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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

“It was a great experience working with MB Jessee. The crew was careful and thorough as they painted the house, sealed stucco cracks, repaired dry-rotted wood, stained the deck, etc. Robert, Gersson, Jose, and all of the people involved in the process from the estimate to the job completion were friendly and professional.”

— Mike C.
Livermore, CA

“My entire experience with MB Jesse was very professional. The crew were very friendly and super accommodating of my ridiculous schedule and geriatric pets in the house. The finished product, which was pretty much my entire house, far exceeds my expectations. Would definitely work with them again!”

— Heather Jordan

“Edy and crew are hard at work. They are doing a great job. Very professional outfit you have. Your crew is a delight. You may use me for a reference!”

— Heidi B
Walnut Creek

“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.

“I want to express my thanks for a job well done. The rooms look great and there is no problem with any marks on the all the trim, floor, carpet, etc. The paint job is lovely. I also want to express my thanks for the level of professionalism the foreman showed in running the job. He was very attentive to any changes I needed to make, was extremely careful in getting the faux paint color and effect correct. Thanks so much for a job well done.”

— Suzan D’Arcy

“Dear Matt,You must be so proud of your men! They were fantastic to have around. Polite, courteous and hardworking. I am so pleased with the outcome of our home--in fact, I couldn't be any more pleased than I am!”

— Mrs. S
San Leandro

“Matt, Julie & Ricardo, I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank the three of you for the wonderful job you did in hosting the SFBA NARI Chapter Meeting on Wednesday evening. Everything was perfect from beginning to end. Members and guests alike walked away with a truly positive experience. The "painter for a day" and the cookies in the paint cans were an absolute brilliant touch and received rave reviews. What a wonderful way to do such positive marketing. Thanks again for a truly memorable experience for our members and guests. You are valued as a NARI member.”

— Judy Tufo, SFBA NARI Executive Director

“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

“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 completed 'Client Satisfaction Survey' we sent in only modestly reflects our total satisfaction with the work. As a retired small business owner, I compliment you on setting 'best practices' that are consistently followed. Everything described in your marketing materials was a reality! The crew is a super bowl team and our neighbors commented on how quiet they were. We are very happy to be a client of MB Jessee.”

— Richard

“I had my wooden kitchen cabinets painted white. Anabal and Danielle were doing the job. I have nothing but praise for them. They came on time, cleaned up every day, were respective, friendly and helpful. If the rest of Jessee's crew are as great as Anabal and Danielle, this company will go far.”

— Anni S.
Oakland, CA

“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