Transform Your Space: Painting Kitchen Cabinets Black for a Sleek Makeover


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Elevate your kitchen’s style with a bold choice – learn the art of painting kitchen cabinets black. Discover expert tips for a chic and timeless makeover.

Are you dying to remodel your kitchen but aren’t quite ready to commit to a complete overhaul? An easy do-it-yourself job that can completely change the look and feel of your kitchen is painting the cabinets black. You’ll be shocked at how a little color change can create a sleek, stylish kitchen that looks like it belongs in your most cherished home décor magazine. See how to paint kitchen cabinets black for a chic update you’ll adore if you’re ready to transform your space from plain to spectacular with little work or cost. Upon finishing, you will possess the assurance and expertise to design a striking new style for the focal point of your house. The options are as dim as the night. let’s get started!

The Appeal of Black Kitchen Cabinets

The Appeal of Black Kitchen Cabinets

The appeal of black kitchen cabinets is their sleek and dramatic style. Black creates a bold contrast in any kitchen, especially when paired with white or light countertops and backsplashes. The look is ultra-modern yet timeless.

Black cabinets visually open up a space by blurring the line between cabinets and appliances. They make a kitchen feel more sophisticated and luxurious. Unlike lighter cabinets that show dirt and grime, black cabinets hide imperfections well and are very low maintenance.

Pros of Black Kitchen Cabinets

Black kitchen cabinets have many benefits:

  • They create a stylish, high-contrast look. Black pairs well with white, gray, and wood tones.
  • They make a space feel more open and airy. Dark colors absorb light, causing walls and ceilings to feel farther away.
  • They hide imperfections and are scratch-resistant. Black paint or stain camouflages dings, dents, and scratches better than lighter colors.
  • They have a sleek, dramatic effect. Black evokes a sense of luxury and sophistication.
  • They work with any decor style. Black cabinets pair well with contemporary, modern, industrial, and eclectic kitchen designs.

Of course, black cabinets aren’t for everyone. They can make a small kitchen feel closed in and dark if you don’t have good natural lighting. They also show dust and fingerprints more easily. But for a stylish, bold kitchen remodel, black cabinets are a perfect choice. With the right accents and lighting, they create a stunning space you’ll love spending time in.

Preparing Cabinets for Painting

Preparing Cabinets for Painting

Painting your kitchen cabinets black is a bold choice that will instantly transform your space into a stylish, sleek paradise. But before you start slapping on coats of paint, there are a few steps you need to take to ensure a professional finish.

Cleaning and Sanding

First, empty your cabinets and give them a good wipe-down with a degreaser like TSP to remove built-up grime and grease. Then lightly sand them to rough up the surface so the new paint has something to adhere to. Wipe away dust with a tack cloth.


For the best results, apply a coat of primer designed for cabinets and trim. An oil-based primer works well for cabinetry. Let it dry as directed. The primer will prevent bleed-through and provide a smooth base for your black paint.

Choosing a Paint

Select a high-quality black cabinet paint in a satin or semi-gloss sheen. Satin provides a sleek look with some durability. For high-traffic or high-humidity areas like bathrooms, semi-gloss is a good choice. Apply two or three coats, waiting for each to dry completely between applications.

Hardware and Hinges

Remove all hardware, hinges, and handles before painting. Clean and paint them separately, then reattach them once the cabinets are dry. Alternatively, you can replace outdated hardware with stylish black fixtures for a coordinated look.

Protecting Your Work

Finally, apply two coats of clear topcoat-like polyurethane to protect your new black cabinets. Reinstall hardware and you’ll have a kitchen makeover to envy. With the right prep and patience, painting your kitchen cabinets black will yield showstopping results.

Choosing the Right Black Paint for Cabinets

Choosing the Right Black Paint for Cabinets

Choosing the right black paint is key to achieving a sleek, sophisticated look with your kitchen cabinets. Here are some tips for selecting a shade of black that will complement your space.

Flat or Satin Finish

Flat or Satin Finish

For cabinets, a flat or satin paint finish works well and hides imperfections. Glossy finishes like semi-gloss can accentuate the texture of the cabinets and show more smudges and fingerprints. A flat black paint will give you a matte, velvety finish, while satin is slightly more durable and easier to clean. Either is a great choice for cabinets.

