Home Paintings How To Paint Unfinished Oak Cabinets

How To Paint Unfinished Oak Cabinets

Kitchen Renovation Unfinished Oak


Oak cabinets are a popular choice for many homeowners due to their durability and natural beauty. However, unfinished oak cabinets may not fit into your desired aesthetic, making it necessary to paint them. Painting unfinished oak cabinets can seem like a daunting task, but with a few tips and tricks, you can transform them into a stunning addition to your home.

Materials Needed

Before starting your project, gather the following materials:

  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Sandpaper
  • Paintbrushes
  • Paint roller
  • Painter’s tape
  • Clean cloth or sponge

Preparing the Cabinets

The first step in painting unfinished oak cabinets is to prepare them for painting. This involves cleaning the surface to remove any dirt, grime, or grease. Use a clean cloth or sponge and a mild cleaning solution to wipe down the cabinets. Allow them to dry completely. Next, remove all cabinet hardware, including knobs, handles, and hinges. Use painter’s tape to cover any areas you do not want to be painted, such as the surrounding walls.

Sanding the Cabinets

Sanding the cabinets is an essential step in preparing them for painting. Sanding helps to remove any rough spots, bumps, or imperfections on the surface. Use a fine-grit sandpaper, and sand in the direction of the wood grain. Be sure to sand all surfaces of the cabinets, including the doors, drawers, and frame. After sanding, wipe down the cabinets with a clean cloth to remove any dust or debris.

Applying Primer

Before painting, apply a coat of primer to the cabinets. Primer helps to create a smooth and even surface for the paint to adhere to. Use a paintbrush or roller to apply the primer in thin, even coats. Allow the primer to dry completely before painting.

Painting the Cabinets

Once the primer is dry, it’s time to paint the cabinets. Choose a high-quality paint that is specifically designed for cabinets. Use a paintbrush or roller to apply the paint in thin, even coats, and allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next. Depending on the desired color and finish, you may need to apply more than one coat of paint. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for drying times between coats.

Reinstalling Hardware

After the final coat of paint has dried, it’s time to reinstall the cabinet hardware. Use a screwdriver to attach knobs, handles, and hinges. Be sure to position them in the same location as they were before removal.

Cleaning Up

Once the hardware is reinstalled, remove any painter’s tape and clean up any drips or spills with a damp cloth. Dispose of any used paintbrushes, rollers, or other materials properly.


Painting unfinished oak cabinets can be a challenging task, but with the right materials and techniques, it can be a rewarding DIY project. Follow these tips and tricks to transform your cabinets into a beautiful addition to your home.