Should You Paint The Inside Of Kitchen Drawers?

Kitchen drawers can often be overlooked because they’re used for simple, everyday storage. But if you consider the exterior style of these drawers, you might be curious if you should go all the way and paint the inside too. Because your drawer interiors are used every day, they can actually have a surprisingly big impact on your kitchen’s style. So, we have thoroughly researched if you should paint the inside of your kitchen drawers.

Although it isn’t common practice, painting the inside of your kitchen drawers is certainly possible. It is mostly a matter of style and personal preference. The interior of your drawer boxes will likely feature unpainted wood, but it is almost certainly finished. This means that you can add primer and paint the interior of your drawer boxes for different purposes, such as:

  • White paint will look more spacious
  • Contrasting colors can highlight utensils
  • Matching colors will add consistency

While it seems unlikely, you can actually transform the feel of your kitchen when you paint the inside of your kitchen drawers. Keep reading to learn about how to properly finish, seal, and paint the interior of your drawer boxes.

Neat line of colorful knives in a fitted drawer in a wooden kitchen cabinet with rustic counter top viewed from overhead with a pair of scissors or shears on top, Should You Paint The Inside Of Kitchen Drawers?

Painting The Inside Of Kitchen Drawers

White paint will look more spacious

Many kitchens tend to use a neutral white for most of the appliances and fixtures. This can seem to lack personality because white isn’t a true color. It’s just a neutral that reflects all other colors.

This unique feature gives white a warm temperature and unusual brightness. It also allows white to work with just about any other color. This means you can use it in any kitchen, no matter the existing style.

But most importantly, using copious amounts of white can allow kitchens to appear larger than they truly are. You can use this same tactic inside your drawers. If you add white paint to the interior of your drawer box, it’s going to seem more spacious.

The neutral white naturally acts as a canvas, drawing absolutely no attention to itself. This creates a roomy look, which can be more appealing for tight spaces like kitchen drawers.

Consider that wood mainly has a brownish color, and brown is just a near neutral with a colder temperature. So unless the kitchen design is already aiming for a homemade look, as with farmhouse or country styles, the wood can just feel unfinished and uninteresting.

Contrasting colors can highlight utensils

black open drawer with silver cutlery in modern white kitchen, How Much Weight Can Kitchen Drawers Hold?

Now you can begin considering the established interior design of your kitchen. The focal point of most kitchens is the cabinets because the base cabinets and upper cabinets always take up so much surface area together. Also, the wall cabinets are often eye-level.

So, you will frequently use your kitchen cabinets to dictate the rest of the room. As a result, your drawer fronts will probably match the kitchen cabinets. You can also read "How To Adjust Kitchen Drawer Fronts" if they aren't looking even upon review.

If your kitchen allows the cabinets to really pop, they are probably painted darker than the floor. This means you can take a bold, bright color into the drawer box to create contrast. That will open up the space and make it easier to see your utensils, tools, or other cookware.

Keep in mind that if the drawer fronts are already bright, you may not want to use a dark contrast. This can make the drawer feel smaller when you use it. And even if you used some kind of tray to hold your utensils, the style could begin to feel too busy.

Matching colors to add consistency

You can also coordinate your new color inside the drawer box to extend the style of the drawer front. It isn’t common practice to give two separate fixtures an identical color because it starts to feel redundant. But the drawer box and the face should act as one fixture.

So, they can actually share an identical color. In fact, this is often done on purpose for minimalist interior designs, which require fewer colors and smooth lines.

When you can’t find the existing color for older drawers, you may have to repaint everything. If this sounds like too much trouble, you can try to keep the new color within two or three shades of the drawer front. This will allow the colors to agree without feeling too unique from each other. In turn, your kitchen will feel more consistent and tied together.

What paint to use on the inside of kitchen drawers?

Painting your kitchen drawers will probably demand that you remove all of them one by one to reach everywhere. So, you might as well take the drawers outside and paint them there to avoid any lingering fumes.

But that may not necessarily rescue the drawer box from those fumes. Oil-based paint smells can still potentially follow the drawer inside. You can always use acrylic and water-based paints that do not carry a strong smell if you want to be certain. Besides, these are generally considered easier to work with anyway.

That’s because it is simple to clean up and reapply these kinds of paint. While oil-based paint is more durable, it is generally reserved for fixtures outside that are subject to weather conditions like harsh sun and rain.

How do you spray paint inside kitchen drawers?

Spray painting your drawer boxes is definitely going to leave odors, so your first step is to make sure that your workspace is highly ventilated.

Next, you should deep clean the drawer boxes to remove any filth or grime from the finish. This way, you can add primer and feel certain the paint will bond correctly. It may be necessary to use fine, high grit sandpaper. This can remove severe buildup and scratch the surface just enough to accept primer. You don’t necessarily have to remove the entire existing finish unless it’s especially glossy.

You will also have to be careful that your paint doesn’t spread to unwanted areas. So, you’ll then need to remove anything that might end up with collateral damage or cover it up with painter’s tape. If you want the interior to be a different color from the front, then you’ll definitely have to remove the drawer face.

Finally, you can use a low-pressure spray painter to apply the desired color. This power tool is much easier than pressing your finger down on a conventional spray can. It's especially useful when you need to repaint multiple drawers. The process for each drawer may require multiple coats, which require time to dry in between.

Click here to find this HVLP spray painter on Amazon.

Do you finish inside of drawers?

It is useful to apply a finish layer to most wood fixtures, especially in a kitchen. Keep in mind that even casual kitchens frequently spread water around now and then. When water is allowed to sit, it can spell disaster for anything made of wood. An unfinished drawer box will warp and invite mold fungi. But you need to use the right kind of wood finish.

What do you seal kitchen drawers with?

Click here to find this water-based polyurethane wood finish on Amazon.

When purchasing your sealer, you should consider that some wood finishes can maintain their smell too much. They might even transfer this stench to hand towels, which are regularly used in the kitchen. As such, you should never use oil-based finishes. Instead, you can always use water-based polyurethane finishes, which do not use smelly solvents.

Do you paint the sides of kitchen drawers?

The sides of the drawer box are usually painted to paint and finish the inside of the drawer. It is possible to paint the sides of your kitchen drawers so long as any hardware is removed first. This should involve the metal slides on the sides of the drawer box, which allow it to glide back and forth inside the base cabinets. You can read "How To Make Kitchen Drawers Slide Easier" if the drawers aren't working quite right.

Some people avoid painting the sides of the drawer box so that the slides do not conflict with the paint. This isn’t always a problem, but you should still consider that it may be a risk. Also, the paint may begin to peel over time. That would slowly begin to work its way into the contents of the drawers.


Kitchen silverware drawer with compartments

Painting any wooden fixture can be a simple but time-consuming process. But you can make a genuine difference in your kitchen by painting the inside of your kitchen drawers. Now that you know the effects that certain colors will have and what process you can use to apply them, you can add more style and personality to fixtures that are criminally overlooked.

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