Posted on: 16.07.2022 Posted by: Редакция Comments: 0



Homeowners often dream of a complete bathroom renovation, but sometimes it’s simply not within their current budget. There are some budget-friendly ways to refresh and renew your bathroom without having to redo it completely. Just changing the shower curtain, renewing the faucet fixtures and towel bars, or painting your bathroom cabinets can make you much happier with your bathroom.

To paint your bathroom cabinets, make sure you have the right tools and materials, remove cabinet parts, and prepare your workspace. Then start by deglossing the back sides of the cabinet doors before priming them and finally applying paint. Make sure to paint them on a flat surface.

DIY home improvement projects can be daunting, but you can do it if you follow this DIY guide. We will walk you through everything you need to get started, including preparing your space and cabinets, and what type of paint is recommended for bathrooms. Let’s dive right in!

How to Know When Your Bathroom Cabinets Need to be Repainted

Before spending money on paint and supplies, check your current bathroom vanity to determine if it’s worth painting. The countertop should be in good condition or better as this part remains untouched. Also, you should at least like the appearance of the countertop and sink because you will likely be living with them for several more years after repainting the cabinets.

You also need to determine if your vanity is structurally sound. If water is infiltrating your vanity and getting into the cabinet below, it can cause irreparable water damage. In this situation, unhealthy mold might form that is not worth painting over.

You might want to replace your vanity if you are remodeling another part of the bathroom, such as the shower, bathtub, or floor. It would be best if your vanity matches these other parts of the room. If you have the space and budget, consider replacing your vanity if the storage space is insufficient. Lastly, if you are planning to put your home on the market, replacing your bathroom furniture can increase the perceived value of your home.

Different Types of Bathroom Cabinets

The most common materials you are likely to find in bathroom cabinets are particleboard, MDF (medium-density fiberboard), plywood, and solid wood. Each of these building materials has its pros and cons, especially when it comes to painting.

  • Particleboard is typically initially sturdy and cost-effective to use for building cabinets. Manufacturers of bathroom cabinets can overlay particleboard with laminate, wood veneers, or melamine. Two of the biggest cons of particleboard cabinets are that they can warp or sag under the weight of heavy items and they are not water- or moisture-friendly. You can paint particleboard if you prime it first.
  • MDF is denser and more solid than particleboard. It can swell when exposed to moisture. While you cannot stain MDF like wood, you can easily paint it. Because MDF is a high-density composite of glue and real wood particles, it is incredibly difficult to penetrate with nails or screws.
  • Plywood comes in sheets that are multiple layers of wood veneers glued together. Plywood is available in different grades. High-quality plywood is strong and closely resembles real wood, while lower-grade plywood is softer and has a plastic wood grain coating.
  • Solid wood and hardwood are both 100% natural wood. Hardwood comes from oak, maple, or cherry trees, while regular solid wood is likely to be a softer wood, such as pine. Since most wood expands and contracts due to humidity, this can cause the paint to chip and crack. Staining is a much better option for wood than paint.

How well prepared you are will be reflected in how smoothly your DIY home improvement project goes. With the tools and supplies on hand, you are off to a good start in painting your bathroom cabinets. Note that some things are optional and you only need to purchase them if you are performing certain tasks.

Make Sure You Have the Right Tools and Supplies


  • Bucket and a large sponge
  • Industrial cleaner
  • Rubber gloves
  • Screwdriver (manual or electric)
  • Deglosser
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Wood paint stirrer
  • Paint tray
  • Paint roller
  • Brush
  • Drip cloths
  • Painter’s tape


  • Wood putty and putty knife (for repairs or changing to new hardware)
  • Sandpaper (for repairs or changing to new hardware)
  • Painter’s cloth (for repairs or changing to new hardware)
  • Marker or chalk (for changing to new hardware)
  • New hardware (handles, knobs, and hinges)
  • Paint sprayer (if preferred over roller or brush)

Preparing Your Space

Preparing your space means preparing your bathroom and your workspace. The two may not be the same space if you have a small bathroom. You may need to paint the doors elsewhere, such as in your living room, garage, or backyard.

