Can IKEA Cabinets Be Painted? (Plus, 7 Tips To Consider!)

Have you ever walked through an IKEA showroom and fallen in love with a particular cabinet design, only to be disappointed when you see that it only comes in one color? Or maybe you already have IKEA cabinets in your home, but you’re tired of their current color and want to give them a fresh new look. 

If either of these scenarios sounds familiar, you might wonder: can IKEA cabinets be painted?

The short answer is yes! IKEA cabinets can be painted. In fact, many people have successfully given their IKEA cabinets a new lease on life with a coat of paint. 

However, you should keep a few things in mind if you want to paint your IKEA cabinets.

7 IKEA Painting Tips

Material Matters

The first thing to consider is the material the IKEA cabinets are made of. 

Some IKEA cabinet lines, such as SEKTION, are made of wood and are generally easier to paint than others. 

Other lines, such as METOD, are made of MDF (medium-density fiberboard), a type of engineered wood that is more difficult to paint.

If you need help determining what material your IKEA cabinets are made of, you can check the product information on the IKEA website or contact IKEA customer service. 

It’s important to know what material your cabinets are made of because it will affect the type of paint and prep work you’ll need to do.

Prep Work is Key

Assuming your IKEA cabinets are made of wood and are suitable for painting, the next thing you’ll need to do is properly prepare the surfaces. This is a crucial step that will determine the success of your paint job.

Start by thoroughly cleaning the surfaces of your cabinets with a degreaser to remove any dirt, grime, or oily residues. 

Then, sand the surfaces using a fine-grit sandpaper to create a smooth and even surface for the paint to adhere to. 

If your cabinets have a glossy finish, you’ll need to rough the surface with a scuff pad or sandpaper to help the paint adhere.

Proper prep work is essential for a successful paint job. Please don’t skip this step or try to shortcut the process, as it will only lead to a poor finish.

Choosing the Right Paint

Once you’ve prepared the surfaces, it’s time to apply the paint. When choosing a paint, you’ll want to use a high-quality, oil-based paint for the best results. 

Water-based paints may not adhere as well to the surface of the cabinets and could result in a poor finish.

If you’re not confident in your painting skills, consider hiring a professional to do the job for you. 

Before you start painting, it’s also a good idea to practice on a small, inconspicuous area to make sure you’re happy with the color and finish. 

Once you’re ready to begin, apply a thin coat of paint using a paintbrush or roller. 

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for drying times and apply a second coat if necessary.

Protect Your Paint Job with a Top Coat

Once the paint has thoroughly dried, you’ll need to protect it with a top coat. 

This will help to seal the paint and give it a durable finish that can withstand the wear and tear of everyday use.

 Again, it’s important to use a high-quality top coat to ensure the best results.

Update Your Hardware

One final thing to consider is the hardware on your IKEA cabinets. If you’re painting your cabinets a different color, consider updating the hardware to complement the new look. 

This could include things like handles, knobs, and hinges. If you prefer to keep the original hardware, you can remove it before painting and reattach it once it has dried.

Choosing the Right Color

Neutral colors like white, beige, and grey are always safe, as they will never go out of style and complement most design styles.

If you choose a bolder color, try to choose something that will complement your decor. 

For example, if you have a lot of warm wood tones in your kitchen, choose a color that will help to balance out those warm tones, such as a cool blue or green. 

Alternatively, if you have cool, metallic accents, a warm color like red or yellow could help balance the room.

One final thing to consider is the size of your kitchen. If you have a small kitchen, choose lighter colors to help make the space feel more open and airy. 

Darker colors can make a small space feel cramped and closed in. However, if you have a larger kitchen, you have more flexibility to play around with darker colors and make a statement.

Choosing the Right Finish

In addition to choosing the right color, it’s also important to consider the paint’s finish. There are three main paint finishes: flat, satin, and gloss. 

Flat paint has a matte finish and is best for hiding imperfections on the surface. It’s a good choice for low-traffic areas like bedrooms or formal living rooms. 

Satin paint has a slight sheen and is more durable than flat paint. It’s a good choice for kitchens and bathrooms, as it’s easier to clean than flat paint. 

Gloss paint has a high shine and is very durable. As a result, it’s a good choice for surfaces subjected to a lot of wear and tear, such as cabinetry and trim.

Final Thoughts

Painting your IKEA cabinets is a cost-effective way to refresh the look of your home. Just be sure to research, choose the right color and finish, and follow the proper steps to ensure a successful result.

Bonus Tip

If you’re not sure you’re ready to paint your IKEA cabinets, consider using removable wallpaper. 

This can be a great way to give your cabinets a new look without the commitment of painting. 

Just be sure to choose a durable and easy-to-clean wallpaper, as it will be subjected to a lot of wear and tear.

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