Painted Kitchen Cabinets

Painting kitchen cabinets with chalk paint is a great option because it eliminates the need to sand, strip or prime.  It does, however, have a more rustic look and brush lines are more visible with this type of paint.

When I first decided to take on my kitchen cabinets, I decided to take on the small section under the stove.  Then it turned into one wall of the uppers which led to the next wall of cabinets.  Well, this week I painted the lower cabinets too.  I blame all this on two friends who were painting (all) their cabinets.  I  didn’t want to be left behind, so I painted what I had left. But first, here is the kitchen before:

Painting Kitchen Cabinets with Chalk Paint

And the after:

painting kitchen cabinets



I painted all the cabinets in Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint.  The Uppers are painted in Annie Sloan Old Ochre and the lowers are painted in Annie Sloan Versailles.  To see a more detailed look at how I did it, you can check out my (step by step!) tutorial on painting cabinets with chalk paint HERE or check out my DIY feature on

**IMPORTANT UPDATE** I hated the wax sealer on my kitchen cabinets and ended up repainting them all.  To see that process (and photos of why I hated the wax) click HERE.  Save yourself the time and trouble and don’t use wax as your sealer in the kitchen!

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***UPDATE*** I had several of you ask where my stove was.  It’s on a separate wall – directly across from the wall my dishwasher is on.  To see more click HERE or on the pic below. BeforeANDafter

Four years after moving into this house, we remodeled the kitchen.  To see the newly updated space, click HERE!

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38 thoughts on “Painted Kitchen Cabinets

  1. I LOVE the colors you chose! They go so well with your granite. The lower cabinet color is neutral enough to be easily incorporated with decor, yet it pops a bit. Love!

  2. Sara,

    I wanted to know how the paint on your cabinets is holding up? I am thinking of painting the spare upstairs bathroom cabinet. Would recommend chalk paint or could I use another type. I am think black in color. Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks.

    1. The nice thing about chalk paint is that it is SO much easier than the traditional way of painting – you skip sanding, primer, etc. However, it really does depend on what look you’re going for. Mine have a rustic farmhouse feel. (And you can see them in person soon!!) If you want a true black, I’m not sure chalk paint is the way to go. I do know that there are cabinet painting kits (I think RustOleum makes them?) that includes everything you need to paint your cabinets. AND, since you’re doing a bathroom, you have WAY less cabinets than a kitchen. Priming and sanding wouldn’t be as horrible as if you had numerous cabinets. Did I help at all!? 🙂 Just thinking out loud…

  3. Sara, you did help. Maybe I need to check out Annie Sloan’s color options before I commit. Yes I would love to paint my kitchen cabinets but I want to pay a professional painter. One it will be no work for me and hopefully they have more patience and technique. :). I think I could take on one lower cabinet though. We can chat more next Saturdsay.

  4. How long did it take you to do the whole kitchen? I know you said you split up the work over weeks, but if you had to estimate, how many hours did you spend on the whole project?

    1. Hi Kristina! I would guess that it would have taken me a good solid 5 days to paint the cabinets. For my sanity, I broke it up into sections and worked on it in the evenings. Best of luck to you!

  5. Hi. I did paint my oak kitchen cabinets white a of years ago because I wanted to brighten up the room which it did. I painted them with a high gloss enamel paint so I could wash off easily and I wanted them glossy. They do look better but I an still not happy. I have a friend who has some cabinets painted a light yellow and are super glossy. They are beautiful and this is what I was trying to achieve. Do you have any suggestions of what I need to do??? Thanks for your help.

    1. Hi happy. Are you unhappy because of the color – do you want your cabinets to be a light yellow? Or do you want them glossier? Unfortunately I rarely work with glossy paint. I tend to stick with chalk paint – which is definitely not glossy. However, I do wonder if you can add a coating to the your cabinets to make them glossier? The finish must be able to work over enamel paint, but a finish would be much easier than repainting everything. Good luck!

  6. Love the colors and your kitchen in general!! I was curious of what kind of counter-top you have (material) and the color? Thanks!

    1. Hi Genie! My counter tops are granite – I don’t know specific names, but I know we have the lightest granite sold. My bar area is a darker granite color. Thanks for the comment and hope I helped!

  7. If you’re out of cabinets and want some more mine are available- old metal from the 40s….Seriously, someone like you should advertise – I have not had good results from ANY professional painter.

    1. Metal cabinets from the 40s?! Sounds kind of interesting! It’s been year since I painted mine, and I’m still exhausted. It’s a HUGE undertaking but totally worth it! I’m so sorry you haven’t had luck from professional painters. That’s crazy. Thanks for the comment!

