Should I Paint My Kitchen Cabinets to Help Sell My Home?

Home Stager with Rooms With Style

Such a good question and one that I get at least once a week during a Home Staging Consultation. It really is something to take a hard look at. Questions to consider:


  1. How old are the cabinets?
  2. What is the price of my home?
  3. What is the current market?
  4. Is there a lot of competition in my area?
  5. What will be the cost to paint the cabinets?

I did a consultation for a starter level home in a suburb of Minneapolis. The cabinets were original and in pretty good shape but in a medium oak stain which is not what the buyers are looking for. Since this home was a starter level home we know that the buyer may not be coming in and gutting a complete kitchen right away.  They want a kitchen they can live with for a while until improvements can be made down the road.








It is a hot market right  now and homes in that price range are going fast but you also want to get top dollar.


I had the homeowner get a bid to have the cabinets painted which came in very reasonable. I recommended the painting be done.



Painted Kitchen Cabinets 2


Painted Kitchen Cabinets


Isn't the difference amazing!! Because the cabinets were being painted they could also take down the decorative bar across the top of the sink that is very dated and add an updated pendant light. The home got a couple other small updates, was staged and the outcome??? The homeowner received an offer the first day with multiply offers coming in and selling for over the list price! Painting the cabinets paid off with a quick sale, did not leave any money on the table and in fact put a little extra in the homeowner's pocket.


If you are selling your home be sure to get professional advice from a Certified Home Stager.



Comments (33)

Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

That looked MUCH better - great call!

Oct 02, 2020 05:24 AM
Shar Sitter

Thank you Kat Palmiotti 

Oct 02, 2020 09:22 AM
Chad Felter
Virginia Beach, VA
Providing service through out Hampton Roads

Don't paint...replace .

Measure the doors. Pick from hundreds of styles and colors and finishes.

Takes about 4 weeks to receive, but the difference is amazing!

It will transform the kitchen. I know because I did it before Christmas at my house.

Oct 02, 2020 05:34 AM
Shar Sitter

Not always the most cost effective for some lower priced homes however Chad Felter . I look at all of it.

Oct 02, 2020 09:23 AM
Dorte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Shar,

If the owners can do a very good job with the painting, this may be an option. I had clients, who cost themselves $10k by doing a lousy job painting the cabinets. It would have been better and cheaper to replace appliances or even replace the cabinets. Also, not everyone is fond of painted cabinets. Some buyers get totally excited about old-fashioned wood cabinets. Knobs & decor, as well as clean can go a long way already, if budget is an issue.

Oct 02, 2020 06:22 AM
Shar Sitter

Ya DYI projects are not always the best. Some vintage cabinets are cool....these weren't old enough to be cool.

Oct 02, 2020 09:25 AM
Graziella Bruner
NCS Premier Real Estate - Detroit, MI
Associate Broker - Serving Wayne & Oakland County

Wow, great call!  Looks like a whole new kitchen, it's amazing how much of a big difference with something so small as hardware.  Really looks great!

Oct 02, 2020 06:55 AM
Shar Sitter

Yes the hardware change is so important as well Graziella Bruner 

Oct 02, 2020 09:25 AM
Sharon Miller
RE/MAX Platinum - Crane Hill, AL


A nice change, which appeals particularly to younger generation's. Anything which will motivate buyer's to initiate interest followed with a offer is worth a "paint makeover". Knowing the market is critical today. Great Post!

Oct 02, 2020 07:31 AM
Shar Sitter

Thank you Sharon Miller 

Oct 02, 2020 09:25 AM
Rocky Dickerson
Realty One Group - Las Vegas, NV
Superior Service!

Great information and job well done, Shar Sitter 

Oct 02, 2020 09:19 AM
Shar Sitter

Thank you Rocky Dickerson 

Oct 04, 2020 03:38 PM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Great advice!  It is funny how trends change.  When I first started my painting career, every house had to have oak stained cabinets.  At the end of my painting career, almost every client wanted those same oak cabinets painted white.  Traditional, white cabinets never seem to go out of style.  The transformation in your client's kitchen is remarkable.

Oct 02, 2020 09:20 AM
Shar Sitter

Thank you Raymond Henson, SRES, GRI . Yes honey oak was a really big deal in the 90s which no one wants now. But you are right that white kitchens have been around for decades.

Oct 04, 2020 03:39 PM
Bruce Hicks
Best Homes Hawaii - Honolulu, HI
Your Best Hawaii Realtor!

