How to Paint Cabinet Doors Without Brush Marks

Do you want to paint your kitchen cabinets without brush marks? Painting cabinet doors can be a daunting task for the uninitiated. However, some tips and tricks will help you get started on this home improvement project with less stress. Read on for more information on how to paint cabinet doors without brush marks! The first thing to do is pick out the color of paint that you would like to use.

It’s important not to confuse primer with paint because they’re used in different process steps. Next, remove all hardware from your cabinet doors using pliers or vice grips before painting them, so they don’t get ruined by drips and spills during the process. When it comes time to put them back on, making sure they align correctly will affect how smoothly the doors open and close. Read on to know more!

How to Paint Cabinet Doors Without Brush Marks

10 Ways on How to Paint Cabinet Doors Without Brush Marks:

1. Paint the Door All the Way Around.

When painting the door, paint the edges of the raised panels as well as the faces. It is much easier to do this before assembly. If you are painting the door before assembly, hold it vertically to make your job easier. If you paint it horizontally, any misalignment will show a vertical line on the finished surface.

2. Use a Paint Roller

Always use a paint roller for painting inside or even outside corner edges of doors and jambs. The amount of paint you save will be much more than the time and trouble it takes. Use a 3/8″ nap roller cover for inside surfaces. For outside corners, use a 1/2″ or 5/8″ nap roller.

Use a Paint Roller For Painting Inside

3. Use a Primer.

A primer will help the paint stick to the door and reduce brush marks. Paint a coat of primer on bare, sanded wood before you begin painting. This will fill tiny pores and minimize brush strokes significantly. Paint quality will be better, which might mean that you can use a thinner coat of paint. This, too, will reduce brush marks by as much as half.

4. Use a High-Quality Paint

Great brushes don’t do great paint jobs. A high-quality paint supplies the pigment to form a strong bond with the surface it is applied to; this eliminates brush strokes and makes repainting easier. When using oil, the paint will be thinner, but you will need fewer coats to achieve an adequate color. This means fewer chances for brush marks to appear.

5. Stir Paint Well

Pour the paint into the tray or pan and not onto the walls of the can or lid. Then stir it well with a stirring stick before pouring it back into its storage container. This will mix all ingredients thoroughly and eliminate brush marks from paint already on the wall of the can that would have surfaced as brush marks in the new paint mixture.

6. Low-VOC Paint.

Choose Low-VOC paint for your finish coat. These paints are more expensive than regular paints, but they do not have the same amount of pollutants that will leave you with brush marks on your cabinets doors. In addition, a thin coat of high-quality paint will go on smoother and leave fewer brush marks than a thick layer of regular, cheaper paint.

7. Use a High-Quality Roller Cover.

Make sure to buy a roller cover with all the right specifications for your project. For example, if you are painting wood doors, you want to buy a roller cover with some naps to make it easy to work the paint into the wood grain. You also need sufficient flatness so it will lay down smoothly on flat surfaces like kitchen cabinets.

Paint Into the Wood Grain

8. Use a Thinner Coat of Paint

As we said before, a thinner coat of paint will reduce brush marks and lay flatter than a thick layer. In addition, a thin coat goes on easier and dries faster, so your wait time isn’t as long. Be prepared to apply four coats instead of two for good results.

9. Paint Using Stripes.

Striping will give your doors a professional look. If you paint stripes, the finished surface will have an even distribution of paint and fewer brush marks. This is one of the most effective ways to ensure there are few brush marks on kitchen cabinet doors.

10. Use a Flattener.

A flattener is a chemical that goes on before you paint. It creates a surface the same way primer would, so the paint will go on smoother and reduce brush marks significantly. A good flattener will also help the paint stick to the wood, which means it won’t peel or chip as easily.

Some Tips and Suggestions:

1. It is essential to make the first layer of paint dry completely before repainting it. Bubbles will form if there are still small amounts of moisture in the paint layer, and this may cause peeling and chipping. Allow the first layer of paint to dry for 24 hours before applying a second coat of paint, and let it dry completely for an additional 48 hours before using the cabinets.  

2. If you want to add decorative touches or give your cabinet doors an antique look, try sanding lightly between coats with very fine sandpaper.

3. The last coat of your paint job should be a light dusting, which you can do by using an old brush from the first two layers if possible. This helps prevent clumps and droplets from forming on the cabinets.  

4. If you want to add a protective layer to the surface, use a clear wax or shellac. This will help prevent staining and corrosion, but it is a good idea to do a test on a small section of the cabinet before applying the wax or shellac over your entire project.  

Paint Clumping or Peeling Problems

5. If you have any paint clumping or peeling problems, try using a smoother-quality brush for your final coat. If you are using a brush with synthetic bristles, you should allow the paint to dry for at least three days before attempting to wax or shellac it.

6. If your cabinet doors are made of wood, remember that they will expand and contract in varying degrees depending on the weather conditions.


When it comes to painting cabinet doors, you want to ensure that the paint is applied evenly and without brush marks. The best way to do this is by using a roller with an extension pole so you can reach all areas of the door from above.

When rolling isn’t practical, you may also use a sponge applicator or foam pad for more precise touch-ups. We hope these tips on how to paint cabinet doors without brush marks help make your next project easier! Have any other tricks we should know about? Let us know in the comments below!

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