How to Update Laminate Kitchen Cabinets?

Have you ever thought about updating your old kitchen cabinets while keeping your pockets happy? Well, I am here to tell you that it is possible if you are willing to put in the work. I have been wanting to change the look of our kitchen cabinets for quite some time now and finally convinced my hubby to give me the okay.


First, we discuss the color options. We kept our selection simple with black, grey, and white. I was ready to paint the cabinets black, but unfortunately our countertops are already a black granite. Since changing the countertops was not in the plan or budget, I did not want an all black kitchen with minimal lighting. It would be would be a bit overwhelming. I wanted to keep our kitchen light as possible to keep it from being dark.


Next, we thought grey because our living room walls are grey. We wanted to incorporate bits of grey throughout our home to make it cohesive, but hubby thought the grey would not compliment the black countertops well. As as result, we settle for the Semi-Gloss Ultra Pure White by Behr Marquee. The best part, it is both a primer and paint.

Note: If you are doing a color other than white, make sure you prime, lightly sand, wipe away the dust, and paint.

Today, I will be sharing the process, the supplies, and the time it took to update and complete our kitchen cabinets. Grab a paper and pen to start taking notes or print this page and highlight key points as you go! The choice is yours!

Here’s the free printable “How-To” Guide

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Materials & Tools

Note: Before beginning, be sure to repair any laminate that is peeling off with wood glue and clamps to hold and secure it. You may need various size paint roller when painting. For smooth finishes, look for a paint roller that is best for your choice of paint and that does not shed. Use cabinet risers or wood blocks to prop up the cabinet doors before painting. When paint roller is not in use, place it in a plastic bag, tie a rubber band or hair tie around it and put it in the refrigerator to save for the next use.

  1. Follow the instruction on the cleaner solution and clean your cabinets using a sponge to remove the dirt, dust, grime, and grease off. Allow cabinets to dry. I waited about 2 hours before moving to the next step.
  2. Before removing any hardware, be sure to label the doors and inside of the cabinets. When removing the hardware and screws, label those with the coordinating door. Place those in plastic or paper bags, also labeling the outside. Keep your hardware in a safe area for storage.
  3. Using a 180-grit sanding block, lightly scuff the gloss finish off the cabinets. Avoid sanding through the laminate itself. Be meticulous while sanding and try not to sand over the same area multiple times. Run a vacuum hose over to collect the dust.
  4. Take a tack cloth or a lightly damp cloth and wipe to remove the dust. Allow to dry.
  5. Cabinet doors should be place on cabinet risers before painting. This helps make it easier to paint the sides of the doors. Open, stir, and pour the paint into a paint tray. Next, take a paint roller and apply the first coat of paint to the frame of the cabinets, the underside of the cabinet, and the backside of cabinet doors.
  6. The wait time may vary from 2 to 4 hours before applying the second coat of paint. To determine the required time to wait in-between coats, read the instruction on the paint can itself or check the brand’s website for further instructions.
  7. Depending on the paint your cabinets may only require 2 coats of paint. Wait 24 hours before flipping the cabinet doors to paint the front side.
  8. After your final coat, wait 1 to 2 weeks for the paint to cure. I only waited one because I’m kind of impatient, but I am working on that.

This kitchen update took one week to complete and one week to cure. That’s one week of manual labor and one week to practice patience. Although, I read the curing time for cabinets can vary from 2 weeks to a month. You can read more about it here. It all depends on the humidity level. If you are impatient like me and can’t bare to wait, a dehumidifier can be of great use to speed up the curing process. Yay! I’m doing my happy dance!

There’s no need to spend thousands of dollars just to have your beautiful kitchen refreshed. You are capable of brining life to your cabinets once again with a little TLC (tender, love, and care.) If you need help or want extra hands on deck? You can always enlist your friends, family, or spouse. It’s a great way to bond and spend some quality time together making it that much better.

I hope my process has inspired you to revamp your kitchen with just a little touch of paint and gorgeous décor pieces for your beautiful home’s kitchen! For more inspiration and home décor, sign up for the latest and follow my social media.

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Check out these posts below for more inspiration:

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Have a blessed and lovely day friends!


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