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Cabinet painting is the new black!

By March 3, 20145 Comments


Back when I started faux finishing thirteen or fourteen years ago, very rarely did people ask us to paint their kitchen cabinets. The majority of our jobs were always wall finishes and, on occasion, we would faux a bit of wall trim or an island… but very rarely an entire kitchen. I think there was an unspoken rule then…..”you don’t mess with wood cabinets.”

Well thankfully, that “rule” has certainly changed.  And I was never one for following decorating “rules” anyway. Ha!

In the last year or two, the majority of our jobs have swung from wall finishes to cabinets finishes!  I would say that in the last several months, 70% of all of our jobs have been kitchen cabinets.  Because we have done one kitchen after another after another after another, I feel like I have a good pulse on what homeowners are looking for and why there has been such a cabinet painting craze! 

The economy in the last few years has prevented some people from moving/upgrading in home.  But it has NOT stopped homeowners (especially the ladies) from sitting and looking at their current homes and wanting to change it.  Also, there is a great move going on in decorating right now that follows the “attitudes” of home owners.  People are feeling lighter.  They are feeling better about the economy.  They are in the middle of spring fever (see this article on marketing in the spring). They are wanting lighter, brighter, shinier, bling-ier and they want to see CHANGE in their homes!!!!!! They want the dark and heavy gone. They want the golden oak gone.  They want their kitchens to sparkle and feel new and feel fresh.

So it has been our privilege to go into homes in Kansas City over and over in the last few years and just completely overhaul their cabinets.  It’s unbelievable to me the difference cabinet painting/re-staining makes in a kitchen.  And here is the truth….life happens in the kitchen.  Families thrive in the kitchen.  Memories are made in the kitchen.  If clients are going to spend their decorating dollars anywhere……I suggest they spend it IN THE KITCHEN!

I began getting email after with questions from my Facebook followers who were asking about painting or re-staining their own kitchen cabinets.   Because of all those requests, I started my line of DIY e-videos that are for sale here.  It was not fair to me or to my fans to continue trying to email them instructions on cabinets (which by the way was veryyyyyyy time-consuming for me) and I always was afraid that it was not serving them well to just give them colors and not tell them the technique, not explain the prep in detail, not tell them how to set up the kitchen or where to buy the product, etc. There is MUCH more to cabinet painting than just knowing the colors. 

And so now, I’ve noticed another whole section of people following my Facebook page who are emailing me questions and I want to serve you.  This blog post today is for YOU…..the furniture painters, the re-purposers, the remodelers.  You have been painting furniture for years and years and you could do it in your sleep…. but the thought of painting kitchen cabinets terrifies you.  You would love to try it, but you are nervous.  Well…..I can help you to get over your fear!

First, just let me say this ….cabinet painting is the “new black”.   In other words, cabinet painting is where it’s at right now.  More and more furniture painters pop up every single day.  Look at Pinterest.  Look at all the repurposing stores in your city.  Look at Craigslist. EVERYONE is painting furniture.  Business owners are painting furniture.  Crafters are painting furniture.  Homeowners are painting furniture.  You have ALOT of competition.  And with all that competition, customers want prices lower. 

But not everyone is painting cabinets. It takes people who are just a little bit braver.  Just a little more versatile.  Just a little more trained.    

The second reason to start painting cabinets is this:  a huge percentage of the population really dislikes the current finish on their kitchen cabinets. These same people WOULD attempt to paint a furniture piece for their own home.  They aren’t afraid to try a small project and run the risk of messing it up.  However, these same people do NOT want to paint their own cabinets….but they want it done.  They don’t want my DIY videos….they want someone to come in and do a professional job for them.  I am going to give you the best tip from this entire post that can change any business.  Are you ready???  Marketing 101 is to FIND A NEED AND FILL IT!  People want their cabinets painted….YOU can be the solution for them.

And finally, the last reason to consider cabinets is that the profit margin on a cabinet job is much higher than the profit margin a piece of furniture.  An average kitchen is $2500-$5000 for cabinet painting/re-staining.  It would take ALOT of furniture pieces (8-10?) to equal the cost of a kitchen.  And don’t forget you need to find the furniture, clean the furniture, paint the furniture….etc….ect.  Do you remember this post on furniture painting???  That’s a lot of work.

If you are someone who is reading this blog post and for years have concentrated on painting furniture for clients or painting furniture for a booth, I would encourage you to get trained on doing kitchen cabinets. I have my top 3 cabinet finishes on my webpage.   90% of all kitchens will want one of these 3 finishes…..staining their cabinets darker, painting them cream with a glaze or a distressed black.  I have each of those videos for sale.  They are MORE THAN ENOUGH TO GET YOU STARTED.  And you will not lack volunteers to let you “practice” on their kitchens…I assure you!

If you don’t want to tackle a kitchen project on your own, it’s very easy to do cabinets with another person because pretty much everybody rolls primer the same way onto a cabinet door.  Does that make sense?  Priming is priming.  Base coating is base coating.  If you are glazing, you will need to be sure your looks match, but the tedious prep and painting is easy to do with someone.  You don’t HAVE to do it alone.  Get braver by getting some help!

I also want you to look at an entire kitchen as several small pieces of furniture put in the same room together. Don’t let the thought of a “whole room” discourage you.  Cabinet painting can open up a whole new world for your business.  I assure you of this.  If you get a kitchen or 2 under your belt, then I want you to order my Marketing video for $27.  I give tip after tip after tip on how I have successfully marketed my business to grow it to the size it is today.  It’s one thing to have a talent; it’s another thing to make the world aware of your talent.  I can help you there as well.

So take a deep breath. We are in this together.  Get trained.  Practice.  Go.

Cabinets are nothing to be scared of!

PS….for TODAY, MARCH 3 only…. my DIY e-videos are 1/2 off to help you get started!  Order at . Use code SNOWDAY

You can do it!

All my best,



  • Hi Jennifer, I truly appreciate your email regarding kitchen cabinets. I have given this some thought in the past but what seemed to stop me was the fact I would need to insured. If there was product spilled on the floor or chip in the tile etc. I am a one woman show right now and a single mom who works out of my garage. I want to increase my business but I am confused as to the time involved and the profit margin for the work in doing kitchen cabinets.
    Thank you for sharing your knowledge and I enjoyed watching your marketing video. Had some great tips I had not thought of.

    Sincerely, Patty

  • Jolene says:

    Hi Jennifer!! Loved your video I purchased on painting the cabinets cream and wanted to buy the black painting video but it wouldn’t take the code. Ideas? 🙂 Thank you!

  • April says:

    Hi Jennifer. On Valentines Day I purchased your garage door video and the video for painting cabinets. Both were 40% off. I received the garage door video right away on my computer BUT I never received the video for painting the cabinets. Please help, I’m hoping to paint mine over spring break! Thanks!

  • Lisa Muller says:

    I purchased all 3 of your videos on cabinets. I’m getting ready to do my ugly oak banisters black. I’m wondering if I can glaze it after I paint it black so it doesn’t have that harsh black look, to soften it up a little. What do I use to get it to look like it’s more toned down? I have a picture of what I’m trying to achieve, so if I can send it to you someway, you will probably get a better idea of the look that I’m after. 🙂
    Thank you – Lisa

  • Lisa Dane says:

    This article says your marketing video is $27 but when I go to buy it, it’s $47. The day you wrote the post, you said videos were 1/2 off, but that doesn’t compute. Is it $27 or $47?
    Ps I’m interested in 2 videos…any discount for buying two?

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