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How to Paint Kitchen Walls

Updated on October 11, 2017

Kitchen Considerations

Unlike living rooms and bedrooms, when redecorating your kitchen, you have several additional factors to consider. Kitchen walls have to withstand frequent cleaning, constant temperature changes and condensation, as well as provide an easy-to-live-with backdrop; after all, this is the busiest room in the home. Assess your needs before choosing kitchen paint color. White goes with everything and looks clean and bright but may be a little too clinical for your taste. Choose a color that zings if you want a cheerful start in the mornings, go for a soft pastel if you prefer a soothing mood while you cook. If your dining area is situated off the kitchen, you might like a darker, more atmospheric shade.

Sunny Yellow is Mood-Lifting in the Kitchen

Bright and Cheerful Yellow Kitchen Walls
Bright and Cheerful Yellow Kitchen Walls | Source

What You Need to Repaint Kitchen Walls

  • Throw sheets or plastic sheeting
  • Stepladder
  • Cleaning solution
  • Sponge or cleaning cloth
  • Wall filler
  • Sandpaper, medium and fine grade.
  • Masking tape
  • Latex undercoat
  • Latex topcoat.
  • Paintbrushes
  • Roller and pan

Select Your Kitchen Paint

Select the correct paint for your walls. Latex paint comes in a variety of sheens; make sure the topcoat you choose is hard-wearing and can withstand scrubbing. There are paints formulated just for kitchens and bathrooms. You can use regular latex for the undercoat – select one close to the color of your topcoat.

Gray is a modern, monochrome look for a kitchen.
Gray is a modern, monochrome look for a kitchen.

Prepare the Kitchen for Painting

Remove free-standing furniture and protect counter tops and cabinets with throw cloths or plastic sheeting. Clean the walls thoroughly to remove grease and dirt. Rub off any flaking paint. Fill holes and cracks, allow to harden and sand smooth. Apply masking tape around the edge of cabinets, tile and trim where they meet the wall.


Applying the Paint

Apply the undercoat. Cut-in around the edges of walls, including corners, with a paintbrush before using the roller. This will prevent you having to take the roller too close to the moldings and cabinets.

Switch to the roller. Keep the roller horizontal as you dip it into the paint well part of the pan. Roll it on the upper part of the pan to remove excess paint. Avoid getting paint inside the roller, as it will drip out while you are painting. Work toward the light source so your body doesn't cast a shadow. Start from a corner; you won't need to paint right into the corner as you have already used the brush there. Apply the roller in a large backward “N,” painting the slanting line from bottom to top. Work back to where you began, making sure to finish with vertical strokes. Move to the next section and repeat the “N” motion.

Paint awkward spaces above cabinets, under windows and above doors with long horizontal strokes of the roller. Go back over the area, rolling on the paint with short, vertical strokes.

Wash the roller and allow to dry. Apply the topcoat. Use the brush to cut-in, before rolling on the paint in the same way as the undercoat. When this application has dried, you will be able to tell if you need a second coat.

Tips for Painting with a Roller

  • Before using a new roller, roll masking tape around your palm, sticky side out, and dab on the roller to remove loose fibers.
  • As you paint, try to keep the leading edge wet to avoid roller marks.

© 2011 Bev G

Painting Walls - You Either Love it or Hate it?

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    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      9 years ago from Wales, UK

      Thanks Susan & Dom. Nice to see you here! I'd love yellow walls too but we have a trendy olive green to set off the butter-cream cabinets :) Susan - you must stop throwing your wine at the walls... drinking it is far more fun!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Wow! That's funny! The picture featured on this lens shows the same wall colour I had in my last kitchen before I move into my house! I loved this colour and if I had white kitchen cabinets, I'd paint the walls yellow this time too!

      Yellow is a bright and energizing colour that I'm fond of.

      Great tips, by the way.

      Cheers :)

    • SusanVillasLewis profile image


      9 years ago from Texas

      First kitchen I painted was when Sherwin Williams (I think) came out with that flat paint you were supposed to be able to clean wine off of. And it worked. (Don't ask.) But generally, the shinier the sheen, the easier it will be to clean.


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