Skip to main content
Call Us To Get Your Estimate:

Paint oak grained kitchen cabinets

August 7, 2021 at 4:12 pm | Category: kitchen cabinets

Paint oak grained cabinets can be very rewarding with the right expectations.

Repainting your old oak-grained cabinets can help you save a great deal while creating a completely new space in the process. Everyone loves a new space, the feeling of walking into a neatly tucked and well-designed space is hard to match. However, everyone cannot afford to get the entire space redone. Just the cost of replacing your cabinets can cost you a small fortune.

Rather than spending time and money ripping out the old and getting in the new, it’s time to pause and assess the situation. If the cabinets are in good condition, it’s best to go for a re-painting rather than replacement. Think about it for a moment, why throw away perfectly good cabinets when you can save a great deal of money while ensuring you are making the most out of your space!

Paint oak grained cabinets


It is very costly and time consuming to completely remove the grain from oak grained kitchen cabinets. I would not expect a painter to be able to promise this. Remember oak grained cabinets are typically stain grade, hence why the grain is showing, painting a stain grade cabinet can be done but you will see the grain.

There are a few products, grain fillers and such but this process can be very costly and still not remove all the grain. So below is with the expectation your aware you may and will still see the grain.

Your cabinets can still look amazing even with the grain showing.

How to Paint Oak Grained Cabinets

Painting over an oak-grained cabinet is not a small undertaking, but one that can be done perfectly when following the steps listed below. 

You may see the grain

The Preparation

There is a great deal to get done before you start priming and painting your oak-grained cabinets. While the process might seem long, it is all worth it in the end. Here is how to get started:

Emptying – Start by Emptying the cabinets and drawers in storage containers. Make sure you set a different space for each one, as you will be required to put it all back. Setting up a system, in the beginning, can help you save time. 

Remove – The second step you need to do is to remove the drawers and cabinet doors. It’s best to number the cabinets and doors to make sure they go back in place. Secondly, you must tape down all the hardware to keep them paint-free.

Tape & Cloth – Using painter’s tape, tape down all the spaces next to the cabinets. Making sure nothing goes overboard during the painting process. Cover all floors and countertops using drop cloths. This will help eliminate a tough cleaning process. 

Cleaning – Using TSP liquid substitute cleaner wipe down all the cabinet boxes, drawers, and doors. It’s best to follow the directions on the bottle and ensure you rinse using a clean water towel, and dry it off using a dry cloth. 

Sanding – Using a 180-220 grit sandpaper or sanding block make sure you cover every inch of your cabinet boxes, doors, and drawers. Moreover, if you have lamination make sure you don’t chip off the sheet. Once done, wipe the dust Using a tack cloth. 

Finally, it’s best to wear a respirator or dust mask and gloves during the entire process.

Priming Process

The process requires a good stain blocking oil primer to ensure the old stain does not show in the new finish. Keep in mind if your cabinets have laminated sides you will need a special primer to ensure the laminated surface is well covered. 

Layer – Start by laying the drawers and doors on top of an edge that can help you cover a good chunk without getting any marks on the piece. Moreover, keep in mind that the drawers and doors have to dry before you can handle them. 

Oil Based or Water Based Primers – Using a polyester or nylon brush or sprayer you can cover the back of the doors and drawers at first. Once they are dry, flip them over and cover the other side. A pro tip is to paint in the same direction of the wood grain. 

Sand – Read the direction on your primer can and follow the suggestions lightly sanding your cabinet boxes, drawers, and doors using 220 grit sandpaper. 

Caulk – Check all the pieces carefully and caulk any gaps in the boxes, or cabinet doors using paintable caulk. It will take about 20 to 30 minutes for the caulk to dry, please let it set before you move forward. We do not recommend caulking moving panels, they are designed like this for a reason however we do understand the cosmetic reason.

Painting oak grained cabinets

Painting Process

Finally, the step you have been waiting for – it is time to start painting your oak-grained cabinets. Start by picking out a color, and test a small patch on the back of a door or drawer. Allow it time to dry to ensure you know what the end product is going to look like. Once you are sure of the color and its impact, it’s time to get started!

Hard to Reach – Place some paint on a small roller tray, using a small paintbrush to cover all the cabinet boxes, drawers, and door areas that will be hard to paint using a roller. While you may think you will be able to cover it all, but in reality, it’s best to leave large open spaces for rollers and cover the edges and hard-to-reach areas using a smaller brush.

Roller – Using a roller or sprayer starts with the back of the doors and drawers. Once they are covered on both sides it’s time to move onto the boxes. Once done, let the pieces dry before you start handing them or moving them around. Letting them sit in place ensures the paint comes with a perfect finish. 

Second & Third – After at least 2 to 3 hours it’s time to apply the second coat. Repeat all the steps a third and last time for a final finish. After the third painting session let the drawers, doors, and boxes dry for at least a day. Not all jobs require or include three coats of paint

Re-Hang – Once the day has passed it’s time to re-hand the doors, set up the drawers, pull the tape off, and get it all in place. Once everything is in place take one last look and make sure it looks smooth, and you are done!

If you are looking for an experienced Northampton & Lehigh County painter then please call (484) 821-7112 or complete our online request form.

Ryan Amato - Amato Painting and Power Washing

ryan amato Ryan Amato is a man driven by his values, first and foremost. As manager of Amato Painting, Ryan’s leadership is one of trust and commitment. His relationships with his team are as important as those with his clients. His motivation to provide professional service is driven by a dependable workmanship that secures their reputation of being the best at what they do. No matter the size of the project, Ryan is adept at meeting deadlines and budgets.

As an award winner for his outstanding painting work, Ryan’s projects have been featured in the Sherwin Williams Quarterly Industry Magazine. You can find his contributions to the painting community across numerous blog sites and on his YouTube channel. With a true passion for his craft, Ryan is driven by so much more than the bottom line. He lives in Easton, Pa with his fiancé Michelle, his two teenagers, Preston and Ryenn and his dog Duncan who stars on the company logo!

Facebook Twitter float-img-left YouTube Linked In