Prepare your bathroom by removing all items from your bathroom vanity and inside your bathroom cabinet. You can store them safely by temporarily placing them in one or two laundry baskets. You should also remove any freestanding items around the vanity, such as plants, trash cans, toilet brushes, baskets, and magazine racks.

Prepare your workspace by moving everything aside that you don’t want accidentally splattered with paint. If you are painting in your living room, move the furniture aside and roll up your rug. If you are painting in your garage, you might want to cover your car with a tarp.

Remove Knobs, Handles, and Drawer Pulls

Whether you want to reuse the same handles, knobs, or drawer pulls on your soon-to-be-painted cabinet doors and drawers, you need to remove them before you start painting. While you have them taken off, you can polish or spray the hardware to give them new life. If you are replacing the hardware elsewhere in your bathroom, it might make sense to replace your knobs, handles, and drawer pulls with something matching.

Remove Cabinet Doors and Hinges

Some like to take a risk by painting their cabinets with the doors still on, but it’s best to remove the cabinet doors and lay them flat to paint both sides. This method will give you a smoother finish. Although some cabinet hinges are not visible when the cabinets are closed, you still need to remove them from both the cabinet and the doors. This will allow you to cover those areas adequately and prevent any paint from getting on the hinges.

Protect Your Walls and Floors with Painter’s Tape

Even though it may take a little more time, it’s worth it to tape off parts of your bathroom to prevent any paint from getting on them. It’s best to tape off any edge that meets your bathroom cabinet. These edges include the line where the vanity top meets the cabinet below and the floor and wall.

Cover Your Floor

Even if you are the neatest painter ever, it would still be wise to cover your entire floor with drop cloths. Accidents happen. You could easily step on a paint drip and track it through your room and beyond. Do the same with your workspace even if it’s in the garage or backyard. It only takes a few moments to lay down drop cloths, but paint drips and splatters on grass or concrete will last much longer.

How to Prepare Your Cabinets Without Sanding

Sanding inside is a messy business. If you could bring your vanity outside to your backyard, garage, or workshop, that would be better, but not everyone has the space and strength for that. In this section, we’ll take a look at a clever and effective workaround option.

If you watch this DIY home improvement project from start to finish, you can gain the confidence you need to tackle it yourself. This homeowner shows you how she paints her bathroom cabinet in her living room. Watch this video to see what tips and tricks she has to share:

Clean Your Bathroom Cabinet

Before moving forward, you need to thoroughly clean your bathroom cabinet inside and out. Even if you don’t plan on painting the interior, it’s still a good idea to make sure all surfaces are free from dirt, grime, and grease. The best industrial cleaner is trisodium phosphate. As a cleaning agent, this chemical can be aggressive and irritating to your skin. You should definitely wear gloves to protect your hands when cleaning with such chemicals.

If you’re looking for a safer alternative to trisodium phosphate, you might consider this highly rated industrial cleaner called Simple Green Industrial Cleaner and Degreaser. This cleaner is rated 4.8 out of 5 possible stars based on 1,071 customer reviews. This non-toxic product from Simple Green is both a cleaner and degreaser with a very mild pH and contains no petroleum products.

Depending on the material your bathroom cabinet is made of, you may want to use minimal amounts of liquid when cleaning. Remember that particleboard is particularly susceptible to water damage. If you have thoroughly cleaned your bathroom cabinet with chemicals and want to go over the surface with clean water, then make sure to clean it with a clean, dry cloth to remove as much water as possible. This rule applies to particleboard, MDF, plywood, or solid wood.

