How to Paint Kitchen Walls | Painting Wall Above Cabinets & Tiles

Painting your kitchen is a great way to brighten any space. In addition, painting any room means you need to move things around. As you move, you can clean, sort, and discard any items you no longer need.

When you’re finished, the room is refreshed! A kitchen is the hardest working room in most houses, so be sure to prep as much as possible to reduce any challenges of living in a paint zone.

Simple but Critical Steps to Prep for Kitchen Painting

As directed in this video, make sure to wash walls with a degreasing soap to avoid a paint job that will flake or fade over time. In addition, be sure to invest in a quality flat enamel or ceramic wall paint that you can safely scrub in future.

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Work Safely

When working out how to paint your kitchen, remember you’re working around multiple levels as well as surfaces that can be hot or even sharp. Work in small sections above your head. Move your tools, such as ladders, stepstools, rollers and pans, with you in small sections to make sure you don’t overreach or overbalance. Safety first!

Work from Top to Bottom

Kitchens are loaded with moisture and grease. How to prep? Start with ceiling fan or light fixtures. Work down walls from high to low through your room.

Start by cleaning with a mixture of dish soap and water to wipe everything down, breaking down greasy deposits as you go. This may leave a film or spots on glass or tiles, so be prepared to go back and rinse before you paint.

Mask Thoroughly

Be sure to mask cabinets as you work on walls. Again, if you work small you can move masking materials with you. Ideas for masking when painting a wall above a cabinet can be very cost effective. How? An old fitted sheet can be hooked over your top cabinet doors and draped to cover tiles and countertop so you can paint that high wall above your kitchen cabinets.

A combo of working small as well as using what you have is how to reduce expenses as well as keep you safe. Apply painter’s tape at corners as well as above cabinets/tiles to avoid paint bleed-thru.


Choosing wall colors that matches tiles, cabinets and the rest of your living space will be easier if you think pale or light. How can I choose? Pick up samples, tape on your wall, then check them over a day or two in all lights. In fact, you can really brighten the space by painting walls and ceiling the same color. Walls above cabinets and tiles can reflect light as well as brightening the space if you choose a light wall color.

An accent stripe or two at wainscot level can define a dining area in a kitchen. To prepare for stripes, let the base coat dry. Carefully measure from ceiling down for the stripes. Apply painters tape firmly. Roll it in place with a rolling pin or wine bottle, then paint your stripes. Remove tape before the stripes fully dry.

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