout the UK kitchen painting industry.’
What does the process involve?
Every decorator will have a different system. Some will take your doors and drawer fronts away, others will paint or spray them on site. It’s worth thinking about which option would work best for you so you can book someone accordingly. Then you’ll need to choose between having your cabinets sprayed or hand-painted – there are pros and cons to both methods.
Either way, cabinets should always be repainted with the best paint for kitchen cabinets, which is specifically designed to stand up to the demands of kitchen life. Specialist paints are formulated to dry harder so that they can hold up to constant use and wear over time.
‘Traditional Painter specialises in hand-painted finishes,’ says Paul. ‘The standard of our painters’ brushwork is extremely high and the specialist enamels available now allow for an extremely smooth finish. In the early days, clients wanted to have the work completed in the kitchen, mainly because it was a new thing and most people didn’t really believe you could paint a kitchen door to last. We quickly evolved our way of working, with dustless sanding, thorough sheeting, compact racking and water-based low-odour paints.’
‘Over time, we have seen a marked shift in customer expectations,’ Paul continues. ‘Clients now understand that our techniques for hand-painting kitchens are tried and tested. Nowadays, it’s almost expected that we prepare and paint the frames in situ and take doors and drawer fronts away and work on them off-site. This reduces the inconvenience to the client and, to be frank, it is much better for the painter to deal with the bulk of the kitchen in a dedicated clean work area.’
Can I repaint kitchen cabinets myself?
The answer to this is yes – but you won’t get the same results. Obviously, it’s a cheaper option, but hiring a professional painting contractor is an investment if you want showroom-quality results. After all, they do this every day. A professional has the equipment, the experience, insurance and know how to deal with any problem areas. Plus a pro will be much faster at providing a quality finish.
If you do want to go down the road of repainting your own kitchen cabinets however, the advice is to make sure that not only have you done the relevant prep work before painting, but that you also have the correct paint that’s specially formulated to ensure it holds up under everyday wear and tear. For more advice, check out our guide on how to paint kitchen cabinets.
‘Gloss paint is the preferred option for cabinets – it may cost slightly more but will give a more attractive finish. For cabinets in good condition that are being upgraded, user a primer to get a sleek finish.’
‘When looking at the total cost of taking on this renovation, it will always vary on two key components – the size of the kitchen and the quality of your product. You will of course have to pay for spray paint, but on top of this you would also need painter’s tape, drop cloths, and more. Smaller households will need a lesser amount of these products, whilst larger households will need more paint and tape.’
‘For DIYers who already have these components this should cost no more than £50. But for those starting from scratch, these products can be purchased between £100-200. If you decide to opt out of spraying, you will also need to add on the cost of rollers and brushes, which would add another £50-100 to your total. Prices will vary depending on the quality of products.’
Spray painting vs hand painting?
With arguments for and against both processes, deciding whether to get your kitchen cabinets hand or spray painted really comes down to personal choice. As a guide, brush painting allows for faster preparation, longevity and reduced paint costs. Whereas spray painting can offer faster application, smoother coverage and reduced labour costs if carried out correctly.
‘Painting your cabinets is a fantastic way to add some colour and update your kitchen,’ says a spokesperson from Toolstation. ‘To get a professional finish, use a paint sprayer for the cabinets rather than a brush or roller. Not only does this help get the job done more quickly, you will achieve a smoother finish as a spray can cover all the grooves and recesses that a roller can’t reach.’
Whichever method you settle on, you should be aware that both leave room for human error. This is why it’s so important to have a professional that properly preps and primes, and pays attention to every detail throughout the process.
How do I find a professional?
Some would say this is the most important decision you make, as the decorator you choose will determine the finished result. So do your research and ask around for recommendations.
‘If you search online for “kitchen painter” in your town, you will undoubtedly find a local painter. But whether they are a dedicated kitchen painting specialist is for the customer to decide,’ says Paul.
‘As the original UK kitchen painting network, Traditional Painter has spent 10 years documenting our work and trying to explain to both the public and the trade, what goes into a perfect hand-painted kitchen refurbishment.’
‘By and large, specialists will be using Scandinavian paints such as Tikkurila, Benjamin Moore from the US or UK designer paints like Little Greene or Mylands. Well-known UK trade paints are still not the paint of choice in this line of work.’