Painting a Kitchen Sink? Here’s What You Need to Know

If your kitchen sink is looking worn out and dated, painting it can be a quick and easy way to give it a fresh new look without the hassle or expense of installing a brand new sink. With the right prep work, materials, and technique, you can paint porcelain, stainless steel, aluminum, and other common sink materials to transform the look of your kitchen.

We’ll cover prepping different sink types, choosing the right paint, steps for painting, and caring for your sink after painting. Read on to learn how you can easily paint your existing kitchen sink and give your kitchen an updated look.

Materials You Can Paint

The good news is that most common kitchen sink materials like porcelain, stainless steel, and aluminum can be painted with the proper prep work and paint products. Here’s an overview of prepping and painting some typical kitchen sink materials.

Porcelain Sinks

Porcelain sinks have a glass-like vitreous china surface that is prone to staining and scratching over time. To paint a porcelain sink:

  • Thoroughly clean the sink with an abrasive cleaner or scouring pad to remove any oils, soap scum, or other residues.
  • Lightly sand the surface with fine grit sandpaper to rough it up slightly for better paint adhesion.
  • Use a high-quality epoxy-based paint specifically formulated for glossy surfaces like porcelain.

Stainless Steel Sinks

Stainless steel resists stains and corrosion, but it can develop water spots and discoloration over time. For the best results painting a stainless steel sink:

  • Clean the sink well and sand it lightly to rough up the surface.
  • Apply a metal primer first before painting. This helps the new paint better adhere to the slick stainless steel surface.
  • Use a high-quality latex-based paint for the topcoat.

Aluminum Sinks

Aluminum sinks are lightweight but prone to scratches and dents. Follow a process similar to porcelain sinks:

  • Clean thoroughly and sand lightly to prepare the surface.
  • Use an epoxy paint formulated specifically for aluminum.

Other Materials

While porcelain, stainless and aluminum are the most common, you may also have a composite, granite, or other type of sink material. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations, or test a small area with latex or epoxy paints formulated for your material.

can you paint a kitchen sink

Prep Your Sink for Painting

Proper prep work is crucial for getting great results when painting a kitchen sink. Here are the key steps:


Start by thoroughly cleaning your sink with an abrasive cleaner or scouring pad. This will remove any oils, soap scum, hard water deposits, food stains and other residues that could interfere with paint adhesion.


After cleaning, lightly sand the sink surface with fine grit sandpaper. This will slightly roughen or etch the surface so the paint can grip better. Be careful not to sand too aggressively.


For stainless steel sinks, apply a metal primer before painting. Priming gives the topcoat paint something to bond to.


Use painter’s tape and plastic sheeting to mask off the areas around your sink that you don’t want to get painted – like the countertops, walls, and fixtures. This keeps the paint only on the sink.

Painting Your Sink

Once your sink is prepped, it’s time to start painting. Make sure you have these supplies on hand:

Paint Supplies

  • Paint – enamel, epoxy or latex paint suitable for your sink material
  • Paint roller and tray – 4-inch mini rollers work well
  • Angled paint brushes – for corners and hard to reach spots
  • Primer – for stainless steel sinks
  • Sandpaper – 220 grit or higher
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Drop cloths, painters tape, etc.

Step-by-Step Painting

Follow this process for a smooth painted finish:

  1. Apply primer to stainless steel sinks and allow to fully dry.
  2. Stir your paint thoroughly before starting.
  3. Apply the first coat using a mini paint roller in sections, followed by tidying up edges and hard to reach spots with an angled paint brush.
  4. Allow the first coat to dry fully before adding additional coats.
  5. Apply two to three thin, even coats of paint until you achieve full coverage.
  6. Gently sand and smooth out drips or uneven areas between coats.
  7. Remove painter’s tape before the final coat is fully dry to prevent peeling up paint.

Caring for Your Painted Sink

Once your kitchen sink paint job is complete, allow it to cure fully before regular use:

  • Cure time – Most paints take 24-48 hours to fully cure. Avoid using harsh cleaners or abrasives during this time.
  • Cleaning – Use mild dish soap and soft sponges or cloths when cleaning the painted sink.
  • Touch-ups – Spot paint any chips or damaged areas to maintain the finish.


How long does it take to paint a kitchen sink?

Plan on the painting process taking 2-3 days: Day 1 for cleaning, sanding, taping off and priming. Day 2 for applying first and second coats of paint. Day 3 for third/final coat and dry time.

Do I need to remove the sink for painting?

In most cases you can paint the sink without fully removing it. Thoroughly masking off the surrounding areas is usually sufficient.

What paint adheres best to kitchen sinks?

Epoxy paints adhere extremely well to glossy surfaces like porcelain and aluminum, while latex or enamels work for stainless steel. Always check the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Painting a worn, dated kitchen sink with the proper prep work and paint can give it a fresh, updated look while avoiding the hassle and expense of installing a brand new sink. While it does take some time and elbow grease, it’s a relatively easy DIY project that can give your kitchen a whole new look.

If you have the right materials and techniques, you can paint your kitchen sink to make it look new again. Just be sure to thoroughly clean and scuff the surface first, use compatible primers and paints, apply multiple thin coats, and allow proper drying time. Get the paint supplies matched to your sink material and follow the steps, and you can easily paint a kitchen sink in a weekend.

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