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Kitchen Painting Tips - Walls or Cabinets First? !

Kitchen Painting Tips - Walls or Cabinets First?

When you make the investment to paint your kitchen, it's important to make sure you're doing things in the right order. If you aren't methodical, you could end up with a mess that's hard to fix, or a color you end up unhappy with. So, when you are painting kitchen cabinets and walls, which comes first?

Cabinets Come First

It is best to paint the kitchen cabinets before you paint the walls. In fact, we suggest painting the cabinets before you even finalize your choice for the wall color. Here's why:

The kitchen cabinets make up a very large portion of the visual space in the kitchen. The effect of changing the color of so large an area can be surprising, especially since every kitchen is unique in its layout and lighting. It's best to wait until you can see the finished look of the cabinets before you buy the paint for the kitchen walls. You might want to get some color samples to paint on the walls after the cabinets are painted, so you can see how it will really look.


If the color of the cabinets is not going to change, and you are simply refreshing them with the same color, these considerations are not as important.

What About the Kitchen Ceiling? When Do I Paint It?

When the ceiling is included in the kitchen repainting project, it should be the first thing to get the new coat. This reduces the chances you will get drips or splatters on newly-painted surfaces. Of course, any good house painter will use tape and plastic to protect all the surfaces when painting the ceiling, but this order of operations helps you be extra safe.

If I'm Getting New Cabinets Installed, Should I Paint Before or After?

You definitely don't want bare drywall behind your cabinets, as this absorbs moisture and odors, and isn't as durable. That's why any new or repaired drywall should be primed before new cabinets are installed. For the same reasons mentioned above, we suggest waiting for the cabinet installation to be completed before painting the kitchen walls.

Kitchen Painting Services in the San Francisco Bay Area

If you are considering a new paint job in your Bay-Area kitchen, we would love to hear from you. At M.B. Jessee, we have long experience with painting cabinets, a process that demands proper materials and careful steps. We can also provide you with professional color advice as you select the hues that will define your home.

As a residential painting company, M.B. Jessee serves the San Francisco Bay Area, including Oakland, Hillsborough, Pacific Heights, Piedmont, and the surrounding region. Call us to begin discussing your kitchen painting project; you'll be glad you did!

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Customer Reviews

“I love the article in the paper on your company. Thank you for supporting our community by painting at the Claremont Middle School. Thanks!”

— Carla Banks

“Julie,Just to let you know I am very appreciative of your crew catching the plumbing/mold problem. It was very astute of them. I wanted to let you know that again your crew has done excellent work here, please pass this along to Mr. Jessee. There are some bumps in the road here, but the painting and your crew has not been one of them. Their work is the only thing going right currently, and this crew is very nice and respectful. It is much appreciated. Thank you again.”

— Beth

“The finish on my kitchen cabinets had failed, becoming tacky and grimy around the handles. M B Jessee gave me a reasonable quote, far below some others, and did an outstanding job, striping the original varnish and refinishing with a new lacquer finish. The cabinets look like new. Work was done 1 day faster than estimated. The crew was extremely hard-working, considerate, and neat. Highly recommend M B Jessee.”

— Thama B.
San Francisco, CA

“Today I received a beautiful bouquet from your company. It was totally unexpected and very much appreciated--a lovely surprise. Also today, your crew finished my job. I am so pleased with all their fine work. Richard is absolutely amazing and a total delight to work with. He was also extremely helpful during the paint color process. The interior work in my home far exceeded my expectations. A big thank you to you and the crew for an outstanding job. Thank you, thank you for a terrific job!”

— Barbara

“In September, MBJessee finished painting two sides of our 3-story condominium building (six owners). We were impressed by the professionalism of the company and every one of its workers, Matt Jessee couldn't have been more helpful in planning the project. His painters were well-trained, easy to communicate with and eager to please. In addition to painting the stucco, they made extensive repairs on windows and frames, which will save us considerable money in the future. They finished earlier than anticipated, with as many as five men working on the job, and the scaffolding came down the next day. All of us were delighted with the results. Now my husband and I are looking forward to having MB Jessee paint our own apartment later this month. Matt and Gustavo (who will be our crew leader again) have explained how they will work to make the painting proceed smoothly while we're living here, and they have been endlessly patient with our protracted decision-making process. If you look at their website, you'll learn that MB Jessee is an exemplary company that takes good care of its workers as well as its customers, and contributes public service projects to the community. All in all, we can't recommend MB Jessee highly enough.”

— Jayne W.
San Francisco, CA

“The people at M.B. Jessee are great – from the painters to the office staff to Matt. Talk about leadership from the top.”

— Kevin Ames, Mark Becker Homes

“The kitchen looks NEW! You guys are amazing.”

“Julie, by the way, I have never been so impressed with the service of a painting job before! It was like magical elves came and painted our walls without us having to do a thing! It looks amazing and just wanted to let you know how happy we are. Thanks”

— Anja

“Our paint crew did a great job and the foreman, Gersson was exceptionally great to work with. He was always available to answer questions, good at problem-solving, very patient, kind, and highly professional with great customer service. We definitely recommend this company, and Gersson and his crew.”

— Andrea Y.
Berkeley, CA

“I cannot imagine finer painters--and I have worked with many. They work exceptionally hard. It is a joy to see their workmanship!”

— Alicia R.

“High quality work from a pleasant and qualified staff. Thank you!”

— Paul Markovich

“Matt, We are very happy with how all of the painting worked out. We were extremely impressed with the quality of the work in the bathroom. I liked working with Victor, he and Marvin were extremely conscientious about doing a great job, not just the minimum. I know the front door took a lot longer than you'd expected. But they did it PERFECTLY. We never thought it could turn out like that! Thanks again for the great work. We'll be calling you again in the future!”

— Craig
Alameda, CA