PVC kitchen cabinets are a popular choice for many homeowners, especially those on a budget. They’re easy to install and come in a variety of colours, styles, and finishes. However, with any type of cabinet or furniture that’s made of plastic, it can be difficult to paint them properly so they don’t chip or peel off over time.

Kitchen Week How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets Made Of PVC

1. Do kitchen cabinets look like they need an upgrade?

2. Are you going to spend your savings replacing them?

• It might be better to clean and paint kitchen cabinets instead. This will save you thousands of dollars but will make your PVC cabinets look as good as ever.

PVC is short for polyvinyl chloride. Which is long for high-quality plastic. Great for value and durability, but hard to paint. So the question now is: Can you paint cabinets that have a plastic coating? And the answer is yes, you can paint your PVC cabinets. But there are some things you should know before starting.

Normal latex wall paint won’t stick to the PVC surface easily. If it does stick, it will probably scratch off with little trouble. There are special paints made specifically for PVC and other plastics.

Kitchens in Toronto come in all shapes and sizes. You can even paint old kitchen cabinets. You can infuse new life into your kitchen with a little bit of painting kitchen cabinets to add a new burst of colour! So, let’s dig right into how to paint kitchen cabinets made of PVC! 

Best Kitchen Cabinet Transformation

Follow our easy steps for how to paint kitchen cabinets made of PVC:

Kitchen Cabinet Painting

Materials Needed for Painting PVC Kitchen Cabinets

  1. Screwdriver
  2. Cleaning solution
  3. Cloth
  4. 220 grit sandpaper
  5. Natural bristle paintbrush
  6. Sponge roller
  7. Paint tray
  8. Primer
  9. Interior latex paint for PVC kitchen cabinets
  10. Polyurethane varnish (optional)


  • Of course, before painting kitchen cabinets can begin, you have to take apart your PVC cabinets first.
  • Take apart the cabinets using a screwdriver – NOT a hammer. Remember that you have to put it back together again afterward!


Good tipTake a picture of how the cabinets and drawers looked before you started removing screws. This will help later on if you have difficulty putting them back together.

  • Keep screws and hardware together. If possible, tape them together and stick them to the inside or underside of a piece that isn’t being painted, so you don’t lose them.
  • Remove as many doors, knobs, and drawers as possible. This will make painting kitchen cabinets step a lot easier!
Step 2: Clean the Kitchen Cabinet Surfaces
  • No matter how clean you are, kitchen cabinets see a lot of dirt and food grease over the years.
  • Clean out all dirt and oils from the surface of the cabinet doors and drawer fronts.
  • Wipe them down with a clean damp cloth. Soak the cloth in a mixture of warm water and dish detergent or use trisodium phosphate (TSP) if they have excessive grease and grime on them. This is a heavy-duty cleaner that you can find at Home Depot or any other hardware store.
  • Dry the washed pieces thoroughly.
  • It’s vitally important to have perfectly dry PVC doors for the next steps on how to paint kitchen cabinets!

Step 3: Scuff and Sand Kitchen Cabinet Surfaces

  • Scuff-sand any finished cabinet surfaces.
  • Use a very fine sandpaper – 220 grit, if you can find it.
  • Sanding will make the plastic surface more textured. This helps the paint stick to the PVC cabinet better.
  • Clean the cabinet pieces again to remove loose fragments that may still be on the surface from sanding your kitchen cabinets.
Step 4: Apply Primer
  • There are several primers you can use on PVC, but oil-based primers are the safest bet. The Kilz Odourless Oil Primer works great. For latex primers, Benjamin Moore has a good latex-based primer called Stix, which will work to prime kitchen cabinets as well.
  • Spread a thin coat of primer on the PVC cabinet surfaces. Use a natural bristle paintbrush for this or a sponge roller works as well.
  • Allow the cabinet pieces to dry for at least an hour or two.
  • Apply a second coat of primer using a foam brush. Apply with long even strokes.
  • Leave the primer to dry for at least half a day or more.
Step 5: Time For Painting Kitchen Cabinets!
  • Choose durable acrylic latex paint in your preferred colour when thinking about how to paint kitchen cabinets.
  • For this season, you might want to try a colour like Boothbay GraySaybrook Sage is another kitchen cabinet colour on trend this year!
  • Use a foam brush or roller and follow all our tips for painting evenly.
  • Even with priming, you might need a second coat. This depends on the original colour of the kitchen cabinets, and the new colour you are painting the cabinet doors.

How to paint smooth kitchen cabinets

With smooth, glossy cabinets, you will get better results by using a paint sprayer. Kitchen cabinets are often sprayed rather than painted with a brush or roller. This is because the roller and brush tend to leave streaks in the finish. If you are painting rough-textured or textured cabinets, use a foam or bristle brush and follow all our tips for painting evenly. You might need a second coat depending on the original colour of your kitchen cabinets and the new colour you are painting them. See our video on How to Spray Paint your Kitchen cabinets for details.

Kitchen Cabinet Painting Before and After
Step 6: Apply a Clear Coat, if Necessary
  • Are you hard on your kitchen cabinets? Or maybe it’s the kids who are constantly coming in and out of the cupboards.
  • If you know that your cabinets go through a lot of wear and tear over the years, there is an added step you can take.
  • You might want to go through with this added layer of protection since you’re going through the kitchen cabinet painting process anyway!
  • Apply a thin coat of clear polyurethane varnish to the PVC cabinet surfaces.
  • Use a clean cloth to put this on.
Step 7: Time to Rebuild Your PVC Kitchen Cabinets!
  • Reattach all the pieces you took out with a screwdriver.
  • Use the pictures you took earlier to help!
  • Make sure they are completely dry before reattaching.


Don’t be intimidated by this process…

The thing to remember about taking on different DIY projects is to not be afraid of them. That just sets you up for failure and you don’t want that! You want to go into an interior painting project or otherwise be completely confident. It also helps to equip yourself with tons of knowledge beforehand. That way, if you come across any speedbumps along the way, you’re armed with information on what to do.

So, always read a ton of blogs and different informational websites from true experts on the topic at hand. You want information that’s easy to read and absorb and hat’s going to help you every step of the way. But also remember that it’s perfectly okay to ask for help if you need it!


Are you feeling a bit overwhelmed at the thought of how to paint kitchen cabinets made of PVC yourself? Perhaps you need experienced home painting services to do your kitchen cabinet painting. Our team of professional house painters has over 35 years behind them. Call 416.494.9095 or email Brian@HomePaintersToronto.com for a FREE quote. And don’t forget to visit us on our social media channels (below) as well!