This is How Often you Should Repaint your Kitchen to Maintain a Professional-Worthy Paint Job

Our kitchens take a lot of wear and tear, so they may need a more frequent repaint in order to look their freshest

a modern beige kitchen with brass lighting
(Image credit: Lauren Miller. Design: Ashley Montgomery Design)

The kitchen is the hub of the family home. It is a room that's often brimming with love, warmth, and delicious aromas, but it's also constantly undergoing the wear and tear of daily life. A closer glimpse at any kitchen wall, and you’ll find the occasional grease splatter, food stain, and oily residue. 

The question is, given how lived-in our modern kitchens are, how often do these rooms need a repaint in order to look their freshest? We spoke to paint experts for their insights on how frequently we really need to treat our kitchen walls to a revamp. Spoiler alert — with the right care and upkeep, it’s probably less often than you might think. 

Do kitchens need repainting more than other rooms?

a kitchen with an organized countertop

(Image credit: Lo Miller. Design: Lauren Woods Interiors. Styling: Me & Mo)

While a kitchen may benefit from a more regular repaint than other rooms in the home, that doesn’t mean that it needs to happen at the drop of a hat. Paint is supposed to last for a while, so while redecorating is necessary after significant time has elapsed, your paint should be able to put up with a lot beforehand.

According to Chuck Regerof Five Star Painting, kitchens are indeed likely to need to be repainted more regularly than other rooms, however. 'A kitchen may need repainting more often than other rooms due to higher levels of moisture, grease, and cooking-related wear and tear,' he says. 

Tila Lee, a paint expert at Pretty in Paint School, adds that her company gets a lot of requests for kitchen repaints, but not always for maintenance reasons. 'Most often it's because someone wants a color change, and sometimes it's because it has become very beat up or the original application has failed a lot quicker than expected,’ she says.

Generally, your kitchen will need painting more often than low-traffic areas that don't withstand heat, steam, and food smells, but with the right maintenance, redecorating isn't required as often as you'd think. 

How often should you repaint a kitchen?

A modern Edwardian London house with colorful rooms and a Christmas touch

(Image credit: Mary Wadsworth)

Although all kitchens benefit from a fresh paint idea more frequently than other rooms in the home, Chuck says that how often that repainting takes place depends on a number of factors. ‘Repainting a kitchen every five to eight years is generally recommended, but the frequency may vary based on factors like usage, cooking habits, color preferences, and the quality of the initial paint job,’ he notes. 

Jay Sanders, expert decorator and owner of Castle Dream Construction, agrees that the frequency of a paint job depends on the unique circumstances of your particular kitchen. ‘The frequency of repainting a kitchen depends on several factors,’ he says. ‘Higher-quality paints are more durable and can last longer, generally eight to ten years with proper care.’

He adds that regular cleaning can help preserve a paint job for longer. ‘Regularly cleaning and wiping down walls and cabinets helps prevent dirt and grime buildup, extending the lifespan of the paint,' he says. ‘Kitchens used heavily for cooking and entertaining may require repainting more frequently due to increased wear and tear.’

How do you make a paint job last?

Kitchen countertop standard height, green kitchen by Olive & Barr

(Image credit: Olive & Barr)

While a repaint is eventually inevitable, there are some steps you can take to preserve your professional-worthy walls for as long as possible. Tila explains that the key to making it last is ensuring the preparation is done properly. 

‘Depending on whether your walls or cabinets are bare, previously stained, or previously lacquered, will determine what prep needs to be done,’ she says. ‘You can usually count on some kind of sand and some kind of primer before applying a finish coat. Stain is a totally different ballgame and will require an extensive amount of sanding and work to get a different color of stain.’

Tila also recommends a paint finish with more sheen to it, such as satin or semi-gloss, to help it uphold. ‘A lot of people use lacquer which is very strong, but once it starts to chip, there is not much to do to fix it except prep and re-lacquer it, which can only be done professionally by spray,’ she says. 

Chuck agrees that preparation is key, and also notes the importance of choosing the right finish. ‘To make a kitchen paint job last, use a high-quality, moisture-resistant paint with a satin or semi-gloss sheen. Semi-gloss is not that great on the walls, that’s more for the cabinets and trim,’ he says. ‘Clean surfaces thoroughly before painting, apply primer, and use at least two coats for durability.’

Katie Baxter
Trainee Writer

Katie is a freelance writer and MA student at City, University of London studying Magazine Journalism. Katie discovered her passion for lifestyle journalism after finishing her BA at The University of Oxford, when she started pitching to major lifestyle publications and covering various topics from popular culture to wellness. She is a regular contributor at Well+Good, where she writes experiment-based beauty and fitness pieces.