How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets in an Eye-Catching Two-Tone Finish

How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets in an Eye-Catching Two-Tone Finish

Do you want to create eye-catching contrast in your kitchen? One of the easiest ways to attain a ‘wow’ factor in the room is by painting your kitchen cabinets with a two-tone finish. It instantly adds depth and contrast to accentuate the doors, grooves, frames, and style of the cabinets without breaking the bank.

Paint is a cost-saving DIY project that virtually anyone can tackle. Why purchase new cabinet’s when you can give your older ones a new appearance? Paint instantly livens up an outdated kitchen or puts a fresh shine on a modern space.

The Benefits of Two-Tone Finish

Small Kitchen

Painting the lower kitchen cabinets a darker color than the top cabinets adds depth to the room and creates a feeling of space that is beneficial for a smaller kitchen.

Large Kitchen

A large kitchen that is painted all one color can feel drab and boring. Two colors instantly create visual interest.


Choosing Colors and Cabinet Surfaces

To ground the room, you should opt to paint your upper cabinets in a light shade such as white, cream, light green, light blue, or gray. Now to create a distinct separation between the upper and lower cabinets, you will need to choose a complimentary dark shade to apply to the lower cabinets. You can also be daring and choose non-conventional color pairings such as burgundy and cream, or forest green and yellow.

If you have a high ceiling in your kitchen and you want to pull the ceiling down to devise a more cozy feel in the room then you will want to reverse the above directions. Instead, paint the upper cabinets a dark shade and the lower cabinets a lighter shade.

GREEN KITCHEN

Materials for Two-Tone Kitchen Cabinets

  • Paint and Primer Combination in Semi or High Gloss -- Two Shades of Paint

  • Trisodium Phosphate (TSP)

  • De-Glosser

  • Protective Rubber Gloves

  • 220 Grit Sandpaper

  • Paint Brushes

  • Painter’ Tape

  • Mini-paint Rollers

  • Cleaning Cloths

  • Screwdriver

  • Wood Filler

  • Cloth Rags

  • Labels


Steps for Two-Tone Kitchen Cabinets

  1. Remove all cabinet doors, drawers, hardware, and hinges using a screwdriver.

  2. Label the cabinet doors and drawers using post-it notes so you remember where they went

  3. Place the hardware and hinges in a safe box with all the necessary screws.

  4. Inspect the surfaces for any cracks or imperfections. Use wood filler to fill in any holes or cracks. Allow the wood filler adequate time to dry.

  5. Sand the cabinet surfaces. Smooth out any spots of wood filler. Sanding the surface creates a rougher surface so that the finish will more adequately adhere.

  6. Clean all the surfaces with trisodium phosphate (TSP). TSP is toxic and should be used with caution. Always wear protective gloves and long sleeves when using the substance.

  7. Apply a de-glosser to the cleaned cabinet surfaces using a cloth rag.

  8. Use painter’s tape to protect the surfaces that are not to be painted.

  9. Paint the surface of the cabinet doors, drawers, and cabinet frames. Use a combination of paintbrushes and mini-paint rollers to ensure that all surfaces are adequately covered in paint. Remember to use one color first and then use the other color. It is typically easier to use separate paintbrushes and rollers for each other color, so you don’t have to worry about rinsing out the brushes and rollers each time. Always paint with the grain of the wood. Allow the painted surfaces to dry.

  10. Flip over the cabinet doors and drawers to paint the backsides. Always allow the surfaces sufficient time to dry before flipping or handling. After the first coat of paint has dried, it is time to apply the second coat of paint.

  11. Reinstall all the hardware and hinges. Rehang all cabinet doors and reinstall all cabinet drawers.

kitchen cabinet designs

Additional Tips

Time-Consuming: Painting your kitchen cabinets in two-tones is a time-consuming process because you will want to ensure that all areas of the cabinet surfaces are adequately covered in paint. You will also want to factor in the dry time that is required between coats.

Drying Time: You should always give each coat of paint at least 24 hours to dry before applying the next coat.

Paint Brush Hairs: Always run your fingers through the hairs on the paintbrush to remove any loose hairs before painting.

Kitchen Cabinets

Finishing your kitchen cabinets in two-tone paint colors will make your kitchen an eye-catching room with its own unique sense of style and charm.