Pure Black or Tinted

Pure Black or Tinted

Pure black paint, like Sherwin Williams’ Tricorn Black or Benjamin Moore’s Onyx, provides a dramatic look. For a softer black, choose a shade with undertones of brown, gray, navy, or charcoal. Popular black cabinet paint colors include:

  • Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron – a deep charcoal black with gray undertones.
  • Sherwin Williams Peppercorn – a black with warm brown undertones.
  • Behr Premium Ultra Pure Black – a rich, intense black.

Choose samples of a few shades you like and paint swatches on your cabinets to see how they look in your actual kitchen lighting before deciding. The undertones can make a big difference in the overall effect.

Sheen Level

In addition to the paint finish, the sheen level affects how reflective and shiny the black will appear. A glossier sheen like satin or semi-gloss will accentuate the bold black color, while an eggshell or matte sheen provides a subtler, flatter look. For most cabinet applications, satin or eggshell is a great choice. Matte may be too dull, while semi-gloss can appear too shiny.

Protective Topcoat (optional)

For added protection, apply two coats of a clear polyurethane or acrylic topcoat in the same sheen level as your paint. This is especially useful for high-traffic or high-use areas of your kitchen but optional if you want to keep the look and feel more matte. Follow the directions on the product for proper application between paint coats.

With the right black paint and technique, your kitchen cabinets will look sleek, dramatic, and professionally refinished. Take your time to choose a shade you’ll love and prepare the cabinets properly for the best results. A bold black paint job can transform the entire look and feel of your kitchen.

Painting Techniques for a Flawless Finish

Painting Techniques for a Flawless Finish

When painting your kitchen cabinets black, technique is key to achieving a sleek, professional-looking finish. Follow these tips for flawless results:

Clean and sand thoroughly

Clean cabinets with a degreaser or tack cloth to remove built-up grime and grease. Lightly sand surfaces to rough them up and provide a “tooth” for the new paint to grip onto. Wipe away dust with a damp rag.

Apply primer

For the smoothest finish, apply at least one coat of primer designed for painting cabinets or laminate. Oil-based primers work well for cabinets and provide excellent adhesion. Let the primer dry as directed, then lightly sand before painting.

Paint in thin coats

Apply at least two coats of black cabinet paint, waiting for each coat to dry completely between applications. Thin coats are better than thick coats, which can result in drips, uneven coverage, and uneven drying. Use high-quality paint and a brush designed for painting trim and cabinets. Rollers can work too, but may show lap marks on cabinets.

Check coverage and touch-up

Inspect each cabinet front and side to ensure even coverage. Touch up any drips, missed spots, or imperfections before the paint dries completely. For the most professional results, consider a third topcoat of paint.

Protect the finish

Once the final coat is dry, apply at least two coats of clear topcoat like polyurethane to protect the fresh paint. Satin or matte finishes complement black cabinets well. Allow at least 24 hours of drying time before re-hanging cabinet doors and re-installing hardware.

Cure for durability

Though the cabinets may feel dry to the touch quickly, they need additional time to fully cure and harden. Avoid placing heavy items or wiping/cleaning cabinets for at least 2 to 3 weeks. Curing allows the paint to reach maximum hardness and durability.

With some elbow grease and patience, you’ll have sleek black cabinets that give your kitchen a stylish makeover. The dramatic results will be well worth the effort!

Protecting Newly Painted Cabinets

Protecting Newly Painted Cabinets

Now that your kitchen cabinets are painted black, it’s important to protect them properly so they stay looking their best. Black shows every little mark and scratch, so follow these tips to keep your cabinets pristine.

Use cabinet liners

Use cabinet liners

Place protective liners, pads or felt protectors under items that will be resting on your cabinet surfaces like appliances, utensil holders, or knife blocks. This prevents scratches and marks from heavy items. You can find cabinet liners at your local hardware store.

Wipe up spills immediately

Wipe up spills immediately

Clean up any spills, splatters, or drips right away using a damp, soft cloth. Letting liquids sit on the cabinets can lead to stains over time. Be very gentle when wiping around the handles and hardware.

Use a microfiber cloth for dusting

Use a microfiber cloth for dusting

Microfiber cloths are very effective at dusting and won’t leave behind little fibers like paper towels. Gently wipe cabinets with a microfiber duster, cloth, or mitt at least once a week to keep dust from building up. Make sure the cloth is specifically for dusting and not an old rag.

