Introduction: New Kitchen Cabinets With a Jackson Pollock Inspired Design

Our kitchen cabinets are really old and made from agglomerated wood. We wanted to make them fun, so we decided to re-invent them with some paint! We decided to paint a Jackson Pollock type cabinet (picture from the MOMA)

The kitchen cabinet we started with had a white plastic cover that we ripped off (it was already pealing on its own). Depending on what wood you are starting off with, you might need to sand it so the new layers of paint will grip.


  • A kitchen cabinet
  • Some wood putty
  • A knife or paint spreader to spread the putty
  • Some paint (a few colors)
  • Some sealer

Step 1: Fill in the Hollow Parts of the Cabinet Door With Wood Putty

We didn't like the old fashioned design with hollowed parts so we started by filling them in. Make sure to leave some extra putty to allow for even sanding once it is dry. Let dry at least 36 hours.

Step 2: Sand Down the Wood Putty to Get an Even Surface

We sanded down the wood putty with 60 grade sand paper (pretty rough) because we were going to cover it with thick white paint anyways so didn't need a very refined finish. You might want to sand it some precisely if you anticipate painting a simple design or even a single color, because any imperfections will be more visible.

Step 3: Paint a First Coat of White Paint

To start with a blank canvas, we first painted a coat of white with some paint+primer from home depot.

Step 4: Paint Your Pollock (or Other) Design

We decided to start our first cabinet door with a Jackson Pollock inspired design. This entailed putting the cabinet on the floor in the driveway, getting a few brushes - one for each color we planned on using, and opening all our paint jars. Once set up, we just dipped the brushes in the paint and moved them across the canvas (the cabinet door). For the grey color, we also poured some paint directly from the jar. We used latex paint but regular acrylic should be fine too.

A few tips:

  • Try some wide and slow movements with thick brushes that can hold a lot of paint
  • Try some smaller movements while getting really close to the canvas with some smaller brushes
  • You can thin your paint (with water or paint thinner) for easier application

Step 5: Spray or Paint a Protective Coat Onto the Paint

We had some sealer from a past project in the basement. Wood finish would work too. This is necessary if your canvas will touched often (such as kitchen cabinets), to make your painting last longer!

The recommended coats for our sealer was 4-5 which we did!

Step 6: Install, Et Voila!

Put your kitchen cabinet door back up once the protective coat has dried.

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