Are you tired of your kitchen cabinets looking worn and outdated? You might be tempted to search for “cabinet painters near me,” thinking that a factory finish on cabinets is best left to the pros. However, you’ll be pleased to know that with the right tools and techniques, you can achieve that sleek, factory-like finish yourself. We’ll teach you how to get a factory finish on cabinets by giving you step-by-step instructions to transform your cabinets into something truly remarkable.

How to Get a Factory Finish on Cabinets

Materials You’ll Need

First, let’s talk about the materials you’ll need. To get that factory finish, you’ll require:

  • Sandpaper (various grits)
  • Primer
  • High-quality paint
  • Paint sprayer or foam roller
  • Painter’s tape
  • Drop cloths

Let’s dive into what each item does and why it’s essential for achieving that factory finish on your cabinets.

Sandpaper (Various Grits)

Sandpaper is your go-to for prepping the cabinet surface. You’ll need various grits, starting with a coarser grit like 80 or 100 for initial sanding. Then, you’ll transition to a finer grit, such as 220, to smooth things out before painting. Proper sanding ensures the paint adheres well, setting the stage for a flawless finish.


A high-quality primer acts as a base coat, helping the paint adhere better and last longer. It also helps in covering any stains or discolorations on the original surface. Don’t skip this step; it’s vital for durability and the overall look.

High-Quality Paint

Investing in high-quality paint is non-negotiable. Opt for a paint that’s designed for cabinets for the best results. The better the paint quality, the more professional your cabinets will look.

Paint Sprayer or Foam Roller

A paint sprayer is ideal for a factory finish, as it offers a smooth, even coat. However, a foam roller is a good alternative if a sprayer isn’t available. It may take a bit more effort, but you can still achieve a great finish.

Painter’s Tape

Painter’s tape helps protect areas you don’t want to paint, like hinges or countertops. It ensures clean lines and a professional look.

Drop Cloths

Last but not least, drop cloths are essential for protecting your floors and other surfaces from paint splatters. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

By having all these materials at hand, you’re setting yourself up for a successful cabinet transformation. Each item plays a crucial role in the process, so don’t cut corners.

Prepping the Cabinets

Proper preparation sets the stage for a successful project. Let’s break down the steps to ensure your cabinets are ready for that factory finish.

Step 1: Remove Hardware and Doors

First things first, remove all knobs, pulls, and other hardware from your cabinets. Also, take off the cabinet doors. This makes it easier to paint and ensures you won’t accidentally paint over hardware. Keep all screws and hardware in a safe place so you can easily reassemble later. To make sure you do this step properly, read our step-by-step guide on how to remove cabinet doors for painting.

Step 2: Clean the Surfaces

Next, you’ll want to clean all cabinet surfaces. Use a mild detergent mixed with warm water to wipe away any grease, grime, or dirt. This step is crucial because paint won’t stick well to a dirty surface. Make sure to rinse off any soap residue and let the cabinets dry completely.

Step 3: Sand the Cabinets

Once the cabinets are clean and dry, it’s time to sand. Start with a coarser grit sandpaper, like 80 or 100, to remove any old paint or finish. Then, switch to a finer grit, such as 220, to smooth the surface.

Step 4: Wipe Away Dust

After sanding, you’ll notice some dust on the surface. Use a damp cloth or a tack cloth to wipe it away. Make sure the surface is completely dust-free before moving on so your paint and primer will stick properly.

Step 5: Tape Off Areas

Lastly, use painter’s tape to cover any areas you don’t want to paint. This could be the inside of the cabinets, the edges, or any hardware that couldn’t be removed. Proper taping ensures clean lines and a professional finish.

By following these steps carefully, you’re laying the groundwork for a successful painting project. Each step is vital, so take your time and don’t rush through the prep work.

Priming the Surface

Proper priming is one of the most important parts of learning how to get a factory finish on cabinets. It is a pivotal step that can make or break your project. Let’s delve into the details to ensure you get it right.

Step 1: Choose the Right Primer

First, it’s crucial to pick a high-quality primer that’s suitable for your cabinet material. Whether you have wood, laminate, or MDF cabinets, there’s a specific primer designed for it. The right primer ensures better adhesion of paint and a more durable finish.