Protect from heat and scratches

Protect from heat and scratches

Place protective pads under hot items like crock pots, toaster ovens, or coffee makers. The heat can damage the finish over time. Also, put felt pads under items that might scratch like knife blocks.

Re-seal as needed

If you start to notice water spots or stains forming, it’s time to re-seal your cabinets. Use a quality polyurethane or lacquer sealant, applying 2-3 coats. This protects the paint and helps water and stains bead up and wipe away more easily. Re-sealing every 1-2 years is a good rule of thumb.

Limit harsh chemicals

Avoid using harsh chemicals, abrasive cleaners, or strong solvents that can strip the paint. Stick to gentle, natural cleaners for your black cabinets. A simple mixture of dish soap, water, and olive oil works great for most cleaning. Baking soda also works well as a scrub for stuck-on messes.

By properly protecting and caring for your new black cabinets, they will stay sleek and stylish for years to come! Take it slow, be gentle, and keep them clean for a kitchen makeover you’ll love for a long time.

Decorating With Black Kitchen Cabinets

Decorating With Black Kitchen Cabinets

Black kitchen cabinets are a bold choice that can elevate your space to stylish new heights. When done right, black cabinets lend a sleek, dramatic touch that is timeless. Here are some tips for pulling off this daring makeover:

Painting your existing cabinets black is an affordable way to transform your kitchen. Clean and lightly sand the cabinets, then apply 2-3 coats of black paint, waiting for each coat to dry completely. For the smoothest finish, use a paint sprayer instead of a roller. Consider a paint with a built-in primer and topcoat for maximum durability.

  • Pair black cabinets with light countertops like white quartz or marble for contrast. Stainless steel is also a great complement. The mix of dark and light creates a chic, balanced look.
  • Add silver or gold accents. Black cabinets provide the perfect blank canvas to layer on metallic touches. Consider hardware, fixtures, appliances, lighting, or decor in silver, gold or rose gold.
  • Include natural wood elements. The warmth of wood helps prevent an all-black kitchen from feeling dark or dreary. Incorporate wood cutting boards, butcher block countertops, wooden bar stools or a rustic dining table.
  • Maximize lighting. Increase task lighting over work areas and add ambient lighting around the room. Pendant lights, recessed lighting, and natural light from windows will brighten up the space.
  • Keep the walls and floors light. Paint walls in crisp white or off-white and choose light-colored flooring like oak or gray wood planks. The lighter surroundings will make the black cabinets pop.

With the right combination of materials and lighting, black kitchen cabinets can turn your space into a modern showstopper. Take the plunge – your bold new kitchen will be worth it! The dramatic transformation will give you a sleek, stylish space to cook and entertain for years to come.

Pairing Countertops and Backsplashes With Black Cabinets

Pairing Countertops and Backsplashes With Black Cabinets

When painting your kitchen cabinets black, the countertop and backsplash materials you choose can make or break the look. The key is to strike a balance between complementing the dark, dramatic cabinets and preventing the space from feeling closed in.


For countertops, natural stones like granite, marble, or soapstone work well with black cabinets. Their earthy tones and textures soften the contrast and add visual interest. Quartz countertops in lighter shades of gray, cream, or white also pair nicely with black cabinets, opening up the space while still coordinating. Avoid opting for dark countertops, as this risks making the kitchen feel cramped and dim.


As for the backsplash, consider light-colored ceramic or stone tiles in shades of gray, white, beige, or taupe. Subway tile in a glossy or textured finish adds a retro touch. Glass tile or stone mosaics in metallic grays or silvers reflect light and brighten the space. For something bolder, a patterned tile backsplash introduces color and geometry. Just be sure the colors in the pattern are light and bright to balance the dark cabinets.

In general, keep the backsplash simple and avoid busy patterns, dark colors, or highly contrasting tiles that compete with the black cabinets. The key is selecting materials and colors that make the space feel open and airy rather than closed in. With the right pairings, black kitchen cabinets can transform the space into a showstopping yet livable kitchen.

Some other tips for choosing countertops and backsplashes:

  • Consider the overall style of your kitchen. Modern, minimal styles pair well with simple, streamlined materials. For traditional kitchens, natural stone or ceramic tile works nicely.
  • Visit stores to view samples of different countertops and tile options. Seeing the materials in person helps determine what complements your black cabinets.
  • For small kitchens, lighter colors and simple patterns make the space feel more open. Bolder choices in larger kitchens create drama and visual impact.
  • Gray is a versatile neutral that works with many styles. Look for countertops, tiles, and accents in shades of charcoal gray, slate gray, or light pewter to tie the space together.
  • Add lighting under cabinets or over the countertop and backsplash to prevent shadows and show off design details.
  • Consider the maintenance required for different materials before making a final selection. Some natural stones and glass tiles may need periodic sealing or be prone to etching. Choose materials suited to your lifestyle.

