Small updates to kitchens can have a huge impact that feels just as fresh as a full renovation. Having your kitchen cabinet doors painted is a reliable way to change the look and feel of the space–and the best part is you can do it yourself. Learning how to decorate cabinet doors is easy with simple, creative techniques. 


If you are satisfied with the background color that’s already there, you can figure out how to paint kitchen cabinet doors without removing them with methods like stenciling. Stenciling is a quick way to add an intricate design to your doors using widely available materials. The effect is similar to wallpaper or inlay wood designs. 


You can also choose to completely overhaul your cabinets by painting them a brand new color and then putting a stencil on top. Just be sure your paint is completely dry before you start the stenciling. 

Choosing a Design and Color

There are so many stencil designs to choose from. It may help to narrow down the options if you are going for one central stencil theme or if you plan on using the same stencil to create a repeating pattern across your cabinet. Designs can be modern and geometric, or ornate and intricate. 


Stenciling can be bold, so choose a design that is cohesive with your aesthetic. Choose a color of paint that contrasts with the base color but is still complimentary.

Getting Started

Gather up your materials and lay down a protective tarp or paper. You’ll need paint, your stencil, painter’s tape, sponges, and brushes. You can also use special rollers or spray paint. 


If you are working on doors that haven’t been painted before, be sure to give the door a good clean before you stencil. This makes sure no dust gets mixed in with the paint, which can leave a gritty texture behind.


You can use a small can of cabinet paint or even acrylic paint from an art supply store. The paint you use for stenciling doesn’t matter as much as choosing the proper paint for the underlying base coat. 

Applying Paint

Decide where you want your stencil design to appear. Use painter's tape to keep it flat and in place, and be sure to remove any excess paint from your brush or sponge. Too much paint on your brush might cause the paint to bleed underneath the stencil. 


Work in thin layers to build up the paint to your desired thickness and appearance–you may want a solid stencil design or a muted, semi-worn look. Tapping and dabbing work best to keep the design as neat as possible. Before you lift the stencil, allow the paint to dry some to minimize the risk of smearing. 


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If you are looking to build a pattern, rinse and dry the stencil before using it again to ensure no paint gets where you don’t want it when you place it back on the cabinet. It helps to make sure the paint of what you just stenciled is completely dry too so you don’t accidentally smudge it as you are working around it. 


If you notice spots that need touch-ups, you can use a fine-detailing paintbrush to fill in any gaps or holes left behind. You can use a Q-tip to gently clean up any lines, too. Don’t worry too much about perfection, the detail of the stencil can offer visual buffering; the imperfections won’t stand out as much as you think. 

Admire the Results

Once your paint is dry, you’re done! It’s as simple as that. Stenciling a design onto your cabinet doors is a unique way to express your style and give your kitchen a brand-new look with little effort. 


Not ready to stencil or paint cabinet doors on your own? 27estore has a wide array of pre-painted cabinet doors sure to fit any kitchen aesthetic!