Painting Cabinets with Fusion Mineral Paint

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Do you have an outdated Kitchen or Bathroom that you’d like to bring into the 21st century?  Painting them is the best and easiest way to do that.  Although painting cabinets is a very labor intensive process and can take a bit of time to do, it is soooo worth it!  I painted my kitchen and bathroom this last year (kitchen pics below) and I’ve never felt so accomplished as I did when I stood back and looked at what a difference it made in our home.  Took them from dark and dreary to fresh and bright.  Although I’ve been a painter for years I think it’s possible for anyone to do it if they follow these simple steps below.

  1. Remove all cabinet doors, drawers and hardware. I recommend prepping and painting both sides of your cabinet doors so that when you’re done and open your cabinets you’re never reminded of the old finish that you so badly wanted to get rid of. Note: Make sure to label all hinges so that they go back onto the same doors they came off of. You’ll thank me later!
  2. Clean all cabinets well with TSP.  I recommend Fusion TSP because it does not require rinsing or  wearing gloves and it doesn’t interfere with paint adhesion.  Please make sure if you’re not using Fusion TSP that you rinse your cabinets off before moving to the next step.  After TSP dries throughly you’re ready for the next step.  Usually within 30mins to 1 hr.
  3. Scuff Sand all surfaces.  I use the Fusion Sanding Pad which is 220 grit.  If you use regular sand paper or a sander you can use 150-220 grit.  This is simply putting micro scratches in the surface of the cabinets giving the paint something to stick to.  If you’re unsure of how to do this you can watch a video here.  Sanding always sounds daunting but I promise it’s really not that hard!
  4. Rinse – Use plain water to wipe all the saw dust off your surfaces.  Allow surfaces to throughly dry 30 mins to 1 hr.  Should be dry to the touch.
  5. Primer/Bonding Agent – Not all surfaces require a primer or bonding agent like Ultra Grip.  See the chart below to determine what you surface needs. Please note that bleed thru happens when you paint over certain types of wood. For example mahogany, cherry, oak and pine with knots. For those types of wood a primer is definitely recommended. Zinsser Bin Shellac Primer is the only primer I’ve used that has 100% of the time prevented bleed thru. If you’re going from dark to light and would like to reduce the number of coats of paint needed you can always apply 2 coats of Zinsser Bin Shellac Primer.  Allow about 45mins to 1 hr between coats of Primer and before moving on to the next step.  Please note that when using Zinsser Bin Shellac Primer, which you can purchase at your local hardware store, I recommend using a Fusion Microfiber Roller and an inexpensive brush to apply.  If you want to clean your roller and brush you’ll need to have ammonia on hand.  Brushes have to be soaked in 50% ammonia and 50% water to clean. If you’re cabinets have been previously chalk painted and waxed please go here to see how to remove wax and prepare your surface for Fusion.
  6. Paint away!!  Depending on your project and the color that you’re using it may take multiple coats for full coverage. Allow 4-8 hours between coats for best results.  I recommend using the Fusion Microfiber Roller which gives you a sprayed on looking finish with no brush strokes and one of the Staalmeester Brushes.  I used the Staalmeester #18 Pointed Sash Brush for edges and crevices I could not get with my roller.
  7. To Seal or Not to Seal – Fusion has a built in top coat and doesn’t require sealing.  Once cured, which takes approximately 21 days, the finish is stain proof, waterproof, rock hard and super durable.  But, since cabinets get used daily and take a lot of abuse I recommend using a Sealer over your paint to make cleaning them and keeping them clean long term much easier.  For lighter colors I recommend Fusion Tough Coat.  You can watch a video here that shows you how easy it is to apply.  For darker color I recommend Fusion Natural Stain & Finishing Oil.  Watch a video here on how to apply. Tough Coat can tend to look cloudy or streaky over darker colors unless applied very carefully. Allow 24 hours after painting to apply top coats.

Here’s a larger before and after of my Kitchen Cabinets which I painted in Raw Silk with the Island in Pebble.  I used a total of 6-1/2 pints on this project.  I did these about 4 years ago and they’ve been cleaned, scrubbed and jumped on by our dog with no issues at all.  They still look as good as the day I did them.  If you’re unsure of how much paint you need to buy for your cabinet project feel free to reach out here.  I’m happy to give you some guidance.


