Best Paint for Kitchen Cabinets | Our Top Picks

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Knowing the best paint for kitchen cabinets will save you the hassle of choosing the wrong paint or brand. As such, it is crucial to have the proper know-how on the specific type of paint you need for your cabinet.

Best Paint for Kitchen Cabinets | Our Top Picks

To make the task easier below is a guideline on choosing the best paint for kitchen cabinets.

Best Paint for Kitchen Cabinets

Before searching for the best kitchen cabinets paint, first, make sure that your cabinet is in good shape. Otherwise, you have to make the necessary repairs to ensure that your cabinet doesn’t only look good on the outside.

Note that there are many factors to consider in choosing the best kitchen cabinets paint.

Aside from different types of materials, there are also various procedures that you need to take note of.

That said, let’s look at the trends for the best paint for kitchen cabinets 2021:

Brush vs. Spray Paint

A prominent debate on the best paint for kitchen cabinets 2021 is whether it is better to use a brush or spray paint. While you may think that spray paint will make the task easier, there is a disadvantage to it.

First, you need suitable spray equipment—not a mere spray paint bottle because it won’t be enough. It will cost you some money other than the expenses you will need to spend on the paint itself.

Furthermore, it is tedious since you have to cover any appliances or interiors that may get sprayed accidentally.

Meanwhile, opting for a high-quality brush will do wonders for you. Not only is it easy to use, but you have more control over the thickness of the coating as well.

Generally, you will need these brushes:

  • 3 to 4-inch wide square brush: Its straight end is best for large panels with flat surfaces.
  • 2½ to 3-inch wide angled brush: This is the best kitchen cabinets paintbrush for painting edges and corners as well as the door frames.

Meanwhile, the best kitchen cabinets paintbrush for different types of paint base are:

  • Latex: Synthetic bristles
  • Oil-based: Natural bristles

Oil vs. Latex

Now, what is the best paint for kitchen cabinets 2021 when it comes to the base? There is actually a mixed opinion about this. And it’s no surprise because both types provide a good finish.

But what are the notable differences between the two?

  • Latex paints: It dries quickly, and you can clean it up with water. Furthermore, when it has a 100% acrylic formulation, it guarantees a durable and well-adhered finish. However, it takes up to three weeks for latex paint to completely cure.
  • Oil-based paints: It forms a sturdier paint film that ends up with a smooth finished surface. This material is also highly durable.

Painting Over vs. Stripping

There are two preparatory ways to apply the best kitchen cabinets paint successfully: painting over and stripping. While you may think that stripping the old paint entirely is the only way to go, it’s actually not the case.

You’d only have to strip the old paint down to the bare wood when it has a clear coat. It will ensure good adhesion between the surface and the new paint.

However, typically, a combination of good cleaning and light sanding is enough preparation for well-bonded repainting.

Types of Finishes

Faux finishing can complete the look of the best paint for kitchen cabinets. Applying a faux but naturally-looking finish can completely transform the vibe of your kitchen cabinets.

Depending on your preference, you can turn your kitchen cabinet into vintage or modern.

Here are some types of finishes you can incorporate into your repainting project:

  • Crackling glaze: You can purchase this easily at your local paint store. What you simply need to do is apply it over the base coat and brush in one direction. Apply it thickly for a large crack effect and thinly for a fine crack effect. Then, apply a flat top coating of the base color perpendicular to the glaze. Upon drying, it will form your desired look of cracks.
  • Distressed look: To achieve this, you only need an antique shade and spattered dark paint. Once it dries and the colors come out, lightly sand the most-used areas for a distressed finish.
  • Aged antique look: For this look, you’ll need some advanced painting skills. Dip the brush tip in a lighter color, and then dab it on a cloth until it’s almost dry. Then, gently graze the surface of the kitchen cabinet. For the best results, graze it on corners, trims, and seams.
  • High-gloss finish: If you’re going for a modern look, the best for kitchen cabinets 2021 is a high-gloss finish. To add that desired shine, apply a clear acrylic varnish over the final coating of your base paint. The result will be a stunning glassy sheen that will add depth to its color.

Recommended Paint for Kitchen Cabinets

Now, let’s move on to the recommended best kitchen cabinets paint. Many different paint brands offer different formulations that perform differently when applied on furniture surfaces.

Hence, it is crucial to compare and contrast their distinct features to ensure that you will get your desired finish.

These are some highly recommended paint for kitchen cabinets in the market that will help transform your kitchen cabinets.

