We have some old IKEA kitchen units that we want to paint in eggshell.

I wanted advice on the best preparation for the doors.

My only experience with painting wood has been re-glossing doors etc. and I haven't used eggshell paint before.

2 Answers 2


Use one coat of a clear or white latex primer. I'm assuming you meant an opaque paint with an eggshell finish, not a stain.


Assuming the kitchen unit doors are solid wood (not covered/laminated some how):

  • Mark/Label the doors so you know which door belongs to which kitchen unit.

  • Remove the doors from the kitchen units.

  • Remove all hardware from the doors.

  • Depending on how the doors are currently finished, you will either:

    • Have to completely strip them back to bare wood.
    • Or sand (via hand and/or orbital sander) them down on all faces. You want to end up with a surface that has a "light key" all over, is dull looking. This will greatly help the paint adhere properly to the doors.
  • Fill any unwanted gaps, holes, etc in the doors. After filler has dried you will probably have to re-sand lightly.

  • Wipe them clean with a tack cloth to remove dust, you may also want to take the time & clean them with a "mild" household detergent or mineral spirits (specialty paint surface cleaners are available, but generally aren't really needed).

  • Set-up a door hanging paint station.

All of the above & more can be seen here: How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets via This Old House

  • Accepted the answer for using primer as (in this instance) I wasn't looking for the works
    – itj
    Jul 28, 2011 at 6:41

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