How To Paint Veneer Kitchen Cabinets

by Debra

in Cabinets

I just bought a home with kitchen cabinets that are disgusting, unfortunately I have to keep them a while.

I am sure they are not solid wood, looks like partical board with something glued over top for a wood look.

My question is…I would like to paint them with a soft vanilla color and put a shadow of brown on the inside of the raised part.

Would this work? and how would I do it so that it looks like the modern cabinets that have it?

Your response would be greatly appreciated. Brenda

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Hi Brenda, Thank you so much for contacting us at We would be happy to try and help you answer this question concerning your kitchen cabinets.

  • Can you tell me exactly what type of material is glued onto the partical board?
  • Is it wood veneer?
  • Has it been painted or stained before?
  • Does it have a glossy sheen to it?

Once I get a picture of what we are working with, I can better answer your question. We look forward to hearing back from you, DAWN

Yes, they have a wood veneer glued on to the cupboards. They have been
stained. They are dull.

The raised area is the same but the scallop around them is flat but stained.
I am attaching a pic of the cupboards if that is okay.

P.S my appliances are white, and I am planning on a new countertop. The
color for the cabinets I have chosen is an Almond Honey. I was planning on
putting nantucket knobs on the doors and priming with bin.

Thanks again,


I forgot, the light fixture, tile has already been removed. Unfortunately, I will be keeping the floor tile. I will be completely renovating kitchen in two years. But I would love for it to look great in the interim.

Again thanks, Brenda

How to Paint Veneer CabinetsHi Brenda, thanks for the picture. It helps give me a better understanding on what you are are working with.

To be very honest with you, this is a huge undertaking. We recently had someone ask a similar question about painting their dark bathroom cabinets, so I am copying the info I sent to her, and sending it to you.

Here are the steps you will need to follow:

1. Clean the cabinets thoroughly with soap and water or a non-abrasive cleaner. Let dry.

2. Remove hardware from cabinet doors

3. Remove cabinets doors – This is optional, depending on how good of a job you want to do. Removing the doors allows you to get a smooth finish without smudging between the door and the door frames

4. Lightly sand with a fine grit sanding pad or steel wool. (In your case, you may need to use a palm sander because you have a lot of cabinets, so it will go faster) It is important that you scuff the surface in order to get a surface that the primer and paint will stick too.

5. Prime the cabinets with a good primer/sealer.

6. Paint away with whatever color you choose. I would use a semi-gloss paint finish for the cabinets. It has a slight shine, and will look gorgeous.

You may want to seal it with a clear coat, but it may not be necessary.

I hope this helps, let us know how it goes. Talk to you soon, That Painter Lady, DAWN

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