  • Sherwin-Williams Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel

It’s no wonder why the Sherwin-Williams Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel is on the top list of recommended best kitchen cabinets paint.

It’s because it has a water-based feature that can withstand various wear and tear even with lesser coating.

It offers sheens that run from stain to gloss. This selling point makes it the top choice today for kitchen cabinet paints.

However, the company suggests using the right brushes and rollers for the best results.

Furthermore, the excellent features of the paint formulation cannot combat poor technique. Hence, it will help to do some test paint on scrap wood to ensure that you apply it correctly.

  • Pratt & Lambert Aquanamel Waterborne Alkyd Enamel

The Pratt & Lambert Aquanamel Waterborne Alkyd Enamel is a hybrid enamel that works best for kitchen cabinets.

Its low volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and its soap-water clean-up provide an excellent leveling and flow capacity.

It is a highly recommended best kitchen cabinets paint because of its formulation that is made to withstand wear.

Thus, it will last long even with high-usage of the drawers, frames, and cabinet doors. It comes in gloss, semi-gloss, and satin and offers the best finish on primed surfaces.

  • Benjamin Moore Advance

The Benjamin Moore Advance combines low VOCs for guaranteed smoothness and oil-based quality for durability.

As an alkyd-enhanced hybrid, it combines the features of both water-based and oil-based paints. What’s great about this paint is that it smooths itself upon setting.

It then provides a furniture-grade and washable finish, making it a top recommended paint for kitchen cabinets.

Benjamin Moore Advance offers different types of finishes, from satin, matte, semi-gloss, and high-gloss.

  • Farrow & Ball Modern Eggshell

The Farrow & Ball Modern Eggshell paint is best for a rigid application that kitchen cabinets require. It is unlike other eggshell paints that offer excessively soft finishes.

Furthermore, it dries fast and hardens into a durable and washable coating. It also has a low composition of VOCs, and you can easily clean it up with soap and water.

Since this is eggshell paint, make sure to sand the existing polished finish before applying it to the surface.

  • Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Meanwhile, if you’re going for an ultra-matte finish, the best paint for kitchen cabinets is the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. Chalk paints offer a distressed and aged look without effort.

Furthermore, it lessens the preparation time because it is flexible to use. Even if you’re not skilled, you can still achieve your desired look through this paint.

However, note that it lacks durability if you don’t top it with a hard wax coating.

All About Kitchen Cabinet Painting

To complete our guide on the best paint for kitchen cabinets, let’s go through some of the frequently asked questions. It will provide you with more knowledge that you will need for painting your kitchen cabinets anew.

What is the first step for painting kitchen cabinets?

To begin, make sure to unclip all the hinges and remove all the doors, drawers, and handles. You will only need a screwdriver for this. It will help you proceed with the next steps with more ease.

It’s best to elevate the cabinet body to avoid drips and smudges when you paint them as it is.

If this is not possible with your kitchen cabinet structure, another way to do it is to use painter’s tape. It will cover all the metalwork and areas you’re not supposed to paint.

What are the necessary preparations needed for painting kitchen cabinets?

There are no shortcuts to the painting preparation. You’ll have to clean the surface thoroughly to remove any grease and dirt residue. You will then have to sand the surface using 120-grit sandpaper lightly.

This procedure will help ensure that the paint will bond to the surface of the kitchen cabinet. After dusting it off and ensuring that there is no residue left, the next step is the prime and painting step.

Will I need a primer?

Yes, often, you will need to use a primer to prepare the base of the paint. It will prevent blemishes and unevenness from showing through once you coat it with the paint.

Note that you will need to use a different primer depending on the kitchen cabinet surface’s material.

Also, there are some paints that don’t require the use of a primer. Make sure to read the instructions on the tin of the paint you will be using.

What is the best type of paint to use on kitchen cabinets?

The best paint for kitchen cabinets will depend on the material and your desired finish.

  • Laminates: The best option is a multipurpose paint for MDF, wood, and melamine.
  • Wood: The best options are eggshells or interior wood paint.
  • Cupboards: The best option is chalk paint topped off with wax or varnish seal.

Generally, you will need to apply two to three coats with four hours of drying in between. It will ensure a protected kitchen cabinet surface.

Choose Among the Best!

Note that the best paint for kitchen cabinets must be complemented with the right painting technique. Make sure to do your research and ask the expert on the paint store before making your purchase.

Also, manage your expectations on the final results depending on your skills.

If possible, try to do a test paint first on scrap wood to ensure the best results.


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