  8. I used Behr paint with primer on my kitchen cabinets five years ago and it worked great except for some minor chipping. Can you use the Annie Sloan wax over other kinds of paint?

    1. Judy, you can definitely use the wax for different types of paint, but it is made to pair with the chalk paint. I LOVE the wax with most of my projects. However, I’m not loving it for the cabinets. It isn’t the easiest to clean, so I would not recommend it. Have you tried a polyurethane or polyacrylic – depending on what type of paint you used? This may help with the chipping. Good luck and thanks for the comment!

  9. I am thinking of painting the cabinets in our trailer and love the idea and look of the Annie Sloane Paint. Would you paint with this and then poly urethane over top? Can you urethane over the wax as I love the look of the antiquing dark wax.

    1. Hi Cheryl! Since chalk paint is water based, you can use a polycrylic (which is also water based). Also, you can’t use polycrylic over wax, so I would use a dark glaze instead of the dark wax. You can get a similar look, and you should be able to find the glaze at Lowes. Also, Lowes now sell tintable chalk paint! Good luck on your project!

  10. Hi Sara, I love your site and have learned so much more about AS chalk paint. I have taken a class and have done some small painting projects, but I am ready for furniture! I will be having my kitchen cabinets, along with all three bathrooms, painted (I won’t be doing THAT job) after the first of the year and have been considering Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. One bit of advice I keep getting is to use Annie’s floor finishing product rather than her soft wax on kitchen cabinets. Just FYI… So other than the cabinets I am almost done remodeling and upgrading our whole house — what a huge and expensive job– and I am still married! Ha! The final room to be done (floor to ceiling — literally! New beadboard ceilings and hardwood floors) is my art studio/office. I have selected three big pieces to paint with ASCP, including my huge old oak teacher’s desk, and your tutorials have been incredibly helpful. I feel so confident now! Thank you.

    1. Hi Linda! I’m so glad you found me, and thanks so much for the tip. Using the floor finishing product instead of the wax probably is a great idea. The wax has held up okay, but I do wish I had received advice to not use it in the kitchen before I did my cabinets. I’d love to see your home before and after. It sounds like you are doing some amazing things! Good luck and thanks so much for the comment!

  11. I have 4 lower kitchen cabinet doors I want to do in a chalk paint , how is the lower cabinets holding up? thanks

  12. Love your blog! We did a remodel/addition with new kitchen. My old kitchen is now my laundry room. Do you think using AS chalk paint with wax finish would be ok for old kitchen cabinets/new laundry cabinet? I’m assume the laundry cabinets wont get as dirty/greasy as they would like in your kitchen. Or if the cabinets were still in your laundry room you would try a different sealer like a polycrylic?
    Thank you!!

    1. Thanks, Kaylin! I really would still advise you to stay away from a wax finish even in your laundry room. I keep thinking about all the lint that flies around a laundry room and how it will constantly be trying to stick to the wax. I’m actually just getting ready to paint my laundry cabinets, and I’m going to use Amy Howard’s chalk-type paint. It’s available at Ace Hardware stores, and I LOVE her stuff! It’s actually called One Step Paint, but it is a chalk paint. AND, she has a matte (or glossy) sealer that works great on cabinets, tables and floors. Here’s a link to her products: I think the cost is similar to Annie Sloan paint, but I do find the One Step paint to come in colors I prefer and it seems to show less brush strokes. Good luck!

  13. Hi! I’m going to do my first chalk paint project soon, so thanks so much for your tutorials! I’m going to start with a smaller project, but I am also interested in doing my kitchen cabinets. I would be painting oak cabinets that have already been painted over with Dunn Edwards acrylic high gloss enamel. So two questions… First, how has the ASCP held up on the corners and other high wear areas after a year of use and water drips? Second, I’m assuming I can paint right on top of the previous paint job, after a good cleaning, right?

    1. Hi Elisabeth! My ASCP has held up amazingly well over two years later. My only complaint is that I used wax instead of a polycrylic sealer. The “high gloss” part makes me a little nervous, but the paint should hold. I would definitely us a stronger cleaner like TSP which you can find in the paint section. It can also serve as a deglosser which would be good for you. Check out Amy Howard paint: She also makes a chalk-type paint (she calls it “one step paint”), and it is great. She has a matte sealer I’m getting ready to use on my laundry cabinets, and you can find her product at Ace Hardware. Good luck!