Do you want to know why I used Fusion Mineral Paint for my cabinets?

Fusion Mineral Paint has an industrial strength acrylic binder so it sticks better than the vinyl in latex and chalk paints. The acrylic also makes them waterproof and scrubbable after curing.

Free Shipping on Fusion over $80 Here

Happy Cabinet Painting!  



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  1. I am getting ready to paint my bathroom vanities that are made of Maple with a natural stain (which now looks gold). I will be painting them white and adding some distressing. Do I need to prime my cabinets first?

    1. Maple does not need to be primed before painting. Just clean well with TSP, scuff sand and paint. Good luck with your project!

  2. I’m ready to put tough coat in my cabinet doors. I watched the video about application but have a couple of questions.

    I have the car washing type sponge suggested for application. I am painting my cabinets a few at a time. Will I be able to clean the sponge and reuse a few weeks later when I’m ready to coat the next group of cabinets? If so, what’s the beast way to clean?

    The cabinet door fronts are routered and not a flat surface. How do I use that large sponge on them?

    1. Hi Pam! I actually like to apply Tough Coat with a damp lint free rag. I think it gives you much more control especially in crevices. I squeeze the Tough Coat unto the damp rag and apply in long strokes. If you miss something it’s best to catch it on the second coat.

  3. Hello. Your kitchen looks beautiful! I painted my cabinets a few years ago with Benjamin Moore paint. I have a few areas near the hardware where the paint has come off completely to show the original color of the cabinets. I am planning on painting them Fusion Raw Silk (which is very similar to the BM color I painted them before), but I want to make sure this time, the paint stays adhered for many years. I just thoroughly cleaned them with Fusion’s TSP. Do I need to use Ultra Grip before I use the Raw Silk paint? And should I use the Tough coat after the paint? Thanks for your help!

    1. If you’re cabinets have a sheen to them I’d advise doing a scuff sand with 220 grit sand paper or using ultra grip. Either one will help the paint adhere. I used tough coat over my cabinets and usually advise that you do that on cabinets so they are easier to keep clean and it adds durability. Hope this helps!

      1. Thank you for your quick reply! I will take your advice on the Ultra Grip and Tough Coat..REALLY want it to adhere this time!

  4. Lovely kitchen!! I painted my cabinets Lamp white since I have white appliances. Should have maybe gone with casement. Any suggestions for wall paint? I did my island in Seaside. It is a lake home and I want it to be bright and cheery. What is the blue on your wall?

    1. I honestly don’t know what the wall color is. It was painted that color when we moved in.
      I have painted the rest of my house in Behr Misty Coast which is a lighter version. You might want to check that color out.

  5. Thanks for the great tips. I am planning on painting my cabinets in Casement. I have dark brown thermofoil cabinets. Can you tell me the exact process I should follow? TSP, scuff sand, ultra grip, then do I need to prime first before apply Casement?

    1. Since your cabinets are Dark Brown, you’re painting Casement and they’re thermofoil I’d recommend priming, 2 coats, with Zinsser Bin Shellac Primer before painting. You could use Ultra grip if you were painting a dark color over but since you not only need to reduce the number of coats but need something to help the paint stick to the thermofoil I’d recommend the Bin. No need for both products.

  6. In the process of remodeling our living areas. We have one large open space with kitchen, dining area, living area. We have Agreeable Gray on the walls. Built in cabinets/shelves on side of fireplace is a matted stone white (not bright, don’t know the exact color very neutral) with the mantel being Dark Walnut color. The built in cabinets/shelves are a Stone color with Chocolate Glaze Color on Maple. Flooring is the same throughout LVT Barnwood color (it has gray, brown, light colosr). Banister is about the same color as living room cabinets/shelves and has black iron spindles. Kitchen being on one side of the area and living room on the other side (it’s a large space). The person who is going to paint our kitchen cabinets and island is using Fusion Mineral Paint (they are oak color right now).. I am thinking Casement for cabinets and would like a different color for the Island.. thinking maybe Ash, but also would like to add color? Not going for Farmhouse look at all… more modern & classic and timeless. Thoughts on several colors to choose from as may end up painting our kitchen table & china hutch too. Our trim is a honey oak color throughout and our back splash has browns & creams in it and so does the counters… but may end up changing the backsplash & counters as not the color scheme I am changing everything too. I want timeless, classy. Thank You.