Lighting Ideas for Black Kitchen Cabinets

Lighting Ideas for Black Kitchen Cabinets

With black kitchen cabinets, proper lighting is key. The dark color can make a space feel closed in without good illumination. Here are some lighting ideas to make your sleek black cabinets shine:

Accent Lighting

Strategically place accent lights, like spotlights or track lighting, to highlight specific areas of your kitchen. Aim them at cabinets, the sink, the stove, or other central hubs of activity. LED strip lighting attached under the cabinets or inside them provides a subtle glow that makes a statement.

Pendant Lights

Pendant lights suspended over an island or dining area fill the space with ambient light. Black metal or wooden pendants pair well with black cabinets for an industrial look. Multiple pendants at different heights create visual depth.

Recessed Lighting

Recessed lights, also known as can or pot lights, sit flush with the ceiling to provide broad illumination without glare. Space them evenly throughout the kitchen, especially over work and traffic areas. Dimmable recessed lights give you more control over the level of brightness.

Natural Light

Take advantage of any natural light in the space by keeping windows uncovered. For kitchens with limited windows, consider adding skylights or clerestory windows up high on the walls. The natural light will bounce off the black cabinets, preventing shadows in corners.

Task Lighting

Don’t forget task lighting for specific kitchen activities like cooking and prepping. Under-cabinet lighting provides focused illumination for countertops and sinks. Wall sconces on either side of the range help when cooking on the stovetop. Table and floor lamps placed throughout the kitchen give you more flexibility with lighting levels for different needs.

With the right combination of natural light, ambient lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting, your sleek black kitchen cabinets will shine in a whole new way. Play around with different fixtures and placements to create your perfect bright and bold kitchen space.

FAQ: Answering Common Questions on Painting Cabinets Black

Painting your kitchen cabinets black is a bold choice that can totally transform the look and feel of your space. Here are some common questions and answers to help you through the process.

Will black cabinets make my kitchen look dark?

Not necessarily. Black cabinets can actually make a kitchen appear more stylish and dramatic. The key is to balance them with light colors and natural light. Paint your walls a light, bright shade, and consider replacing overhead lighting with fixtures that provide more illumination. Strategically placed task lighting, pendants and natural light from windows will prevent your space from feeling closed in.

What color should I paint the walls?

Light, neutral colors are ideal for pairing with black cabinets. Shades of off-white, light gray, beige, and taupe complement black beautifully without making the space feel dull or drab. For a bolder look, consider a pop of color on one accent wall. Just be sure the color is not too dark, or it may make the kitchen feel unbalanced.

What about the countertops and flooring?

Light-colored countertops and flooring also help balance black cabinets. Granite, quartz, and laminate in grays, creams, and whites are attractive options. Porcelain or ceramic tile in a stone-inspired pattern is a great choice for floors. Wood-look planks can also work, just opt for a lighter, natural-colored wood.

How do I paint the cabinets?

Painting kitchen cabinets black requires patience and the proper technique. Clean and lightly sand the cabinets, then apply a primer formulated for kitchen cabinets. Let it dry as directed. Apply 2-3 coats of black paint, waiting for each coat to dry completely between applications. Use a high-quality paint that is specifically meant for painting cabinets or trim. For the smoothest finish, consider using a sprayer. Touch up as needed and seal with a clear topcoat to protect from scratches and stains.

With the right approach, black kitchen cabinets can make a stylish statement in your home. Follow these tips and don’t be afraid to go bold – the results will be stunning!


That’s the lowdown on how black cabinetry can completely change your kitchen. Although it could seem like a risky decision, with the appropriate strategy and method you might have a chic area you adore. Spend some time planning, be meticulous, and don’t overlook the last details that truly bring the appearance to life. Before you know it, your friends will be pleading with you for design ideas because of how stylish and modern your kitchen is. Why don’t you act sooner? Gather your materials, crank up the music, and get ready to transform your kitchen with striking black cabinets. The work will be well worth it in the end.

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