There is lots of advice on the internet on how to paint kitchen cabinets, but what about the inside of the kitchen cabinets? Even though that is a decision that everyone who paints cabinets will have to make, there seems to be much less online help regarding this question. Do you paint them at all? If so, do you paint them the same color as you did the outside of your cabinets? Do you have to seal the inside if you do paint the inside of kitchen cabinets? So many great questions! Let’s dive into it!

Click Here for a free download on how to clean your kitchen cabinets before painting!

Should you Paint the Inside of Your Kitchen Cabinets?

I think this is totally optional! It is up to you! Does it look nicer when you open your cabinets doors to have them painted and match the rest of your painted cabinets? YES! But if you’re not using a spray gun it can be exhausting to paint the inside of your cabinets. I generally only paint the insides of kitchen cabinets if it can be seen thru a glass cabinet door or maybe it is open shelving. Here’s a helpful rule of thumb when asking whether or not to paint the insides of your cabinets: if you can see it when closed it ain’t, then you paint. πŸ™‚

Do you Paint the Inside of Your Kitchen Cabinets a Different Color?

Painting the inside of your kitchen cabinets a different color than the outside of your cabinets can add contrast. Having two different colors can look great, especially when you have open shelving! I painted the inside of our open shelving white to help it stand out against our olive green cabinets. You can see our full kitchen makeover published on apartment therapy here. πŸ™‚

Do you have to seal the inside shelving of your kitchen cabinets if you paint them?

This is another great question that it seems like people don’t often have answered! I would say it totally depends on how often you are going to be using the shelving that you just painted. If it is a high traffic area then absolutely seal the shelving! Here’s another saying I find helpful: “If high use is in the deal, make sure your cabinets to seal.” πŸ™‚ If it’s in a cabinet that has a glass window and you have 3 bowls in it to look pretty but that you’ll never be removing and replacing, then you may opt not to seal, since the probability of the shelving getting chipped is not a high probability.

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When I painted the inside of our kitchen cabinets I used Dixie Belle’s Cotton Chalk Mineral paint. This worked great for painting the inside of our kitchen cabinets. It adhered well to the cabinetry and went on smoothly!

How to Paint the Inside of Your Kitchen Cabinets


  1. Your favorite paint brush! I used a 2′ chip brush. BUT my favorite are the Wooster Shortcut brushes because they have a rubber handle and do not hurt your hand after you have been painting! It is also angled to get into all of your corners. πŸ™‚
  2. Dixie Belle’s Mineral paint- I used “Cotton”

To Begin, make sure your surface is clean. Wipe the inside of cabinets with a damp shop towel to remove any dust. Once surface is clean begin by applying paint to the bottom shelf first. I always like to do the bottom shelf first because it gives you a good idea if you’re going to like the paint color you have chosen! After the bottom shelf is painted, move to the sides and paint the top shelf last. You want to make sure you get into the corners of the inside of the cabinets using a dabbing motion, packing the paint into the creases of the corners. This takes about 2-3 coats of Dixie Belle’s paint. I used half of the pot that I had bought for the inside of this cabinet. It covers well. πŸ™‚

Next, if you are going to seal the inside, I recommend a water based poly. This will help keep them nice and pretty. I’ve used MinWax water based poly over Dixie Belle’s paint and they work well together!

how to paint the inside of your kitchen cabinets

Although time consuming, painting the inside of your kitchen cabinets can give your kitchen a more finished look.

PRO TIP: For the fastest result a spray gun is ideal! If you do not have a spray gun the next go-to option is a roller! πŸ™‚ Rollers also help speed up the process! πŸ™‚

painting the inside of you kitchen cabinets white
Finished painted cabinetry with cute little bins! πŸ™‚

Here is the link for the cute bins! I purchased them from Target!

Have you painted the inside of your kitchen cabinets? If so, did you paint them the same color as the outside of your cabinets or a different color? I would LOVE to hear! please leave a comment below!

If you are looking for a dark stain to stain your cabinets, check out my “How to use gel stain” post! πŸ™‚

CLICK HERE for a full tutorial on how to paint your kitchen cabinets with chalk paint!