How to Use Oil Based Paint on Cabinets

Oil-based paints have been some of the most widely used form of paints throughout history. Oil-based paints are produced by mixing natural or synthetic pigments with oil. Though they are most commonly used on canvas by artists, they are also used in interior decorating. Oil-based paints are often used on cabinets because they tend to soak in more and give better coverage than latex based paint. With the proper tools and knowledge, painting your own cabinets with oil paint can be simple and rewarding.

Painting your cabinets can help give your kitchen a fresh look.
  1. Remove the doors on your cabinets with your screwdriver and then the hinges.

  2. Begin to sand your cabinet doors and cabinet with 120-grit sandpaper until it is completely smooth.

  3. Dampen a clean cloth with water and wipe the cabinets and cabinet doors to get any dust off from sanding them.

  4. Lay out your cabinet doors on newspaper and prime the front of the cabinet doors and cabinets with primer.

  5. Let the cabinet doors and cabinet dry for 24 hours and turn over the cabinet doors and prime the other side. Let that dry for 24 hours. Make sure you paint the edges of the cabinet doors too.

  6. Sand your cabinet doors and cabinet with 120-grit sandpaper until smooth. Wipe away any dust with a damp cloth.

  7. Open your can of oil based paint and begin to paint the cabinets from the inside out. Paint the front and sides of the cabinet doors and let dry for 24 hours.

  8. Flip your cabinet doors over and paint the other side and let dry for 24 hours.

  9. Apply a second coat to both the cabinet doors and cabinet and let dry for 24 hours.

  10. Screw in your hinges to your cabinet doors in their preexisting location and attach them to your cabinet.


  • Always paint in a well ventilated area.

About the Author

Heather McDowell has been a freelance writer since 2009. Her instructional articles appear online, specializing in topics about cooking, animals and painting. Her major goal is to become a pastry chef and she is planning to pursue a degree in culinary arts at Rend Lake College.