Use a Deglosser Instead of Sandpaper

After thoroughly cleaning and degreasing your bathroom cabinet, you can use a deglosser or liquid sandpaper to remove the finish if you’re working with stained or painted wood. A deglosser is an extremely handy alternative to regular sandpaper. It gets the job done without all the messy wood dust that sandpaper leaves behind.

A deglosser will also speed up your sanding project. Sanding with sandpaper requires a lot of elbow grease and hours of hard work. With liquid sandpaper, you apply it to any previously finished surfaces. After leaving the deglosser on for about 15 minutes, wipe away all the residue of the deglosser and any paint with a clean cloth. You should be able to see the residue on your cloth. Watch this video to see how quick and easy using a deglosser can be:

The Klean-Strip Quart Easy Liquid Sander Deglosser is well-rated and available in different multipack quart sizes to match the size of your DIY project. The product instructions recommend wearing safety glasses when working with this chemical. They also recommend applying the deglosser in circular motions and making sure to switch to a clean part of the cloth each time you add more liquid sandpaper.

Prime All Surfaces to be Painted

Priming is a must for most surfaces you want to paint. Based on the type of material your bathroom cabinets are made of, follow the guidelines below for priming the paint surfaces and what type of primer to use for the application.

Before you start priming your bathroom cabinet, check it again for dents or chips. If there are minor ones, you might consider filling them with wood putty or filler. Then sand the area until it’s smooth. Skip this step if you want a distressed look for the finished product. For significant damage, it might be worth replacing your bathroom vanity before getting too invested in this project.

Priming Particleboard Cabinets

Since particleboard cabinets usually have a laminate layer on the exterior surfaces to protect it from moisture, you need to use a deglosser before applying primer. The laminate is too smooth for primer or paint to adhere to. Keep in mind to keep the moisture to a minimum when using liquid sandpaper due to the inherent nature of particleboard.

Even if you have prepared the laminate on your particleboard cabinet, you should look for a high-adhesion primer after deglossing. If you are using the latex acrylic water-based paint recommended earlier, make sure the primer you purchase is compatible with that type of paint layer. Some primers work with both water-based and oil-based paints.

The highly-rated Rust-Oleum Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Plus Spray Primer is specifically designed for tricky substrates. Spraying on a nice, even coat of this primer would eliminate brush strokes on your laminate-coated particleboard cabinets. This primer is rated 4.6 out of 5 possible stars based on 1,045 customer feedbacks and is said to dry quickly and provide good coverage with just one coat.

The white spray primer is ideal for use under light colors. If you have chosen a deep or dark color to paint your bathroom cabinet, then the gray spray can Rust-Oleum Zinsser All-Purpose Primer would work better for you. Using a white primer would require additional coats of paint to achieve proper coverage.

Priming MDF Cabinets

As mentioned earlier, MDF takes paint very well. If the bathroom cabinet you want to paint is new, its surfaces are ready to paint except for the cut edges. It would be best if you sealed the edges where the manufacturer cut the MDF. If you don’t protect these parts, they will become rough and fuzzy. Additionally, they are susceptible to water damage.

To seal the edges of your new MDF cabinet, apply a generous layer of drywall compound with your finger. After the drywall compound is fully dry, sand it down until you have a smooth, seamless edge. Once the cabinet is clean, dry, and free from wood dust and particles, you can start painting. Although you may not need to prime MDF, you might still want to do so as it will provide better coverage for your paint.

If you are remodeling your bathroom, there’s a chance the manufacturer or a contractor has already coated your cabinet. If this is the case, you should use a deglosser to prepare the laminate or veneer surfaces as you would for a particleboard cabinet. Then use a primer before you start painting.

Priming Plywood Cabinets

Plywood absorbs large amounts of paint. Applying a primer on all surfaces will save you three or four coats. Regardless of whether you are refurbishing an existing plywood cabinet or starting with a new one, experts recommend priming all plywood grades. For lower-grade plywood with a wood grain coating, you may need to use a gloss remover.

It would be ideal if you buy a mold-resistant

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