What is the Best Paint to Use On Kitchen Cabinets?

Are you bored of your kitchen space and looking to change it up but don’t want to go through the hassle of completely remodeling it?

If so, then we have got the perfect solution for you: to paint your kitchen cabinets simply.

Not only will it breathe new life into your kitchen, but it will also be relatively cost-effective.

Giving your kitchen cabinets a fresh coat of paint will surely spruce up the entire look for those on a budget or simply seeking a change.

However, if you are planning to paint your kitchen cabinets for the first time, there are some things you should know.

Not every type of paint goes well on cabinets. It depends on the material of the cabinets and a few other considerations.

Keep reading this guide to discover what paint would be the best for your specific kitchen cabinets.

Also read: How to Choose a Paint Color for Kitchen?

Best Paints for Kitchen Cabinets

There are several companies that manufacture paints specifically for kitchen cabinets.

Let’s take a look at the top ten best paints for kitchen cabinets you can choose from:

Benjamin Moore Advance

This is undoubtedly one of the best paints for kitchen cabinets. This is because it combines the benefits of both latex and oil-based paints.

INSL-X CC550109A-01 Cabinet Coat Enamel, Satin Sheen Paint, 1 Gallon, White

In that, they have the least amount of VOC emissions and are simultaneously durable and long-lasting.

The Benjamin Moore Advance paint also comes in a variety of finishes, including matte, semi-gloss, satin and glossy. 

Sherwin-Williams Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel

Professionals highly praise the latest version of paint by the company. It is highly durable and gives a flawless finish.

INSL-X SXA11009A-04 Stix Acrylic Waterborne Bonding Primer, 1 Quart, White

However, the company requires you to follow all the instructions properly in order to get the best results.

This includes using the right brushes and rollers for the job. Otherwise, the paint job will be blotchy and uneven.

Sherwin-Williams ProClassic Alkyd Interior Enamel

Another favorite by the company is the Alkyd Interior Enamel paint. Unlike the other one, this is relatively easy to apply.

This oil-based paint provides a durable finish that is resistant to wear and tear. It also provides an even and smooth coverage.

However, you will need to wait a bit in between the coats when you apply them.

Sherwin-Williams ProClassic Interior Water-based Acrylic-Alkyd

A completely safe option that is free of any VOC is this one. It is easy to use and apply, just like regular water-based paint.

It is also very durable and long-lasting.

Moreover, it is also more than likely to never chip out either. A reliable option is this Sherwin-Williams one.

PPG Glyptex Interior Alkyd

This is an extremely strong and durable paint that has a smooth finish. Moreover, this paint also works on a variety of surfaces.

For example, metal, plastic, concrete, and masonry.

If you are looking for versatile paint and have any of these material cabinets, this is the best choice.

Pratt & Lambert Aquanamel Waterborne Alkyd Enamel

This is one of the most durable and long-lasting paints for kitchen cabinets, and it also has a perfect finish.

Moreover, the Pratt and Lambert paint has low VOC emissions and does not turn yellow over time either.

It comes in satin and gloss finish.

Behr Urethane Alkyd Satin Enamel

If you are looking for versatile options that can be applied on various surfaces, this is the perfect paint for you.

For example, you can apply this paint on cabinets made of laminate or wood.

It is also pretty durable and has a flawless and smooth finish for cabinets.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

If you are looking for something unique for your cabinets, why not paint them with chalk paint?

Rust-Oleum 285140 Ultra Matte Interior Chalked Paint 30 oz, Linen White, 30 Fl Oz

These are flexible and easy to apply. These give the cabinets an aged and timeless look.

Moreover, this also does not require prep beforehand either.

However, it is essential to consider that this paint is not durable and can easily chip.

Real Milk Paint

For people looking for that typical farmhouse, look at their cabinets, then go for this one.

General Finishes Water Based Milk Paint, 1 Quart, Snow White

However, this will require a wax topcoat in order for it to stay durable and not chip away.

Farrow & Ball Modern Eggshell

Another great option is the Farrow and Ball cabinet paint that you can also use for other surfaces like floors.

It is easy to apply, and the finish hardens into a durable and washable coat that emits low VOC levels.

Moreover, the surface is also easy to clean.

Primary Considerations When Painting Kitchen Cabinets

There are only two main factors you need to consider before purchasing paint when it comes to painting kitchen cabinets.

Type of Cabinet Material

The first thing you should consider before painting your kitchen cabinets is figuring out what material the cabinets are.

Based on that, you will need to decide which paint to get because certain types of paint are not suitable for every material.

Here are the main types of kitchen cabinet material and their properties:

Wood Cabinets

This is the best material for paint because it adheres more to wooden surfaces since it tends to be scuffed.

You will need to prime your cabinets beforehand, which will then allow you to have a smoother and glossier finish.

However, if your wooden cabinets are bare and natural, you will likely not need any sanding.

You should also know that wooden cabinets tend to absorb a lot of paint, so latex-based paint is a no-go for such cabinets.

Wood Veneer Cabinets

These tend to have a thin layer of hardwood over another surface. Since they have little wood, you will need only lightly to sand the cabinet before painting.

