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What is the Best Paint for Kitchen Cabinets (And Why)?

Colorful and high gloss kitchen cabinets

Are your kitchen cabinets ugly?

Are they old, weathered, scratched, stained, or otherwise unattractive?

Because if they are, you can save thousands of dollars relative to replacing them by upgrading their appearance with a new paint job.

It’s true!

When done properly, priming and painting can greatly extend the life of your kitchen cabinets while transforming their appearance to jumpstart new life throughout your entire kitchen space.

Join me now to learn about the best types of paint for kitchen cabinetry. Not all paints are the same.

OK, Are you ready? Can you feel the excitement yet?

I can – Let’s go!

What is the Best Color to Paint Kitchen Cabinets?

Kitchen cabinets painted in ombre color.

There are no rules when it comes to choosing the color for your kitchen cabinets. They’re your cabinets!

However, a lot of people like to try to choose a color that complements the colors of their walls, their flooring, and the countertops, which helps to bring the entire space together in a more solidified theme.

But that doesn’t have to be you! Maybe you like contrasting colors. Maybe you like colors that simply don’t seem like they go together at all. You can choose whatever you like.

However, if you live in an area that has a lot of sunlight coming through your kitchen windows, you might want to shy away from dark colors. Black, brown, dark blue, and other dark hues will suck in all the heat from the sunlight.

Also, very light or very dark colors of cabinetry in your kitchen will show wear and tear more readily than the range of colors in between them. They will also show cooking spatters more.

A Kitchen Cabinet Paint Job Is Only as Good as Its Primer

Hand applying primer on kitchen cabinet.

To me, priming is every bit as important as painting, if not more. After you clean and lightly sand your cabinets, vacuum them off, wipe them down with a tack cloth, and then, apply a high-quality primer to prep your surfaces for paint.

Even if you choose the best kitchen cabinet paint in the world, it may not be able to adhere well to the surface of your cabinetry without proper priming.

Primers not only prepare surfaces to accept paint or another coating medium, but they also block out stains, seal wood knots and sap runs, and conceal stinky, musty odors that may be present in the cabinet material. Priming significantly enhances the results you’ll achieve in your kitchen cabinet paint job.

Is Oil-Based Kitchen Cabinet Paint Better Than Latex Paint?

Rust-Oleum Semi-Gloss White Paint

In the past, it was widely believed that oil-based paints were the best choice for creating durable, high-quality finishes on kitchen cabinets and other surfaces. However, this is no longer necessarily true.

Today’s water-based latex paints are formulated much more intelligently than they used to be. They’re easier to work with than oil-based paints, don’t make nearly the mess, clean up far easier, and perhaps most importantly, have much fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs) than oil-based paints do.

You will also notice some hybrid alkyd enamel paints, also called waterborne alkyds, that offer a blend of the characteristics between oil-based and water-based paints. They’re more durable than water-based paints and easier to work with than oil-based paints.

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Which Sheen Level Is Best for Kitchen Cabinet Painting?

Kitchen with white and gray high gloss cabinets.

Modern paints are available in various sheen levels, including:

  • Flat
  • Satin
  • Eggshell
  • Semi-gloss
  • High-gloss

It’s generally recommended to stick with a semi-gloss or high gloss paint for painting kitchen cabinetry. That’s because cabinets endure a lot of use, opening, closing, and repetitively being wiped down. So, you want your paint to be able to stand up to all of that daily usage and be able to endure loads of cleaning without fading overtime.

If you choose a flat, eggshell, or even a satin finish, they will stand up to heavy usage for a while, but then they will fail you. Using a glossier finish, like semi-gloss or high-gloss, is a much better choice because the acrylic resins in them form a hard, durable barrier that non-glossy finishes lack.

My Closing Thoughts About the Best Paint for Kitchen Cabinetry

New kitchen cabinetry can cost $10,000 to $15,000, and more. That’s a lot!

You can refinish your current cabinetry for much less money, and create beautiful transformations that enhance your entire kitchen area.

So go ahead, express your creativity, choose the best color, go with a higher gloss sheen, get yourself a high-quality primer, and take your time with every step of the painting process.

Meditate into your work. Enjoy the experience. Watch your kitchen cabinetry metamorphosize before your eyes. Your family will love it. You will love it. And you will proudly show it off for years to come.

Any high-quality oil-based, latex-based, or hybrid alkyd enamel interior paint will do a fine job painting your kitchen cabinetry, especially when you prime it properly beforehand.

Enjoy the Paint!