Good presentation Shar Sitter .  Are the protests as bad as the news says it is?
Kitchen looks SO much better!

Oct 02, 2020 10:45 AM
Shar Sitter

Thank you Bruce Hicks . If you are asking about the riots in Minneapolis yes.....they were as bad as they looked. Things thank God have settled down!

Oct 04, 2020 03:40 PM
Stephen Turner
House Broker Realty - York, PA

Some great advice in the comments so thank you for writing this article to prompt the discussion!


Oct 02, 2020 11:25 AM
Shar Sitter

Thank you Stephen Turner 

Oct 04, 2020 03:41 PM
Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker
Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farmland Broker-Auctioneer Serving Rural Nebraska - Kearney, NE
Farm Land For Sale 308-627-3700 or 800-241-3940

I am not saying that painting is a bad idea...but with all of the retro out there these my neck of the woods it would be unnecessary.  I also am always concerned about any paintover in a high heat/humidity area.  

Having previously owned a new home that had white cabinets...white doors, white trim...and a carpet that leaned to the white...I can say in my opinion it looks to sterile for me...but then it isn't mine so...

Oct 02, 2020 01:28 PM
Shar Sitter

Yes each area may differ a bit but about 95% of people want white kitchens most places. Luckily white carpet went out 15 years ago!

Oct 04, 2020 03:42 PM
Carol Culkin
Diamond Partners Inc - Overland Park, KS
Overland Park Residential Real Estate

I love it! I personally Ave a preference for a white kitchen and neutral palette. Feels clean, fresh and airy! Nice job.

Oct 02, 2020 10:28 PM
Shar Sitter

You and about 95% of buyers Carol Culkin, ReeceNichols . Thank you!

Oct 04, 2020 03:43 PM
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

I am seeing a rash of people painting cabinets. The latest trend seems to be painting their 1990's oak cabinets to a gray

Oct 03, 2020 05:17 AM
Shar Sitter

Yes no one wants the 90s honey oak Scott Godzyk . White is the #1 go to but a gray can work although not as timeless. These cabinets are actually a very light gray.

Oct 04, 2020 03:44 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Shar Sitter,

Excellent advice and the pictures show what a difference the painted cabinets made! Not a wonder there were multiple offers going over list price! 

Oct 03, 2020 05:27 AM
Shar Sitter

Thank you Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR 

Oct 04, 2020 03:44 PM
Mercedes E. Santana
Santana Property Group - New York, NY
Investment Properties

Huge difference.  It's amazing what a small investment can do to ensure a quick sale.  A good looking kitchen is essential to any home buyer. Well done.

Oct 03, 2020 06:56 AM
Shar Sitter

Thank you Mercedes E. Santana 

Oct 04, 2020 03:45 PM
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

What a transformation. Nice job, Shar. Amazing what a coat of paint can do for us. :) 

Oct 03, 2020 07:32 AM
Shar Sitter

Isn't that the truth Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD , thank you.

Oct 04, 2020 03:45 PM
Dinah Stallworth-Lewis
Priority Real Estate LLC - 318.332.8281 - Natchitoches, LA


Great before and after pics on the cabinets, they look so good.  The paint job and new light fixture made all the difference,  Staging matters...

Thanks for sharing.


Oct 03, 2020 11:11 AM
Shar Sitter

Thank you so much Dinah Stallworth-Lewis 

Oct 04, 2020 03:46 PM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Hi Shar,
Wow... the difference IS amazing!  I've been toying with painting my kitchen cabinets because they are original to the house.  I don't have any intention to sell but I would love some color instead of the medium stain. However, if I did sell, would the buyers like it? Ya never know.  The other issue is, once I painted the cabinets I might want to do more renovations.  Where would it end? What to do?  What to do?

Oct 03, 2020 12:48 PM
Shar Sitter

Always a tough decision when it is  your own home Carol Williams . From my viewpoint 95% of the buyers want painted.

Oct 04, 2020 03:47 PM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Agent Retired

Great example & showing a sample brings it home.

Oct 04, 2020 08:21 AM
Shar Sitter

Thank you Lyn Sims 

Oct 04, 2020 03:47 PM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

An awesome transformation Shar! Well done!

Oct 05, 2020 05:05 PM
Brenda Mayette
Miranda Real Estate Group, Inc. - Glenville, NY
Getting results w/ knowledge & know-how!

What an awesome transformation.  Thanks for sharing!  This question does come up a lot at listing appts.  I still remember when a white kitchen was the basic choice that no one wanted... and now it costs extra!  

Oct 07, 2020 04:47 AM