However, before painting, make sure that you inspect the cabinet for any cracks or chips.

Repair these before moving forward with painting.

Medium-Density Fiberboard (MDF)

These are pretty great for a paint job, provided that you properly prep them beforehand. To do so, you will need to seal the edges and then apply a primer.

Since the edges of MDF cabinets tend to be more porous, it is imperative that you use oil-based primers.

This is because water-based primers may swell the cabinets.

Laminate Cabinets

Such cabinets have a plastic surface attached to another material.

They tend to have shiny and smooth surfaces, which is why painting them can be slightly tricky. It is best if you use laminate-specific paints and primers for such cabinets. Otherwise, you can also opt for high-quality paints and primers.

Before painting laminate cabinets, ensure that you have properly sanded them before and after applying primer.

Moreover, don’t go too harsh on the sanding job; otherwise, it will cut through the cabinets.

Type of Paint

Besides the material of the cabinets, another significant consideration when it comes to kitchen cabinet paint jobs is the type of paint you choose.

This can make or break the paint job, so you have to consider each type carefully, depending on your cabinet material.

The following are the two most popular choices of types of paint for kitchen cabinets:

Oil-Based Paint

These tend to be a popular choice for kitchen cabinets because they have a smooth, long-lasting, and durable finish.

Moreover, oil-based paint also provides an easy application. It works best on wooden cabinets and is also easy to clean.

However, oil-based paint also has some considerable drawbacks.

For example, it takes very long to dry in between coats. This is especially true in areas that are not well ventilated, such as the insides of cabinets.

Hence, having to wait each time to apply the subsequent can be patience-testing.

Moreover, oil-based paint tends to have high volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions, which have been linked to eye and throat irritation.

Having such a coat in places where you keep food and spices is not recommended.

Latex-Based Paint

On the other hand, latex-based paint may be the best choice for kitchen cabinets.

This is mainly because latex-based paint gives off the least amount of VOC emissions, making it much safer.

Moreover, latex paint does not require waiting too much either in between coats. It can be ready for the subsequent in a few hours.

If you get good quality latex paint from a reputable paint, you will not need to worry about the durability and longevity of the paint job either.

However, since wooden cabinets can absorb latex paint, you should adequately sand the cabinet beforehand.

Your cabinet will require more prep work if you apply latex paint, especially if the material is wooden.

Another reason you should opt for latex-based paint is that it adheres to other surfaces that have been previously painted.

Water-based or oil-based paints do not do that regardless of the prior type of paint applied to the cabinets.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which type of enamel paint works best for kitchen cabinets?

Enamel paint is known for its durability and glossy finish, making it ideal for kitchen cabinets. Semi-gloss enamel paint is often chosen for this purpose, as it’s easy to clean, withstands years of use, and resists mold and mildew.

What are the top alkyd paints for cabinet use?

Alkyd paints are oil-based and provide a hard, smooth finish that’s perfect for kitchen cabinets. Some of the top alkyd paint brands for cabinet use include Benjamin Moore’s Advance Interior and Sherwin-Williams’ ProClassic Interior.

These paints offer great durability and performance, ensuring long-lasting results.

Which paint and primer combinations are most effective for kitchen cabinets?

Before painting your cabinets, it’s essential to use a good quality primer to ensure a smooth, even finish. Combining a primer with your chosen paint can lead to better adhesion and durability.

Some paint and primer combinations to consider include Zinsser’s Bulls-Eye 1-2-3 Primer and Benjamin Moore’s Advance Interior paint. Always remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for best results.

How do Benjamin Moore and Behr cabinet paints compare?

Both Benjamin Moore and Behr offer high-quality paints for kitchen cabinets. Benjamin Moore’s Advance Interior is a popular choice due to its self-leveling properties, delivering a smooth finish.

Behr’s Alkyd Semi-Gloss Enamel is another suitable option, known for its durability and easy-to-clean surface. Both paints have their strengths, and your choice will depend on personal preferences and budget.

What makes alkyd paint suitable for kitchen cabinets?

Alkyd paint provides a hard, durable finish that stands up well to the wear and tear of kitchen cabinets. Additionally, alkyd paint dries with fewer brushstrokes, providing a smoother, more professional finish.

These properties make alkyd paint an excellent choice for kitchen cabinets, giving you a lasting and attractive result.

Is lacquer paint a good option for cabinet surfaces?

Lacquer paint can be an attractive option for kitchen cabinets, as it provides a high-gloss and smooth finish. However, some drawbacks need consideration. Lacquer paint can be more challenging to apply, requiring additional coats and sanding between coats.

Additionally, it tends to be less durable than other paint options, such as alkyd or enamel paints. If you’re considering lacquer paint for your cabinets, weigh its benefits against potential drawbacks, and decide if it’s the right choice for your project.

Final Words

When picking out paint for your kitchen cabinets, you have to ensure that it can be easily applied to your cabinet’s surface.

Considering the type of paint thus becomes very important, so make sure it is one that is safe, durable, and long-lasting.

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