So you’ve got a dated kitchen straight out of the ’70s with wood paneling on the cabinetry and everywhere else you turn. Or maybe you’re tired of the same old kitchen and just want to spruce up and modernize the space to impress potential buyers. The quickest—and cheapest—way to update your kitchen without doing a huge overhaul is painting the cabinets. There’s no need to throw out sturdy but outdated cabinetry—painting wooden cabinets will give you a modern look without having to replace anything in the kitchen, and is a huge money saver too. Whether you’re flipping a house, getting ready to renovate before selling, or just need something new to look at, painting your kitchen cabinets is a great idea. Here’s why:

Wood Cabinets are Simple to Paint

What material are your kitchen cabinets? Some are made from stainless steel or manufactured wood, but most are made out of solid wood. The good news is that when it comes to painting wood cabinets, the process is simple and straightforward, the work can be done by a home-renovation novice, and the results look great. The not-so-good news is that painting wooden cabinets can be labor intensive and will take some time to complete. However, if you set aside a few days and gather the right supplies, you can get your old wooden cabinets looking as good as new. If you are wondering how to paint kitchen cabinets, follow these basic steps:

  1. Take the cabinets apart, but be sure to label every piece so you know how to put it all back together when you’re done. 
  2. Clean and dry off all surfaces. Remove or tape over hardware.
  3. Sand the wood with 100 grit sandpaper.
  4. Prime the wood before painting. Check with your hardware store to find the best primer.
  5. Sand again after you’ve primed the cabinets.
  6. Paint with a mini roller and angled brush.
  7. Put the cabinets back together.
  8. See your hard work come together beautifully.

Plan to spend three to four days working on this project, and use the renovations as an excuse to order your favorite takeout while the kitchen is out of commission.

Painted Cabinets are Trendy

Natural-wood colored cabinets had their day, but the sun has since set on their popularity. Today, nothing makes a kitchen feel old quite like a wall of wooden cabinetry. Home buyers looking for modern styles will cringe if they walk into a kitchen with wood colors. Modern trends in cabinetry include painting wooden cabinets. Painted cabinets are in style and add an air of modern sophistication to a kitchen.

Homeowners these days aren’t interested in “cookie-cutter” designs. They want customization and personalization—they want their house to be different and interesting. The easiest and most noticeable way to do that is with color. Painting wood cabinets a color that fits in well with the house will add personality to the home. Neutral colors, such as grays or whites, are generally a safe bet—they are popular right now, and are sure to please a variety of design tastes. But don’t be afraid to go with a dark black or navy, or a bolder color if it fits in with the style and look of the rest of the kitchen and home.

Kitchen Renovations Increase Home Value

Updating the kitchen is one of the best ways you can increase the value of your home. If you are looking to sell a house with wooden cabinets in the kitchen, many potential buyers will consider the kitchen outdated and may figure in costs of renovation when making a bid. Instead, do the renovations yourself and enjoy a return on your investment. There’s no need to do a huge kitchen overhaul if it isn’t in the budget or within your skill range or time frame. Just updating the cabinets in a minor kitchen renovation will still make a drastic difference in the look of the kitchen and will increase the value of the property.

Updating your kitchen by painting wood cabinets is a great way to go if you want to get ready to sell your home or investment property. Looking for even more ways to increase the value of your home through renovations? Learn more about house flipping at a FREE Rules of Renovation event.