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How to Spray Paint Gloss Kitchen Cabinets

Posted on 21st July 2020
White Gloss Kitchen Cabinets

Painting your kitchen cabinets is a great way to give your kitchen a makeover on a budget. However, most people shy away from painting gloss cabinets, and many paints out there aren't suitable for gloss cabinets. After all, they have such shiny surfaces, you couldn't possible paint them without ruining the finish right? WRONG!

My utility room cabinets were a really high gloss style in creamy yellow colour, which didn't flow well with the rest of the room or my kitchen units which are a high gloss grey. I decided to give this room a mini make over and spray paint the horrible yellow cabinets to a bright white to give the room a fresh feel.

Gloss kitchen cabinets

Because of the gloss surface, I wanted to ensure I didn't end up with brush marks, so to get a perfectly even finish across the surface, I decided spray painting them would be the best option.

gloss kitchen cabinets

Having used many Rustoleum spray paints before, I decided to stick with a brand I know and love. I decided to use the Rustoleum All Surface Spray in Satin White, as it is suitable for plastic, metal and vinyl surfaces amongst others. I also wanted to tone down the super shiny gloss surface on the cabinets, hence choosing the satin finishing rather than gloss.

Rustoleum all purpose spray paint

Important thing to note - spray paint goes EVERYWHERE! Like, literally everywhere. So bear this in mind when deciding where you're going to do your spraying. As I had side panels on the units that couldn't be removed, I had to spray everything in the room rather than being able to do it outside.

I used cheap plastic sheeting to cover every surface in the utility room and then washed all of the doors and side panels down with warm soapy water, and dried them off with a microfibre cloth to ensure there was a super smooth and clean surface ready to spray. Don't forget to take off your door handles too so they don't get sprayed. As the cabinets are gloss, you do not need to sand them surface first, you’ll just end up scratching your base.

plastic sheeting for spray paint on kitchen cabinets

After a really good clean, you're ready to spray! This is how it looked after the first coat. As you can see, it looks pretty patchy! But don't let that worry you, it will all even out eventually! Make sure you follow the instructions on the brand specific spray paint that you use.

First coat of spray paint on cabinets

I applied 3 coats of paint in total, and before spraying the final coat I gave the cupboards a really gentle wipe over with a super fine sand paper to remove any little bumps that had built up. This helped to ensure a really immaculate finish on the doors.

White spray painted kitchen cabinets

The finished result is beautiful bright white kitchen cupboards that have a lovely satin finish rather than a really high shine gloss! These cupboards should hold up well as long as they are treated with a little care. I advise only wiping them down with a damp cloth and not using any harsh chemicals on them, to keep them looking great for as long as possible!

White spray painted kitchen cabinets

What do you think of my new utility room cupboards? Will you be giving this a try? Any questions, just drop me a message in the comment box below!

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      1. I also want to change my black high gloss cupboards I hate them now. So may try the spray I was hoping I could take the black shiny bit off each door and then paint them but this seems easier? I want them light so wonder if I have to spray white and then a pale green?

        1. Let me know if you do this as I also want to change my high gloss black doors as want a light colour. I’m just scared to do it!!! 🙈

          1. Me too. I’d love to know if anybody manage to cover black/dark gloss with a lighter shade

  1. Hi Really keen to give this a try on a tired looking bathroom unit
    There are a couple of small chips to cover and wonder if I should sand them first or if they would cover ok when the coats build up
    Would really appreciate your advice

  2. Hi there! We’re moving into a new house where the kitchen is already selected and it’s so dark! I’m definitely going to give this a go but I’m super nervous! We’re there any bumps? Is it noticeably painting ?

  3. How long did you leave it between coats? And how much did it roughly cost you.

    I have been quoted £2200 to repaint my kitchen and I’m hoping I can do as you have described

    1. I Can remember exactly how long between coats sorry, but it will advise you on the paint can how long it recommends! it should also tell you the area coverage so you can work out how many can you'll need. Paint is cheaper than spray paint though.

  4. Hi Karly, great article, thanks. I’d really like to know is what coverage does this product have ? I’m aware that this is somewhat an approximation, however other paint cans give you an estimate.
    I see that you possibly covered 3/4 cabinets and used a 3 coat process. How many cans did you use ?
    We have approximately 4.7 sq. metres of cabinets to cover. With 3 coats this could get quite expensive, but I see Rustoleum also have a cheaper product Rust-Oleum Painters' Touch Spray Paint. I am unable to see if it’s method and coverage is the same as you used, any help will be greatly received.

  5. Amazing work! I have the same exact style kitchen cabinets that I would like to paint. Can I ask, how has the paint stayed on? Have you had to do any touch-ups afterwards? Thanks!

      1. Hi Karl,I have just bought some white gloss spray paint to paint over my bedroom cabinet draws as they are at present painted in a purple gloss.should I first use a white undercoat/primer then the gloss.
        Many thanks

        1. I didn’t on mine but I’d refer to whatever the specific brand paint you’ve got suggests. My gloss cabinets will be a different material to cabinets already painted in a gloss (mine where gloss plastic, yours sound gloss paint) so I can’t compare how the paint will take sorry!

  6. Hi Karly,

    This has blown my mind. I thought you had to remove the gloss first before you could paint cabinets. Can I ask how well the cupboards have held up please now that it’s been quite some time since you did them? I’m so tempted to do my white gloss kitchen cabinets, still white, but changing them to a satin finish. It was an expensive kitchen though so I’m really nervous incase they end up scratching 6 months later. Thank you. Great article!

  7. Hi Karly,

    They look great. Could you let me know what grit you used when sanding down initially before the priming coat? Thanks in advance

    1. Hi, I didn’t do a priming coat, I just used the one product in the article. Between coats as mentioned I used a super fine sand paper. Not sure what number grit it was but it just needs to be fine as you only want to remove any tiny bumps to make it super smooth without scratching it.

  8. Hi I’ve been following this and tried for myself going from white to grey I’ve done 4 coats and it’s still very patchy and not fully covered Ed I’m guessing I’ll have to use more but I just can’t see it changing much do you have any ideas ? As I’m feeling to stop and get a professional to do it which I don’t want

    1. I’m not sure sorry! I did it exactly as I described in the article, perhaps it’s different paint/brand or different material cupboards you’re trying to cover?

      1. We’ve got high white gloss ones and used the paint brand you used as I’ve never done it before so didn’t want to get anything else lol tbh looking this morning it doesn’t look as patchy so that’s good lol! I’ve done a little sand but seems to scratch abit is there a certain sand paper you used? I’ve done another coat to see how it turns out
        Thank you

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Thanks for stopping by! I'm Karly Louise and I run an affordable interiors, fashion and lifestyle blog. I'm also the founder of Cloud Interiors - an interior design and styling company based near Reading, Berkshire.

Follow @karlylouise_x on instagram for updates!


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