Step 2: Prepare the Primer

Before you start, make sure to stir the primer well. This ensures all the ingredients are mixed evenly, leading to a more consistent application. If you’re using a paint sprayer, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to prepare the primer for spraying.

Step 3: Apply the Primer

Now, it’s time to apply. You can use a foam roller for a smooth finish, but a paint sprayer is ideal for that factory-like result. When applying, make sure to use even strokes to cover the entire surface. Don’t rush; take your time to avoid drips and streaks.

Step 4: Allow to Dry

Once you’ve applied the primer, let it dry completely. The drying time can vary based on the brand and type of primer, so check the manufacturer’s instructions. A fully dried primer sets the stage for a smooth and durable final coat of paint.

Step 5: Inspect and Sand

After the primer is dry, inspect the surface for any imperfections. If you find uneven areas or drips, lightly sand them away using fine-grit sandpaper. Then, wipe away any dust with a damp cloth.

By following these steps, you’re setting the stage for a smooth and long-lasting finish on your cabinets. Each part of the process is vital, so make sure to give each step the attention it deserves.

Painting the Cabinets

Now, the fun part—painting! This is the part of the process where your cabinets start to come alive. Here’s how to get a factory finish:

Step 1: Choose Your Paint

First up, select a high-quality paint that’s designed for cabinets. The type of paint you choose can greatly affect the final look and durability. Options like acrylic or enamel are popular choices for a long-lasting finish.

Step 2: Prepare the Paint

Just like with the primer, you’ll need to stir the paint well before application. If you’re using a paint sprayer, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for the correct consistency.

Step 3: Test the Paint

Before using the paint, it’s always a good idea to test it on a small, hidden area. This gives you a chance to see how it looks and how well it adheres to the primed surface.

Step 4: Apply the First Coat

Now, let’s get painting! If you’re aiming for a factory finish, a paint sprayer is the best tool for the job. However, a foam roller can also yield good results. Apply a thin, even coat, making sure to cover all areas.

Step 5: Let It Dry

After the first coat, allow enough time for the paint to dry. Check the manufacturer’s guidelines for drying times.

Step 6: Apply Additional Coats

Once the first coat is dry, assess the coverage. Most likely, you’ll need at least one more coat for a solid, even finish. Apply the second coat just like the first—thin and even. If needed, a third coat can be added for extra durability.

Step 7: Inspect and Touch Up

After the final coat has dried, inspect your cabinets for any missed spots or uneven areas. Use a small brush to touch up as needed.

By following these steps, you’re well on your way to achieving a factory finish on your cabinets. Each step is crucial, so take your time and pay attention to the details.

Adding the Final Touches

Now comes the rewarding part—adding the final touches that bring your project to completion. Each step ensures that your hard work shines through. Let’s walk through these finishing touches to wrap up your cabinet transformation.

Step 1: Check the Paint

Before you start reassembling, make sure the paint is completely dry. This is crucial to avoid any smudges or fingerprints on your newly painted cabinets.

Step 2: Reattach Hardware and Doors

Now, it’s time to put everything back together. Start by reattaching the cabinet doors using the screws and hardware you set aside earlier. Make sure to align them properly so they open and close smoothly.

Note: If you’re looking for an extra touch of elegance, now might be the perfect time to update your hardware. New knobs or handles can add a modern flair to your cabinets, enhancing that factory finish.

Step 3: Clean Up

Don’t forget to remove all painter’s tape and drop cloths. Also, clean your painting tools and store any leftover paint for future touch-ups.

Step 4: Final Inspection

Once everything is in place, do a final walk-through. Open and close the cabinet doors to ensure they’re aligned correctly. Then, check for any spots that might need a quick touch-up.

Step 5: Admire Your Work

Finally, step back and take it all in. You’ve successfully transformed your old cabinets into a stunning focal point in your home. It’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor!


So, there you have it—a comprehensive guide on how to get a factory finish on cabinets. With the right preparation and tools, you can transform your kitchen cabinets from drab to fab. If you find this task too daunting, professional services like Cabinet Coating Kings are always available to help you achieve that perfect finish. Call us today at 407-917-9535 to schedule a consultation.