    1. Some options based on your description. If you’re going with Casement on the cabinets you could use any of these on the island. Ash, Coal Black,Pressed Fern, Algonquin, Midnight Blue or possibly Prairie Sunset if you’d like to stay more modern. The other option is to see if the person that’s painting the cabinets has a fan deck of all the colors. Hope this helps.

  7. Great article, I have golden maple shaker style kitchen cabinets and have been told it’s too smooth a surface for full paint coverage.
    Also, lighter colours require more coats.
    I would appreciate your advice and tips and lighter colours recommended for fusion painting them . Also, by using fusion, is it possible to don’t remove cupboard doors because the fusion paint does not move like regular paint.
    Thank you so much.

    1. Thank you Kim! There’s no wood surface that’s too smooth for painting them with Fusion. Doing a good cleaning and scuf sand before painting will be crucial. If you’re asking for a recommendation on color it’s hard to say unless I can see your space. You can feel free to email me at Removing cabinet doors is totally up to you and your level of comfort. It will take painting around hinges which could be challenging for someone who’s never painted before. It would also mean leaving those doors and drawers open for several days before closing them after painting. If you don’t the door and drawers would stick. Hope this helps.

  8. I have oak cabinets, if the grain show through would it make a nice distressed look or not? They are a honey oak, not real dark.

    1. I have lots of customers who paint oak cabinets and they look beautiful. Depending on what color you’re painting they may need priming. Oak tends to bleed thru yellow if you use a light color. Good luck with your project and please let us know if you need further help.

  9. I’ve been wanting to paint my kitchen cupboards for such a long time but it seems so daunting because of the style door they are… They are solid oak, but they have deep grooves cut into them to make them look like they are individual planks (of varying widths) put together to make a single door panel. The doors are 3/4″ thick and the grooves are 1/2″ deep and 1/16″ wide. Do you have any suggestions on how to paint in the grooves that will leave me with a nice finished project??

    1. Hi Elisse – First of all, if you’re planning to paint them a light paint color you’ll need to prime first with Bin Shellac Primer. Oak tends to bleed yellow or orange thru light colors. If you’re painting a darker color this won’t be an issue. I’d recommend painting the grooves first with one of the small Artist Brushes or the 1″ Flat Staalmeester Brush and then using the Fusion Micro Fiber Roller to do all your flat surfaces. That will leave you with a beautiful finish. Please let us know if you need further help. You can do this!

  10. I prepped my kitchen meticulously… tsp wash, light sand, tough coat, 2 coats of Pebble, and upon rehanging cabinet doors after 4 days of drying got a scratch and the paint came off… how do I handle this? Do I have to sand it all the way back down?

    1. All paint takes at least 21 days to cure and will have to be handled gently until then. All you need to do is smooth that area with sandpaper, paint and tough coat again just in that area.

  11. Hello. Does the grain show on oak cabinets when using fusion mineral paint? If so could I use a filler product like Durhams Water Putty or Drydex Spackle?
    Also, can I use liquid sandpaper instead of traditional sand paper?

    1. With any paint oak grain will show. You’ll definitely need to prime with Bin Shellac Primer if you’re painting a light color. Oak will bleed thru paint. You can use either of those fillers. For the small amount of scuff sanding they will need to be done and especially if you use filler it’ll need to be sanded smooth I don’t recommend liquid sandpaper.

  12. Thanks for the tips. We are starting our kitchen tomorrow. Can I ask what color paint you have by the pantry? I am really struggling with finding the right paint color for the rest of my house.

    1. I wished I could tell you but it was painted that color when we bought the house. Good luck with your cabinet painting!

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