DIY Kitchen Cabinets: Farmhouse Style

DIY Kitchen Cabinets 

When it comes to kitchen upgrades, you have a few options. Some of the more expensive endeavors may involve new countertops, appliances, or tile flooring. But before you invest in any of these, consider your cabinets. Refinishing cabinets with new hardware and a fresh coat of paint can be a simple and cost-effective way to revive a tired or outdated kitchen.  This is a quick guide for DIY Kitchen Cabinets in a Farmhouse Style, let’s get started! 

You may have heard horror stories about DIY kitchen projects, especially the cabinets: so much cleaning, so much sanding, so much priming! And while your project will, inevitably, involve a little time and elbow grease, it doesn’t have to be overly complicated, see my previous exploits. When done the right way and with the right attitude, it can be a fun and satisfying project that includes the whole family. Once you finish the kitchen, you may even find yourself scanning the house for other furniture to refinish! 

In this tutorial, we will be refinishing cabinets to have a Modern Farmhouse feel. However, the same steps can be applied to any color or finish of paint! 

What Are Some Modern Farmhouse Paint Colors?

Before you get started, you can have a little fun choosing your paint. Farmhouse colors are traditionally soft, muted tones that reflect the beauty of nature. We will be opting for a soft, slightly off-white color in a satin* finish that is bright, clean, and will easily match with any future upgrades like a kitchen backsplash or new flooring.

You are by no means limited to white, however! There are literally hundreds of colors to choose from. Some of our favorite Farmhouse hues for 2021 include:


Breezy by Sherwin Williams

Distance by Sherwin Williams

Winter Solstice by Magnolia Home


Clary Sage Sherwin Williams

Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams

Piece of Cake by Magnolia Home


Ambient Light by Magnolia Homes

Cottage Feel by Magnolia Homes


White Pepper by Behr

Silos White by Magnolia Homes

White Dove by Benjamin Moore

*If you have young children and your cabinets are prone to fingerprints, crayon marks, or other little touches, you may want to opt for a semi-gloss finish for easier clean up.

How Much Paint do I Need to Cover My Kitchen Cabinets?

One gallon of paint is designed to cover 400 square feet in one coat. You will want to use two coats of paint for your cabinets. Even so, 2 gallons of paint is probably more than enough.

We recommend you get an extra gallon of paint (3 gallons total) just to be on the safe side. There is nothing more frustrating than running out of paint in the middle of a project. Plus, you’ll have extra for any future touch ups or additional DIY projects.

Getting Started

Once you have selected your paint, you will need some additional supplies:

Step 1: Empty Your Cabinets

This may go without saying, but you certainly don’t want any plates, glassware, or pantry items inside the cabinets as you are painting! You will also want to remove any shelving.

Step 2: Clean Your Cabinets

Using a degreasing agent, preferably one that is phosphate free (see ingredient list), wipe down your cabinets, hardware, and frames. Ensure all grease, dirt, and lint is removed for a clean surface. Note: if you are using an all-in-one degreaser and deglosser, such as Heirloom Traditions, you can skip this step.

Step 3: Apply Liquid Deglosser

Dip a clean cloth or sponge into your liquid deglosser and apply it to the cabinets and frames using small circular motions. Be sure to follow the directions carefully-some liquid deglossers require you to wipe them off, some of them do not.

Step 4: Label and Remove Your Cabinet Doors

Using a piece of painter’s tape, label your first cabinet door with the number “#1.” Next, label the inside of the space that was covered by that door with a corresponding number “#1.” Remove Door #1 by unscrewing the hardware holding it in place. Place the hardware in a bag or container also marked “#1.” Continue this process until all doors have been numbered, removed and had their hardware placed in corresponding containers.

Step 5: Apply Primer

You may be tempted to skip this step, but please don’t! After all the prep work you have already done, you don’t want to short-change yourself by skipping the primer. Primer gives your paint a clean, sealed surface to adhere to, reducing the chance of dark spots and peeling. 

Apply the first coat of primer, such as INSL-X Prime Lock, to the backside of your cabinet doors and to the framework still mounted on the wall. Allow to fully dry. Times will vary depending on the type of primer you have purchased, to be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Helpful hack: you can prime the front of the cabinet doors while the underside is drying by placing thumb tacks on the corners so the drying side is raised off the ground. This way, both sides will dry at the same time and you won’t have to wait any longer to get to painting!

When the first coat is dry, apply a second coat to the framework and to the front and back of the cabinets. Allow to dry.

Step 6: Paint Prep

Tape off all edges using painters tape. Place plastic sheeting, tarps, or other protective coverings on the floor and on your counters.

Step 7: Paint!

At last, the fun part! Using smooth, even strokes, apply your first coat of paint to the framework and doors. Allow to completely dry, then apply a second coat. Don’t skip the second coat!

Step 8: Re-assemble

Nothing left to do but clean up, remount the doors, replace any hardware, and enjoy your new kitchen!

We hope this project has inspired you to try something new in your kitchen! Let us know in the comments how yours turned out!

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