Painting the walls in your kitchen can completely transform the look and feel of the space. With so many paint colors and finishes to choose from, it can be a fun project that makes your kitchen feel brand new. Here are some tips on how to get the best results when painting your kitchen walls.

Preparing the Walls for Painting

Proper prep work is crucial for achieving an flawless paint finish. Before painting, you’ll want to:

  • Clean the walls – Wipe down all walls with a degreaser to remove any dirt, grease or grime. Also clean around light switches or electrical outlets.
  • Repair imperfections – Fill any holes, cracks or imperfections with spackle and sand smooth. This helps achieve an even finish.
  • Remove hardware – Take down any wall-mounted items like lighting fixtures or decorative plates before painting.
  • Tape off trims – Use painter’s tape to cover baseboards, ceiling trim, window trim etc. This prevents getting paint on these finished surfaces.
  • Protect floors – Lay down drop cloths or plastic sheeting to protect your floors from paint splatters. Tape plastic over countertops as well.

Thoroughly prepping your walls will ensure the new paint adheres properly and looks its best.

Choosing the Right Paint Finish

The type of paint finish you choose for your kitchen walls can impact the overall aesthetic. Here are some popular options:

  • Flat – This non-reflective finish hides imperfections well. It’s ideal for ceilings and low-traffic areas.
  • Eggshell – Slightly shiny, eggshell resists stains better than flat. It’s great for walls in kitchens and baths.
  • Satin – With a smooth, velvety appearance, satin is durable and easy to clean. It’s one of the most popular choices.
  • Semi-Gloss – This glossy finish is very scrubbable and ideal for areas that need frequent cleaning like behind stoves.

Consider your needs in terms of durability, ease of cleaning and desired look. An eggshell or satin finish is suitable for most kitchen walls.

Choosing Paint Colors

Selecting the right paint colors is key to creating your ideal kitchen aesthetic.

  • Neutrals like off-white, beige and gray work well in kitchens. They create an airy, open look and are easy to accessorize.
  • Warmer hues like reds, yellows and oranges evoke energy and appetites. But limit use to avoid overwhelming.
  • Cooler tones like blues, greens and violets have a relaxing effect. Using one as an accent can add depth.
  • Bright white makes small spaces appear larger, but can be harsh. Opt for a soft white with a subtle undertone.
  • Dark colors can make kitchens feel intimate. But use sparingly on lower cabinets only to avoid closing in the space.

Paint a sample on the wall before committing to make sure the color looks how you envision under your lighting.

Tips for Painitng Your Kitchen

Follow these tips as you apply paint for best results:

  • Use a high-quality roller and angled brush suitable for the paint finish. This helps achieve an even application.
  • Work in sections starting with the ceiling, then upper walls, lower walls, doors/cabinets and trim.
  • When cutting in edges with the brush, keep a wet edge by brushing 2-3 inches into the roller area so edges blend seamlessly.
  • Apply two coats allowing proper drying time between coats for full coverage and even color.
  • Work methodically around the room maintaining the same roller technique to avoid lap marks and variation in sheen.
  • Finish off edges neatly with brushwork where wall meets ceiling and around trim or windows.

With attention to detail, you can end up with a smooth and consistent finish across your kitchen walls.

Maintaining Your Painted Kitchen Walls

To keep your kitchen walls looking fresh:

  • Allow at least 30 days for paint to fully cure before cleaning walls or applying any harsh chemicals.
  • Spot clean walls as needed using a soft sponge or cloth with mild soap and water. Avoid abrasive cleaners or scouring pads.
  • Steam clean grease splatters instead of harsh scrubbing. Repeated heavy scrubbing can gradually erode paint.
  • Touch up any paint chips or damaged areas promptly to prevent additional peeling or flaking.
  • To refresh the look after a few years, clean walls thoroughly and apply a fresh coat of paint. Scuff sand shiny areas first for better adhesion.

With proper care and maintenance, your newly painted kitchen walls will maintain their like-new appearance and provide enjoyment for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of paint should I use in a kitchen?

A high-quality latex or acrylic-based paint in a satin, eggshell or semi-gloss finish works best for kitchen walls. The slight sheen is easy to clean and stands up to moisture and cooking messes.

How do I prep glossy or greasy walls before painting?

Degrease any glossy or greasy surfaces with a TSP substitute cleaner, then lightly sand to dull and roughen the surface so new paint can properly adhere. Wipe away dust before painting.

Should I prime existing paint before repainting kitchen walls?

Primer isn’t always required, but is a good idea if you’re making a dramatic color change or painting over a glossy finish. Primer helps the new paint go on smoothly and evenly.

What’s the easiest way to paint a kitchen?

Working in sections from top to bottom is most efficient. Use painter’s tape for cutting in clean edges along ceilings, trim, cabinets etc. A quality angled brush and roller suitable for the paint finish will also make the job easier.

How long does it take for kitchen paint to cure?

Allow freshly painted kitchen walls at least 30 days to fully cure and harden before cleaning or applying any chemicals. Handle surfaces gently during this period.


Revitalizing kitchen walls with a fresh coat of paint can make a huge impact with relatively little time and money required. Following the prep work, paint selection and application tips provided will help ensure you achieve an interior paint job with excellent, long-lasting results. Just be sure to allow ample drying and curing time before subjecting painted surfaces to regular kitchen use and cleaning. With your refreshed, colorful walls, you’ll gain a kitchen that looks and feels clean and stylish.