How to paint kitchen cupboards

17 April , 2024

Do you have a small budget to update your kitchen?

We didn’t have the budget to redo our kitchen when we moved in.  But I hated it with a passion.

So I looked at ways I could transform it, on a budget.  I managed this on a budget of under £250

I started with the kitchen cupboards

You can watch me complete the whole makeover on my Instagram, and TikTok


Watch along as I transform our kitchen for under £250. Part 1 is the kitchen cupboard and tiles using @RustOleum paints for both. #kitchenmakeover #rustoleumkitchencupboardpaint #budgetmakeover

♬ Walking On A Dream – kalia ྀི

The kitchen cupboards & tiles painted, and worktops covered in vinyl

What paint to use on your kitchen cupboards?

After a lot of research, I decided to use the Rustoleum Kitchen cupboard paint. I had used this on the MDF wardrobes in the teens room with great success.

I purchased several samples, originally thinking I would go dark, but the room needed lifted in colour.

I decided to go with the Leaplish Green Matt Kitchen Cupboard Paint* and Steamed Milk off-white Kitchen Cupboard paint* in a kitchen and decided to go for the two-tone of the green on the bottom and off-white on the top.

  • With no primer or topcoat needed, this paint is hard-wearing, scrubbable and has increased durability against everyday spills and stains
  • The highly pigmented formula is easy to apply by brush or roller for lasting coverage that goes a long way, even on varnished or painted surfaces. 

The paint comes in 750ml tins. I used half of the green and 2/3 of the off white for the whole project. 

If applied correctly with a brush and roller the finish looks sprayed on and perfect. 

The prep is easy, I only sanded the cupboards that I had put paint samples on to get them flat. 

Then remove the handles, if you are going to replace the handles with ones in different places then you need to fill the existing holes and sand flat. 

Clean the cupboards really well, with a de greaser like sugar soap or elbow grease, washing it with water finally to remove all traces of cleaner and grease. 

Then make sure they are dry and clean of any dust.

Rustoleum Kitchen cupboard paint in Steamed Milk Products
Rustoleum Kitchen cupboard paint in Leaplish products

The kitchen cupboards & tiles painted, and worktops covered in vinyl

How to get the best finish when you paint kitchen cabinets?

You want to have the right equipment to get the best finish.

I use Two Fussy Blokes smooth roller sleeves* and a Paint Warrior brush

You can see all the decorating equipment I use in this post 

You want to use a thin coat of paint, Starting on the edges on the door, then cutting in any edges and panelling, and then using the roller to fill in the main area.  You should go over any brush marks with the roller, with very gentle pressure.  This is the key to getting a sprayed-on finish.  Do one door at a time and check, and then check again for drips. Do not leave this until the end as it dries fast and it will be to late to sort.

The darker the colour the better the coverage, but I only needed two coats with both of mine.

After the first coat has dried, check for any mistakes, drips, fluff stuck on the doors etc.  You can then gently sand them out, wipe clean then apply the second coat.

The kitchen cupboards paintd with Rustoleum Leaplish & Steamed Milk

Looking after your painted kitchen cabinets

The Rustoleum Kitchen Cupboard paint is scrubbable, but it needs time to cure. So you do need to be gentle with it for the first 7-10 days. 

But we are a busy household, with a spaniel and living with boys means that doors get slammed shut often!

And we have not had one scratch or mark on it. 

It has got dirty with dinner splashes and dog mud, and I have just wiped with a damp microfibre cloth and it comes up clean again. 

Finishing Touches to your new kitchen cupboards

I added new knobs to the kitchen cabinets and drawers from Amazon*. I paid under £20 for 20 of them, and they’re really great quality and come with different size screws too.


Preparing laminate wardrobes to be painted

Come and see the rest of the kitchen makeover?

For under £250 I managed to

  • Painted the cupboards
  • Painted the tiles
  • Covered the worktops in vinyl
  • Put new floor tiles down
  • Stripped the 3 types of wallpaper
  • Relined the walls
  • Painted the ceiling, walls and woodwork

You can read about all the other products I used in the other posts on the budget kitchen make-over here




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All products that I recommend, I have used, and loved, and I am giving my honest opinion on them.

Life with Jo

Life with Jo

It started as 2 stars and a swirl baby blog in 2008.

And is now a blog about the things in life I love.

Crafting, reviews, baking, no-faff gardening, tech, and the things that I love in life.

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